Page last updated at 14:06 GMT, Thursday, 9 October 2008 15:06 UK
Maiden Speech

The first occasion on which a new member of the Commons or Lords rises to speak is known as a maiden speech.

By convention, that member is called ahead of other MPs who indicate their wish to speak at the same time.

A maiden speech is normally uncontroversial and fairly short, containing a tribute to the MP's predecessor and complimentary remarks about the new member's constituency - or about the work of the Lords.

It is also the custom for other members to listen to a maiden speech without interruption and for those speaking subsequently, from whichever part of the House, to praise the new member on their first contribution.




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