Palace of Westminster: Security

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 10:00 am on 4 October 2001.

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Photo of Lord Williams of Mostyn Lord Williams of Mostyn President of the Council, Privy Council Office, Lord Privy Seal and Leader of the House of Lords 10:00, 4 October 2001

My Lords, your Lordships will already be aware that, because of the heightened threat following recent events, measures have been taken to increase security at the Palace of Westminster. These include more strictly controlled access, both on foot and by vehicle. A fundamental element in these measures is the photographic identity pass, which should be carried at all times and produced on request. Vehicles will be subject to search and Members are therefore advised to allow sufficient time for their journeys, bearing in mind likely delays on arrival at the House.

Your Lordships will also have noticed the provision of armed police at key entry points in addition to our own Palace of Westminster security force, which will of course continue its normal duties to control access and to help Members and visitors. These are some of the temporary measures which have been implemented and which themselves form only part of the proposals for enhanced security following a major review under changed circumstances.

It is our intention that Black Rod, in conjunction with the Serjeant-at-Arms and the Metropolitan Police, presents these proposals to the appropriate committees of both Houses. Members will then be able to discuss and decide on the appropriateness of these measures set against the threat, the smooth functioning of our House, the principle of public access to Parliament and the cost of the measures themselves. I know that in the meantime your Lordships will give our security force your full support and co-operation.