HC Deb 03 March 1982 vol 19 cc385-6

The following Private Ruling given by Mr. Speaker is published in accordance with Mr. Speaker's statement of 5 November 1981—[Official Report, c. 113.]

Following a recent disturbance by strangers at a meeting of a Select Committee, I have been asked to rule whether the power granted to the Serjeant at Arms, under Standing Order No. 113, to take into his custody any stranger who, having been admitted into the gallery of the House, misconducts himself or does not withdraw when ordered to do so, extends equally to strangers so misconducting themselves at meetings of Select and Standing Committees sitting within the precincts.

The terms of the Standing Order are applied specifically to Committees of the whole House, as well as the House itself, and I am confident that the House would not wish its other Committees to be denied this protection. I therefore rule that the power conferred upon the Serjeant at Arms by Standing Order No. 113 may, if the Chairman so directs, be exercised in respect of strangers present at sittings of Select and Standing Committees within the precincts.