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Who will be the stars of the new Parliament? - Parliament Matters podcast, Episode 40 transcript

7 Jul 2024
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With a 50% new intake and 40% female representation, the latest parliamentary group promises exciting new talent. Renowned journalist and 'Tomorrow’s MPs' watcher Michael Crick shares his insights on the standout figures to watch in the coming years.

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00:00:00:00 - 00:00:15:24 You're listening to Parliament Matters, a Hansard Society production supported by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust. Learn more at hansardsociety.org.uk/pm. 00:00:16:01 - 00:00:41:10 Welcome to Parliament Matters, the podcast about the institution at the heart of our democracy, Parliament itself. I'm Ruth Fox and I'm Mark D’Arcy. Coming up, it's 50% new. It's 40% female. Meet the new House of Commons of 2024. And who are going to be the stars in this vast new intake? MP watcher Michael Crick picks a few runners and riders, but places no bets. And matching up the ministers and the shadows. 00:00:41:12 - 00:00:49:11 All the leaders have choices to make about who will be in their top teams. 00:00:52:20 - 00:01:16:08 But first, Ruth, after a long, grueling, perhaps overlong and over grueling election campaign, the new House of Commons has finally taken shape. We all know it's got a massive Labour majority. We all know there's a massive new contingent of Liberal Democrats. We all know that the Conservatives while still being the official opposition, and that's a point we've discussed a couple of times, are a much reduced force in this new House of Commons. 00:01:16:08 - 00:01:34:07 There's a contingent of Greens, there's a contingent of reform MPs, there's a slightly bigger contingent of Plaid Cymru MPs, there's a much reduced contingent of SNP MPs and there's a startlingly large group of independents as well. So how is it all going to play out? What are your first impressions? Well, the first impression is just the scale of it. 00:01:34:07 - 00:01:57:10 It's 336, I think first time MPs, which is very, very large. I mean, bear in mind that the whole of the House of Commons is 650. It is an enormous number of new MPs who are, over the next coming weeks, just going to be finding their feet and trying to set things up. And their encounter with legislation and scrutiny and so on 00:01:57:12 - 00:02:18:18 I mean, it's going to be a huge, huge challenge for them. It's going to be a very difficult moment for them when the first bills start to appear and the whole process kicks off of public bill committees and line by line scrutiny, and they've got to make speeches in the chamber and all that kind of stuff. The government's going to have quite an easy ride for a while, simply because so many people in so many places are finding their feet. 00:02:18:20 - 00:02:40:04 There may be a bit of opposition by some old lags, but broadly speaking, this is going to offer a pretty fair wind to the new contingent of ministers in Keir Starmer's cabinet. Yeah, just the process of getting those new MPs up and running. So you're not supposed to ask questions and sort of engage in other forms of parliamentary activity in the chamber until you've made your maiden speech, but, I mean, it's going to take forever till 336 have made that. 00:02:40:04 - 00:03:02:17 So I think you're possibly going to need to see some relaxation of rules around that kind of thing. I think that happened before. I can remember Bercow at some point making sure that the incoming MPs could do that simply because there was such a large number of thenably long time. And a thought, too, for my former colleagues on Today in Parliament on Radio Four. 00:03:02:19 - 00:03:28:21 They always wanted to make a point of including a clip from each maiden speech. There's going to be an awful lot of them to squeeze into their programs for a while to come. And the real challenge for journalists like your former colleagues, but also particularly I'm thinking of the speaker having to learn and familiarize himself with all the names of these, these MPs, as he's he's going to have to call them and he's not going to have some assistance in the in the early weeks because he's lost all three of his deputy speakers from the last parliament. 00:03:28:21 - 00:03:59:16 So yeah, Dame Rosie Winterton and Dame Eleanor Laing have both retired from the Commons. And Nigel Evans, the other deputy speaker, lost his seat in Ribble Valley. So three new deputy speakers will have to be chosen in due course. But that might be a little bit of a while. And in the interim I think that the speaker's eyes might alight upon sir Roger Gale, a senior Conservative MP who did hold his seat, who had served as a kind of interim extra deputy speaker when Dame Eleanor Laing was ill in the last parliament. 00:03:59:16 - 00:04:18:15 So he might be called up and there may be a couple of other senior figures as well to keep the show on the road until proper elections for a deputy speaker can be held. Yeah, but the one thing that really stands out is that this is not a two party parliament. This is a you know, you can call it four five party parliament. 00:04:18:16 - 00:04:37:11 Then you've got this sort of smaller numbers, the independents, reform and so on, Democratic Unionist Party, you know, numbers around 4 or 5, six seats each. So the whole question about how the house operates, so much of its procedures is predicated on this idea of a two party system. We've seen this for a while, but it's particularly stark here. 00:04:37:13 - 00:05:00:21 You know, a significant number of Liberal Democrat MPs and then parties with ten or less MPs. The procedures just will not operate in the same way. It was tenable, I think, when you had Labour and the Conservative Party between them scooping up 90% plus of all the votes in the general election, and there were a few MPs elected around the margins of what was broadly a two party duopoly. 00:05:01:00 - 00:05:20:08 Yeah, but when you've got a situation where the two main parties, as they like to think of themselves, are getting, what, 60% of the vote, if that in a general election and other parties are getting large chunks of the vote, I think the spoils have to be divvied up a little bit more equitably than they are at the moment. 00:05:20:08 - 00:05:47:07 I mean, the situation is ridiculous. The 85% of opposition days go to the official opposition party. The Conservatives would come on those debating days at the moment, but I think the minor parties, as they would doubtless think of them, could quite reasonably say no, we deserve a bigger piece of the procedural pie now. I mean, I mean, you say 85% of the opposition days, but I mean, the Conservative Party is 51% of the opposition. 00:05:47:13 - 00:06:12:03 Yeah. So you can see the imbalance there, which going back to what we were saying about the deputy speakers then raises the question, you know, traditionally you'd expect two Labour two Conservatives. We've got one former Labour speaker. So you'd expect the allocation to be one deputy Speaker to the Labour side, two to the Conservatives. I think in these circumstances, when you've got 71 Liberal Democrats, the Liberal Democrats might feel that they're due a deputy speakership. 00:06:12:03 - 00:06:40:08 And in fact, from the Conservative perspective, given that they like we've talked about this on the podcast before, they're going to struggle to have a full operational frontbench to shadow the government, to do all the select committees with that 121 MPs, they might be quite happy to cede one to the Liberal Democrats. Yeah, I think they've got just about the bare minimum where he could just about get warm bodies into all the sort of seats that an opposition is supposed to occupy at various points in the parliamentary process, but it's going to be a struggle. 00:06:40:14 - 00:07:01:08 Some of their MPs might not fancy sitting on the front bench and shadowing possibly 1 or 2 briefs rather than just one, because there aren't enough of them for all that, some of them might want to go off onto the committee corridor and chair a select committee. I think I think the lure of being chair of the Public Accounts Committee, which is a paid position not gave, may be very tempting. 00:07:01:10 - 00:07:27:09 David Davis, the Conservative MP, famously, in Tony Blair's first parliament as prime minister, sat out that Parliament as chair of the Public Accounts Committee, rather than take a place on the Conservative frontbench, which he would have walked into in other circumstances. So there may be quite a scramble for that job and a couple of others. Rather than go off and have a fairly thankless job shadowing a sort of triumphant, all conquering government for a while. 00:07:27:12 - 00:07:49:14 Yeah, I'm talking about government. We ought to begin as well with what do we think the government is going to do? Well, we're talking on Saturday afternoon. We're recording whilst Keir Starmer is in Downing Street. We've just had the first cabinet meeting and we haven't got the new junior ministerial appointment, but we do have a cabinet. So we know that Lucy Powell is confirmed in office as leader of the House of Commons. 00:07:49:14 - 00:08:14:00 We know that Angela Smith, Baroness Smith of Basildon, is confirmed as the leader of the House of Lords. So, you know, we'll be waiting to find out from them what their plans are for things like the sitting dates, the sitting times and what the plans are in terms of legislation. I mean, that will be the focus of Lucy Powell’s work, making sure everything is ready for the King's speech and getting the legislative program out and there's quite a lot to do there. 00:08:14:00 - 00:08:34:06 One imagines that Labour ministers have, while they were still in opposition, prepared at least outline bills that can quickly be fed through the civil service machine and presented to Parliament. And you'd guess that they will want to have a couple of bills through their second reading debates and into committee before Parliament finally breaks for the summer holiday. 00:08:34:06 - 00:09:08:05 And exhausted MPs can smoke their way to the beaches, even if ministers try to keep going for a while at work through the summer and, hope that the exhaustion just wears off in the office. Yeah, I mean, an interesting question is whether and we found out actually, so listeners’ question about this, we should perhaps if I can dig out question about bills and whether or not some of the legislation from the outgoing government will be managed and brought through if Labour wins the election, as they now have, so will Labour pick up some of that legislation that was lost in the wash ups and obvious candidates are the Tobacco and Vapes bill. 00:09:08:07 - 00:09:27:01 I think the football governance bill might appear, but I can't imagine they’re going to be the bills that the government wants to bring forward first, immediately after the King's speech. And I think this is important. A number of journalists that I've heard over the last few weeks during the campaign have been saying, well, you know, the idea of bringing forward bills immediately after the King's speech, you know, they won't have a time to prepare them. 00:09:27:01 - 00:09:57:08 They won't be ready. We've looked at what happened in 2010 and what happened in 1997, when you were in a similar situation where you've got a new government coming in, a change in party, and in both occasions you had a couple of bills presented to Parliament the day after the King's speech. So 1997, there were two bills presented to Parliament the day after, 3 in 2010, you know. Within two months in 1997, the Labour government, the Blair government had got 19 bills presented to Parliament just within that first two months. 00:09:57:08 - 00:10:18:08 So there must have been some work going on. I'm not sure that this Labour government has done as much work in in opposition as the Blair government did. I think all the senses is that they were possibly a little bit further along in their preparations and had been talking to the civil service for longer, but I would expect a day after the King's Speech to get some bills presented to Parliament. 00:10:18:11 - 00:10:38:03 Oh, definitely. I think apart from anything else, there will be some at least very detailed policy intentions out there that can swiftly be translated into legislative language, even if some of the parliamentary counsel, like the specialist lawyers who draft bills, have to pull a few all nighters to get them ready, they'll have a couple of weeks to do over. 00:10:38:03 - 00:10:54:13 So you would expect that there will be something there. When we're talking about some of the hangovers from the previous government, the football governance bill, as you say, the tobacco and vapes bill, there may be a temptation for Labour to pick those up. First of all, they completely agree with the football governance bill, and it's a problem that needs to be solved. 00:10:54:15 - 00:11:19:14 So they'll probably want that on the statute book in some form or other. And it's quite handy to be able to just pick up a piece of fully formed legislation and get it through. The tobacco and vapes bill, the politics of that are actually quite interesting. This, if you remember, was Rishi Sunak's sort of personal crusade to cut down smoking, eliminate smoking in the end, to boost the health of the nation, and wasn't particularly popular amongst his own side. 00:11:19:14 - 00:11:40:05 But for a Labour government picking up a former Conservative prime minister's kind of personal flagship bill and putting it at least a version of it through into law could wrong foot Rishi Sunak while he's still the leader of the opposition and wrong foot the Conservative Party, who will have dutifully cheered it at the time even if they weren't perhaps particularly keen on it. 00:11:40:11 - 00:12:06:17 So there's a little bit of sort of mischief to be had there while doing something that would have some good long term public health effects. Yeah. So Jenny Bevan, thank you for listening to the podcast and thank you for that question. The other thing that struck me in the last 24 hours, one of the developments late on Friday was the appointment of the two ministers, Patrick Vallance, to be Minister for science. 00:12:06:19 - 00:12:26:14 sent to the House of Lords, and James Timpson, who is part of the Timpson business dynasty who has been sent to the House of Lords as well. But he's going to be minister for prisons and presumably rehabilitation. Those appointments straight into the House of Lords. Not been in the House of Lords before. Got government appointments straight in as a minister. 00:12:26:15 - 00:12:41:22 Yeah. Straight in as a minister. Really interesting. First of all, you've got to get to grips with being a minister in your ministerial brief. But secondly, you've got to get to grips with being a member of the House of Lords and answering at the despatch box. I think in some ways, the House of Lords is a more civilized environment. 00:12:41:22 - 00:13:14:02 To do that in the Commons can be an absolute bear garden. As a veteran of the BBC's Today in Parliament. little piece of program history that we all were told was in the very first edition of Today in Parliament, ended with an account of a new minister, Mr. JH Wilson answering - Harold? Yeah, Harold, as it turned out to be - making his maiden speech as a minister from the despatch box and basically being torn limb from limb by backbenchers over the issue of MPs accommodation just after the Second World War. 00:13:14:07 - 00:13:30:06 And that was a very rough baptism. He didn't get the usual courtesy of making a maiden speech with no one interrupting. He got on very tough going over by lots of very grumpy backbenchers, so it won't be quite as nasty as that for these two new ministers. And the House of Lords has been a place where this sort of thing's been tried before. 00:13:30:06 - 00:13:51:07 Remember Gordon Brown's government of all the talents, Lord Darzi, the heart surgeon who once saved another minister's life when he keeled over on the red benches. Useful to have. Admiral Lord West, Digby Jones, the former director general of the CBI, was made a business minister, and Jim O'Neill, Jim O'Neill, the banker. Yes, yes, it's called the government of all the talent. 00:13:51:07 - 00:14:15:11 So remember Pat McFadden, who's now with the effectively pretty much, the deputy in Keir Starmer's government when he was a business minister, having to do a so jocular line when he was taunted about Digby Jones, his evil Tory tendencies being in the Labour government, he said that Comrade Digby could be heard practicing singing the red flag on the ministerial corridor in the business department and in those days, and everybody tittered. 00:14:15:11 - 00:14:36:09 But there is a question here about how some of these, new arrivals might fit into a party political operation. Patrick Vallance has basically been a civil servant above politics. To what extent will he or can he toe a party line? Well the interesting question is, are they, or if not, are they going to become members of the Labour Party. That was always a question 00:14:36:09 - 00:14:54:16 During the Brown years. Are you going to see them dutifully attending their local branch meetings and delivering leaflets over the weekend. Perhaps not. the other thing, then, is what is going to happen in the Commons in terms of the appointments of the Conservative frontbench, because, you know, they've been, you know, so many of them have been beheaded. So absolutely. 00:14:54:18 - 00:15:14:05 And, you know, key posts. So, you know, the Conservative chief whip has lost his seat, Simon Hart and of course, Penny Mordaunt, the leader of the House, who would presumably have been the shadow leader of the House. Yeah, we know that. Rishi Sunak said he's going to stay on what was a leadership contest, that leadership contest, those debates in the Conservative Party about how long that will take. 00:15:14:07 - 00:15:37:02 But in the interim, they've got to have an operation in Parliament to, you know, respond to the King's speech. They've got to have a discussion, as you mentioned, accommodation, Harold Wilson getting, getting it in the neck about accommodation. Well, that's the job of the accommodation whips you. They've got to have discussions and what we call the usual channels, the business managers between the parties negotiating over, you know, allocations of select committee chairs. 00:15:37:02 - 00:16:03:21 They've got to do the allocation of offices. The Conservative Party and indeed the Liberal Democrats need an operation to make that work. And, there are now on the Conservative benches, quite a lot of key gaps in what would have been sort of leadership positions that would have had a role in this. Well, the senior surviving Conservative whip, skimming through the rather thin list of surviving Conservative seats, seems to be Rebecca Harris at the moment that she will then therefore become the chief whip, at least in the interim. 00:16:03:21 - 00:16:24:08 Because, of course, in the longer term, a new Conservative leader will make new appointments. But actually the post of shadow leader of the House is an interesting one here, because this is a very, very good perch for a leadership contender, as Penny Mordaunt would have undoubtedly been, because every week you get a Question Time where you can bash the other side - to coin a phrase, a bully pulpit. 00:16:24:10 - 00:16:42:22 If you are eyeing an even more prominent role at Prime Minister's Question Time in the future, and Penny Mordaunt won't have that now, so will Rishi Sunak perhaps appoint someone who may then be able to use that platform to boost their own leadership ambitions? Or will it be someone who's a kind of noncontroversial figure who hasn't got a gleam of leadership ambition in their eye? 00:16:42:24 - 00:17:13:19 But then, when the new leader is in post, that becomes, I think, a key appointment because you are effectively giving somebody on your side that platform. Well, indeed. But I suppose the main questions ahead are still those facing the head of the government, Sir Keir Starmer. He's got a whole raft of junior ministerial posts to appoint. He's got a little bit of a Rubik's Cube exercise, because he did lose two of his potential cabinet ministers in the course of the general election, Jonathan Ashworth was defeated in Leicester South. 00:17:13:21 - 00:17:33:13 Thangham Debonnaire, who would have been his culture secretary, was defeated in Bristol Central, so he's had to move things around. No battle plan, I suppose, survives contact with the electorate, but, he'll have had to have made a few changes to his dispositions. But mostly it seems his shadow cabinet is seamlessly moving to be his actual cabinet. 00:17:33:15 - 00:17:54:05 Yeah. So, Mark, do you think once, once Parliament is back up and running, you expect to see a blizzard of announcements and statements to the House? With the new government wanting to to make its mark in those early days before the summer recess? For sure. I think there'll be two purposes here. One will be exciting new policies that they hope will show that they're a government in action. 00:17:54:05 - 00:18:13:12 And the second category of statements will be the pinning the blame on the other old kind of statements. A straw in the wind on this is the appointment of the new seem to be Lord Timpson. He's on record as saying that he thinks only about a third of people in prisons ought to be there. He's now the new prisons minister. 00:18:13:14 - 00:18:37:15 Does his appointment portend an attempt to take pressure off the prison system, with a sort of mass release of as many people as they can get away with? Because there's certainly a slow burn crisis within the prison system, potentially quite a scary one. And so if you want to avert prison riots now, maybe releasing an awful lot of people on license is one way to do that. 00:18:37:17 - 00:19:02:11 And you might as well do it when your political capital is stacked very high and the opposition isn't in a good place to respond, and the crisis can be squarely blamed on them. Yeah, we've talked about this on the podcast before, these big nasties that, that Meg Hillier, the former chair of the Public Accounts Committee has talked about, problems that are going to come through now, that the government can't put off, this government is going to have to tackle them, and it's got the political capital to tackle them. 00:19:02:13 - 00:19:35:09 But here's an interesting question. I think for Keir Starmer. You know, he's got 400 plus MPs. But a lot of them are now MPs for what were traditionally leafy Conservative shire seats. And we've talked on this podcast before about planning, for example, and housing. How is he going to manage pushing through some quite potentially controversial proposals for planning and speeding up development and so on, when quite a lot of those MPs in those kinds of seats are probably going to have to be quite resistant to such developments if they're going to hang on to their seats at the next election. 00:19:35:15 - 00:19:51:16 So it's going to be sort of an interesting dilemma. Is he, in order to make progress on these issues, is he going to have to be willing to expend political capital and accept that some of these MPs are just going to have to go at the next election? And that's unfortunate, but it's just the price that's going to have to be paid. 00:19:51:18 - 00:20:18:17 I think they'll have to be calculations like that. But there is a case that you can make it in even the leafy east area that young people would quite like to be able to afford housing. There may be votes in new building, even if there are also protests against it, and Labour may have to take that view. In some ways, the Liberal Democrats are the ones to watch in this as they now seem to be, you know, the party of Surrey, the party of most of Oxfordshire, the party of large tracts of London suburbia. 00:20:18:19 - 00:20:38:09 It's much easier for them to become the kind of Nimby party against loosening of planning restrictions, against greenfield developments and so forth. And it may be one of the roles they take, because otherwise it may be a role that's taken by the Conservatives and by the Conservative Party with the kind of cause celeb which they can then use to leverage themselves back into those seats. 00:20:38:10 - 00:21:03:10 Yeah. And with 400 MPs for the Labour Party, clearly a significant number of those are not going to get jobs in this parliament in government. so hanging on for a ministerial job and hoping for promotion, maybe beyond some of them, clearly some of them will hit the select committee corridor and try and make their name on the committee system and the modeling themselves on people like Alicia Kearns or Tom Tugendhat. 00:21:03:12 - 00:21:31:17 But with 400 MPs, they're going to be pushed off back to their constituencies, I think, to nurse them to do more of the sort of the constituency work, because there won't be enough jobs for them, formal jobs within Parliament itself, unless the party wants to sort of rethink its approach to the way that parliamentary scrutiny is structured, for example, to create jobs, create work, create opportunities for those members to have a voice and make an impact. 00:21:31:19 - 00:22:02:17 Well, certainly be worried about the devil finding work for idle hands and for rebellions to brew up all over the place. But like that was very, very careful about ensuring the kind of loyalty and team playing instincts of. A lot of the candidates who've been selected have now become MPs, so they will hope that they've got a fairly solidly loyalist party, largely behind them, and they will be able to send quite a large number of MPs every week or back to their constituencies to do essentially party building work to try and build their majorities in some of these seats. 00:22:02:19 - 00:22:21:21 But they can't allow themselves to be constrained by just trying to hold every inch of ground. They've got to build a success story to win the next election. And if that means that some unlikely Labour MPs in unlikely seats find that, they have to suffer for that, maybe Keir Starmer's regime, which has been pretty ruthless, willl think that's a price worth paying. 00:22:21:24 - 00:22:43:17 Indeed. Well, what should we leave it there for a minute and, take a break and we'll be back with Sir Michael Crick. Okay. Well, now to take a look at who's going to be who in the prodigious new intake of 2024, we're joined by Michael Crick, who's been keeping track of all the party selections of their would be MPs over the last couple of years. 00:22:43:17 - 00:23:01:20 Michael, welcome to the pod. We want to get you to nominate some of the stars of the future, some of the characters of the future, who's going to be big fish in their party, who's going to perhaps start appearing on game shows or go to the jungle in I'm A celebrity? So who are your picks? First of all, for the stars of the future, the cabinet ministers of the future? 00:23:01:22 - 00:23:20:20 Well, I think Hamish Falconer, who is the new MP for Lincoln, a well named name Falconer. And he, as you might have guessed, is the son of Charlie Falconer. He's been working at the Foreign Office, had a pretty high powered job at the Foreign Office dealing with kidnap cases, which are rather more common than you might think. Went to Cambridge and Yale. 00:23:20:22 - 00:23:42:19 And he also went to Westminster School. And that's what got his father in trouble, because when his father, Charlie, went for selection back in 1997, the NSC subcommittee said, where do you send your children to school? And he had to admit that they went to private schools, including young Hamish. So there's a sort of, it's come, full round. Charlie Falconer, 00:23:42:19 - 00:24:03:08 Of course, I should explain for those who aren't quite in the centre here was Tony Blair's flatmate, and later on was Tony Blair's Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for justice and all round big wheel in Labour circles for many long years. Yeah. Now, on the Conservative side, well, Katie Lam, I think she's got the fifth safest Conservative seat. 00:24:03:08 - 00:24:23:07 And she's done so many different jobs. She was a real student whizz at Cambridge, president of the union, president of the Conservative Association, she worked in number ten for Boris Johnson, has had a sort of combination as often Conservatives with that era do. She's only about 32, working for public affairs or lobbying companies and then going in and out of government as a special adviser. 00:24:23:12 - 00:24:43:11 Oh, and she also has written various dramatic productions that have, I think, even appeared on television and appeared at the Edinburgh Festival. So she's got quite a background. I think we'll be hearing more of Miss Lam. And of course, because the Conservatives have lost more than half their MPs, anybody young and bright and dynamic is going to shine very, very early. 00:24:43:13 - 00:25:05:12 The Lib Dem there's a couple. There’s Paul Kohler in Wimbledon who only came into politics because a few years ago a bunch of thugs broke into his house and very viciously injured him. He nearly died. And this led to a campaign to keep the police station open in Wimbledon. And that led to getting on the council and becoming a candidate. 00:25:05:12 - 00:25:30:03 Trying last time, nearly won last time, finally got there this time. There's also a young guy called Josh Babarinde, who claims to be the first Liberal Democrat, Liberal or SDP elected MP of black descent, and he got an OBE at the age of about 26 for setting up a little business called Cracked It, which used to operate in pop up shops repairing mobile phone screens using former prisoners. 00:25:30:09 - 00:25:51:02 You mentioned Hamish Falconer. There are other lots of political dynasties apparent. Or is he an aberration? As the son of a former cabinet minister getting into parliament himself? Well, they're not exactly dynasties. Well, I suppose you could say that the the Reeves are a sort of dynasty because they're related to the Cryer's and Bob Cryer, Ann Cryer and their son, Jon Cryer. 00:25:51:04 - 00:26:08:13 but their aren’t any Cryers left in the house. But there are sort of husband and wife teams. I mean, there's a woman called Emma Foody elected up in the North East. She's the wife of, Alex Norris, the Labour MP for Nottingham North. That's right. Yep. And then there's oh, gosh, there's Steve Richards and his mum. You know, our former colleague Steve Richards. 00:26:08:13 - 00:26:35:21 Well, his son Jake Richards has just been elected for Rother Valley. Jake's wife or maybe fiancé is a reporter with Sky news. And then Steve's daughter, Amy Richards, is a special adviser to Yvette Cooper. And Amy is married to Gregor Poynton, who is the new MP up in Scotland. And Gregor Pointon used to be married to a previous Labour MP, so they're doing quite well, I say. 00:26:35:21 - 00:26:51:12 I hope I got the details right there and I didn't marry somebody off to the wrong person. There's a couple of men on the Conservative benches who are meant to be husband and husband. I'm told this by a senior former parliamentarian. I haven't actually managed to check it with them, so I won't name them. You could do on those private. 00:26:51:13 - 00:27:11:17 I saw how they're all related. Yes, but there's more dynastic stuff at Labour than there is in the Conservatives these days. There's also course Morgan McSweeney, who's running the campaign for Labour, his wife, I think has. That's right. Yes. got elected. And Sue Gray's son Liam Conlon is a new Labour MP. There's a lot of this, a lot of family links. 00:27:11:17 - 00:27:32:11 And it's, you know, people say, oh, it's terrible nepotism. Well, in all walks of life, people often do the jobs their parents did. And it's understandable. Now you have, you know, almost sexual equality in the Commons, it's understandable that people should get together, have affairs, get married, whatever. And, that there should be more of these relationships than there were in the past. 00:27:32:11 - 00:27:55:23 In the past, they tended to be more hereditary. who's your betters? First into the cabinet, out of the new intake, Douglas Alexander, actually, because, of course, he's a retread and he is one of only. Now, here's a quiz question for you both, which I will be very impressed if you get this one right. There are three MPs on the Labour benches in the House of Commons who served as cabinet ministers under Tony Blair. 00:27:56:00 - 00:28:19:00 Tony Blair I stress not under Gordon Brown. Who are the three? Douglas Alexander is one. Ed Miliband didn't become a cabinet minister until Gordon Brown, he was only elected in 05. I'm really struggling with this one. Go on. The answer is a Hilary Benn and you won't get this 1 in 1,000,000 years. Stephen Timms, who was, I think, chief secretary for about three weeks for reasons I forget. 00:28:19:00 - 00:28:36:17 I forget why it was so short and he never got back in as a cabinet minister, but he's still in. He's now Sir Stephen, isn't he? but he's still back in that select committee chair, and that's full of other retreads. You've got Emma Reynolds, who, was doing quite well, shadow Europe minister in the Labour opposition. Yes. 00:28:36:17 - 00:28:57:15 She's she's switched seats and gone to Wycombe. Heidi Alexander, who was in the shadow cabinet. She's now a member for Swindon. So you would have expected promotion early on for them. And then the, the resolution Foundation, you’ve got Torsten Bell. I mean, he actually is one of the few MPs who really made a name outside politics before going into the Commons. 00:28:57:15 - 00:29:18:17 Normally you get a few more star names than there are this time. But James Cracknell, for instance, who would have been an example that former double gold Olympic oarsman he didn't get elected in Colchester, Eddie Izzard, the comedian and actor, didn't even get selected for Labour. He tried a couple of times and some of the journalists, like Paul Mason, he tried and failed. 00:29:18:18 - 00:29:39:13 Seb Payne, another journalist, he tried and failed. There are 1 or 2 journalists who did make it, though. Paul Waugh made it in the end for Rochdale. Torcuil Crichton who we both worked with will be journalist now now elected for Western Isles. Now I can to pronounce don't you in Gaelic. Yeah. Because I'm not John Bercow mastered this, but I've never managed. 00:29:39:15 - 00:29:57:18 And that's actually crucial because. Because he could speak can speak Gaelic. He was in frequent demand on the local broadcast outlets there and became well known in the Western Isles, even though he covered the whole patch and was working for it. It was mainly Scottish papers he worked for, wasn't it? But, was around for a long time in Westminster. 00:29:57:20 - 00:30:28:16 Oh, and there's also Yuan Yang, who's the new Labour MP for Earley and Woodley. And she has a very distinguished record as a China correspondent and Beijing bureau chief, I think, for the Financial Times. Iain Dale, you remember the broadcaster Iain Dale for about three days, tried to become the Conservative candidate for Tunbridge Wells. And he's probably rather grateful now that he didn't, because Tunbridge Wells went to the Liberal Democrats and said he had said disobliging things about Tunbridge Wells, and ended up calling off his candidacy. Quite stunning yes. 00:30:28:18 - 00:30:49:11 Tell us, Michael, about the young MPs, I reckon I haven't got the exact figure yet, partly because people keep suggesting new ones that I haven't been aware of because you don't always know somebody's age and they don't always want to tell you straight away. But I reckon there are 17 or 18 members of Parliament who’re under 30, and I think that is an all time record, certainly since the war. 00:30:49:13 - 00:31:11:21 I mean, if you go back to the David Butler books, it says, the Nuffield Studies books, it generally says how many MPs there are under 30. And sometimes it's been very, very few indeed. I think the previous record was 14, I think, I don't remember that was 97 or 1945, but generally it's when you get a big switch over in numbers and there are three members of Parliament who were born this century or this millennium, and the youngest of all is Sam Carling. 00:31:11:21 - 00:31:30:23 Now remember that name. We will be hearing more of him. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if he's, a minister before the end of this parliament. He's only 22. He's already teaching at Cambridge, you know, to get a teaching job at Cambridge University. But by the time you're 22, it's pretty good going. You don't be teaching biochemistry or something like that. 00:31:30:23 - 00:31:52:05 And he's a member of the city council. He's a member of the university council. and he's the MP for North West Cambridgeshire. So he may struggle to keep that seat for very long. But you know, often these people are elected really young. It's because they're really good. And they go on to glittering careers. I mean, Winston Churchill, an example, Charlie Kennedy and, I think we will be hearing a lot more of Mr. Carling. 00:31:52:05 - 00:32:17:16 And then the other one, who's very young, is a guy called Josh Dean, who is the new MP for Hertford and Stortford. That's my seat, my MP. have you met him? I have not. Did Labour actually have much of a campaign? Well, it had more of a campaign than anybody else. So Hertford and Stortford is terribly Conservative. If you'd have asked me in 1997, is there any possibility after the Blair landslide that that seat would ever go red? 00:32:17:16 - 00:32:41:07 I'd have laughed you out of the room and said, no chance. But I had two pieces of literature from him. We had literature from two of the very minor parties, not a thing from the Conservatives or the Liberal Democrats. Now, normally we would have something from the Conservatives. So something was going on in that campaign. Didn't have the volunteers or they didn't have the money or they just didn't turn out for the sitting MP, the candidate. 00:32:41:12 - 00:32:55:24 Well, I could go on all day about campaigns, but I mean, we ought to stick to the individuals. But I mean, one interesting thing is that there's a lot of places where Labour had no campaign and they were all sent to somewhere else that was considered to be more winnable. And they ended up winning the place with no campaign. 00:32:55:24 - 00:33:17:13 Anyway. Labour in Hertford in Stortford was told, all their activists were told to go to Harlow, which is a neighboring marginal seat, and that's traditional. That's happened for campaigns for the last 25 years, so they probably didn't expect to win it. But but here we are and he's in Parliament and he's 24, 24. And he was doing his he was a mature student because things went wrong a bit in his life early on. 00:33:17:13 - 00:33:33:11 And then and then he got his act together and he went to university I think at 21. And he was meant to be doing his university finals at the start of the campaign. I never actually check whether he bothered with his finals, but I suppose now he's an MP, he's not that bothered about what kind of degree he gets, but it might have been important if he’d lost 00:33:33:13 - 00:33:51:14 We talked a bit about that, the kind of command and control aspect of this and how Labour was directing its campaign very centrally, and there were a lot of criticisms of that. But if I'm with Morgan McSweeney, the leader of the Labour campaign, I might say, well, in the end, it worked. Look at the results. Well, yes and no. 00:33:51:15 - 00:34:08:20 I think that politically it's very, you know, it's very loyalist to start with. Anyway. There's hardly anybody on the left. I mean, there are the left wingers who were there before will carry on being there. But among the new MPs there's only about 4 or 5, you can say on the left, but 1 or 2 have crept through sort of unnoticed. 00:34:09:01 - 00:34:29:22 One of my favorite candidates, I've never met him, never spoke to, but it's just fun. It's Brian Leishman who is, professional golfer. he's PGA, you know, accredited a lot. I mean, he doesn't win tournaments very often, I don't think. But he's the professional golfer at Alloa Golf Club where he runs the shop and gives coaching lessons, and he's apparently on the left. 00:34:30:03 - 00:34:47:01 And then you've got to Lorraine Beavers in Blackpool North. There was talk that she might get dumped at the last moment that it didn't happen. Connor Naismith in Crewe and Nantwich and there's 1 or 2 others and that's about it. And you know, you know there isn't the variety of opinion there would have been in form of parliamentary parties. 00:34:47:03 - 00:35:08:07 And I think politically that is stirring up trouble. You do need a bit more challenge within your own party, you know, obviously they'll be pleased there won't be any great rebellions, at least not to start with. Although I think actually the planning stuff is bound to cause problems, because of course, a lot of these new Labour MPs, MPs, were places with lots of green belt, quite rural seats. 00:35:08:07 - 00:35:27:21 I mean, you know, Hexham now got a Labour MP and Macclesfield and they're going to be worried about planning stuff. So certainly kind of the Nimby vote no have. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. Exactly. That's one of the striking things. I mean there are loads of places that have never had Labour MPs before. You know, Worthing and Bournemouth both got, two MPs. 00:35:27:24 - 00:35:49:11 They've never had a Labour MP before. Basingstoke and Aldershot and Labour put masses of effort into that because of course, you know it's a military town. If they can say even in Aldershot they voted Labour. It's a way of saying the Corbyn years are behind us. We're all patriotic. We believe in defence and nuclear weapons and everything and, forget about the past. 00:35:49:15 - 00:36:20:02 But if the Corbyn years are behind Labour, Jeremy Corbyn is also behind Labour now sitting there as an independent MP. And this is one of the several examples of seats where kind of selection shenanigans and deselection and whatever cost Labour quite badly. The classic one is Chingford, where Iain Duncan Smith would probably have lost if there hadn't been the defence of the previous Labour candidate who then stood as an independent and split the vote more or less half and half with the official Labour candidate and Iain Duncan Smith sailed through the middle. 00:36:20:08 - 00:36:36:01 Yeah, I mean, you've got two, two things going on here, haven't you? But both really related, I think largely to Gaza. You've got things where Labour cocked it up basically in their efforts to get any dissent out of the way. And of course, Diane Abbott in the end, they had to back down on that. They were trying to get rid of her as well. 00:36:36:03 - 00:37:03:00 And then you've got sort of similar to that, which has also produced a crop of independent MPs. And those people have been standing on a on a fight for Gaza platform. And I think it's good that there is going to be more of a voice for Palestinians in the parliament, because I think that that had been sort of blocked out, actually, and particularly within the Labour Party because of Labour's concerns about the past, when there were huge problems about anti-Semitism and they overreacted. 00:37:03:00 - 00:37:21:06 I feel and I mean, Labour is in, you know, we only have to look at the figures for the decline in the Muslim vote, in the strongly Muslim seats. You know, how close they came to losing other seats as well, to see that this is a problem that Labour is going to have for a very long time. And of course, we saw it first of all in Rochdale, although now, you know, ironically, George Galloway has lost that seat. 00:37:21:06 - 00:37:38:17 But he's he is rather good at losing seats, although it's rather good at winning them in the first place. And so does this crop up in a by election somewhere in due course his and get his fifth constituency. See you mentioning earlier Michael about the military and we'll be focusing a lot on Aldershot. There are quite a few of the new MPs. 00:37:38:17 - 00:37:55:08 that have actually got a military background, including, I think two who've won the military cross. That's right. I don't know when the last time was. There were two more seats and I don't even know when the last time there was any MC in the House of Commons. Did Willie Whitelaw have the MC? I think he might have done. And obviously after the war there would have been quite a few. 00:37:55:14 - 00:38:18:17 But the two, Lincoln Jopp, who is the new Conservative MP for Spellthorne and he won his MC in Sierra Leone. He was there in 1997, I think, and there was a coup that he was saving some people's lives and was subject to an ambush and and ended up very badly, injured and had to have facial surgery. 00:38:18:19 - 00:38:36:23 He went through quite a lot of selection before he got it towards the end. And then the other one who got it at the last moment. It was one of these people imposed by the Labour National executive in the final few days. There’s a chap called Alistair Carns, who's the new MP for Selly Oak, and he won his MC for his time in Afghanistan. 00:38:37:00 - 00:38:59:17 But I think there's, you know, on the Labour side, there's at least a dozen veterans, but the number's gone up amongst the Lib Dems as well and amongst the Conservatives. And I sort of asked myself, well, why is this? I think it's actually quite obvious why it is. It's because the public regard people who've served in the armed forces as good types, patriotic, they've got a sense of duty, of public service. 00:38:59:19 - 00:39:15:07 They've served, they're good at getting things done on the whole. And actually, they've done their public service for not much pay. I mean, I was talking to a guy last week, he's just been elected. And I was saying, so how much did you earn in the Army? He said about 50,000. I said you're going into Parliament for, for more money. 00:39:15:07 - 00:39:37:15 Whereas actually most people who would be at that kind of level in other jobs might have to take a pay cut. And also I think will be very interesting. There's much more of a sense of camaraderie amongst these people. Anybody who served in the armed forces, they sort of stick together. So a military lobby emerged. Exactly. And I think that will become very interesting when it comes to questions about defence spending. 00:39:37:21 - 00:39:58:19 And if you have a group, I mean, Labour's encouraged this. And indeed there have been groups in each party and there's a cross-party group called Campaigns Force who's been advising and helping veterans and it's run by a former Conservative agent, and they've been advising and helping veterans, on where to go and how to go about it, because a lot of these people have no background in politics. 00:39:58:19 - 00:40:14:11 They don't know how it works. And so it's part has been a concerted effort, and particularly on the Labour side, because it's another way of saying we have change. And if they can't say we have changed very much in terms of policy, they've got to do it in other ways. And that's one of them. So Michael Crick, thanks very much indeed for joining us on the pod. 00:40:14:16 - 00:40:33:01 Thank you. Been a pleasure. Thanks, Michael. If you're enjoying the pod and think like Mark and I do that Parliament matters, why not join the Hansard Society? This year we celebrate our 80th anniversary, and throughout the year we'll have a number of special events to mark this important milestone. For as little as a cup of coffee each month, 00:40:33:03 - 00:40:49:04 you can join us and follow in the footsteps of our first members, Winston Churchill and Clement Attlee. And if you're enjoying the issues that we're talking about on the pod, you'll also be getting our special members only Despatch Box newsletter each week when we bring together the best news and stories about parliaments here in the UK and around the world. 00:40:49:09 - 00:41:10:24 You can join by going to HansardSociety.org.uk/membership. And we're back. And Ruth, we've got some more questions from listeners. Yeah. So we've got one question about what happens to new governments. Are they prone to making mistakes when the party in question has been out of power for many years, as Labour has been? 00:41:11:01 - 00:41:30:13 Perhaps, for example, the things they forget to do. Do they underestimate the importance of things, the difficulty of things getting things done? Or perhaps more broadly, what parties struggle with most when transitioning from long term opposition to being in government? Well, the civil service is, of course, there to remind them about any vital administrative steps that they might have to take. 00:41:30:14 - 00:42:02:24 I mean, sometimes you hear stories that in appointing junior ministers, someone's critical ally gets forgotten and the post has to be invented for them, or someone confuses someone with a similar name and the wrong person gets appointed to a job. Various things like that can happen. But I think the longer term prospect for a new incoming government, especially one that's been out of power for quite a while, is that the skills that you need to be an opposition figure and to campaign are quite different from the skill set that you need in government. 00:42:03:00 - 00:42:38:08 So I'm expecting sort of a year in or so, maybe a bit of a shake out of people who may have been great campaigners and who may be fabulous on the stump, but who are not quite so hot when presented with a spreadsheet and lots of difficult choices and difficult analysis to do. So I think there may be a bit of a shake out of Sir Keir Starmer's cabinet and at more junior ministerial levels when that is identified, and I suspect that that is going to be one of the functions of Sue Gray, the Prime Minister's chief of staff, is to sort of performance monitor and eventually to performance manage. 00:42:38:10 - 00:42:56:15 And of course, that's one of the things that the opposition should have their eye on over the course of the next year to 18 months is who is the weakest link. Well, who's the minister that you ought to be targeting as an opposition and focusing on with a view in the House of Commons to causing them real problems, because there will be somebody who stands out as not performing terribly well. 00:42:56:15 - 00:43:16:18 Then you pour all your attention on them with a view to trying to get a scalp in the first 18 months or so. I would have thought that the most likely target for Conservative attack in the early stages, at least, will be the Home Secretary Yvette Cooper because immigration is going to be such a salient issue for the opposition. 00:43:16:20 - 00:43:36:05 Keir Starmer’s pretty much first act as prime minister was to dump the Rwanda policy, and the Conservatives had repeatedly during the election said that they haven't really got an alternative. They've just got a little bit of rhetoric about being nicer to the French, and so they will want to try and hammer on that issue and try and make that charge stick. 00:43:36:07 - 00:43:57:02 And if Yvette Cooper is hit with large numbers of small boats coming across the channel during the summer, then the government may be in trouble. That's one of the areas that is really salient in an awful lot of those red wall seats that Labour's won back. And so if Labour is seen to be failing on that area, electoral dynamite, it lies ahead. 00:43:57:03 - 00:44:25:21 Yeah. Well, talking about parties focusing on the immigration question, we've had another question from a listener and doesn't give their name again. An anonymous. And this is about reform. So they ask reform has been set up as a limited company. Why and what are the implications politically, economically and for accountability. So this is Nigel Farage’s operation. It's set up and registered with the Electoral Commission as a company, whereas most political parties have got a different governance model. 00:44:25:23 - 00:44:54:05 Nigel Farage is the majority shareholder in the company. They don't have members in the way that Labour and the Conservatives and the Lib Dems, for example, do. It's certainly a novel structure, at least in the in the British context. I suppose there are several reasons why it may be like that. From the point of view of the Reform Party leadership, that you don't have to fiddle around with endless discussions at the national executive and, you know, struggle with unwelcome decisions of your party conference or anything like that. 00:44:54:11 - 00:45:16:06 This is all much command and control is a command and control structure. Exactly. So. And it can turn on a sixpence. And I think Nigel Farage rather likes the ability to do that. And this is a company that he was involved in setting up. This is a company that gives him more or less complete power. And you don't have boring questions about local parties wanting to select someone, you don't want to be the candidate or anything like that. 00:45:16:08 - 00:45:35:22 Cannot work for a party that's in Parliament that wants large numbers of activists. I mean, one of the reasons that people join the political parties and have a bit of influence over it and grassroots rank and file members don't tend to have that much sway over their leadership, but they have a bit in most parties. But not, as it turns out, in reform. 00:45:35:23 - 00:46:02:22 Yeah, at least not at the moment. They're talking about reforming themselves. Reform to reform. Yeah. And there's a question that once you're in Parliament, you know, once you're in the parliamentary structures, Nigel Farage, he's one of five reform MPs. So, you know, is it the case that him, Richard Tice being the other major shareholder, effectively the number two in the party, but the other three MPs, are they just going to be, you know, accept and go along with whatever is is agreed. 00:46:02:22 - 00:46:22:17 They've got their own constituencies and their own political interests. Now to nurse Nigel Farage, I think it's fair to say has got a background, a history of sometimes falling out with colleagues in political parties, Ukip, the Brexit Party, where they don't agree with him or where he wants to, you know, take them in a different direction. So it'll be interesting to see how that all works out. 00:46:22:22 - 00:46:44:16 And certainly they'll have to manage a group now. And that's something that they really had to do before. I mean, once upon a time there's a Ukip group of two, two close political allies who both defected from the Conservative Party in the shape of Douglas Carswell and Mark Reckless back in the day. But Nigel Farage has never been particularly involved in that side of things before, and will have to be now. 00:46:44:17 - 00:47:08:24 They've got, you know, five people. It's not a large group. It's certainly not big enough to run a sort of full spectrum opposition operation, but it's big enough for there to be divergent views and pressures. The other thing, it's going to be different for them having five MPs if they're in receipt of public money. They're going to get short money, which is the money that's granted to parliamentary parties based on a calculation of how many seats they got and how many votes they got. 00:47:09:03 - 00:47:25:05 Since they got an awful lot of votes, they get a fair amount of money from that. They will and they will have to account for that properly. They will have to, you know, have full set of accounts for it all. They'll have to be spending it on appropriate things. And that will introduce a degree of accountability and transparency to their operations. 00:47:25:05 - 00:47:41:02 Or they'll lose out. The money will go. And not to mention the fact that, of course, they'll have to be personal declarations of financial interests as well. And that's something that, you know, can sometimes deter quite a lot of people from coming into politics. But they're there now, so they'll have to do it. Yeah. And that will apply to all the new MPs that are coming in. 00:47:41:02 - 00:48:01:19 They will have to record both their own and their staffs register of financial interests, and that will be read with great interest by the entire Westminster press corps in due course. Well, I'm well, I think we're nearly there. But before we go, I just wanted to say a few words, if I can, about the Hansard Society’s Mock Elections program that we've run during this general election campaign. 00:48:01:21 - 00:48:23:17 Mock elections is a project for effectively running elections in schools, all age groups. And, over the course of the last few weeks, we've had, well, several hundred schools taking part across the country. Just under 40,000 students have participated. And we got the results in, very much on Thursday evening, as the national results were coming through. 00:48:23:17 - 00:48:48:09 So they were coming in to Hansard Society headquarters for the mock elections and young people across the country, they put Labour in first place with 27% of the votes, significantly below the national share at the general election. But I thought was interesting about the results, as we compiled them, was that the Green Party came second with 23% and the Reform Party third with just under 19%. 00:48:48:09 - 00:49:10:20 So showing the sort of divergent interests of young people. And what sort of age groups are we talking about here? Predominantly 11 to 17. Quite a lot of the 18 year olds, of course, because of the timing, quite a lot of the 18 year olds have done their A-levels and gone so predominantly 11 to 17. But even some primary schools took part, but some of them invented their own parties and we haven't included those results. 00:49:10:22 - 00:49:34:23 So Labour, the green and the Reform parties are all dominating the vote. But Conservative Party and we talk about this at the national picture, the Conservative Party, you know, not having much support amongst young people, amongst voters, 18 to 24. Well, amongst, school students, less than 1 in 10 supported them in the mock elections program. Did Ed Davey’s antics during the campaign perhaps get a bit of admiration from the effect? 00:49:35:01 - 00:49:53:18 They got just under 13%, so made a mark, but considerably behind Reform and the Greens. Yeah, and more or less in line with their national share. Yeah. So it was fascinating to watch. I mean, you know, you can look on social media at what the schools have done, you know using the mock elections hashtag. They put, you know, huge amount of effort into some of these campaigns. 00:49:53:18 - 00:50:12:23 And, you know, they ran hustings, they had party political broadcasts. Some of them were doing opinion polls. Some of them were just single class elections, some of them the whole school elections. A real tremendous effort, particularly for the staff. I think when the schools, it's a difficult time of year coming up to the school holidays. They've got exams at this time. 00:50:13:00 - 00:50:32:02 But really, really tremendous effort. And some of the things that the kids have been up to were very impressive and sometimes better than what we got from the national leadership in the general action campaign. Not not a high bar, but perhaps you perhaps a foretaste of what will happen if the government does go ahead with its stated intention of bringing in votes at 16. 00:50:32:02 - 00:50:49:13 We'll have to wait and see. We'll see. Right, Mark? I think we'll leave it there. Thanks for out. And we'll see you next week. And we'll be back to preview the ceremony of the state opening of Parliament and the King's Speech. Join us then. See you then. 00:50:49:15 - 00:51:07:14 Well, that's all from us for this week's episode of Parliament Matters. Please hit the Follow or Subscribe button in your podcast app to get the next episode. As soon as it lands, and help us to make the podcast better by leaving a rating or review on Apple or Spotify and sharing your feedback. Our producer tells us it's important for the algorithm to give the show a boost. 00:51:07:20 - 00:51:33:00 Mark, tell us more about the algorithm. What do I know about algorithms? I write my scripts with a quill pen on vellum and then send it in by carrier pigeon. Well, before we go, a quick reminder also that you can send us your questions on all things Parliament by visiting Hansardsociety.org.uk/pmuq. We'll be discussing them in future episodes, including our special Urgent Questions editions dedicated to what you want to know about Parliament. 00:51:33:04 - 00:51:51:01 And you can find us across social media @HansardSociety, to get more content related to the show and the wider work of the society. 00:51:52:24 - 00:52:09:03 Parliament Matters is produced by the Hansard Society and supported by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust. For more information, visit HansardSociety.org.uk/PM or find us on social media @HansardSociety.

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