Mr Speaker, I attended a meeting of your Committee for IPSA on 18 October, and the agenda included discussions on IPSA’s current consultation exercise.
Has the Leader of the House had a chance to examine IPSA’s proposed changes to zone 3 accommodation funding limits? May I make it clear that they do not affect me, because I do not claim any London rent from IPSA? However, does he agree that they could have a damaging effect on MPs with young children? Does IPSA not understand that, apart from on Monday, when we sit late, on virtually every other evening many MPs are kept here until well after the House rises?
The points my hon. Friend makes about the pressures of parliamentary life on Members’ families are true, and I think they are true of Members right across the House. As we all know, IPSA is an independent body, and it will, I am sure, consider carefully the representations from hon. Members and others, and then come to a decision at the end of its consultation.
The Leader of the House, and all Members of the House, will remember so clearly the dreadful killing of Jo Cox only in June. Since that time, has he had any intelligent communication and conversation with IPSA about how Members are better protected here, in their constituencies and on their travels between them?
As I hope all Members of the House know, Members’ security was the subject of very urgent consideration following the shocking murder of our late colleague. Under the leadership of the Chairman of Ways and Means, a new package of security measures has been made available to all right hon. and hon. Members, with a fast track for delivering those security improvements, where they are needed.