Row over plan to turn House of Commons into ‘Disneyland’

A heated debate has broken out over a plan
to hire out rooms at the House of Commons for corporate functions and private
parties.

The House of Commons is the latest addition to the Westminster
Collection
.

The venues in the collection comprise townhouses, private members clubs,
luxury hotels, historic institutes and societies.

Events at the Commons can be held in a selection of 10 different rooms,
from the members’ dining room which can accommodate 200 people to the Pugin
Room which seats18 guests.

Three wood-paneled terrace dining rooms, originally part of the Journal
Office where daily votes and proceedings were compiled, can be used as
boardrooms or for private dinners for 25 – 150 guests. The terrace pavilion,
overlooking the Thames is available for receptions.

All 10 spaces are available for hire on Saturdays and during times when
the House is not sitting. 

Rob Chambers, board director for The Westminster Collection and event
sales director at London Film Museum, said: “Like many of our other member
venues, we’re proud to welcome in such a unique and stand-out meetings and
events venue as the House of Commons. It’s the true definition of ‘Westminster’
and we hope PAs, event agents and other events professionals will explore the
potential of this fantastic heritage venue, now it’s available for corporate
and private hire.”

But
Labour MP Barry Sheerman slammed the move.

He
said: “After all the scandals we have had, it will lead to plagues of lobbyists
coming in. It is also an appalling security risk, and will make it harder for
us to do our jobs as MPs. It is not some sort of Disneyland tourist attraction.”

Do you have a story for CN? Email: John Keenan

Paul Colston

Author

Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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