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House of Commons Facilities (Corporate Hire)

Volume 596: debated on Thursday 4 June 2015

10. What recent estimate he has made of income raised by the House from the hire of its facilities by the corporate sector since such hire was permitted. (900094)

The House generated £441,000 in net sales from the hire of catering and event facilities to third parties between January 2014, when such hire was permitted, and May 2015. This was from a mixture of corporate, wedding, private and charity events that took place when the House was not sitting. Smaller amounts were raised from other activities, including charges for filming on the estate. It is not possible to identify separately the amount of income raised from the corporate sector.

Is the hon. Gentleman as concerned as I am that it is unhealthy for our democracy if this House becomes more and more dependent on hire fees from corporate interests? Will he therefore look again at this policy of hiring out our facilities to the very people who caused the financial difficulties that the House is trying to meet?

I ought to remind the hon. Gentleman that the matter was looked at carefully by the Administration Committee; it was looked at by the Finance and Services Committee; it was looked at by the House of Commons Commission; and it was agreed by the House. The hon. Gentleman may find that he is in a slight minority on this issue.