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Guidance and resources

The following information provides information for parliamentary press passholders, as well as information about the process for applying for membership of the press gallery.

Application for media passes

Media passes are strictly controlled, whilst ensuring fair access across a range of outlets.

For applications from an outlet that does not already have a pass, or for a request to increase the allocation given to an outlet we require a business case to be submitted. This consists of:

  • Details of publication/outlet
  • Details of circulation or audience figures
  • How you envisage using the potential access (ie how often you would require access, what percentage of your total content you envisage would be of a parliamentary nature, directly attributable to your access)
  • Any other information you feel would support your request

Access is managed by the Serjeant-at-Arms. The above information should be sent to saaenquiries@parliament.uk, copying in HOCMediaCorporate@parliament.uk.

Please do not contact the Pass Office about increasing allocations or approvals for new passes.

The House does not currently provide temporary or day media passes. If you are not a media passholder, you can still view proceedings from the public gallery – information on public access.

In times of high demand and media interest, the House of Commons may create temporary “media centres”. This allows non-passholding media -primarily international and regional outlets - access to a room on the Estate for working and filing, as well as limited access on a timed basis to the press gallery.

Details of any such media centre will be communicated from the House of Commons to the FPA and key regional media groups (print and broadcast).

Media passes

Remember to wear your pass at all times when on the parliamentary estate and to take it off when you leave. Under no circumstances give your pass to someone else, such as an intern, family member, friend or colleague. Any guests or other members of staff who you bring into the building are your responsibility. Any unauthorised use of your pass could result in your access rights removed or other sanctions imposed.

Security

The Palace is a high-security area. The Parliamentary Security Department works in partnership with the Metropolitan Police to keep Parliament safe and open for business. Follow all instructions given to you by police and security staff.

Behaviour Code

As members of the Parliamentary community, press pass holders are expected to abide by the Behaviour Code, which applies to everyone who visits and works in Parliament.

Breaches of the Code are taken seriously and may result in the suspension of your pass.

Access to the Chamber

Passholding journalists can watch proceedings from the reporter’s gallery. Mobile phones, electronic devices and tablets (eg for live tweeting) are permitted but must be switched to silent. Photography and filming is strictly prohibited.

Clapping, or any other audible form of support or opposition is not permitted.

Food and drink must not be consumed.

Users of the reporters’ gallery must comply with the dress code – jackets for men and business attire for women.

Photography

The House of Commons provides official images of key Chamber business, as well as images of various House of Commons events, people and places.

Images releases are regularly sent to picture desks, including after most sessions of PMQs and key ministerial statements. For more information please click here.

The current set of official MP portraits are available on the House of Commons member pages here.

Personal photography in and around the parliamentary Estate is highly restricted in order to protect the privacy and security of colleagues and is generally not permitted.

Broadcasting and Filming

Broadcasting points are available to the major domestic broadcasters at a number of fixed locations around the Parliamentary Estate including Central Lobby, Committee Corridor, Westminster Hall and Portcullis House.

Use of these points are for pieces to camera or interviews with a Member related to the day’s business. Broadcasting and filming is not permitted elsewhere unless exceptional permission has been obtained from the Media Relations Team.

The broadcasting points can be booked by contacting the Admission Order Office.

Commercial and public engagement filming requests are considered on a case by case basis and facilitated by the Media Relations Team. Filmmakers may be required to pay a fee and cover the House's costs for the filming. They must also agree a contract, to be negotiated with the Media Relations Team. Application forms can be found on the parliamentary website (under ‘commercial filming’).

Filming requests must meet the following criteria.

  • Parliament must be an integral part of the subject matter (i.e. the building is not just used as a backdrop). Filming must also be relevant, not just to Parliament, but to the space in Parliament that is being filmed.
  • Reference to historical matters must be based on fact (i.e. not purely fictional). All filming must be accurate and not intentionally mislead the public.
  • Filming must not look to bring the house into disrepute.
  • There must be no risk that drama will be perceived as real history.

Requests for advertising are not considered.

Press releases and media briefings

The Media Relations Team sends out press releases to all lobby journalists and others on a regular basis. To sign-up to the press releases, please contact the Media Relations Team.

On Fridays during sitting weeks, a weekly bulletin covering business in the Chamber and Westminster Hall – Coming up in the Commons – is sent out; please contact the Media Relations Team to sign-up.

Every Monday on sitting weeks, a briefing is held at 1.30pm on the week’s business in both Houses. This is currently held online, and invites are send to all journalists on the team’s database. Other briefings may be held on specific complex or high-profile pieces of House business or events.

Guide to procedure

Business in the House of Commons is governed by a number of rules and conventions, many of which can appear quite complex. A user-friendly overview of proceedings is available in Parliament’s Guide to Procedure.

GDPR

For details of how the House of Commons collects and uses your personal data please read our Privacy Notice.

Freedom of Information Act requests

The Houses of Parliament are public authorities within the definition of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. The House of Commons and the House of Lords are separate public authorities under the Act. Requests for access to information should be directed to the relevant House which may hold the requested information.

Certain information is also made routinely available as part of the House’s transparency policy.

Read information on our FOI and transparency policies, including how to submit an FOI request.