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Financial and Social Emergency Support Package

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:34 pm on 25th March 2020.

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Photo of Ian Blackford Ian Blackford SNP Westminster Leader 2:34 pm, 25th March 2020

Indeed—sometimes that has been to the frustration of our respective advisers, Jeremy, if I may use that word in this context.

From his beloved allotment to an expansive interest in international affairs, the Leader of the Opposition could never be accused of limiting his interests or his ambitions. He has contributed to debate and diversity in this House and across these islands. If I may say to the right hon. Gentleman, I have enjoyed our engagement. No doubt we will continue to meet in the Tea Room and discuss the merits of allotments and crofting—you may be excluded from those, John—but one thing is for sure, I know that he is not the retiring type. His enthusiasm for issues and activism is in no danger of dimming.

In recent months, I am sure the shadow Chancellor has taken some comfort from the fact that the Conservative Chancellor appears to be embracing a more expansionist state. Perhaps they have passed around the little red book that he gave to George Osborne a few years ago. However, I do have a suggestion for him. As he returns to the Back Benches, I would suggest he now has the time to write a little red book all of his own. He is uniquely qualified in the House to write it, and I suspect, in the current context, people are about to get back into the habit of reading.

The shadow Chancellor has a lot to look forward to in the weeks ahead. Despite the fact that the premier league is postponed, it is only a matter of time before his faithful following of Liverpool football club will pay dividends with a title after a 30-year wait. Not even the virus will be allowed to get in the way of that. I can only hope that my beloved Hibernian will one day scale the heights of the Scottish league and deliver our championship. If the shadow Chancellor thinks 30 years is a long time, try 63. Mind you, having waited 114 years for the Scottish cup success to be delivered, as it was in 2016, we can wait. I wish both the right hon. Members and their families every best wish as they return to the Back Benches of this House.