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Honourable exception to the rules.

Labour back-bencher Mr Peter Bradley is today set to rock the House of Commons for the second time in a week when he calls for the abolition of the phrase "Honourable Gentleman".

Mr Bradley (Lab The Wrekin) said it should be scrapped because most MPs were not honourable.

His comments are sure to outrage traditionalists in the Commons by attacking centuries-old procedure and the character of MPs.

Mr Bradley's debate comes less than a week after he shocked MPs by using Parliamentary privilege to reveal that Tory treasurer Mr Michael Ashcroft's name had been mentioned in US federal investigations.

Tories accused him of abusing the protection from libel given by Parliamentary privilege and one Conservative back-bencher made allegations against him in retaliation.

Mr Bradley will lead a debate about Government plans to reform Commons procedures and last night he said he would say out-dated procedures were stopping MPs doing their jobs as well as they should.

He said the Commons needed to be modernised more quickly and the formalised language used in debates should be changed to speed up proceedings.

"There is all this nonsense about Honourable Gentleman this and Honourable Gentleman that when the large majority of members in the House of Commons are, frankly, not that honourable," he said.
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Author:Gray, Chris
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Jul 27, 1999
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