How would Parliament manage without employees from outside the UK?

If the new immigration regulations are forced through, Parliament itself could be very short of staff. That is why I’ve tabled questions to find out exactly how many of the present staff could on appointment have satisfied these regulations. A question that is not permitted is where new recruits will come from and how many meet the demand that they must earn £25,000!

Questions about parliamentary staff would be for the Senior Deputy Speaker. However, his remit only covers matters relating to the House of Lords so he could not answer about House of Commons staff, or staff employed by members of either House. With that in mind, my three questions are:

  • To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker what nationalities are represented among the staff of the House of Lords.
  • To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker how many staff in the House of Lords Catering and Retail Services department are not British nationals.
  • To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker what are the pay ranges for House of Lords staff and how many staff are employed at each grade.

I’ll let readers know what answers I’ve received, remembering that these questions only cover the House of Lords. An MP might ask similar questions in the Commons!

* Lord Roberts of Llandudno is a Liberal Democrat Member of the House of Lords

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  • Ann Winfield 25th Feb '20 - 9:24am

    Dear Roger,
    A good staff, and you are to be congratulated on tabling these questions. However, I can see exactly how the Senior Deputy Speaker is going to avoid difficult answers.
    The majority of the catering and cleaning staff working in both Houses are not directly employed by Parliament, but are employed by contractors. Many of these will be on zero hours contracts or on short-term contracts and will thus be exempt from any figures given in answer to your questions. These will certainly include all those on the lowest rates of pay. You might ask the Senior Deputy Speaker to widen his response to include such contractors, but sadly the Government is not obliged to provide that information on those who are not directly its own employees.

  • Suzanne Fletcher 25th Feb '20 - 9:42am

    Very good questions, and getting round rules they impose. If every member of Parliament were to be able to have an audit of how many non British Citizens were part of their life fir them and closest family for the last 12 months, it would be illuminating. Hospitality trade, carers, medical staff at every level. Put the fear of “foreigners” into perspectives. But of course it isn’t always obvious who is doing what behind the scenes, especially the low paid.

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