§ Mr. Tony Banks
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence who authorised the deployment of armed military personnel around St. James's palace following the recent break-in; why the civil authorities were not asked to carry out the task; what consideration was given to using civilian personnel; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Hanley
My Department received no specific request to deploy armed military personnel around St. James's palace following the incident in question. Under a procedure agreed between the general officer commanding London district and the Metropolitan police, military sentries patrol at royal palaces as a normal part of their guard duties.