Plastic Thumbs, Giant Tennis Balls and Parliament

What would you bring to London's Houses of Parliament when you came to gape at Big Ben? A broomstick? A plastic thumb? Or even an egg? These were all among theitems confiscated from visitors to the Houses of Parliament in the first half-year of 2011.

Big Ben
Don Klumpp | Iconica | Getty Images

While we can assume that the egg might have been designed to be splatted on one of the denizens of Parliament, one can only speculate what was planned for the giant tennis ball confiscated in May.

The list, released in response to an application by anonymous Freedom of Information researcher FOI Monkey, either shows some remarkably inept attempts to attack members of parliament (for example, the person who tried to take in a grenade lighter), or reveals just how odd the contents of some people's pockets are.

There were six bungee cords, presumably taken from people planning a stealth jump off the top of Big Ben. And nine would-be buskers tried to bring in harmonicas.

The magic wand taken off one visitor was, we hope, meant to magic away the UK's growth problems – although we can't help but feel sorry for the wannabe wizard it was confiscated from.

Other odd confiscated items include a piercing kit (just in case you fancy putting a hole in a random body part during your visit to one of the world's most famous buildings), and a pair of snow shoes. Presumably from some Eskimo visitors.

Funnily enough, 11 cans of shaving foam were confiscated in July – the same month as a protestor managed to hit News Corp founder Rupert Murdoch in the face with a pie made of shaving foam, while Murdoch was testifying in front of a parliamentary committee about the News International phone hacking scandal.