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Parliamentary Estate: Police

House of Commons Commission written question – answered on 25th June 2020.

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Photo of Julian Lewis Julian Lewis Conservative, New Forest East

To ask the hon. Member for Perth and North Perthshire, representing the House of Commons Commission, if the Commission will publish the (a) dates and (b) changes that have been made to policing arrangements in the vicinity of the parliamentary estate in the last 10 years in relation to (i) demonstrations and (ii) the (A) obstruction, (B) abuse and (C) intimidation of hon. Members at entrances to the Palace of Westminster; and what steps the Commission plans to take with (1) City of Westminster local authority, (2) the Greater London Authority and (3) the Metropolitan Police to ensure the safety of (x) hon. Members, (y) parliamentary staff and (z) other people entering and exiting the parliamentary estate.

Photo of Pete Wishart Pete Wishart Chair, Scottish Affairs Committee, Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Constitution), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Cabinet Office), Chair, Scottish Affairs Committee

The Parliamentary Security Department (PSD) has a Special Services Agreement for provision of policing on the Parliamentary Estate; external policing is a matter for the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS). The House of Commons Commission cannot therefore provide the requested information pertaining to policing arrangements in the vicinity of the Parliamentary Estate in the last 10 years.

PSD is in frequent communication with the MPS to assess expected protest activity and other events in the surrounding area that may impact access to and/or the safety of Parliament and those working or visiting here. During extended and heightened protest activity, for example around the debates on Brexit, PSD has worked with the MPS and with other parties such as broadcasters to protect Members, staff and the public. PSD also issues advice to Members and other passholders around personal security, including any specific guidance around ongoing events.

PSD and other Parliamentary officials also liaise with Westminster City Council (WCC), the Greater London Authority (GLA), the MPS and others on issues of safety and security in the nearby area. Parliament has supported the Parliament Square Streetscape Project, which is led jointly by the GLA and WCC and with the involvement of the MPS, to consider the feasibility of improvements to the Streetscape around the Palace of Westminster.

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