RULES FOR THE ADMISSION OF VISITORS~~
(a) Pursuant to SO 13 and as Agent of the Administration
and Works Committee, Black Rod~ is responsible for 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"
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 for the maintenance
of good order in the galleries;
(ii) to deposit in the appropriate cloakroom all
liquids, cameras, mobile phones and other electronic devices,
binoculars, umbrellas and walking sticks, parcels, packages, cases
and bags other than small 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 small handbags, which a visitor may bring into
(d) In the galleries visitors are not permitted
to 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, mobile phones and other
electronic devices, or binoculars. Any offence against this rule
may result in the confiscation 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, and to use electronic
devices or tape recorders, as long as they do not cause any disturbance.
(f) Any visitor who is suspected of having committed
a criminal offence within the precincts of the House shall be
taken into custody and handed over 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 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 Black Rod made in pursuance of these Rules.
(j) A vehicle which is causing obstruction, or
appears to be endangering security, within the precincts of the
House may be removed.