Disadvantaged Areas

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:48 am on 8th February 2002.

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Photo of Tom Brake Tom Brake Opposition Whip (Commons), Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Communities and Local Government), Liberal Democrat Whip 10:48 am, 8th February 2002

I welcome the debate, and I echo the comments made by Mr. Clifton-Brown about the maiden speech of Mr. Daisley. It was an excellent speech in difficult circumstances, and I congratulate the hon. Gentleman on making it. I urge his Whips to go easy on him over the coming weeks. That might give him the chance, for instance, to speak out against the public-private partnership. However, that will be up to him.

The hon. Gentleman managed to convince me that Brent has improved slightly, but he did not convince me that it is the best council in London, as that is, of course, the Liberal Democrat-controlled London borough of Sutton. I congratulate him, none the less, on the fact that he did not make a partisan speech and did not criticise Ken Livingstone. It was an entirely apolitical speech, and that is welcome.