Events at the House of Lords can be held with or without the involvement of a Member of the Lords.
Members can hold personal events at the House of Lords or sponsor an event on behalf of an organisation.
Members of the House of Lords are subject to rules agreed by the House on using the House of Lords Catering services for events.
These rules include the following:
- For events sponsored by a Member, the presence at the event of a Member of the Lords is required for the event to take place.
- Events are not to be used for the purposes of “direct or indirect financial or material gain by a sponsor, political party, or any other person or outside organisation”. In practice, this means that (a) Members should not receive payment or any other kind of benefit, such as an offer of employment based on the ability to provide access to House of Lords facilities, in return for hosting an event; and (b) organisations (other than UK registered charities) or individuals holding events should not profit from them.
- The costs of holding a personal event are charged directly to the Member involved.
A log of Members' private events held at the House of Lords is published quarterly.
In March 2018 the rules on holding events were changed so that events with external organisations could be held (subject to approval and availability) without the need for a Member to act as a sponsor. Information published in the events log from May 2018 reflects this change.
Events in the River Room
The Lord Speaker, Lord Fowler, oversees use of the River Room, the principal state room of the House of Lords, for parliamentary and charitable events sponsored by Members.