I beg to move,
I am grateful to the Backbench Business Committee for granting Chamber time for this special debate on a motion in my name and in the names of right hon. and hon. Friends across the House. The 25th anniversary of John Smith’s untimely passing is a fitting occasion to commemorate and remember a man who lit up this place, lit up our politics and lit up the lives of so many. I am sure that many hon. Members across the House will wish to share their stories and memories today.
This Sunday will mark the 25th anniversary of John Smith’s death. When I suggested this debate to his wife, Baroness Elizabeth Smith, I was not expecting a response from so many colleagues wanting to contribute or merely tell me their own stories about John. Many MPs, from all parties, have come up to me and said, “I can’t be at the debate, but let me tell you about the time—” or “I know where I was the heard the news that John had died.” After 25 years, that is a measure of the man himself: he was admired and respected across the House.