Monday, June 22, 2009
Speaker Election Live Blog
15.37 Dhanda did very well and has done himself a huge amount of good. 7.5/10
15.35 Dhanda has some wacky ideas, but delivers them charmingly.
15.32 Parmjit Dhanda has won my vote by wearing a Duchamp tie!
15.31 Short speech from Sir Alan Haselhurst but it got good cheers. 8/10.
15.27 Apologies. Had to take phone call so missed most of Sir Patrick.
15.19 Sir Patrick Cormack mentions Bannockburn. Not sure that was wise.
15.17 Too long. I can't remember much Michael Lord said. Said he hadn't campaigned or canvassed colleagues. Whaddamistakadamaka. 6/10.
15.12 Michael Lord rather pedestrian. He needed to be extraordinary.
15.09 Less eloquent than I would have expected from Richard Shepherd. 6/10.
15.04 Richard Shepherd gets off to a nervous start.
15.02 Bercow slightly lost his way towards the end, but delivered a powerful performance. Not sure if it will have convinced many Tories. 8.5/10.
15.01 I take it back. Bercow did have notes. They were being held and shown to him by Julian Lewis to his left.
14.59 Bercow had a dodgy start, but has delivered a stormer. No notes, passionate and full of content.
14.54 I nearly fell asleep. Woeful. 5/10.
14.51 Sir Alan Beith is unlucky in having to follow Widdecombe. He is speaking too quickly and reading from notes.
14.50 Widdecombe sits down having made a very powerful speech. Will have swung a few doubters I suspect. 8.5/10.
14.48 Widdecombe speaking from the heart without notes. House receiving it well. I wonder...
14.44 Widders: "I am unique". No one's arguing!
14.43 George Young was very good. Lots of content and ideas. 8/10.May well have swung some doubters.
14.38 George Young kicks off with some good titter-raising jokes. "I'm in the Conservative Party, not run by the Conservative Party".
14.37 Beckett 6/10. Competent, but hardly radical, with no 'hear hears' at any point except the end.
14.36 I have just tweeted to Tom Harris: "I dare you to pinch her bottom..."
14.31 Margaret Beckett's opening joke falls flat and fails to raise even a titter.
14.25 Ladbrokes are quoting Sir Alan Haselhurst at 12/1, down from 40/1 on Friday. They tell me they had a large number of bets after I placed my own on Friday afternoon. I shall have to bear in mind in future how easy it is to influence a betting market!
14.20 Only ten minutes to go before the speeches start. I'm told they are restricted to 8 minutes each, so the voting won't start until about 3.45pm. I wonder what proportion of MPs will be listening to the hustings speeches with a completely open mind.