MPs Stage Fight Against Parliamentary Staff’s Library Takeover

Sir Edward Leigh is leading a charge of MPs against parliamentary authorities over the seizure of Library rooms C and D for parliamentary office space. Guido noted disquiet from MPs over the move last year which is coming as the Norman Shaw North office building effectively shuts down for renovation in six months’ time.

In a letter to Speaker Lindsay Hoyle, Sir Edward has appealed to protect the ‘rich cultural heritage’ of the Library rooms and keep them for MPs. Expect more fuss in the run up to the change…

Read the letter in full below:

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mdi-timer 8th January 2020 @ 1:00 pm 8th Jan 2020 @ 1:00 pm mdi-comment Comments
Proposals Published to Make Parliament ‘More Inclusive’

Parliament’s Administration Committee has published its proposals to change access rights for passholders on the Parliamentary estate, in an attempt to make it “more inclusive.” The leaked draft proposals Guido reported back in July have held true and the proposals are sure to prove unpopular. One of the most controversial proposals is that of opening Strangers’ Bar up to all passholders, not just MPs. Meaning no MP only bars would be left…

The proposals include:

  • On sitting days allowing all full-passholder staff (both House staff and Members’ staff) access to the Commons Terrace, without guests. On the Terrace there would be an extended “Members-only” area (for Members and their guests) at the far end of the Terrace by Speaker’s House.
  • And on non-sitting days allowing all full-passholders access to the Terrace with up to three guests.
  • Reducing access for staff to the Pugin Room after noon whilst allowing all full-passholders access if they have booked a meal in the Strangers’ Dining Room with guests, if there is space, for pre-dinner drinks.
  • Allowing all House and Members’ staff to access the Strangers’ Bar without guests.
  • Providing access to those contractors who work on the Estate on a permanent basis to have access to cafeterias.

Read the proposals in full here…

mdi-timer 4th October 2019 @ 4:23 pm 4th Oct 2019 @ 4:23 pm mdi-comment Comments
Commons Executive Board to Recommend Scrapping MPs’ Exclusive Areas in Parliament

MPs could lose their exclusive access to some of Parliament’s best bars and restaurants under new recommendations being drawn up by the Commons Executive Board. They are holding a consultation as part of their response to the Cox Report into bullying and harassment in Westminster. A draft seen by Guido shows that they plan to recommend that staffers no longer be barred from MP-only areas like Strangers’ Bar, the gilded Pugin Room and the riverside Terrace. The plans are intended to end the culture of “them and us” relationships between MPs and staffers…

The draft states that “grade status (i.e. SCS, A-E) should play absolutely no role in determining whether any passholder can access a facility or service on the Estate”. Facilities like members-only toilets and showers would also be opened up to all passholders. Even more radically, the proposals could allow non-MPs to gain “exceptional access” to the Smoking Room, the Members’ Tea Room, Members’ Dining Room, and Members’ Lobby. Parliament’s old guard are not going to be pleased…

mdi-timer 5th July 2019 @ 6:04 pm 5th Jul 2019 @ 6:04 pm mdi-comment Comments
Parliament Hit By One Fire Every Month

Guido understands that Parliament is from today introducing mandatory fire and security training for all 7,000 staff who work on the estate, including MPs. Everyone is expected to complete it in the next 30 days…

Reassuringly, the fire safety module lets staff know that there are twelve minor fires a year, forty one evacuations, and 210 fire alarms. Quite fitting for a building that was only constructed as a result of a devastating fire in 1834. Staffers tell Guido that they’re looking for more opportunities to work from home…

mdi-timer 13th June 2019 @ 12:16 pm 13th Jun 2019 @ 12:16 pm mdi-comment Comments
Parliament Trying Desperately To Clear Out Waste

A co-conspirator has spotted a 3,000 gallon DavLav tanker sitting in the Palace of Westminster, ready to clear out the huge amount of human waste that is sitting inside. DanLav’s tanker hire service specialises in “clearing cess pits, septic tanks and holding tanks” so it is definitely in the right place. Elsewhere on the estate gas services and fire safety company Emico has been spotted, presumably to deal with the inordinate amount of hot air, and other putrid fumes. They’ll have their work cut out if we don’t want a second “Great Stink“…

mdi-timer 14th May 2019 @ 5:00 pm 14th May 2019 @ 5:00 pm mdi-comment Comments
Parliament Hikes Food and Drink Prices Above Inflation

Parliamentary staffers were in for a nasty April Fools surprise yesterday as Commons catering prices rose by a whopping 2.7%. The change affects cafeterias, dining rooms, and worst of all, bars. Sadly for everyone on the estate this isn’t a joke…

Suspiciously, 2.7% is exactly how much MPs’ pay is rising this year, whereas staff budgets are rising by just 1.5%– below the 1.9% inflation rate of February. This means MPs won’t be hit by this but staffers will. Good to see Parliament looking after hard done by MPs who only earn a mere £50,000 above the national average, plus generous expenses…

Guido has long thought that Parliament shouldn’t be centrally determining the prices of food and drink in the Commons, and should let commercial chains operate within the estate. Let them be free to choose between Greggs, Leon, McDonalds, Pret, Whetherspoons… 

mdi-timer 2nd April 2019 @ 10:14 am 2nd Apr 2019 @ 10:14 am mdi-comment Comments
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