Speeches

A hallowed tradition

Earlier this year a Committee of the House of Lords decided - controversially - to end the centuries-old practice of printing Acts of Parliament on vellum. In April the House of Commons voted in favour of retaining vellum, and received an offer of financial help from the government.

Is the presumption of innocence in danger?

“Innocent until proved guilty”: this is one of the cornerstones of our legal system. In a speech in the Lords on June 30, Alistair Lexden suggested that this great principle might be in danger.

History's raw material

Government documents now become available to historians and others for research purposes after twenty years rather than thirty which was the case until 2013. A 20-year rule has replaced the original 30-year rule introduced in the 1970s.

Scrutiny in detail

Parliament passes into law several thousand measures, known as statutory instruments or Orders in Council, each year. Many of them deal with technical, often rather abstruse matters.

Millions unregistered to vote

Alistair Lexden asked the final oral question of the first Session of the current Parliament in the Lords on May 12 (a new Session, opened by the Queen, begins on May 18). His question drew attention to the estimated 7.5 million eligible voters missing from the electoral register.

Anthony Eden: A man of peace

Anthony Eden has not enjoyed a high reputation among the Prime Ministers of this country. On May 10 Alistair Lexden considered his career and achievements afresh in a lecture which he delivered at Speaker’s House, chaired by The Speaker.

Westminster and devolution

Discussions take place between the government and the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland before legislation is introduced in Parliament that affects any of them. That is entirely right.

Polish A-level secured

On January 18, Alistair Lexden asked the government whether it intended to ensure that Polish would continue to be available as an A-level subject.

A question of terminology

On April 21 the Committee stage of the Northern Ireland (Stormont Agreement and Implementation Plan Bill) took place in the Lords. Alistair Lexden supported an amendment designed to bring greater pressure to bear on paramilitary organisations which are still doing grave damage in Northern Ireland.

Greater political stability in Northern Ireland

On 12 April the Northern Ireland (Stormont Agreement and Implementation Plan) Bill had its Second Reading in the Lords. The Bill contains important provisions to improve both security and the system of devolved government in the Province.