Suffolk: Lord criticises use of Twitter and smartphones in Parliament

A LONG-TIME Suffolk MP has used his maiden speech in the House of Lords to criticise a decision to allow iPads and smartphones to be used in the chamber.

Sir Michael Lord was made Lord Framlingham earlier this year after serving for 27 years as an MP, latterly as Conservative member for Central Suffolk and Ipswich North.

In his maiden speech, he told the chamber he was opposed to a ruling that allowed members to post updates of debates of micro-blogging website Twitter and use devices such as smartphones as long as it was done “with decorum and with regard to others”.

The rules also apply to the House of Commons.

“I have always believed that one of the principal duties of any generation is to hand on to the next generation that which has been entrusted to its care,” he told fellow Lords.

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“In this context, I say that I was deeply saddened that we have agreed to experiment with allowing the use of electronic devices in this Chamber. I believe that that will prove to be harmful and disruptive, and I sincerely hope that it will not become a permanent feature.”

Lord Framlingham also explained why he was told that keeping his birth surname may be an issue.

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“I was advised by the powers that be that this really would be most confusing in so many ways, not least in debates in your Lordships’ House, where I would have been referred to as the noble Lord, Lord Lord.

“To choose another title was no hardship. On the contrary, taking the name of Framlingham, a delightful ancient and historic market town in my old constituency, where I was originally adopted as a parliamentary candidate in 1983, gave me, and will always give me, enormous pleasure.”

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