The Web has had a profound affect on MPs' work, a UK Government information committee report, called Digital Technology: Working for Parliament and the Public, claims.

The report, published yesterday, examines what IT systems can offer UK politics, particularly in reducing public perception of the House as "remote from the public". “Public participation in the political process” is in decline, the report states.

The report says: “Public pressure for openness and transparency has led to an expectation that material will be made publicly available and that access to it will be encouraged rather than discouraged.”

Web of statistics The Government aims to get everyone in the UK online by 2005. Recent Government figures claim: 38 per cent of UK households have Internet access, and 51 per cent of UK adults have accessed the Internet in some way.

“Internet penetration, while it is increasing constantly, has yet to make a significant impression in certain sectors, leading to a digital divide," the report warns.