Speaker’s Statement

Business Before Questions – in the House of Commons on 19th March 2019.

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Photo of John Bercow John Bercow Speaker of the House of Commons, Chair, Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, Chair, Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, Chair, Commons Reference Group on Representation and Inclusion Committee

I would like to make a statement about security and access to the parliamentary estate. It is likely that there will be a strike of parliamentary security staff this Wednesday 20 March. Industrial action is due to begin this evening, Tuesday 19 March, and to conclude on the morning of Thursday 21 March. During this time, access to the parliamentary estate for non-passholders will be extremely limited.

Parliament’s priority will be to ensure that the business of both Houses is unaffected. Priority access will be provided to Select Committee witnesses of both Houses and civil servants who are supporting business in both Chambers.

All security staff are highly valued and an essential part of the parliamentary community. Parliamentary authorities are continuing to engage constructively with the union over the issues that were on the ballot and hope to avoid the strike taking place. Should this action take place, I would like to reassure Members that security will in no way be compromised. Security is everyone’s responsibility. I should remind colleagues that it is imperative that we all wear our security passes at all time when on the parliamentary estate. Anyone failing to display a security pass is liable to challenge and may be required to obtain a day pass.