This evening, as Parliament prepares to be dissolved ahead of a winter election campaign, MPs gathered in the Commons Chamber to hear the valedictory speeches of members who have made the decision to retire.
Among their number was the Labour MP Kate Hoey, who is leaving her Vauxhall constituency after 30 years. Although the MP had a ropey start to her speech, when she mistakenly thought that the Tory MP Ed Vaizey was standing down, Hoey soon hit her stride. In her speech, she hit out at the outgoing Speaker John Bercow (who she said had not showed enough kindness to MPs), and advised her colleagues not to do away with all the traditions of Parliament, arguing that ‘Practically every tradition in this House has been introduced over the years for a reason.’
She ended by thanking all the staff in the Commons and her own office, before adding:
‘I won’t miss many of my party political activists, I have to say, but I will miss my constituents and my community organisers, and the people who really wanted to work with me to make Vauxhall a better place. And the one thing I said when I came in here: that my country will always come before my party, and it still does.’
Watch the speech here: