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Political Activities

Volume 472: debated on Wednesday 20 February 2008

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Horsham of 28 January 2007, Official Report, column 3W, on political activities, how many and what percentage of staff working in the House are politically restricted. (186088)

Staff in catering, craft, cleaning and Vote Office porter roles are politically unrestricted. These members of staff represent 20.1 per cent. (395) of the House of Commons service. The other 79.9 per cent. (1,573) of staff are not necessarily politically restricted, but must obtain permission from their Departmental Establishment Officer (DEO) to take part in any political activity. Of these, 0.1 per cent. have requested and been granted permission for specific political activities. Staff in the Senior Commons Structure (SCS), staff in regular direct contact with Members in support of the business of the House and its committees, and those who provide information, briefing or advice to Members will not normally be given permission to take part in political activity. There are 86 SCS staff (4.4 per cent.), but it is not readily possible to identify the numbers of staff in the other categories.