Skip to main content

House of Commons Chamber

Volume 447: debated on Monday 12 June 2006

24. If the Commission will agree with the Royal Institute of British Architects the rules and prize for an architectural competition to redesign the House of Commons Chamber; and if he will make a statement. (76116)

Does the hon. Gentleman feel that there would be greater public interest in debates in the House, which are watched and listened to by very few people, were the debates more worth listening to—[Interruption]. Does he feel that a wider group of members of the public, architecture students and architects’ practices could help us to build a Chamber that was more conducive to genuine debate—[Interruption]—as opposed to posturing and shouting from a sedentary position, as is being demonstrated at this very moment, thereby making my argument?

When the hon. Gentleman raised a similar point a while ago, I suggested that he should approach the Modernisation Committee if he wanted to test the degree of support that he had among his colleagues. I am not aware of his having done that. Alternatively, he might like to table an early-day motion to test support for any idea that he might wish to put forward.

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that public esteem for Members of Parliament might be further lowered were we to decide to spend scarce public resources redesigning a Chamber that works perfectly well?