Edward Timpson, newly-elected MP for Crewe & Nantwich (you may have heard about the by-election!), made his maiden speech yesterday:
"Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker, for allowing me to make what is my maiden speech.
I wish to speak briefly on the Bill before the House, but before doing so, I want to pay tribute to my predecessor. For 34 years, Gwyneth Dunwoody served Crewe, from 1974 until 1983, and thereafter Crewe and Nantwich, with unwavering dedication and distinction. The longest-serving female Member of Parliament, Gwyneth Dunwoody was not only a truly great parliamentarian, but a uniquely formidable fighter. She stood up and fought for all her constituents and was steadfast in her belief in, and defence of, the independence of this House.
Gwyneth Dunwoody had a clear sense of what an MP is for and never wavered from her core beliefs. I am sure that hon. Members from all parties will agree that her enduring spirit, acerbic wit and unstinting passion for the Parliament and the people she served will for ever remain within the fabric of this House. We all owe her a great debt. As it is a privilege and honour to follow in her footsteps, so it is a privilege and honour to represent the good people of Crewe and Nantwich. I make known my gratitude to them for sending me here and I hope that I can repay their trust.
In the normal course of events, I would now seize the opportunity to take the House on a journey across my constituency. However, the events of my election were anything but normal. Many, if not all, hon. Members have already had the great pleasure of having visited Crewe and Nantwich in the last six weeks—most, I trust, of their own volition. Some Members had the undoubted advantage of moving into my constituency for the duration of the by-election, a worthy experience that I am sure will remain with them. Nevertheless, I ask the House to allow me a few moments to remind them of its many and varied qualities. What I hope they found was a place blessed with a strong and proud community and a deep and diverse heritage, together with people of frank honesty and open decency, for certainly that is true."