House of Lords Podcast


The Speakers

Season 2, Ep. 1

This month we hear from Parliament’s two Speakers: Lord Speaker, Lord McFall of Alcluith, and Speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle.

In this episode, they discuss how their similar backgrounds have forged a new working relationship between the two speakers, the importance of engaging with the whole country and the surprisingly international aspects of their roles.

‘We share a common heritage in that we're both local lads from the area that we represented. And that was a really important element of our representative history’ Lord McFall of Alcluith
‘It's about both using soft power to make friends around the world, reaching out... Democracy matters to both of us, so it's about meeting up with people, sharing ideals’ Sir Lindsay Hoyle

The Speakers also discuss the challenges of the last two years and preparing for the future.

‘I'm still trying to get used to the idea of... What is a Speaker in the Commons really like? Because we've not really found out what it's like. No sooner than I got elected, within days I'm into a General Election, then Christmas comes, everybody's talking about Brexit, and before we know it, we're then into a pandemic.’ Sir Lindsay Hoyle
‘I keep thinking of 2007, which to me, was just round the corner, but in 2007, that was the year of the iPhone. And that's a new life that's been adopted since 2007. So the pace of change, technologically, is going to be great. And we have got to be alive to that. Because our primary interest is engaging with the public, and with society.’ Lord McFall of Alcluith

·      Find out more about the Lord Speaker, Lord McFall of Alcluith

·      Find out more about the Speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle

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More Episodes


What comes after COP?

Season 2, Ep. 3
We are discussing the environment and climate change this month on the House of Lords Podcast. We spoke to two leading environmental campaigners in the House about their perceptions of the recent COP26 conference in Glasgow. We also discuss work in the Lords on the environment, and the balance between personal, government and international responsibilities in combatting climate change.First up Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle, one of two Green Party members in the Lords, gives us her impressions of the conference, working as one of the smaller parties in the House, plus how it felt to win the first vote on a Green Party amendment in the Lords. ‘There were some important steps, the fact that fossil fuels and coal are actually mentioned in the COP declaration for the first time is important. But we really didn't make the progress that we needed to make in terms of climate finance.’ Baroness BennettWe also discuss where the conversation on climate change should go next and the role of the Lords.‘There's a lack of what I would call systems thinking… even if every individual in the world tried to become an environmental saint. The way our systems work, the way things are arranged in our society, the way our economy is arranged, we still wouldn't meet anywhere near the carbon cuts we need.’ Baroness BennettWe also hear from Baroness Parminter, Chair of the Lords Environment and Climate Change Committee. Baroness Parminter gives her perspective on COP26 and discussing with representatives from parliaments around the world on how to hold their governments to account.‘We'll be making sure that the pledges that the government have now committed to are actually delivered on the ground. So there's that vital role of scrutiny. But also here in Parliament, we are the democratic body that makes sure that people's voices are heard. And that we are making sure that the questions that the people on the streets want to know are getting answered.’ Baroness ParminterBaroness Parminter also tells us about upcoming work of the committee and how it felt to lead the charge on the plastic bag levy.‘When I came in 10 years ago, I was determined to try and make a small contribution to helping make our planet a better place. And when we were in the coalition in 2010 to 2015, I introduced the Lib Dem's policy to support a levy on the plastic bags. And we managed to persuade our Conservative partners in the coalition to deliver that…‘Over 60% of the action that needs to be taken is around behaviour change. What we eat, how we heat our homes, how we travel, what we buy and what we throw away. And so we need to be looking at how we mobilize people to change their behaviours.’ Baroness Parminter·Find out more about Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle and follow on Twitter·Find out more about Baroness Parminter and follow on Twitter·Find out more about the Lords Environment and Climate Change Committee

At the table – with Chloe Mawson

Season 1, Ep. 7
·How do you decide what constitutes the House of Lords when you cannot all meet in person?·How has life changed for women in Parliament over the last 21 years?·What do clerks do when they’re sat at the table in the chamber?·How does it feel to miss out on a tour of the Washington Post with Brad Pitt?This month we hear from Chloe Mawson on all of these questions and more. Chloe is the Clerk Assistant, the second most senior role in the House of Lords Administration and the first woman to hold the role since the 1600s. ‘People were going through some of the most stressful periods of their life totally away from work and then having to deliver the most extreme changes that we've seen in this place for a long, long time.’In this episode, she explains what the role of a clerk is when they are in the chamber, creating new ways of doing business during the pandemic and her hopes for lasting changes to the way we work.‘I really hope that we can use our experience of the last 18 months to continue to allow as much flexibility as we can while of course, ensuring that we give really good services to the House and just make sure that we don't go back to a time where flexible working feels like a risk to your career progression, because certainly at times I worried about that and I hope that we're now in a new age where that's just not the case anymore.’We also hear from Chloe about how she first came to work in Parliament and whether clerks make good quizzers.