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Speaker Bercow announces priority places in the public gallery for armed forces personnel

Speaker Bercow The Speaker, John Bercow, announced today that in future there would be six places in the House of Commons' public gallery reserved for serving personnel from the armed forces.

He told MPs:

"We owe a huge debt to those who serve in our armed forces. They will always be welcome in this place... I'm glad to say that we will ensure that up to six visiting serving members of the armed forces will always be found a place in the gallery whatever the other pressures may be."

And if more than six service personnel are visiting at the same time, the Guardian's Andrew Sparrow reports that "those who cannot get seats in the Commons gallery will be given a tour of the Palace of Westminster and the opportunity to sit in the public gallery in the House of Lords until a seat in the Commons gallery becomes available".

Update: Paul Waugh adds that Tory MP Philip Hollobone has asked the Speaker to consider using the little-used Members' Gallery for this purpose.

Jonathan Isaby


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