I was listening to the excellent RHLSTP – because I am one of the cool kids – when the guest, Richard Bacon, made a curious confession about his adventures bringing News Bunny to the State Opening of Parliament.
I got a letter from Black Rod – who runs both houses […] and it says that I am banned for life from the House of Commons and the House of Lords.
“Hmmm…” I wondered, “Who else has been banned from Parliament?”
TO THE BAT-FREEDOM OF INFORMATION MACHINE, ROBIN!
Using the excellent What Do They Know site, I fired off an FoI request to the House of Commons.
I quickly received this back:
The House of Commons has not banned any person, therefore does not hold this information.
I notice in your request you mention Black Rod. It may interest you to know that Black Rod is a senior officer in the House of Lords. As our response only deals with people banned by the House of Commons you may wish to consider forwarding your request to the House of Lords
While waiting for an answer, I’d done a little research and discovered that the Suffragette Emily Wilding Davison was banned from Parliament.
The letter mentions that she should be added to the “Index Expungatoris” – a list of people banned from Parliament. (NB this is also referred to as the the “Index Expurgatorius“)
I wrote to the House of Lords and specifically mentioned the “Index”. Their reply was swift:
The House Administration does not hold “a list of people who have been banned from Parliament.” A search has been conducted and no recorded information relevant to your request has been located.
So! There you have it. If you think that you have been banned from Parliament, it seems that they don’t hold any records and you are free to enter.
✱ This does NOT constitute legal advice!