RULES FOR THE ADMISSION OF VISITORS
(a) Under SO 14 Black Rod, as an Agent of the Services
Committee, is responsible for enforcing the House's rules relating to 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
(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
(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;
(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 the precincts.
(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
(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 his absence, to the Senior Deputy Speaker.
(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 his absence, to the Senior Deputy Speaker.
(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 his absence, the Senior
Deputy Speaker 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.