'LAUGHTER AS ADDRESSES PRIVACY CAMPAIGNER CONGRATULATES CHIEF JUSTICE'

By Emily Ashton

Press Association – 8 July 2008

The new Lord Chief Justice was today congratulated on his promotion by the Tory frontbencher who spearheaded the campaign to keep MPs' home addresses private. Sir Igor Judge was one of the High Court judges who ruled in May that they should be published.

Shadow Defence Minister Julian Lewis, speaking from the backbenches, said the promotion demonstrated that "one silly mistake needn't wreck a promising professional career".

Despite the court ruling, MPs have been granted a vote in the Commons before the summer recess on whether they should be allowed to keep their addresses secret. Mr Lewis believes publication would needlessly threaten the personal security of MPs and their families.

Raising a point of order in the Commons, Mr Lewis demanded:

"Is there any way within the rules that I can convey the congratulations of the House to Sir Igor Judge who has just been appointed Lord Chief Justice?

"Sir Igor was one of the judges that decided that MPs' home addresses should be made publicly available.

"Doesn't this promotion illustrate that one silly mistake needn't wreck a promising professional career?"

Speaker Michael Martin said:

"I think you are trying to draw me into an argument here. All I can say is that in terms of the congratulations, the former matter that you raised, you can always raise it in an Early Day Motion."

Amid laughter, Mr Lewis said from his seat:

"I'd like to send him a card but I haven't got his address."