[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 11 October 2007, 15:35 GMT 16:35 UK
Queue-barge MP expresses concern
Frank Doran MP
Mr Doran said the matter could have been handled better
The MP behind a controversial rule encouraging his colleagues to queue-barge in Parliament has said he regrets causing any offence.

Labour MP Frank Doran sparked outrage when his committee ruled that researchers and secretaries must allow MPs to jump the queue for the canteen.

Staff described the rules as "feudal", and complained they were being treated as second-class citizens.

Mr Doran said: "I don't want to damage relations between MPs and staff."

But he insisted that the reasons behind the ruling were sound.

'Busy people'

"There is enormous pressure on our restaurant facilities in Parliament because of the large number of people now working here," he said.

"You cannot have an MP standing in a queue for ages: they are very busy people"

THE EMAIL THAT GAVE OFFENCE
Staff and other users should be prepared to give way to Members when queuing for retail and catering services, the post office, travel office or when using other facilities

Mr Doran said MPs had always had queue-jumping rights, but a big increase in the number of Commons staff had made it necessary to remind people of the rules.

He acknowledged that the way in which staff were told about the ruling may have been better handled.

Mr Doran laid the blame on an email sent out by the Serjeant at Arms - the officer that handles staff matters in the House of Commons.

Signed by the Serjeant at Arms, Peter Grant Peterkin, and the House of Commons Director of Catering Services, Sue Harrison, it states: "With effect from today, staff and other users should be prepared to give way to Members when queuing for retail and catering services, the post office, travel office or when using other facilities such as lifts, photocopiers, telephone cubicles, etc.

"When using parliamentary facilities, please bear in mind whether there is, or is likely to be, a heavy demand from Members and, if so, try to amend your own plans or schedule."

The Serjeant at Arms declined to comment.

SEE ALSO
Anger over MP queue jumping rule
10 Oct 07 |  UK Politics



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific