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Palace Of Westminster (Security)

Volume 122: debated on Tuesday 10 November 1987

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On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. May I ask you about the internal security of the Palace of Westminster? Two services now exist — the custodian and security service, and the police. It seems to be a growing practice for the custodian service — no insult to it — whose members cannot be as well trained as the police force, whose members have a rigorous training for some years, to replace the police force in some of the passages of the Commons that lead from the Members' Entrance. Do you agree that we should not diminish the power and right of the police in the Palace to save a few pounds by replacing them with a custodian service, good as it is, which is not as well trained as the British police force?

This is one service, under the control of the Head of Security. I shall look carefully at what the hon. Gentleman has said. Deployment is not really a matter for me, but I take note of what he has said.