Parliamentary staff and MPs access porn thousands of times a month at work

MPs, Lords and Parliamentary staff have attempted to access online pornography over 300,000 times in the last year, official figures suggest.

The data, revealed following a Freedom of Information request submitted by the Huffington Post, shows that users of the Parliamentary Network servers have attempted to access material consider pornographic thousands of times between May 2012 and July 2013.

The figures vary greatly from month to month, with a huge peak of 114,844 attempts recorded in November 2012, but a low of just 15 in February 2013.

Around 5000 people work across the Houses of Parliament. It is not clear if MPs, peers or staff are responsible.

A Commons spokeswoman said the figures do not prove intent as as "a user may access a site that contains optional or automatic links to others, or other "pop-up" arrangements, which are recorded as requests."

The spokeswoman was unable to provide an explanation as to why the figures changed so radically from month to month.

Officials would not reveal what Parliamentary Network servers consider "pornographic", siting "ICT security".

However the spokeswoman did state that "Parliamentarians' ability to carry out research" will not be restricted.

The revelations will come as an embarrassment for David Cameron who has waged a war against online pornography over the last few months, arguing that it is "corroding childhood".

He is placing huge pressure on the country's biggest ISPs to introduce an opt in system in which households have to ask for Internet filters to be switched off. It is not clear if he plans for this to be extended to organisations and businesses that take on underage work experience students such as governmental departments.