HC Deb 26 July 1993 vol 229 cc744-5
36. Mr. Austin-Walker

To ask the right hon. Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed, as representing the House of Commons Commission, what breaches in the Palace of Westminster of the provisions of the health and safety Acts have been reported to the Commission.

Mr. Beith

The Commission has received no such reports.

Mr. Austin-Walker

Is a specific Officer of the House responsible for health and safety? How can hon. Members who employ staff ensure that they are complying with the health and safety Acts when they have no control over the environment overall? Surely now is the time to end Crown immunity, so that the House is open to inspection by local environmental health officers.

Mr. Beith

Each Department has its safety representatives, who carry out the necessary work in that Department. The removal of Crown immunity from these buildings was mentioned in an earlier question, and I expressed my willingness for that to happen, but it is a complicated legal process. Discussions are taking place; in the meantime, the Commission considers it important for the House to retain its policy of seeking to comply with the requirements placed on it by the legislation.

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