With only 15 minutes to go before the Hansard Society hustings commence, Frank Field has withdrawn from the race to be next Speaker of the House of Commons, recognising that support in his own party was limited. It'll be interesting to see if his lead is followed by others over the next few days.
The hustings are being broadcast live, although I have my doubts as to whether I will be able to get a feed here in the US. Perhaps someone might post the link.
I'm flying home tonight so normal service will be resumed on this blog in the next 24 hours.
Really? So BBC Parliament isn't going to cover the statement from Brown re the Iraq War Inquiry after topical questions have finished at 3.15?
I know which I think is more important.
Iain, BBC have it live on their news site.
Shows what Labour MP's really are....they do not want change, not when they can get one over one the Conservative Party...Cleaning up politics...HA!! This is politics at its worse, or best...
Madness... he's the one man who might have shown a credible, creditable face of the Labour party and they didn't want him...
doubtless he would have shown them all up too much, and might actually have had the cojones to instigate genuine reform. Couldn't have that, could we?
I am so, so looking forward to the end of the Labour party at the next election....
John Bercow, gave a very good opening.
Sir Alan has done well so far but the hustings are being overshadwoed by Brown annoucing the enquiry at the same time.
A Private enquiry into Iraq then.
This new found trans-pear-en-sea
from Mr Bean didn't last long.
He seems unable to prevent himself putting his foot in his mouth and then shooting at it.
In private. Typical. Nothing to hide, nothing to fear. A shame that does not apply to Parliament.
As for the speaker.. battle of the birds, Iain.? Handbags at dawn.
Building Britain's Future!?
Alan HazelHurst, running on experience- he is doing well, i WOULD GIVE HIM 7.5 OUT OF 10 so far.
Michael Lord- Not doing well, seems to be very dry. Advocating experience too and advocating a speaker that does not make many media apperances. 5 out of 10
John Bercow- Im very impressed, answered very well about the question the 80 day holiday and saying the speaker should use the time to get out and listen to the public and also brilliant answer about experience, basically just saying experience means old age. 9 out of 10
Thank God. Iain, you should ask permission in future before going off on holiday. Or at least give us plenty of warning. I'm so bored of visiting your blog and seeing it not updated.
Beckett is attempting to sound like an independent candidate but is sounding like a governmental candidate standing up for the status quo.
80 day holiday raised again.
Alan Bieth- Says 80 days too long for government not being accountable, suggest perhaps breaking up 80 day holiday.
Margaret Beckett- Goverment shouldnt operate a free reign during recess. The speaker must be an agent of change.
Michael Lord- Has said he will not go on TV all the time, that is not the speakers role.
Patrick Cormack- Speaker needs to be an ambassador, should go out and meet the public. Need to reform debates in parliament- need to shorter, in order to allow less overlap with committee work.
Debate Topic:New MPS and Women in parliament
Ann Widdecombe- New MPs should be allowed to contribute more. Women MPs should be able to look every man in the eye and be confident in themselves, women should not have special treatment.
Alan Hazelhurst- New MPs should be welcomed and its not the speakers job to get more women into parliament.
Parmjit Dhana- We need to do more for welcoming new MPs, suggested setting up networks. Need to support more women in parliament. Support all female shortlists. We need creche facilities in Parliament.
John Bercow- Supports creche facilities in parliament. Need to stop favoristim for Privy Cllrs. Speaker needs to engage new members. We need to change the culture of parliament, need to stop public school boys club.
Alan Beith- need more induction programmes for parliament. Speakers need to be less isolated from MPs. Need more women in parliament- We need to end macho style of debates in parliament- supports child care facilities.
Sir George- Need better induction programmes. Childcare facilities need to be improved.
Michael Lord- Speaker must not be seen to play favorites with MPs. Call newer members to speak.
Private Members Bills/ Iraq war statement.
P Dhanda- Iraq statement, Speaker needs to make sure parliament gets statements first. Private members bills need to be moved from friday morning sitting, should be done on Tuesdays and wednesdays.
M. Beckett- Private Member bills/ Statements. Statements need to be looked at- Should not be government statements on oppostion days.
Is there a guide to the people running, somewhere?
There's a guy talking now who looks a bit like Eric Pollard from Emmerdale. I have no idea who he is.
Are we seeing back benchers finally making themselves heard?
Given the multiple arses they make of themselves at PMQs, it's hard to imagine any of them having any functioning neurons, but one or two of them sound quite sane. Not Beckett, o/c. She sounds like a government plant, but the rest...? Remarkable. Who'd have thunk it?
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