BUSINESS QUESTION – PROTEST NOISE – 9 May 2019
[Mr Speaker: I call Dr Julian Lewis.]
Dr Julian Lewis: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I was not expecting to be called until the end, because I would like to raise with the Leader of the House the situation at Carriage Gates, which is not strictly a matter of the business of the House. I am concerned that the incessant loud noise, which is being made not in the context of specific demonstrations but at varying times, is taking us back to a situation prior to 2010. Not only does it cause distraction, particularly in Westminster Hall, but, much more importantly, it has a huge effect on the police who are guarding the gates and have to be on the alert, as we know only too well, against attack. There are byelaws about this. I do not care which side of the EU argument the shouters are on – probably both sides – but it needs to be stopped. I wonder what the Leader of the House can do about this matter because one of her predecessors, Sir George Young, proved very effective in tackling it with Westminster City Council.
[Mr Speaker: Yes, that was in 2012 – I remember it well.
The Leader of the House of Commons (Andrea Leadsom): I regularly meet the director of security in the Palace and the Director General to talk about the challenges we face when going about our everyday work. I have raised the demonstrations going on outside, but not specifically the noise. Since my right hon. Friend makes that point, I will undertake to raise that issue the next time I speak to the DG.]