House of Lords
The House of Commons and the House of Lords form the bicameral UK Parliament at Westminster. Both are members of BIPRA and each House is autonomous, employing its own team to produce separate Official Reports. These are usually referred to as Hansard, the family name linked with parliamentary reporting since 1812.
The bicameral website hansard.parliament.uk contains complete reports from both Houses. In the Lords, we aim to publish the main proceedings online—not just speeches but all relevant procedure—within three hours.
If a Grand Committee sits in parallel with the Chamber, this takes place in the Moses Room. Staff are allocated between the two sittings and supplemented from a pool of ad hoc freelancers (usually eight per day). These proceedings have a four-hour target for online publication. The printed Daily Part of all proceedings is available the following morning. Lords Hansard is also responsible for reporting and sub-editing the evidence-gathering sessions of the House’s many Select Committees.
As in the Commons, Lords Hansard has been produced in-house since 1909. It now consists of a team of 35 reporters, editors and support staff. On normal days, we operate a list of 16 reporters; two at a time sit at our Chamber desk for up to 20 minutes before reporting their turns back in the office. A minority of reporters uses voice recognition software as well as typing from digital audio.
The Hansard desk is like a ringside seat in the Chamber, currently located next to part of the Cross Benches—seats reserved for Peers without party affiliation (about 25% of the House). Peer recognition in debates is a key skill as there are almost 800 Members, although that number fluctuates as Peers are appointed, retire or pass away. There is a fixed complement of 26 Bishops—the Lords Spiritual. All others are Lords Temporal, with over 80% being Life Peers.