Orders of the Day — Referendums (Scotland and Wales) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 6:05 pm on 22nd May 1997.

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Photo of Andrew George Andrew George Liberal Democrat, St Ives 6:05 pm, 22nd May 1997

Yes, that is what I intend.

Michael Joseph,"An Gof', marched to London with a band of 15,000 Cornishmen. Sadly, he was summarily hanged, drawn and quartered and dragged through the streets of this city.

In defiance of the then King, he said, roughly translated: I shall have a name perpetual and a fame permanent and immortal. To prove that, the celebration of that uprising will start from my constituency at the weekend. It will be an important commemoration for us. I believe that I am supposed to mention my predecessors on this occasion—the then local Member, William Antron, supported the rebellion. In 1508, the Charter of Pardon, resulting from the rebellion, gave the Cornish Parliament the right to allow or disallow any Statute, Act, ordinance, provision, restraint or proclamation…made by the King, his heirs, successors, or the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cornwall, or their council. That charter represented an accommodation of the distinctiveness of Cornwall.

I have chosen to make my maiden speech in this debate because I want to support those who recognise the distinctiveness of those parts of these lands that take pride in their heritage and culture. That sentiment binds the people together across the whole of our land.

When the Liberal Democrats won the St. Ives seat earlier this month, it was one of the last results to be announced. I pointed out that, with our result, it became clear that, for the first time, the traditional Celtic nations of Scotland, Wales and Cornwall were not represented by a single Conservative Member.