Sir Julian Lewis: About 40 years ago I had an unlikely campaigning role that involved organising counter-demonstrations to certain mass marches, but one area we never had to worry about was the vicinity of Parliament, because no demonstrations were allowed in Parliament Square. The reason given for that was that Members must not be impeded in entering or leaving the Houses of Parliament. Even if demonstrations continue to be allowed in Parliament Square, it should be a common concern to those on both sides of the House that Members find themselves getting advice from their Whips on which exits they cannot use for fear of being mobbed by an unauthorised demonstration that comes right up to the gates of Parliament. This really has gone too far. Sooner or later there will be an incident, unless security on entering and leaving the Houses of Parliament is restored.
[The Leader of the House of Commons (Penny Mordaunt): I thank my right hon. Friend for raising this important matter. It is quite right that Members of Parliament and their staff should be able to go about their business in safety and security, and should not be disrupted in doing so. Mr Speaker was particularly concerned about this even prior to yesterday’s incidents, and has been working with Palace security and other organisations to ensure the safety of Members of Parliament in particular. Since the Deputy Speaker is in the Chair, I shall make sure that Mr Speaker has heard my right hon. Friend’s concerns, and I will ask that my right hon. Friend be kept informed of progress on such matters.]