Hansard report calls for Parliamentary comms unit

Parliament should set up a PR department to revive Britons' interest in the political process, according to an influential report published last week.

'Unnecessary' broadcasting restrictions should be removed and visits to Parliament should offer 'significantly more than a heritage tour', the report - 'Members Only? Parliament in the Public Eye' by The Hansard Society - concluded.

Restrictions on media passes should be 'reconsidered', journalists covering its affairs should be 'formally inducted' and TV should allow for 'appropriate reaction shots' during debates, the report also recommended.

But PRCA managing director and director-general Patrick Barrow warned: 'Much of what (the report) suggests in encouraging more rounded coverage is surely right. But it must be wary of setting up yet another comms department in an arena where they are widely mistrusted.'

The report will be debated in the House of Lords within weeks. A Hansard spokeswoman told PRWeek: 'We are hopeful many of its recommendations will be acted on.'

Leader, p19.

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