Tag Archives: hansard

An engagement is announced…..

From today’s Times (£):

Ed and Russell Times cropped

Mr E T Fordham, of course, is  better known to us all as Ed, vice-chair of LGBT+ Liberal Democrats who, along with many others from that organisation, took pride of place in our Equal Marriage Roll of Honour.

We knew of his and Russell’s happy news already, of course, because Julian Huppert had told the world about it during the Commons’ final passing of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill and been told off by the Speaker. The exchange is recorded forever

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 1 Comment

Vince Cable talks sense on immigration

Vince Cable has spoken up for the economic benefits of immigration in the Queen’s Speech debate, challenging the half truth and hyperbole in the illiberal rhetoric that’s doing the rounds at the moment. He reserved much of his ire for the Labour party:

I was hesitant about raising the subject because it is essentially covered by the Home Office, but substantial economic issues are also involved and it is important to refer to them. I was provoked into feeling that we should debate the issue in this context because a couple of days ago I was on the radio on the

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 24 Comments

Adrian Sanders MP compares the PCC to a “fishnet condom”

Enduring image of the day, and, I’ll warrant, its first entry in Hansard*, goes to Liberal Democrat MP Adrian Sanders for his contribution to yesterday’s emergency debate on phone hacking at the News of the World:

…when one considers the Press Complaints Commission, the phrase “chocolate teapot”, or indeed the phrase “fishnet condom”, comes to mind.

Our 2007 inquiry had elicited a response from News International that it had carried out a full inquiry itself and was satisfied that the Mulcaire-Goodman case was isolated. That was patently untrue. Our second inquiry encountered more obstacles: Goodman and Mulcaire refused to present

Posted in News and Parliament | Also tagged , and | 3 Comments

“Speaking rights only” for unelected peers – Hames

Another barnstorming speech on Lords reform, this time by Duncan Hames MP in last night’s Commons debate.

Duncan reiterates the suggestion he made earlier in the debate, that unelected peers should have speaking rights only:

Does the right hon. Gentleman think that bishops voting in the House of Lords adds in any way to the expertise they are able to offer through what they say in that Chamber, and might they find it easier to remain in that Chamber if they were to desist from taking part in Divisions?

The speech in full:

It is a privilege to follow Rory Stewart, not

Posted in News, Parliament and Speeches | Also tagged , , and | 4 Comments

“It was a virtuoso performance” – Viscount Astor on Lord Ashdown on Lords reform

Reading tonight’s Lords Hansard at bedtime (as you do), I’ve just found Paddy Ashdown’s speech from this evening’s debate on the House of Lords Reform Draft Bill.

Viscount Astor (Conservative), who spoke next, said:

My Lords, the noble Lord, Lord Ashdown, has just given a speech that I am sure will be used by every Liberal Democrat candidate who wishes to stand at an election to this House in the future. It was a virtuoso performance. I am afraid that my contribution will be somewhat more modest.

If you do wish to stand at a future election to the House of Lords, I’m reproducing Paddy’s speech below so you can get memorising right away.

What did Baroness Boothroyd say that Paddy found so bloodcurdling? Why would he happily exchange wisdom for legitimacy? How would history have been affected if the House of Lords had been constructed differently?

Posted in News and Parliament | Also tagged , , , , and | 16 Comments

PMQs: Clegg to Brown on Chilcot Inquiry – “What have you got to hide?”

Missed PMQs? Here’s the catch-up …

Nick Clegg pressed Gordon Brown to volunteer to appear before Sir John Chilcot’s inquiry into the Iraq war this side of the general election “before people decide how to vote on his record in government?” The Prime Minister replied that it wasn’t a matter for him. (Odd how when you become the most powerful person in Britain, you seem to lose the power to volunteer to do something inconvenient).

So Nick asked again, telling the Prime Minister he “should insist on going to the inquiry now”, and asking “What has he got to hide?” Again Mr Brown said, “Sorry, guv, more than my job’s worth” (or words to that effect).

Nick still wasn’t happy, so has now written to the Prime Minister, chalenging him to do the decent thing:

Dear Gordon,

I am writing to urge you to indicate immediately to Sir John Chilcot that it is your strong preference to go before the Iraq Inquiry ahead of the General Election.

Following developments yesterday at Alastair Campbell’s hearing, your personal role in the decisions that led to the war in Iraq has now come under the spotlight. The notion that your hearing should take place after the election in order that the Inquiry remains outside of party politics therefore no longer holds. On the contrary, the sense that you have been granted special treatment because of your position as Prime Minister will only serve to undermine the perceived independence of the Committee.

As I said to you across the floor of the Commons today, people have a right to know the truth about the part you played in this war before they cast their verdict o n your Government’s record. I urge you to confirm publicly that should Sir John Chilcot invite you to give evidence to the Inquiry ahead of the election you will agree to do so.

Nick Clegg

Well, I don’t suppose Mr Brown will change his mind – but Nick has at least exposed the Prime Minister’s relief-cum-satisfaction that he can dodge the Chilcot bullet, dominating the main political headlines as a result. And by the time Mr Brown does eventually appear he will be a genuinely powerless ex-Prime Minister so who’ll care what he has to say any longer?

Meanwhile David Cameron asked some windy, unfocused and instantly forgettable questions of the Prime Minister who gave at least as good as he got. Score-draw for theatrics; no-score draw for content.

Here’s Nick’s questions, courtesy the BBC. The Hansard transcript’s below it.

Posted in PMQs | Also tagged , , , and | 1 Comment

Upick Opik? Not if you’re Hansard

You’d have thought he’d be famous enough by now, but apparently not … The Independent reports:

Liberal Democrat MP Lembit Opik will complain to the Commons authorities today after his name was missed off a key internet search tool. The online of version of Hansard, which records everything said in Parliament, has a “search by Member” page – but Mr Opik’s name is not on the alphabetical list. It means his Montgomeryshire constituents cannot simply click through to find his written and spoken contributions.

When told of the error Mr Opik said: “I’m both appalled and amazed by this and will

Posted in Parliament | Also tagged | 3 Comments

#Trafigura – the Hansard transcript

Astute readers may have noticed one or two mentions on the site yesterday concerning Trafigura, its lawyers Carter Ruck, and their attempts to impose a gagging junction on The Guardian preventing the reporting of Parliamentary proceedings.

Not only was the issue promptly picked up by Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg, but two of the party’s MPs, David Heath and Paul Burstow, were also quick off the mark in pledging to ask questions in the House of Commons – an action which, as Alix Mortimer has remarked, was perhaps decisive in forcing Trafigura to back down.

So here for your delectation is the Hansard transcript of the Commons’ exchanges which took place yestrday afternoon, starting with the Labour MP whose question sparked the whole farrago:

Posted in Parliament | Also tagged , , , , and | 13 Comments

Nick’s pick of the greatest Parliamentary speeches in the last century

A big tip of my hat to Michael White in today’s Guardian for his feature, Greatest speeches in parliament of the past 100 years, 1909-2009, which links to a number of the Hansard transcripts of Parliamentary speeches nominated by ’46 distinguished figures, mostly living peers and MPs, plus a few officials and observers’.

It’s well worth browsing lazily through – as, incidentally, is the Hansard website, which you can access here. You can, for instance, search on speeches by “Jo Grimond”, and read ‘Major Grimond’s’ (as he then was known) maiden speech from March 10, 1950

Posted in Europe / International and Parliament | Also tagged , and | 2 Comments
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