MP’s marathon speech sinks bill

The Right Honourable Andrew Dismore, Labour Member of Parliament for Henmon, has managed to “talk out” the Criminal Law (Amendment) (Protection of Property) Bill by delivering a mammoth speech lasting a grand total of 197 minutes. This practice, often known as filibustering, involves debating a motion or proceedings on a bill up until the “moment of interruption” (the time at which the main business of the Commons day ends), when the business is lost or postponed. In other words, Dismore talked the bill out of the Commons by using up all the time available to debate it, and as such the bill now stands no chance of becoming law.

In delivering such a lengthy speech, Dismore also broke his own previous record for the longest Commons oration this century, which previously stood at 181 minutes. He still fell some way short of the six hour speech delivered by Henry Brougham in 1828 though, and even further behind the eleven hour marathon of John Golding on the Telecommunications Bill in 1983 - although the latter speech was delivered at a standing committee as opposed to in the Commons chamber, and therefore the MP was allowed breaks for meals.