Friday, October 19, 2007

Overweight Lawmakers Want Swimming Pool

LONDON (AP) - Weight-concious lawmakers called on British authorities Thursday to replace Parliament's shooting gallery with a swimming pool, saying it would help them keep in shape.

"Do you agree that there are too many fat members of Parliament?" lawmaker Richard Bacon asked in a House of Commons debate. "Speaking as one of them, may I say how much I welcome reports about proposals to (replace) the shooting range with a swimming pool."

Legislators have urged officials considering renovations to the Palace of Westminster, home to Britain's Parliament, to clear out the rifle range to make way for better sports facilities.

Parliamentary authorities are looking at several options to renovate Parliament - parts of which date back to the 11th Century - including covering outdoor courtyards with glass roofs.

Harriet Harman, leader of the House of Commons, said all legislators - portly or thin - would be given a chance to put forward suggestions.

Any decision to close the building's gun range - deep in the basement of the palace - in favor of a pool would be met with protests, lawmaker Julian Lewis warned.

"The highly successful House of Commons shooting team are continually picked upon by politically correct people ... whenever they want an easy target," he said.

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