Disabled crossbench peer Lady Campbell of Surbiton becomes first person in 305 years to be allowed to speak in the House of Lords with the aid of a personal assistant
Wednesday 14 November 2012
A member of the House of Lords made parliamentary history by becoming the first person in 305 years to be allowed to speak with the aid of a personal assistant.
Lady Campbell of Surbiton, a crossbench peer, was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy as a baby and relies on a ventilator to breathe. She is only able to speak for a few minutes without needing time for recovery.
Speaking without the aid of an assistant during the second reading debate on the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill, she said: “My Lords, I am delighted to return to the Chamber today after a long period of illness. I am even more delighted to be accompanied by my assistant,” going on to describe the overruling of Standing Order 12 as “equality in action”. Her assistant then took over as she rested, before Lady Campbell herself closed her arguments.
The Order dates from 1707, and states: “When the House is sitting, no person shall be on the floor of the House except Lords of Parliament.” But in July this year, it was agreed that a “reasonable adjustment” could be made in Lady Campbell’s case.
“It is not easy to overturn these ancient standing orders,” she said at the time. “It is a part of the ritual and tradition of the House of Lords. I take my hat off to this committee and my fellow peers. There was not one objection.”
Before, she had to rely on fellow disabled peers including Baroness Wilkins and Baroness Grey-Thompson to finish speeches on her behalf.
International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
Singapore sting: Sky-high prices are pushing locals to the edge of affordability
International Women’s Day: 'When a man gives his opinion, he's a man. When a woman gives her opinion, she's a bitch' - feminist quotes from female icons to inspire you
International Women's Day 2014: Cherie Blair - ‘Today is a chance to see how far we still have to go’
Dead woman's body found sitting in a car after six years after direct debits ran $54,000 bank account dry
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Ukraine crisis: Russia dismisses '3am ultimatum' as 'total nonsense'
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
White people become less racist just by moving to more diverse areas, study finds
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
- 1 International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
- 2 Orgasm machine to deliver climax at the push of a button
- 3 Singapore sting: Sky-high prices are pushing locals to the edge of affordability
- 4 Liam Neeson turned down James Bond role because late wife Natasha Richardson said she wouldn't marry him if he took it
- 5 Dead woman's body found sitting in a car after six years after direct debits ran $54,000 bank account dry
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: A small but growing chain of boutique hot...
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: The company works with Tier 1 FTSE 100 Ba...
£45 - 60k Per Annum: Charter Selection: Highly profitable leisure brand, marke...
£30000 - £50000 per annum + Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: Residenti...