HC Deb 04 July 1995 vol 263 cc115-6W
Mr. Allen

To ask the Chairman of the Administration Committee (1) if he will make a statement on the reasons why hon. Members are currently restricted to three employee passes;

(2) if he will issue a questionnaire to hon. Members to ascertain their views on the adequacy of three passes to allow employees access to their offices in order to carry out their duties;

(3) if he will bring forward proposals to ensure that passes are issued only to legitimate employees of hon. Members;

(4) what proposals he has to ensure that hon. Members who wish to employ more than three people to assist them to fulfil all their parliamentary duties may do so and not be prevented by current restrictions on the number of passes;

(5) if he will bring forward proposals to ensure that hon. Members can employ the numbers of properly employed staff that they consider appropriate.

Mr. Michael J. Martin

On 30 January 1989 the House approved the Second Report of Session 1987–88 from the then Select Committee on House of Commons (Services), "Access to the Precincts of the House", which recommended that the number of Members' staff who may hold photo-passes be limited to three. It was not proposed that there should be a limit on the number of staff employed by an hon. Member.

The decision to limit to three the number of photo-passes available to Members' staff was made in the light of pressure on all the House facilities; at that time, the figures showed that only 66 out of 650 Members held passes for more than the proposed limit.

As the pressure on House facilities has not decreased in subsequent years, I do not propose to recommend any changes to the existing regulations.