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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 June, 2005, 10:44 GMT 11:44 UK
Wales@Westminster weblog


It's Wales@Westminster weblog, BBC Wales' Parliamentary correspondent David Cornock's diary on political life.

Thursday 23 June

Lowering the toon?

posted by David | 1145 BST |

Life as a newly-elected MP can be confusing enough. It gets worse when you arrive at Westminster to find there's already someone there of the same name.

David Davies was elected MP for Monmouth last month. He took his seat amid fevered speculation about the leadership prospects of his near namesake David Davis, the shadow home secretary.

Top Cat (tm) &  Hanna-Barbera
Old favourite: Top Cat currently airs on the Boomerang channel

"I have been getting people ringing me up out of the blue urging me to stand for the leadership and telling me to stand. I assume some of them are for the other David Davis.

"I had an invitation to visit Gibraltar. I dutifully told them I was the MP for Monmouth and not the shadow home secretary and they withdrew the invitation."

To avoid confusion, the Welsh David Davies took to using his middle initials, becoming known as David T.C. Davies.

All went swimmingly, until he was called by the speaker during questions to Tony Blair.

"I got up to ask the prime minister a question, feeling slightly nervous in a packed House and 300 Labour MPs started singing Top Cat, which is a bit off-putting, so I think we are going to have to find some other way... they don't seem to have got bored with it yet."

David Davies
David Davies feels the singing detracts from the seriousness of the House.

The nickname stuck. Welsh Secretary Peter Hain sang to him in the Commons. "T.C. is Top Cat. As the ditty goes. "Top Cat, the indisputable leader of the gang . . . Yes, he's the chief, he's the king, but above everything, He's the most tip-top, top cat." He has my vote in a bid for the leadership of the Tory party."

Now "Top Cat MP" has asked Speaker Michael Martin to ask if he can change his name again.

"I have written to the speaker to say that the amusement at my initials might be detracting from the seriousness of the House. I wonder if he might consider calling me as David Davies (Monmouth). I am not sure whether he is going to do that or not."

Mr Davies is still waiting for a response. Others are asking this question: "If David Davies is Top Cat, does this make the Speaker Officer Dibble?"


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