LONDONER of the WEEK - Serjeant-at-Arms, House of Commons - Lawrence Ward

Lolly JonesComment
I don’t own a sword but I have exclusive use of the company weapon.
— Lawrence Ward, Serjeant-at-Arms, House of Commons
Lawrence Ward

Recently seen in BBC 2 documentary - Inside the Commons, proud Londoner Lawrence Ward discusses his fair city, facial hair and what he does on date night.

A man who rarely gives interviews, Lolly used her persuasive powers on the only man to make tights look stylish.  

Here is the exclusive LONDONER of the WEEK interview with the serving Serjeant-at-Arms in the House of Commons:


What zone do you live in? 

Zone One (otherwise known as the Twilight Zone)!   


North, South, East or West?



Who are you?

I’d like to think that I’m a normal bloke, doing a job that’s anything but normal.


Why did you move to London?  

For work (see ‘sneaking around’ question later).


Memorable London kiss? 

Gustav Klimt’s exhibition at the National.

The Kiss


How many swords do you own?

None, but I have exclusive use of the company weapon.


How big is your mighty sword?

No comment.


Do you tell people which way you vote? 

Certainly’s a free country.


Do you ever sneak around Parliament in the dead of night?  

The Serjeant is never off duty!


Have you ever played Hide and Seek in the Palace? 

It’s difficult to be inconspicuous when wearing Georgian Court dress!

Serjeant at Arms


What do you think of Boris Johnson?

I’ve never met him.


What’s the best job you have had in the city? 

Every job has had lovely aspects but I do like my current one.


What’s the worst job you have had in the city? 

I was a bartender at a bingo hall.


Do you enjoy wearing tights in your work?  

In the winter - yes, in the summer - definitely no!


Have you worn tights in the past and why? 

I never forget my first time…It was when I first wore the clobber as the new Assistant SAA in 2008.


Preferred method of transport? 

Oh, I definitely prefer to let the train take the strain!


When has London ever let you down? 

I can honestly say never and I was especially proud of being a Londoner during the opening ceremony of the Olympics.

London 2012


Favourite city gem?

Most London pubs….in particular the Two Chairmen and The Clarence.  Also, the member’s area of Tate Modern for the views.


Is it hard to pull sickies when you live on the Estate? 

In my 30 years of working life, I’ve never had a sickie (that’s the kiss of death)!


What do you most miss about London when you go away? 

The sheer indifference of fellow Londoners to one another.  Our diversity is our greatest strength.


Do you get recognised after the ‘Inside the Commons’ documentary?  

Only when in court dress.  Thankfully, I don’t get out much!


Are you going to grow facial hair like Robin, the doorkeeper? 

Oh most certainly…when it goes completely from my head, I shall sport magnificent chops!

Robin Fell Doorkeeper

Robin Fell - Principle Doorkeeper, House of Commons


Who do you think will be the main party in the next Government (assuming it’s a coalition)?  

Can’t comment.


Have you ever fallen asleep during a debate? 

No, (although they say that some of my predecessors have).


What do you do when you have a day off?

Beautiful, beautiful Suffolk beckons!


What has been the highlight of your time as Serjeant?

Winning The Asian Voice ‘House Official of the Year’ in February.


Perfect date night?  

Matinee of the latest Bond film followed by dinner at L'Atelier de Joel Rubochon and plenty of wine/beer/spirits.


How has London changed since you’ve been here?

It’s always been a wonderful city, and it seems to get better and better.  Unfortunately, it has become more exclusive.  To enjoy it fully you need money these days.


Best London argument?

That the Millennium Dome was a waste of money and that the Olympics would be a disaster (or should that be the worst argument)?


What do you predict for the city’s future? 

More of the same…chaos, noise, diversity, vibrancy, tourists, black cabs, rain, statues, over whelming, complicated, magnificent. 

As Morrissey says of Manchester: ‘streets upon streets upon streets’.


Will you stay?  

Probably not.   London is all about transition and change and there’s a big world out there.  But as I was born here, it will always be home and I’ll hopefully always want to visit.