Documents to download

This spreadsheet lists maiden speeches by Members of Parliament and provides links to speeches in Hansard, the Official Report of the House of Commons, from 2015. The four worksheets cover the following periods:

  • 1918–1945
  • 1945–1979
  • 1979–2015
  • 2015–present

What is a maiden speech?

The first time a newly elected Member speaks in the Chamber of the House of Commons is known as a maiden speech. By tradition, the MP is called ahead of other MPs who may have indicated their wish to speak in the same debate. A maiden speech is usually uncontroversial, fairly brief and includes a tribute to the Member’s predecessor in the seat, irrespective of party, and favourable remarks about the constituency. It is also a tradition that a maiden speech is heard without interruption and for any speeches that may follow to praise the new MP’s first contribution.

The MPs Guide to Procedure provides Guidance for new Members on maiden speeches. MPs may:

  • wait to make their maiden speech before speaking at all in the Chamber
  • take part in questions but seek to speak in debate only when ready to deliver a maiden speech
  • take part fully in proceedings without making a traditional maiden speech

Maiden speeches since 2015

2019 Parliament

140 new MPs were returned at the 2019 General Election. These include one Sinn Féin MP, who has not taken the oath or make an affirmation and is therefore disqualified from taking part in proceedings. See the Commons Library briefing on the Parliamentary Oath for more information.

15 former MPs were re-elected and do not make an additional maiden speech.

22 MPs have been elected at by-elections, including one former MP. See the Library briefing UK parliamentary by-elections since 1945 for details.

  • Virtual Proceedings – In response to coronavirus, the House introduced procedures in April 2020 to allow MPs to participate remotely. Sara Britcliffe was the first Member to make a maiden speech remotely. Virtual contributions are noted in the spreadsheet with a ‘V’.

2017 Parliament

87 new MPs were returned at the 2015 General Election. A further five Members were returned at by-elections during the Parliament one of which, a Sinn Féin MP, has not taken the oath or made the affirmation and so cannot take part in proceedings. Twelve former MPs were re-elected.

2015 Parliament

177 new MPs were returned at the 2015 General Election with a further ten returned at by-elections during the Parliament. An eleventh vacancy, Manchester Gorton, was contested at the 2017 General election

The one Sinn Féin MP elected at the 2015 General Election did not take the oath or make an affirmation and is therefore disqualified from taking part in proceedings. Five former MP were re-elected.

Election results

Analysis of the results for the 2015, 2017 and 2019 General Elections is available in the following Commons Library Briefing Papers together with the full results for download in the supporting CSV files:

See also About by-elections on the Parliament website.

Further reading

Parliament: facts and figures

This series of publications contains data on various subjects relating to Parliament and Government. Topics include legislation, MPs, select committees, debates, divisions and Parliamentary procedure.

Feedback

Please send any comments or corrections to Papers@parliament.uk


Documents to download

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