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House of porn: 3,00,000 hits from UK parliament

It seems politicians in England were doing more than just debating online porn in the Commons recently - they have been having a little peek themselves. MPs, peers and parliamentary staff tried to access “adult” websites 309,316 times over the past year, official figures reveal.

The total - which represents more than 820 sites a day - was released by Palace of Westminster IT bosses yesterday in response to a freedom of information request.

The figure covers ‘attempts to access websites categorised as pornography’. However, parliamentary staff said it included pop-ups and was therefore not a reflection of deliberate efforts to find sexual content.

All the devices monitored were linked to the parliamentary network, which is used by MPs, peers and their staff, between the summers of 2012 and 2013.

There were wide variations in the monthly figures - with a staggering 1,14,844 attempts to look at porn made in November, but just 15 in February.

Matthew Sinclair, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “This highlights the fact that many people working in Parliament are spending far too much time on websites that have nothing to do with their job.

The Internet can be a useful tool for MPs and their staff when it comes to scrutinising government legislation. However, taxpayers expect their MP and those working in their offices to get on with their important jobs rather than spending time surfing questionable websites.” A House of Commons spokesman insisted the records did not prove users ‘intended’ to access pornography.

Earlier this year, it was revealed MPs and their staff waste thousands of hours a year tinkering with their Facebook pages, playing computer games and placing online bets.

Official records show computers logged on to Facebook up to 3 million times a month - 300 times as often as they access the BBC News website.

And up to 50,000 visits were made to the controversial adultery website Out of Town Affairs, which matches up people looking for ‘no-strings-attached fun, hot steamy action and erotic encounters’. 

Porn screened in Indonesian parliament
In August 2010, Indonesia's parliamentarians and attending journalists and bureaucrats came in for a rude shock when a hardcore pornographic movie was flashed on their monitors for about 15 minutes. Explicit images apparently taken from the internet filled the screens of the internal information service used by reporters, political staffers and visitors before security guards managed to shut it off.

1,14,844 Number of times porn websites were accessed in November 2012 by British parliamentarians

3 mn Number of times Facebook was accessed in British Parliament

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