HC Deb 04 November 1993 vol 231 cc360-1W
Mr. Allen

To ask the Lord President of the Council if he will list all those organisations and individuals(a) within and (b) outside the precincts of the Palace of Westminster who currently receive the live feed from the Chamber of the House of Commons.

Mr. Newton

Within the Palace of Westminster and its outbuildings, the following organisations or individuals receive a clean television feed from the Chamber: Madam Speaker; the Speaker's Secretary; the Chairman of Ways and Means; the Prime Minister; the Leader of the Opposition; the Leader of the House; the shadow Leader of the House; the Leader of the Liberal Democrats; the Whips Offices of the Government, the Official Opposition and the Liberal Democrats; the Supervisor of Parliamentary Broadcasting; and the Press Gallery, within which some individual broadcasters have made their own separate arrangements.

In addition, the Votes and Proceedings Office and the Committee Office at No. 7 Millbank receive a clean sound feed. The Editor and Deputy Editor of the Official Report enjoy a similar facility, as does the Hansard training division at No. 7 Millbank.

Outside the House, a number of Government Departments have arranged through the Central Office of Information to take a clean television feed. In addition, all the main broadcasters within the United Kingdom—the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, and BSkyB—are entitled under the terms of the first report of Session 1988–89 of the Select Committee on Televising of Proceedings of the House to receive the clean feed. The live feed is also retransmitted in the form of the Parliamentary Channel, which is carried by various local cable networks throughout the United Kingdom. Finally, the Press Association has access to a live feed for the production of still photographs, for which purpose it has been licensed by Parliamentary Broadcasting Unit Ltd., PARBUL.

There are a further 25 organisations, mainly in broadcasting or the press, which are already authorised to take a clean sound feed and which on the basis of a policy decision by the Select Committee, are also entitled, without the need to seek separate permission, to take a clean television feed if they wish. I understand that very few of these organisations have in fact exercised their right to receive the television feed, although precise information about their identity is not readily available since, as indicated, they do not need the approval of the Select Committee to do so. The full list of 25 is as follows:

  • British Forces Broadcasting Service
  • Manx Radio
  • South Africa Broadcasting Corporation
  • National Public Radio (USA)
  • Radio stations affiliated to the National Association of Hospital Broadcasting Organisations
  • Scandinavian Broadcasting (Danish (DR), Finnish (YLE), Norwegian and Swedish radio and television)
  • Voice of America
  • Falkland Islands Broadcasting
  • Associated Press Ltd.
  • IBS News Ltd.
  • Radio Television Hong Kong
  • Radio Basildon
  • London Broadcasting Co. Ltd. (who are authorised to supply the feed to national newspapers)
  • Israel Broadcasting Authority
  • Norddeutscher Rundfunk Hamburg
  • Westdeutscher Rundfunk Köln
  • Deutsche Welle, Köln
  • Wall Street Journal London Bureau Reuters Ltd.
  • Sound Productions (Overseas Promotions) Ltd.
  • TV Asahi
  • Christian Science Monitor
  • Tolerate Europe/Gulf
  • Bank of England
  • New York Times London Bureau

The supply of a clean sound feed has also been authorised to BBC Audiocall, TIM Ltd. and IRN for the purpose of providing a premium rate live telephone relay of proceedings.