It’s not just the Tory party that’s in a bit of a mess. Fresh off the back of Partygate – and Sue Gray’s findings about the disrespect shown towards Downing Street’s cleaning staff – Mr S wondered just how our elected (and unelected) masters over in the Houses of Parliament have been treating their underlings. And after a two month long Freedom of Information request battle, Steerpike can bring his readers the findings.
It seems that the poor men and women toiling in the toilets and turrets of the Palace of Westminster have a pretty difficult job to do. For the cleaning logs detail a number of disturbing incidents in the past 15 months. They include multiple cases of vomit in the sinks and bins of Parliament, stains on the carpet, and, euphemistically, ‘white stains’ on various furnishings including on one of the sofas in a shared communal area which, a month later, was still ‘not coming off’. Talk about Anatomy of a Scandal...
All this comes at a time when Lindsay Hoyle is trying to overhaul Westminster’s image as a wretched hive of scum and villainy. The access and opening hours of its resident watering holes have been scaled back, as part of the Speaker’s campaign to clean up Parliament. That’s perhaps unsurprising when one considers the more than 3,500 security incidents which have occurred in the Palace since January 2020 when Hoyle took office – including nearly 750 in the past six months alone.
Alcohol has played there part in some of these. One person was found asleep outside their office in March, prompting a stern rebuke from Sir Charles Walker, the chairman of the House of Commons Commission. That same month there was also reported overcapacity in the Strangers and Terrace areas, with two incidents of ‘believed alcohol/drugs’ being logged within three days of each other. One ‘drunk male’ also had to be escorted off the premises in April, two months after an ‘intoxicated female’ was stopped by staff too.
Looks like Lindsay has his work cut out…
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