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Old 09-26-2019, 08:02 AM
psychonaut is offline
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Has Theresa May spoken in Parliament since leaving office?


Back when I lived in London, I occasionally sat in the visitors' gallery of the Houses of Commons and Lords, and due to recent events, I've been watching a lot of Commons sittings online. It occurs to me that I haven't seen or heard from Theresa May since she resigned as prime minister. But I assume that she continues to attend sittings as an MP, since newspapers like The Guardian regularly publish breakdowns of Commons votes by MP in which her own votes are recorded. Has May ever spoken in the House of Commons during Johnson's premiership? I can well imagine that a recently retired prime minister might want to avoid the spotlight for a time, so as to avoid the appearance of encroaching on the new leadership, but on the other hand it would be a dereliction of duty to her constituents if she did not occasionally speak in defence of their interests.

How has it been for other former prime ministers who continued to sit as backbench MPs? How long did they wait before their first post-retirement speech?

Last edited by psychonaut; 09-26-2019 at 08:03 AM.
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Old 09-26-2019, 09:13 AM
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No. But then, as you might have noticed, Parliament has sat on only a handful of days under her successor. Anyway, as you anticipated, ex-PMs tend to keep a low profile immediately after stepping down.
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Old 09-26-2019, 10:52 AM
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What I don't get is why she thinks she was going to be able to stick around after remain/exit anyway.
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Old 09-26-2019, 01:16 PM
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In the dim and distant recesses of my mind, I think there's a memory that it's a courtesy for an ex-PM not to upstage a successor from their own party by making their presence felt in the Commons. (But rumours did abound that "friends of Margaret Thatcher" did refer to John Major's government as the B-team).

She has been seen acting as a dutiful constituency MP:

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/u...-a9096406.html

(Makes a change from the almost weekly photos of her going to church on a Sunday)
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Old 09-26-2019, 01:28 PM
Dewey Finn is offline
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That article includes a photo of her with a local councilor examining a pothole that's supposed to get repaired within 24 hours. It looks from the photo to be really pathetic compared to the ones I've seen here in the US. It's less than ten inches across and only a couple of inches deep. The ones I've seen in the US are larger and at least twice as deep and they don't get repaired for weeks or months. None of this 24-hour turnaround time.
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Old 09-26-2019, 03:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PatrickLondon View Post
In the dim and distant recesses of my mind, I think there's a memory that it's a courtesy for an ex-PM not to upstage a successor from their own party by making their presence felt in the Commons.
Unless you are Edward Heath, who sat as an ex-PM backbencher from 1975 - 2001, and who spent 1975 - 1990 doing little other than glaring and sniping at his successor Margaret Thatcher.
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Old 09-27-2019, 05:18 AM
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Unless you are Edward Heath, .
"Which, thank the Lord, I'm not, sir"

I stand corrected.

As for potholes, you'd be surprised at what local grievances get picked up in the name of "community politics". In that particular case, she was promoting her party colleagues in charge of their local council, and their new plan for dealing with such issues. The message is "With a Tory council, the potholes are smaller and fixed quicker". I won't go into the wider issue of local government finance and social services under her party's government, but it's a bit like fiddling while Rome burns.

If you want some fine examples of pointing and other poses in high dudgeon, try the Facebook group "Angry People in Local Newspapers"
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Old 09-27-2019, 07:53 AM
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Unless you are Edward Heath, who sat as an ex-PM backbencher from 1975 - 2001, and who spent 1975 - 1990 doing little other than glaring and sniping at his successor Margaret Thatcher.
Tony Abbot, PM of Australia between 2013-2015 is the poster child for ex-prime ministers who sit on the back bench like toxic bad smells, undermining their successors from the same party and actively working to get themselves back in the saddle.
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Old 10-19-2019, 08:23 AM
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Well, she's speaking right now in support of Johnson's deal at this extraordinary Saturday sitting. I suppose this might be the first time.
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Old 10-20-2019, 04:36 PM
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Apparently she's spoken twice before in minor debates, so that's three times in total.
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Old 10-21-2019, 05:20 AM
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I'm not sure that I would describe the debates on the Queen's Speech and the Domestic Abuse Bill as 'minor'.

When she spoke in the latter on 2 October, she began by specifically noting that it was the first time she had spoken in the Chamber since her resignation.
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Old 10-21-2019, 02:38 PM
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Slight off topic, but here’s Margaret Thatcher speaking for the first time since she was ousted and Major took over

https://youtu.be/q8GjmQYRh14
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