New Forest East


Dr Julian Lewis: I am sorry to interrupt my hon. Friend [Charles Walker] when he is in full flow, but may I just point out two things? First, I come from an immigrant family – I am third generation – and the thing that made it work was that my ancestors came to this country because they admired it and wanted to be part of it, to learn the language and to integrate. That is an essential component to which he might give some attention. The second thing is that if we were unwise enough to have changed the voting system, we might have BNP MPs in this place right now.

[Mr Walker: My hon. Friend makes two powerful points. Of course we want to enable people to integrate into our wonderful society. It has many benefits-freedom of association; freedom to hang out with who we want to hang out with; freedom to marry who we want to marry; freedom to go to a polling station and vote for the person who we want to represent us, for better or for worse-so I agree with him: there are many, many things that need to be done.]

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Dr Lewis: I intend this to be an intervention rather than a subsequent speech. Before my hon. Friend [Charles Walker] sits down, may I say that should he be successful in becoming a vice-chairman of the 1922 Committee – a matter that I know he is far too modest to raise himself on the Floor of the House; it is being voted on tomorrow – I am sure that he will put into practice the very message that he is preaching to us tonight.