Clarification on proper use of Commons stationery

Added 29 April 2004

Here’s a useful reminder from the Serjeant of Arms about restrictions on the use of post-paid envelopes.  It was included in the All Party Whip of 22 April 2004.  

You would do well to heed it;  every constituency has at least one person who is hovering, eagle-eyed, to report your misdemeanour to the Serjeant and it’s only a short ride up river to the Tower of London.



Members are reminded that for the purposes of the regulations the following are considered as circulars:

a)   a letter sent in identical or near identical form to a number of addressees (whether or not it is individually signed and addressed) if it is unsolicited, i.e. if it is not sent in reply to queries or correspondence from the addressees

b)   common-form coming-of-age greetings cards or letters, or equivalent communications sent to new constituents

c)   a letter sent in identical or near identical form to a number of addressees acknowledging replies to any letter questionnaire or survey that itself was unsolicited

The effect of a letter being classified as a circular is that post-paid envelopes may not be used and original House stationery can only be used if purchased at the Member’s own expense.  Such circulars may not be used for party fund raising or supporting the return of any person to public office, or for communications of a business, commercial or personal nature

Serjeant at Arms