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Broadcast Proceedings

Volume 447: debated on Tuesday 20 June 2006

To ask the Chairman of the Administration Committee if he will make a statement on the changes recommended by the Committee to the rules on broadcasting proceedings of the House and on filming and photography within the precincts. (79009)

The Committee has recently made a number of recommendations on changes to the rules on broadcasting proceedings of the House and on filming and photography within the precincts. Mr. Speaker has agreed to these changes being made on a trial basis. The Committee will consider in December whether to recommend that they be made permanent.

From the return of the House in October, and for a trial period, a greater variety of shots of proceedings in the Chamber will be allowed than is the case at present, including a greater use of reaction shots in order to illustrate the mood of the House, and the provision of a low-level atmospheric sound-feed during divisions rather than the current complete silence.

From the same time, BBC Parliament will be released on a trial basis from the undertaking previously given to the Broadcasting Committee, to carry live Commons Chamber coverage regardless of proceedings at the same time in the House of Lords, on condition that the freedom to select proceedings in the Lords should be used only sparingly, and that Mr. Speaker should be consulted in such cases. A reporter voice-over will also now be permitted during divisions.

Two new interview points have been identified within the precincts: in the south west corner of Westminster Hall once the current works there have been completed, and on the Green in New Palace Yard, subject in the latter case to a permit from the Serjeant at Arms. Filming pieces to camera of a presenter walking across Central Lobby will also be permitted before 9 am on non-sitting days, similarly subject to a permit from the Serjeant at Arms.