Removal of References to Strangers
Motion made, and Question put,
That, with effect from the beginning of the next Session of Parliament, the following amendments be made to the Standing Orders of the House:
No. 89 (Procedure in standing committees): in paragraph (2), leave out 'Strangers' and insert 'The public';
No. 125 (Strangers (select committees)): leave out the title and insert 'Select committees (admission of the public)'; and in paragraph (1), leave out 'strangers' and insert 'the public';
No. 149 (Committee on Standards and Privileges): in paragraph (8), leave out 'strangers' and insert 'the public';
No. 161 (Duties of Serjeant at Arms with respect to strangers): in the title, leave out 'strangers' and insert 'the public'; in paragraph (1), leave out 'stranger' in the two places where it appears and insert 'member of the public' in each place, and leave out 'strangers' and insert 'the public'; and in paragraph (2), leave out 'strangers' and insert 'members of the public'.
No. 162 (Places to which strangers are not admitted): in the title, leave out 'strangers' and insert 'the public'; and, in the Standing Order, leave out 'stranger' and insert 'member of the public'.—[Mr. Woolas.]
The House divided: Ayes 242, Noes 167.
Mr Oliver Heald (Shadow Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs, Home Affairs; North East Hertfordshire, Conservative)
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. In the light of the result of the final Division, what steps will be taken to change the names in some of our ancient customs? For example, will instructions be issued tomorrow for police officers to shout, "Hats off, Stakeholders!"? Will the Public Gallery be renamed the Stakeholders or Friends Gallery tomorrow? Can you give us any guidance on when those important changes will come into effect?
Mr Nicholas Winterton (Macclesfield, Conservative)
Further to that point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. Given your ruling, may I ask whether the House of Commons Commission has a budget to allow for the changes that will take place to the notice boards and other structures of this House to meet the unfortunate decision taken tonight?
Mr Michael Lord (Deputy Speaker)
I am always worried when people say that I have given a ruling. I did not think that I had given a ruling. I thought that I had just explained the situation to the House. As for the budget for such matters, I am sure that that issue may also be left safely in the hands of Mr. Speaker and his advisers.