Sunday, 27 November 2011

Questions to the Prime Minister 21 Years Ago

It was 21 years ago that Margaret Thatcher was last called upon to answer questions as Prime Minister.

She already knew she was not going to answer another series of PMQs and unlike the usual fighting last one before an election there was the sycophancy from her side and jeers each time this happened from the other side. There was a planted question about how many she had answered, at the time the answer was "His question is the 7,498th oral question to which I have replied in 698 Question Times." There were two more tabled questions after that point,

Those who asked questions were:

  • Alan Haselhurst Conservative MP for Saffron Walden since 1977, he is one of only two MPs who were called that day who are still members today. He was later to be Chairman of Ways and Mean (Deputy Speaker) under the various speakers of the Labour Governments from May 1997 until June 2010. He had previous been MP for Middleton and Prestwich during Heath's government 1970-74.
  • Neil Kinnock the Labour leader of the Opposition at the time MP for Iswyn (1983-95) formerly Bedwelty (1970-85). As leader of the Labour Party from 1983-1992 he was the person who asked Mrs Thatcher more PMQs than anyone else.
  • Dame Jill Knight Con Birmingham Edgebaston 1966-97 she was one of the two MPs who introduced Section 28 into the Local Government Act 1986
  • James Molyneaux Ulster Unionist Lagan Valley 1983-97 formerly South Antrim 1970-83. He was the leader of Unionism in the House at the time. 
  • Maureen Hicks the Conservative who had beaten the national trend by taking Wolverhampton North East off Labour in 1987, as her question points out after 40 years, but she lost it in 1992.
  • Alice Mahon was the Labour MP for Halifax from 1987-2005 she would later be a regular rebel to the Blair Government and resigned from the party in 2009 as she was "sickened" by the smear tactics employed by the party under Damian McBride
  • Donald Thompson had been the Conservative MP for Sowerbury from 1979-83 before boundary changes found him in the seat of Calder Valley until 1997. Having stood and lost Sowerbury in both the 1974 elections and losing Calder Valley to Labour in the 97 landslide his seat reflected the state of the Government.
  • Rosie Barnes one of the remaining post-merger MPs who remained the rump of the SDP in the commons, along with David Owen and John Cartwright, having won the 1987 Greenwich by election and holding the seat 4 months later in the General election.
  • David Wilshire Conservative MP for Spelthorne from 1987-2010 it was he upon seeing Jenny lives with Eric and Martin in an Education Authority resource centre that led to him with Jill Knight drafting the Section 28 amendment.
  • David Winnick is still a Labour MP who was first elected for Croydon South between 1966 and 70 then returned for Walsall North in 1979, therefore spent his first 22 years in the House in opposition. It was he who in 2005 successfully proposed an amendment of 28 days detention without trail to the Governments 90 day failed proposal.
  • Robin Maxwell-Hyslop who was the Conservative MP for Tiverton from 1960-1992 is the longest serving ever member on the Trade and Industry Sub Committee from 1971-92. He'd lost out in Derby North in the 1959 Election which returned Mrs M. H. Thatcher as a new MP in Finchley.
  • Gavin Strang was the Labour MP for Edinburgh East from 1970-2010 who later was one of the 12 Labour backbenchers to support the SNP and Plaid Cymru call for an inquiry into the Iraq war. While the lady may not have been for turning from 2007-09 Strang said he was retiring, not retiring and then finally that he was retiring in 2010. He has the honour of being the last MP to ask Mrs Thatcher and PMQ.
Of this list only Donald Thompson and Robin Maxwell-Hyslop are no longer with us along with the Speaker Bernard Weatherill.

There was a mistake made the Speaker when he called Mrs Barnes before Mrs Mahon at which point Bob Cryer the MP for Bradford South stood up in anger. He was to killed in a car crash less than four years later aged 59. He started out as MP for Keighley from 1974-83, before taking the European seat for Sheffield from 1984-9 and returning to commons for Bradford South in 1987. His wife Ann later held the Keithley seat from 1997-2010 and his son John was MP for Hornchurch from 1997-2005 and since 2010 has been MP for Leyton and Wanstead.

No comments:

Post a Comment