Knives, cosh found in British parliament weapons haul
Knuckledusters, imitation firearms and even a meat cleaver are among the array of weaponry visitors have attempted to bring into the British parliament, The Sunday Times newspaper reported.
Lawmakers in the Palace of Westminster are used to the cut and thrust of political debate -- and a security crackdown has turned up an impressive haul of blades.
Some 371 knives were recovered between January 2009 and September 2011, along with a cosh and a truncheon, the broadsheet reported, citing information obtained from the parliamentary authorities.
This year, in July, one person attempted to bring a catapult into the lower House of Commons.
In August 2010, a visitor tried to smuggle a meat cleaver past security while another member of the public tried to gain access carrying a bullet.
"The confiscated items were not returned to members of the public," a Commons spokesman was quoted as saying.
In the Commons, there are red lines on the floor in front of the government and the opposition benches, traditionally supposed to be two sword-lengths apart.
© 2011 AFP