Peers were in the chamber an hour early today to take part in a practice evacuation in the event of a fire. The Lord Speaker was on the Woolsack, Doorkeepers and Attendants were present and staff were also encouraged to populate the public galleries so that an evacuation from these places could be practiced.
In fact, the only thing which was needed to render the whole scenario realistic was a speech. Happily Baroness Thomas of Winchester volunteered to be the person speaking when the emergency alarm was raised.
“I will endeavour to speak without repetition, hesitation or deviation,” she told fellow peers, noting that this would be an unlikely feat among parliamentarians. And before turning to her speech from Friday on her disabled parking Private Member’s Bill to kill time before the alarm, she said to much amusement: “First of all, I’d just like to welcome all the women bishops who have suddenly appeared on the benches…”
Published and promoted by Tim Gordon on behalf of the Liberal Democrats, both at LDHQ, 8-10 Great George Street, London, SW1P 3AE.