‘Treat us as equals’: Anger grows at MPs skipping queue to see Queen’s coffin

‘It’s symbolic that hard-working security guards, cleaners and catering staff in Parliament are treated as second class citizens (Picture: AP/Getty)

There is growing anger about people skipping ‘The Queue’ to see the Queen lying in state.

The wait to see the late monarch’s coffin stood at more than 24 hours at 8am this morning, but VIPs including MPs and peers are allowed to skip past.

While members of the public face a day’s wait standing in line – with some not even able to join – MPs can jump past them and bring up to four guests along with them, a House of Commons spokesperson confirmed.

Meanwhile, people with accessibility needs are not able to join the miles-long queue until midday, and can only bring one carer, the Government said this morning.

General entry to the queue for Westminster Hall could again be paused if capacity is reached in Southwark Park among people eager to catch a glimpse of the Queen’s coffin.

The unequal treatment has led to accusations from the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) Union that they are being treated as ‘second class citizens’.

Its general secretary Mark Serwotka said: ‘It’s symbolic that hard-working security guards, cleaners and catering staff in Parliament are treated as second class citizens.

Ordinary people in the queue faced cold conditions overnight (Picture: Shutterstock)

‘As we usher in a new era, it’s time for them to be treated as equals and at least given a pay rise to help them through the cost-of-living crisis and beyond.’

Most Parliamentary staff can avoid the line and bring one guest.

But people who work directly for MPs and peers, such as parliamentary researchers, cannot.

They and people employed by contractors in Parliament – such as cleaners, security guards and caterers – must queue with the public to attend the lying in state.

The Labour MP Stella Creasy said she was giving away her guest tickets in a ballot for her Walthamstow constituents to enter.

Members of the public faced cold conditions overnight, with some donning foil blankets to stay warm.

Ex England captain David Beckham, former prime minister Theresa May and TV presenter Susanna Reid are among those to have joined the public line.

Metro.co.uk’s very own Sian Elvin spent four and a half hours waiting to make it through.

Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner has also filed past the coffin, while Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and Scottish Secretary Alister Jack, who are members of the Royal Company of Archers, stood vigil on Thursday.

Yesterday, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) paused the queue to Westminster Hall for ‘at least six hours’ after Southwark Park reached capacity.

At 9am this morning, DCMS tweeted: ‘The accessible queue is closed until midday today and capacity is limited.

‘Please don’t try to arrive early.

‘The queue is only for people with accessibility needs, and you can only bring one carer.’

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