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Tributes to the Speaker

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:51 pm on 31st October 2019.

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Photo of Craig Mackinlay Craig Mackinlay Conservative, South Thanet 1:51 pm, 31st October 2019

Mr Speaker, this is a very special day for you. I was not going to speak, but I want to put on record a couple of my times with you.

As I mentioned to you on shaking your hand when I took up my place here in 2015, we had a tea together many years ago—perhaps when you were in a different place politically, but we will put that aside.

There is one kindness you have given me. You have earned me a few pennies while I have been in the House. I am not always the first to be called or the last, but I have earned many a good coin from my hon. Friend Andrew Bridgen, because we often have a little bet as to who will be up last. I am grateful to you for adding to my wealth and detracting from the wealth of my hon. Friend.

I had a very difficult experience at the end of last year and the beginning of this year, which you took a great interest in throughout. The day after my acquittal, there were business questions. I came to speak to you at the Chair, to tell you that I had rather more to say than is appropriate at business questions. You allowed me, on that very special day for me, the opportunity to explain in far more minutes than one would usually allow for business questions what I had been through and the annoyance thereof.

There is lots that I have not agreed with you on over the last few years, but I will never forget your fairness to me and to others in the House who face difficulties. That was an opportunity to put on record in this great international public space what I had been through and the annoyance that I felt. I thank you for that occasion probably more than for any other since my time in the House, and I wish you every great success in the future, a long life and much happiness.