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Christopher Chope (Christchurch, Conservative)

I will not be tempted into attacking the character and integrity of the Leader of the House, but I agree with my hon. Friend Mr. Cash that it used to be a long-standing convention that the Leader of the House would stick up for the rights of Back Benchers, even if that made him or her unpopular with their Cabinet. However, that convention seems to have gone by the wayside. I recall that when the late John Biffen was Leader of the House, he made himself very unpopular as a member of the Government and with the then Prime Minister for sticking up for and performing the traditional role of the Leader of the House, to which my hon. Friend the Member for Stone has referred. I am sorry that the current Leader of the House is no longer here.

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