EDM of the week: MPs dismayed by “spiteful slur” against former Speaker

July 3, 2009 at 2:42 pm Leave a comment

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Sixteen MPs have signed an Early Day Motion condemning the Chairman of the Lords Appointment Committee.

Earlier this week it was confirmed that Michael Martin, the first Speaker of the House of Commons to be forced from office for more than 300 years, would be given a peerage.

Mr Martin stood down as Speaker and as an MP last month.

Former Speakers are traditionally given a seat in the Lords.

The EDM, tabled by Labour MP Ken Purchase, reads:

“That this House is dismayed by the report in the Guardian newspaper that the Noble Lord Jay, Chairman of the Lords Appointment Committee, has written to the Prime Minister warning that the elevation of former Speaker Martin to the House of Lords would diminish the Upper House; and calls on the Noble Lord to withdraw without reservation such a disgraceful and spiteful slur on Speaker Martin who served this House so well as an elected member with great integrity, charm and good temper.”

Early Day Motions can be put forward by any MP. Almost none of them are actually debated.

MPs use them to draw attention to specific events or campaigns or to express a view on a wide range of issues.

Other EDMs this week include one tabled by Diane Abbott calling for Prime Minister’s Questions to return to two 15-minute sessions a week. It was changed to one 30-minute session in 1997.

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