Electronic devices, phones and cameras

21.36In October 2011, the House agreed to allow the use of hand-held electronic devices (but not laptops) in the Chamber, provided that they are silent and used in a way which does not impair decorum. Members may refer to such devices in making speeches, in place of written notes (though they should not be making their speech by continuously reading from them).1 The Speaker has regularly deprecated the failure of Members to turn off mobile phones or other devices which may give rise to disturbance, and listening to a message is unacceptable;2 the bar on use of mobile phones in the Chamber extends to divisions.

Mobile phones (or cameras) must also not be used for audio recordings or photography, which is forbidden in the Chamber.3

Footnotes

  1. 1. CJ (2011–12) 905. See HC Deb (17 October 2011) 533, c 626; ibid (18 October 2011) 533, c 862; ibid (21 October 2011) 533, c 1194. This followed earlier rulings by the Speaker and resolutions by the House in February 2005, CJ (2006–07) 609. See also Procedure Committee, Third Report of Session 2010–11, Use of hand-held electronic devices in the Chamber and committees, HC 889. See Rules of behaviour and courtesies in the House of Commons, November 2018, para 23.
  2. 2. See HC Deb (12 January 2006) 441, c 418; ibid (26 February 2013) 559, c 206.
  3. 3. HC Deb (6 November 2013) 570, c 106WH; ibid (8 November 2013) 570, c 577. See Rules of behaviour and courtesies in the House of Commons, November 2018, para 24.