Lord Fowler to Step Down as Lord Speaker in April

Lord Fowler’s term was set to end in September, however Guido is told that for organisational reasons the Lord Speaker will be standing down five months earlier. Stating that the next Lord Speaker will oversee a great deal of reform and should properly be there for the genesis of the structure of that reform, Fowler announced it was time for him to leave. He has spent four and a half years in the role.

Fowler also told the House that he has been in Parliament “for over half a century”, though never as a truly independent member of either the Commons or the Lords – having been unable to speak his mind of the issues of the day.

“I am only 83 and unless I am careful I will not have time to start my next career.”

Issues Fowler will be speaking out on in his new independent minded backbench career include the size of the House, and campaigning on HIV/AIDS and the “modern evils” that perpetuate it. Best of luck…

mdi-timer 25 February 2021 @ 12:36 25 Feb 2021 @ 12:36 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Lord Speaker Slams New Appointments, Which Take Size of Lords Over 830

The Lord Speaker Lord Fowler has released a barnstorming statement, criticising the Prime Minister for having appointed a whopping 52 new peers in one year. Boris’s new appointments will take the House of Lords to over 830 members, almost 200 more than the Commons and well over the 600 number recommended by the Burns committee. Could the Lord Speaker be in a Fowler mood?

“Mr Johnson has added 16 to his list of appointments bringing the total for the year up to 52 new peers over two lists. This list will bring the total in the House of Lords to over 830 – almost 200 more than the House of Commons.”

Lord Fowler went on to say it added “insult to injury” to make these appointments when the House was not sitting. Since becoming PM, Boris has presided over 76 new peers being added to the Lords (24 of which were from Theresa May’s resignation honours list). Guido’s chart puts that into perspective:

Read his fiery statement in full below:

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mdi-timer 22 December 2020 @ 14:51 22 Dec 2020 @ 14:51 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Lord Speaker First Parliamentarian Vaccinated

As Guido reported would happen earlier today, Lord Fowler nipped out of the Chamber this afternoon became the first politician in the world, we know of, to have received his first approved vaccine shot. He will need another one in a few weeks time to be fully protected. Congratulations!

UPDATE: Am told Lord Winston was vaccinated yesterday afternoon. So the Lord Speaker was not the first…

mdi-timer 17 December 2020 @ 17:36 17 Dec 2020 @ 17:36 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
WATCH: Lord Speaker Announces He is Temporarily Leaving the Chamber to Receive a Vaccine

Lord Fowler has announced that during Oral Questions today he will have to leave the Woolsack and hand over to the Senior Deputy Speaker.

“The reason is that I have been called in to receive a coronavirus vaccination. There are perhaps some advantages to being 82 going on to 83 and it is not an appointment I wish to miss.”

Lord Fowler will be to Guido’s knowledge the first politician in the world to receive an approved vaccine. Apt, for a longstanding former Health Secretary who contended with the novel viral AIDS epidemic in the 1980s…

mdi-timer 17 December 2020 @ 12:22 17 Dec 2020 @ 12:22 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Lords Bars to Remain Open for Alcohol

An email sent from the Lord Speaker to members of the House of Lords yesterday admits they will not be subjected to Lindsay Hoyle’s prohibition, with Peers being given express permission to continue enjoying a glass of wine or beer in the Lord’s dining room. No Tiers for Peers…

The email from Lord Fowler, entitled “Following the rules”, noted last week’s row over the sale of alcohol in parliament following London’s upgrading to Covid tier 2, though stated the upper chamber will be interpreting the rules differently to Sir Lindsay:

“The advice of Public Health England is quite clear. We can remain open but in a ‘Covid-secure’ manner. So in House of Lords terms this means that the very long table in the Dining Room can operate with peers two metres apart and sitting singly is the guide…”

“But what about alcohol? The rules do not exclude a glass of wine or a glass of beer… If we go to Tier 3 then we will have another look.” 

Given one of the express rules of Tier 3, unlike Tier 2, is an automatic closure of hospitality, Guido feels “have another look” is a weak commitment to following the law…

mdi-timer 19 October 2020 @ 09:41 19 Oct 2020 @ 09:41 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Lord Speaker Scathing of Government’s “Gesture Politics” Over Lords Re-Location

In an email sent to Peers last night, the Lord Speaker has set out a strident position against Cumming’s the government’s floated plan to move the House of Lords to York. Titled ‘The Ivory Coast Option’ (as of the 79 countries in the world with bicameral legislatures, just the Ivory Coast has an upper house (its recently established senate) in a separate city to the lower house), Lord Fowler makes the case that this is a less than ideal arrangement. He also pointedly points out that it is not the Government’s decision to make…

The location of the House is a matter for the House and the views of Parliamentarians will not simply have to be “considered”.

Read his scathing and entertaining email in full below…

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mdi-timer 20 July 2020 @ 11:10 20 Jul 2020 @ 11:10 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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