Security staff at the Houses of Parliament are using a rule prohibiting banners and fancy dress to confiscate briefing notes members of the public have prepared in order to lobby their representative.
After MP David Burrowes raised the case of his constituent, who was ordered by police officers to hand over papers she had prepared for a lobby on Palestine, numerous other instances of visitors having benign materials confiscated have emerged.
With several people coming forward to claim this happened during a pensions event on 26 October, Scrapbook understands that the following rule, taken from the Serjeant at Arms’ guidance on mass lobbies, is being invoked by police:
“Banners, placards, flags, leaflets and similar items are not permitted within the confines of the Parliamentary Estate and lobbyists will be required to leave such items at entry point.”
However police have interpreted this to include notes, printouts of web pages and other unobtrusive personal materials which could never be used for visible campaigning or protest.
Perhaps someone should explain what a leaflet looks like.