HL Deb 22 July 1998 vol 592 cc110-1WA
Lord Kilbracken

asked the Chairman of Committees:

How many people were admitted to the Strangers' Gallery in (a) the House of Lords and (b) the House of Commons in the 12 months before and after the last general election; and what is his estimate, in each case, of the average time they were waiting between joining the queue and reaching the Gallery. [HL2750]

The Chairman of Committees (Lord Boston of Faversham)

In the House of Lords, 58,350 people were admitted to the Strangers' Gallery between May 1996 and April 1997, and 56,937 people were admitted between May 1997 and April 1998. I understand that it is unusual for visitors to wait for more than five minutes before being admitted to the Gallery.

In the Commons, the figures I have been given are for calendar years. In 1996, 146,408 people were admitted to their Strangers' Gallery, and in 1997 121,838 were admitted. In this year to 17 July, 133,356 people have been admitted. I have no information on the average waiting times in the House of Commons.