Seems that police in Parliament in the UK have been telling lobbyists that they cannot bring “political material” into the Commons. Interesting
Police officers told a member of the public they were prohibited from bringing “political materials” into the Houses of Parliament, the Commons heard yesterday. In a great spot from Matthew Barrett at Conservative Home, a woman attending a lobby on Palestine was told by two police officers that this bizarre ban was on the order of parliamentary staff.
Interestingly this occured during a Palestine lobby, would the same have occured if it had been an Israel lobby? Or perhaps something less controversial?
Regardless — this is a very odd restriction. No political materials in Parliament? Let’s hope that no one in Canada is taking notes.
I checked the Hansard for the Date in Question and htere is the official exchange in the Commons:
Mr David Burrowes (Enfield, Southgate) (Con): On a point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker. Something happened to one of my constituents today that is of fundamental importance, I believe, to all hon. Members regarding constituents’ access to Parliament. My constituent attended a Palestine lobby, similar to one she has attended on many previous occasions, but on this occasion things were different. As she arrived at security, a police officer confiscated her lobby briefing material and told her that she was not allowed to have anything of a political nature. In fact, she was told that this was a direction from the House authorities. The officer then spoke to a senior officer, who gave the same response. Eventually, the material was returned to her, but she was told, “Yes, we will return this material, but do not do this again.” I ask your advice, Mr Deputy Speaker. Was this a direction from the House authorities? Will you confirm that constituents are not allowed to have anything of a political nature with them when they attend Parliament?
Mr Deputy Speaker (Mr Lindsay Hoyle): This is a matter for the staff and the police. The hon. Gentleman will know that we do not discuss security issues or what has gone on as a matter of security, but he has put his views on the record. I am sure that the authorities and security will look into the matter, and I am sure that someone will come back to the hon. Gentleman now that he has raised it on the Floor of the House.