HC Deb 31 October 1991 vol 198 cc2-4

Motion made, and Question proposed,

That the Commissioner of the Police of the Metropolis do take care that during the Session of Parliament the passages through the streets leading to this House be kept free and open and that no obstruction be permitted to hinder the passage of Members to and from this House, and that no disorder be allowed in Westminster Hall, or in the passages leading to this House, during the Sitting of Parliament, and that there be no annoyance therein or thereabouts; and that the Serjeant at Arms attending this House do communicate this Order to the Commissioner aforesaid.

2.33 pm
Mr. Robert Adley (Christchurch)

You may remember, Mr. Speaker, that last year I raised with you the problem of coaches parked in and around Parliament square, which makes it impossible for the Sessional Order to be complied with. You said that you would refer the matter to the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis. I have been in correspondence with him since then and he tells me that it would not be possible to give enforcement "high priority".

There appears to be a clear conflict between your discussions and the Sessional Order on one hand, and the priorities of the Metropolitan police on the other. Will you please ask the Commissioner to ensure that the Sessional Order is given the highest priority so that we can get to this place without being obstructed by coaches?

Mr. Speaker

I will certainly refer the matter again, although, as the hon. Member knows, there are difficulties about this.

Mr. Bob Cryer (Bradford, South)

It has become the fashion to make a few comments about the Sessional Orders, which is very useful. I think that the House should take the matter seriously. I refer especially to the Sessional Order that deals with witnesses to the House. There have been occasions——

Mr. Speaker

Order. We have already gone past that order. If the hon. Gentleman wishes to deal with the order under discussion, I shall hear him.

Mr. Cryer

We have agreed to the order, Mr. Speaker, and I am pleased that we have: I said "Aye" along with the others.

I want to refer to the third Sessional Order, Mr. Speaker, dealing with access—the last one to which you referred. I do not wish to oppose the previous order, although it is debatable—merely to refer to it in passing, to say that I hope that, when the Select Committee on Health takes evidence on the national health service trusts, no witnesses will be intimidated by threats of disciplinary action intended to prevent them from giving evidence.

Mr. Speaker


Mr. Cryer

I now wish to go on to the order concerning access.

Mr. Speaker

Order. The hon. Gentleman is ingenious, but his remarks are miles wide of the order under discussion, which concerns the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis. I think that we should move on.

Mr. Cryer

I was about to refer to the order dealing with access. As you, Sir, will know, in two successive years, I have raised the question of access for Members, which is most important, because it allows us to exercise our right to come here carrying information, messages and representations on behalf of the people whom we represent. By and large, their message is that we should get rid of this Government as quickly as we can and put a Labour Government in their place. In two successive years, I have pointed out that, although we take serious action on giving access to Members of Parliament, we take little action on, and treat with scant seriousness, the question of access to this place for disabled people. I have raised the question three times, and it is about time that something was done about it.

Mr. Speaker

That is a matter for the Administration Committee, not for discussion in connection with the order.

Question put and agreed to.

  2. c4
  3. OUTLAWRIES 19 words
  4. c4
  5. JOURNAL 84 words