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.

More from BBC Democracy Live
Compare who does what across the UK and Europe
Our A-Z of words used in the business of politics
Discover what BBC Democracy Live has to offer you


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific