SECURITY improvements at Parliament must not be made at the cost of democracy, says Northwich MP Mike Hall.
Concerns that the home of the Government could be a target for terrorists led to a major security review by MI5, the outcome of which could see Westminster surrounded by a steel rail, it was announced this week.
Weaver Vale MP Mike Hall believes that, while safety advice must be taken very seriously, Parliament should re-main accessible to the general public.
The concrete blocks in place where the Houses of Parliament come closest to public roads are not just unsightly - according to experts, they could be turned into dangerous projectiles if blown up.
'If the MI5 suggests that we have to look at security then we must take this advice very seriously,' said Mr Hall. 'On the other hand, we live in a democracy and people should have access to Parliament to see how it works.
'We have got to be guided by the experts. But we have to try and balance the risk.'
Just how vulnerable the Prime Minister can be was proven by campaigners from pressure group Fathers 4 Justice, who threw a condom full of purple flour at the leader during Prime Minister's Question Time in May. But this is not the first, nor is it likely to be the last, physical demonstration of feelings in the palace.
According to Mr Hall, every breach has led to a progressive increase in security.
'We have to make a judgment as to whether changes are suitable, necessary and affordable,' said Mr Hall. 'It is business as usual at the moment, but we have to be mindful of possibilities and what we are advised. We have to look at the cost and weigh up what the risks are.'