LABOUR PARTY  MARGARET BECKETT – 8 July 1999

Dr Julian Lewis: May I endorse the remarks of my hon. Friends the Members for New Forest, West (Desmond Swayne) and for Buckingham (John Bercow)? There are many on the Opposition Benches who appreciate the professional, competent and courteous way in which the right hon. Lady [Leader of the House Margaret Beckett] discharges her present duties. We are well aware of the way in which some members of the Labour party go about internal party business, and we sincerely hope that she does not suffer the fate of the right hon. Member for South Shields (Dr Clark), who was subjected to a similar campaign.

On a lighter note, may we have a debate next week on the application of the Government's third way to the public services? Such a debate could obviously be opened by the Prime Minister and wound up by the Deputy Prime Minister – that is, if the Deputy Prime Minister has not wound up the Prime Minister too much already and if the Prime Minister is not too busy running scarred.