17 February 2010
Marriages and civil partnerships to take place in Parliament
The Houses of Parliament are to be opened to members of the public and MPs who wish to tie the knot there.
Following a review launched into the issue last year by speaker John Bercow, the Jubilee Room and the MPs' dining room have been approved for use in non-religious ceremonies.
The investigation into the issue came after prime minister Gordon Brown urged Mr Bercow to examine the possibilities concerning the holding of ceremonies for gay MPs.
Responding to the development, Westminster's superintendent registrar Alison Cathcart said it will add to the "rich repertoire" of venues available in the area - which is located on the north bank of the River Thames.
She added: "I'm delighted that this prestigious venue has been granted approval and very much look forward to conducting the first civil ceremony in such famous and historical settings."
Currently, MPs, peers and certain parliamentary officials can use the Chapel of St Mary in Parliament to get married, but this is not available for civil partnership registrations or civil ceremonies.