Anger as MPs get FOUR extra passes so they can jump queue to see the Queen… and bring their cronies along with them
- MPs can jump the queue to see the Queen lying in state in Westminster Hall
- But members of the public will have to stand in line for up to 30 hours
- Peers and MPs will be able to bring up to four guests when they walk straight in
- The special treatment has been condemned by some of those forced to queue
- Full coverage: Click here to see all our coverage of the Queen’s passing
MPs can jump the queue to see the Queen’s coffin and bring in up to four guests, to the anger of those being forced to wait.
While hundreds of thousands of people are having to stand in line for up to 30 hours along the Thames, MPs and peers are able to walk in to the lying-in-state.
They only have to show their Parliamentary security passes to gain immediate entry to Westminster Hall, where the late monarch’s coffin is resting until her state funeral on Monday.
MPs, who got to witness the arrival of the Queen’s coffin yesterday, are also entitled to four timed entry tickets, letting friends or family to avoid the wait.
Last night their special treatment was condemned by some of the thousands waiting in line for their brief chance to pay their respects.
While hundreds of thousands of people are having to stand in line for up to 30 hours along the Thames, MPs and peers are able to walk in to the lying-in-state. Each MP can also bring up to four guests each
Julie Newman, 56, said: ‘It is an abuse of privilege. I don’t mind queuing, because everybody queues. But there is no excuse for queue-jumping, it’s not fair.’ Dexter Bowls, 20, said: ‘For something like this, it is not fair. They’re not going to work at this time.’
Another said it was wrong for MPs to be given four free tickets, saying: ‘They shouldn’t be allowed any.’
One woman said: ‘They should be able to queue like everyone else in their own time.’
It can also be revealed that thousands of police officers taking part in the country’s biggest-ever security operation will not get a chance to visit the lying-in-state. Officers are not being granted special access to Westminster Hall and have been told not to visit while on duty nearby.
Hundreds of thousands of people are having to stand in line for up to 30 hours. The queue is approximately 2.3 miles long (as of last night)
A police source last night told the Daily Mail: ‘It’s disappointing but not surprising that MPs are able to jump the queue while the thousands of police officers working 12-hour days with cancelled holidays won’t get any opportunities to say goodbye.’ There was also anger among MPs’ staff that they are not being given priority access, unlike their employers and Commons officials.
Parliamentary staff can show their passes to enter and can apply for one guest ticket each.
According to the Spectator, one group of Conservative staffers wrote in a group chat: ‘As servants in Her Majesty’s Parliament, we were saddened to hear that the opportunity to pay our final respects to our late sovereign has been limited to only particular groups of pass holders.’
Sources said 140 MPs and 140 members of the Lords were invited to witness the arrival of the Queen’s cortege at Parliament yesterday before members of the public were allowed in. Many put photos of the order of service on social media afterwards.
Senior Labour MP Jonathan Reynolds posted his black-edged invitation, writing: ‘It was a privilege to represent my constituents today at this remarkable ceremony and moment of British history.
‘I hope all those who wish to pay their respects at the lying-in-state are able to do so.’
Conservative MP Laurence Robertson attended with his wife, tweeting: ‘Annie and I have been honoured and privileged to pay our last respects to Her Late Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, in Westminster Hall today.’
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