POINT OF ORDER – ANTI-WAR PROTEST NOISE – 15 January 2004

Dr Julian Lewis: On a point of order, Mr Speaker. I refer not to the presence of the current demonstration in Parliament Square but to the volume of noise periodically projected into Parliament – such that right hon. and hon. Members cannot work peacefully in their own offices. When I spoke to the main protestor in Parliament Square last night, he was frank enough to admit that the amplification is so loud because the small number of demonstrators want their protest to be heard above the traffic noise and penetrate these buildings. Does the Leader of the House know of any moves to ensure that Westminster City Council or the police – who tell me that it cannot do anything or feel that they are not allowed to do anything respectively – can stop the pathetic failure to allow right hon. and hon. Members, staff of the House and residents to carry on their business undisturbed?

[Mr Speaker: I, too, am concerned about the noise to which the hon. Gentleman refers. I understand that matter has been taken up with the Leader of the House and the Procedure Committee. I hope that it can be resolved, because the demonstration goes beyond the normal peaceful protest in which I have been involved as a trade unionist and political activist – as have other right hon. and hon. Members.]

* * *

[Peter Hain: Further to the point of order raised by the hon. Member for New Forest, East (Dr. Lewis), Mr. Speaker. I agree with the sentiments that you expressed in respect of the situation outside the Palace. We shall proceed to deal with it as quickly as we can.]

[For further developments, click here.]