Caroline Lucas praises Brighton's independent spirit in maiden speech

Posted On 28 May 2010 at 7:59 am

Brighton Pavilion’s new MP Caroline Lucas made her maiden speech in parliament yesterday, saying she was proud to represent such an independently-minded constituency

She started by highlighting the fact she was making her party’s first parliamentary speech, and likened herself to the first Independent Labour MP Keir Hardie, who caused an outcry when he appeared in a tweed suit in 1892 with his progressive ideals.

She then moved on to speak about Brighton Pavilion itself, after thanking the outgoing MP David Lepper for his hard work.

She said: “Brighton has always had a tradition of independence – of doing things differently. It has an entrepreneurial spirit, making the best of things whatever the circumstances, and enjoying being ahead of the curve.

“We see this in the numbers of small businesses and freelancers within the constituency, and in the way in which diversity is not just tolerated, or respected, but positively welcomed and valued.

“You have to work quite hard to be a ‘local character’ in Brighton.”

Click here to read the whole speech on Ms Lucas’s website.

Meanwhile Simon Kirby, Brighton Kemptown’s new Conservative MP, tabled his first Parliamentary Question, asking the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Vince Cable MP, what steps he is taking to ensure that student loans are not delayed in being sent to their recipients.

Mr Kirby said: “I have tabled my first Oral Question, to be answered in the Chamber of the House of Commons, and if it is successful in the ballot, I can follow up my initial Question with a Supplementary Question.

I wanted to draw attention to the fact that I have received representations that under the previous Government the process was very slow in dispatching student loans to local students. Students need that money to live on and pay their tuition and delays are not acceptable. If my Question is not selected for answer, then I shall follow up this matter with the Minister.”

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