Thursday, 27 May 2010

Liam Fox praises maiden speech of MP who has been here for five years

Oh dear. New defence secretary Liam Fox is obviously a very busy man but last night he got in a bit of a muddle about which MPs were new and which weren’t.

Winding up the defence and foreign affairs debate on the Queens Speech, he praised Plymouth Moor View Labour MP Alison Seabeck for her “incredibly informed maiden speech, albeit a highly political one”.

Except Ms Seabeck was elected in May 2005. And in the last five years has probably spoken on defence more than any other issue in the Commons, often with Mr Fox sitting across the chamber from her.

“It was not my maiden speech,” she insisted, clearly a bit put out.

He apologised: “In any case, she made an incredibly informed speech that I thoroughly enjoyed.”

Got out of that one… just.

In her not-maiden speech, Ms Seabeck boasted how she and ex-Labour MP Linda Gilroy (defeated in this year’s election) had “lobbied very hard” to raise awareness of Plymouth’s defence industry in government.

She might also start lobbying to raise awareness of Plymouth’s MPs too.

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