Two Victories – by Edward Leigh MP

I went along to the Chamber and found out that the Government had run up the white flag over Lord Waddington’s free speech amendment on the Coroner’s and Justice Bill.

This is a great victory for free speech which in a democracy should be paramount.

In the evening I debated at the Oxford Union alongside the Bishop of Winchester and Jonathon Aitken. At a well attended debate we won by ten votes, 145 to 135, proposing the motion:

“This House believes that Britain needs a return of Christian Values”

Everything conceivable was thrown at us, even the slave trade. It was interesting that we didn’t talk about homosexuality, but our opponents were adamant that Christians are obsessed by it.

I just concentrated on the teachings of Christ; a better guide then the life of a most Christians since!

The following day I took the train on the long journey up to Durham to debate at the University’s Union. This time I was opposing the motion:

“This House would ban the Bomb”

Many of the arguments have changed little in the past forty years, except that we now live in an even more hostile world. Given the setting of the debate, it was perhaps a little surprising to once again emerge victorious.

Last summer I joined Peter Lilley and John Redwood in successfully proposing a motion at the Cambridge Union, praising the record of Lady Thatcher. This was possibly an even more unlikely result at a university debating society than at Durham.

Maybe this is a straw in the wind, that Conservatives can once again win debates amongst students.

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