HL Deb 21 April 1986 vol 473 cc1067-8WA
Viscount Craigavon

asked Her Majesty's Government:

  1. (i) Whether they will list the neighbouring parliamentary buildings to the Palace of Westminster which are held to enjoy the same legal immunities, in respect of the occupants or the buildings, as the Palace itself, by virtue of parliamentary privilege or as a royal palace; and
  2. (ii) how it is decided, and by what criteria, that such outbuildings so qualify.

The Minister of State, Department of the Environment (Lord Elton)

The following buildings, in addition to the Palace of Westminster, form part of the Parliamentary Estate:

  • 3 Dean's Yard
  • 1 The Abbey Garden
  • 2 The Abbey Garden
  • 6–7 Old Palace Yard
  • St. Stephen's House
  • Norman Shaw North Building
  • Norman Shaw South Building
The above-mentioned properties are owned or leased by the Crown. Statutes do not bind the Crown unless they do so expressly, or by necessary implication. However, it is the practice of the authorities of both Houses, and of the Department of the Environment (which is responsible for the upkeep of the buildings) to adhere to the spirit of such legislation as if the Crown were bound by it. The Crown is not immune from common law actions for negligence.

Any immunity attaching to the Palace of Westminster or the Parliamentary Estate by virtue of the rights and privileges of Parliament, rather than by virtue of Crown immunity, is a matter for the authorities of both Houses, and not a matter for Her Majesty's Government.