Broadcasting

House of Commons Commission written question – answered on 19th December 2006.

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Photo of David Lepper David Lepper Labour, Brighton, Pavilion

To ask the Chairman of the Administration Committee if he will make a further statement on the changes recommended by the Committee to the rules on broadcasting proceedings of the house and on filming and photography within the precincts.

Photo of Frank Doran Frank Doran Chair, Administration Committee

By way of a written answer on 20 June 2006, Hansard, column 1725, I informed the House of changes to the rules on broadcasting proceedings of the House and on filming and photography within the precincts. The changes were originally introduced on a trial basis from the return of the House in October. The Committee again considered the operation of the rules earlier this month, and Mr. Speaker has agreed to the Committee's recommendation that the changes should be made permanent. Accordingly, the changes, which are restated, will remain in place on the return of the House in January.

A greater variety of shots of proceedings in the Chamber than was permitted before October will continue to be allowed, including a greater use of reaction shots in order to illustrate the mood of the House, and the provision of a low-level atmospheric sound-feed during divisions rather than complete silence.

BBC Parliament has been released from the undertaking previously given to the Broadcasting Committee, to carry live Commons Chamber coverage regardless of proceedings at the same time in the House of Lords, on condition that the freedom to select proceedings in the Lords should be used only sparingly, and that Mr. Speaker should be consulted in such cases. A reporter voice-over is also now permitted during divisions.

Two new interview points have been identified within the precincts: in the south west corner of Westminster Hall once the current works there have been completed, and on the Green in New Palace Yard, subject in the latter case to a permit from the Serjeant at Arms. Filming pieces to camera of a presenter walking across Central Lobby are also permitted before 9 a.m. on non-sitting days, similarly subject to a permit from the Serjeant at Arms.

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