Early parliamentary general election

Part of Early Parliamentary General Election Bill – in the House of Commons at 6:15 pm on 29th October 2019.

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Photo of Hugo Swire Hugo Swire Conservative, East Devon 6:15 pm, 29th October 2019

On the last point made by Tommy Sheppard, I should declare an interest: St Andrew’s day will also be the day of my 60th birthday.

By 30 November, I shall no longer be a Member of Parliament, because I am not standing at the forthcoming election. I have been here since 2001, and I have to say that the last few years have not been Parliament at its best. It would be difficult to find a rare statement made by any one of us over the past two years. It has been like groundhog day every day, and the public are getting extremely fed up with our behaviour. In fact, I have never known such a disconnect between the body politic and the public, and I believe that any device or attempt to frustrate our having a general election now will be viewed extremely badly by the public, who, as I say, are extremely fed up with our behaviour.

We all understand why the Scottish nationalist party wants to have an election—because it knows that the court case starting in January will lay bare the divisions between those who support Alex Salmond and those who support Nicola Sturgeon. SNP Members know that if the election is delayed until next year, they will suffer at the polls. It is strange for a party that prides itself on looking after one of the devolved parts of the United Kingdom to play party politics with Northern Ireland. [Interruption.] Joanna Cherry laughs in rather a tinny way.