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21 November 1989: First Commons speech on TV


House of Commons

Television cameras were allowed to film proceedings in the Commons for the first time, and Conservative MP Ian Gow was selected to make the first speech.

The occasion was the state opening of Parliament, when the Queen unveils details of the government's legislative plans for the year ahead from the throne in the Lords.

Before MPs debate the contents of the Queen's Speech, it is traditional for two MPs to "propose a loyal address" to the Queen - this tends to be a light-hearted affair, a few jokes and a little humorous political point-scoring perhaps, but not much discussion of policy.

Ahead of Mr Gow's speech, Bob Cryer, the Labour MP for Bradford South, had made a brief point of order on the subject of access to the House, thereby denying Mr Gow the accolade of being the first MP (aside from the Speaker) to speak in the Commons on TV.

This footage is an extract from the BBC's coverage of the occasion, featuring commentary by David Dimbleby.

Mr Gow was killed in July 1990 by a bomb planted at his home in Sussex by the IRA.

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