Companion to Standing Orders - Companion to Standing Orders Contents


APPENDIX B

RULES FOR THE ADMISSION OF VISITORS


(a)  Pursuant to SO 13 and as Agent of the Administration and Works Committee, the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod is responsible for security in, and control of access to, the precincts of the House as defined in (b) below in respect both of persons and of vehicles, whether or not the House is sitting.

(b)  For the purposes of the interpretation of SO 13 and these Rules, the "precincts of the House" shall be understood to comprise all that area of the Palace of Westminster control of which was vested by the Queen in the Speaker of the House of Lords, with effect from 26 April 1965, as well as all other areas under the control of the House.

(c)  Before admission to the galleries of the House visitors may be required:

(i) to sign an undertaking to abstain from making interruption or disturbance and to obey the rules of the maintenance of good order in the galleries;

(ii) to deposit in the appropriate cloakroom all cameras, tape recorders, electronic devices, binoculars, umbrellas and walking sticks, parcels, packages, cases and bags other than ladies' handbags; and

(iii) to open for inspection at the request of Black Rod, or of the staff under his control, any parcel, package, case or bag, including ladies' handbags, which a visitor may bring into the precincts.

(d)  In the galleries visitors are not permitted to smoke, read books or papers other than the papers of the House, draw or write (except in the south-west gallery), stand in or behind the galleries, or make use of cameras, tape recorders, electronic devices, or binoculars. Any offence against this rule may result in the confiscation by Black Rod of any offending material.

(e)  Where committees of the House are sitting in public, the rules governing the admission of visitors to committee rooms are, so far as practicable, the same as those for admission to the galleries of the House. Members of the public are permitted to take notes during committee meetings.

(f)  Any visitor who is suspected by Black Rod of having committed a criminal offence within the precincts of the House shall be taken into custody and handed over by him to the police for such further action as may be appropriate under the law. Any such action shall be reported by Black Rod to the Lord Speaker or, in her absence, to the Chairman of Committees.

(g)  Any visitor who is suspected by Black Rod of having committed contempt of the House, including the contravention of an order or rule of the House, may, at the discretion of Black Rod, either be ejected from the precincts forthwith, or be detained by him until not later than three hours after the rising of the House, or, on a day on which the House is not sitting, for a period not exceeding three hours, in order to enable inquiries to be made into the circumstances of the contempt. If the contempt is of such a nature that, in the opinion of Black Rod, the House may wish to consider it, he shall report it to the Lord Speaker or, in her absence, to the Chairman of Committees.

(h)  Any visitor who is suspected by Black Rod of intending to commit a contempt of the House, including the contravention of an order or rule of the House, may be ejected from the precincts forthwith.

(i)  The Lord Speaker or, in her absence, the Chairman of Committees shall communicate to the House any report by the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod made in pursuance of these Rules.

(j)  A vehicle which is causing obstruction, or appears to Black Rod to be endangering security, within the precincts of the House may be removed by him, or by the servants of the House, or by the police on his instructions.


 
previous page contents next page

House of Lords home page Parliament home page House of Commons home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2010