Tributes to Mr Keith Phipps

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:31 pm on 5th November 2019.

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Photo of Lord Newby Lord Newby Liberal Democrat Leader in the House of Lords 3:31 pm, 5th November 2019

My Lords, I have seen Mr Phipps in two guises: as a doorkeeper here in your Lordships’ House and as a member of the Queen’s Bodyguard when I was captain of that august body. His attitude in both environments was that of an experienced NCO having to deal with a blundering second lieutenant who did not even know how to salute properly. He knew how it was done. I certainly did not, and I am sure that new Members of your Lordships’ House have felt similarly at sea when they first tried to work out how we do things here. But he has done that with everybody with an avuncular friendliness and firmness that has been extremely impressive.

At a time when the atmosphere in Parliament has sometimes been extremely fractious, he has helped to ensure that the ethos of your Lordships’ House reflects the tolerance and civility that, I am sure, we all believe should characterise the operations of a Parliament. We will miss him and the qualities he has brought to his roles, and I am sure we will all do our best to uphold the values he has brought to his work and our proceedings. We wish him and his wife a long and enjoyable retirement.