Visiting the Houses of Parliament

Houses of Parliament

Since I became an MP in 2010, I have always thought that working in the Houses of Parliament is a great privilege. It is such an interesting place and there are reminders of our history around every corner.

As well as being a beautiful place, the Palace of Westminster has played a huge part in our history for almost 1000 years. The House of Commons and the House of Lords are world-famous, but there are many more gems including Westminster Hall, which is arguably one of Britain’s most historic sites.

Since 2017, visits to see Big Ben have paused for essential work to be done on the grade 1 listed Elizabeth Tower and clock face. The £61m project includes work on the Elizabeth Tower, work to prevent the clock mechanism failing as well as health, safety and fire improvements. As the work continues, at least one side of the clock face is always on show and although the bongs have been stopped, they will be heard for specific occasions including Remembrance Sunday and New Year’s Eve. When the tower is reopened in 2021, it is expected that tours will resume.

As an MP, I can sponsor tours of the Palace of Westminster for my constituents who are permanent UK residents. These tours can be incredibly popular and there may be a wait of a few months. There is no cost involved if you are a constituent and visit during the week. However, there is a charge for tours on Saturdays.

For those who like to see Parliament in action, I can apply for tickets to debates in the House of Commons and I am also able to apply for two tickets per month for Prime Minister’s Questions. Again, these are extremely popular and the waiting list currently extends to January 2020. If you are interested, please email me at gareth.johnson.mp@parliament.uk for more details, giving your full address and stating which of the tours or debates you would like to attend.