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Dot Commons

Galloway objects to noble John

Galloway objects to noble John

Yesterday's debate on constituency boundaries featured a well-received speech by John Thurso, Lib Dem MP for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross. He is also a Viscount and former member of the Lords. Several Tories referred to him as "my noble friend", which prompted a point of order from Kevin Brennan. "Can you clarify whether or not there are any noble Members in this House? Or are we just all common?" he asked. Mr Speaker merely replied that "All right hon. and hon. Members in this Chamber are equal." George Galloway raised the issue again today after PMQs. He asked if that form of address was valid. Mr Speaker said it is possible to be both "noble" and an MP, and that forms of address that are still valid and their use "not a matter of order but of taste". Other arcane terms that are still valid are "honourable and learned" for QCs and "honourable and gallant" for MPs who are serving or have served in the armed forces.