First Day

Part of Debate on the Address – in the House of Commons at 3:01 pm on 6th May 1992.

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Photo of Mr Neil Kinnock Mr Neil Kinnock Leader of Her Majesty's Official Opposition, Leader of the Labour Party, Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee 3:01 pm, 6th May 1992

I begin with the traditional congratulations to the right hon. Member for Mole Valley (Mr. Baker) and the hon. Member for Gedling (Mr. Mitchell) for their excellent speeches moving and seconding the Loyal Address in reply to the Queen's Speech. Clearly, in making their choice this time, the Government Whips decided upon a mixture for that task. They decided upon a combination of exuberance and experience, of smooth with rough, of loyal Heathite with loyal Thatcherite—and all those qualities are conveniently gathered together in the one person of the right hon. Member for Mole Valley.

The right hon. Gentleman is truly a man of many parts. Consequently he has attracted rather more than the usual amount of comment from a variety of newspapers and people who give their views on our parliamentary scene. He has been variously called the Cheshire cat, the vicar of Bray, the "flexible friend", and the "great surfer of British politics". The right hon. Gentleman has absorbed all that —as praise.