Members to keep their places

21.32By the resolutions of 10 February 1698 and 16 February 1720, Members are required to keep their places.1 If, after a call to order, Members who are standing at the Bar or elsewhere do not disperse, the Speaker will order them to take their places.2 It is the duty of the Serjeant at Arms to clear the gangway and to enforce the order of the Speaker, by desiring those Members who still obstruct the passage immediately to take their places. If they refuse or neglect to comply, or oppose the Serjeant in the execution of this duty, the Serjeant may report their names to the Speaker. Members who enter or leave the House during a debate must be uncovered and should bow to the Chair while passing to or from their places.3 (In Committee of the whole House, the bow is to the Speaker's Chair.)


  1. 1. CJ (1697–99) 496; ibid (1718–21) 425.
  2. 2. HC Deb (1976–77) 929, c 1041. Before the declaration of the result of divisions, the Speaker has often called on those Members standing between the Bar and the Table to go behind the Bar or take their seats, eg HC Deb (1994–95) 251, c 243.
  3. 3. D'Ewes 282; 2 Hatsell 232 n. Unless asked to do so by a Minister, private Members should not seek information from officials in the official box, see eg HC Deb (1995–96) 270, c 267; and see also ibid (1996–97) 285, c 1116.