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Microphones (Chamber)

Volume 501: debated on Thursday 26 November 2009

23. If the House of Commons Commission will take steps to install additional microphones for the use of hon. Members who are unable to stand when speaking in the Chamber; and if he will make a statement. (301688)

The Commission is very sympathetic to the requirements of Members who are unable to stand when addressing the House and whose words might therefore not be heard fully. I have therefore asked the relevant officials to investigate having microphone coverage throughout the Chamber. From the information available, I understand that the improvement sought by the hon. Gentleman should be possible, although significant physical work might be needed in the Chamber. I shall of course inform him and the House when the full investigation is complete.

I am grateful for that answer. We have at least two colleagues in this Chamber who find it impossible or difficult to stand. They speak with clarity of mind and voice, yet listeners and viewers at home often cannot hear them clearly because of the positioning of the microphones. We all look forward to receiving an update on precisely when that information, and the microphones, will be provided.

I agree entirely with the hon. Gentleman. A range of options might be possible. They are being investigated at the moment and once the best option is identified I am sure that we will be ready to crack on and do it.