A new temporary House of Commons Chamber
Indicative image of the proposed temporary House of Commons Chamber as viewed from the public gallery.
The proposals will deliver a temporary House of Commons Chamber within a substantially redeveloped Richmond House.
The temporary Chamber will replicate the familiar character and layout of the existing House of Commons Chamber but will provide a greater level of accessibility for MPs and visitors, including wheelchair access to the public gallery.
Essential facilities for the functioning of Parliament will be provided around the Chamber, including division (voting) lobbies, Committee Rooms, catering facilities, and offices for the Speaker, Clerk of the House, Serjeant at Arms and other core functions.
A new press gallery and education and participation spaces will be provided, and new public areas will enhance public access to democracy while the temporary Chamber is in use.
“The opportunity should be taken for the temporary Commons chamber to be a radical redesign.”
The proposals presented for the temporary chamber fulfils the ‘like for like’ decant brief provided by the Joint Committee and approved by the House of Commons Commission in May 2018. It is an important principle of Parliament that only MPs and Peers can initiate a change in the way they operate. The consideration of any future changes around how the House of Commons operates therefore would be for MPs to initiate.
“As a reporter, my primary concern is the temporary Chamber and the glass screening. It is essential that we are able to hear all of the Chamber, and not just whoever is on mic at any one time.”
The proposals initially included full glazing around both the public, peers and press galleries. While glass in front of the public gallery will remain, design changes will be made so that the glazing is removed in front of the press gallery to enable journalists and Hansard reporters to better observe proceedings.
Indicative image of the proposed temporary House of Commons Chamber.