Security information

To ensure that Parliament remains a safe and accessible place for those who work within and visit Parliament, we have implemented a number of security measures. Please take note of them before and during your visit.

Search and screening

Airport style searches are in place at the Houses of Parliament. Please leave plenty of time to pass through security. You should expect this to take at least 15 minutes. At busy times, which are unpredictable, the delay will be longer. On Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons the queue can exceed 45 minutes. Please dress appropriately for the weather.  

Personal defence equipment is not permitted and UK law prohibits the carrying of certain self-defence items which are lawful in other countries. Any visitor found in possession of such items – e.g. flick knives, butterfly knives and personal defence sprays – is liable to be arrested. 

In addition, the following items are not permitted on the parliamentary estate and will be confiscated:

  • Sharp items e.g. knives (including Swiss army knives) scissors, cutlery and screwdrivers
  • Paint spray
  • Padlocks, chains and climbing gear
  • Items that make a noise (e.g. whistles)

Visual guide to items prohibited in Parliament (PDF PDF 472 KB)

If you require sharp items for medical reasons, please speak to a member of the security team as soon as you arrive to seek their advice.

Banners, placards, flags and similar items are not permitted in public meetings and may be confiscated.

You may be subject to secondary searches once inside the parliamentary estate.

Bags

Please restrict the size of bags brought to Parliament as large bags or luggage are likely to be refused entry. Parliament has no facilities for storing or leaving bags or other personal items. Commercial left luggage facilities are available nearby at Charing Cross, Victoria and Waterloo stations.

Inside the building 

Please wear the security lanyard and visitor pass issued to you and do not leave bags and personal items unattended.

CCTV cameras, alarms and other security technologies are in operation across the parliamentary estate.

Further security information

Members of our security and visitor services teams will be available on your arrival, and throughout your visit, to assist you and answer any questions.

For further information about security, please contact saaenquiries@parliament.uk.

Virtual tours

Can't visit Parliament in person? Why not climb the Elizabeth Tower, have a look around the Commons or visit the House of Lords library with this series of online tours.

Related information

Where do I go?

Lost in the wilds of Westminster? Find your bearings with our maps of the parliamentary estate and the surrounding area.