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|Thousands Expected to Storm Parliament
- Tourists get chance to play politics at Westminster
FOR the second successive summer, the Houses of Parliament have opened their mighty doors to tourists.
With Prime Minister Tony Blair and the rest of the MPs and Lords away on holiday, visitors prepared to pay UKP3.50 get a 70 minute trip round Parliament, a tour that includes the chance to pose as Prime Minister on the front bench, or as opposition leader if that is your inclination.
For the rest of the year, visitors to the Palace of Westminster have much more limited access to the two Houses of Parliament (the Commons and the Lords). Last summer, the first time the scheme had been tried, some 40,000 people took the trip, although that was not enough to prevent losses of over UKP250,000, hence this year's ticket price.
"We aim to keep costs as low as possible to ensure parliament is kept as open and accessible to all who wish to visit," said Mike McDonald, the House of parliament visitor centre manager.