Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Bill Jacobs in the House

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Bill Jacobs in the House

Article excerpt

Byline: By Bill Jacobs

North East comedian Rowan Atkinson began his fierce attack on the government's Draconian incitement to racial hatred laws by saying sorry for his facial hair.

Before saying the proposal would stop him mocking religious hypocrites, he said: "May I first apologise for my beard. It is not some feeble and ill-judged attempt to carry favour with the Muslim community."

But the Corbridge-raised and Durham chorister school and Newcastle University educated comedian went on to show that he was more than a comic with a comprehensive demolition of the proposed legislation.

New Gateshead East and Washington West MP Sharon Hodgson's researcher Gary Kemp had a problem this week.

He had to take his 11-year-old son Matthew into work at the House of Commons but also attend a briefing at Downing Street.

Officials agreed that Matthew could also attend ( provided he didn't ask any difficult questions!

One of Tony Blair's political secretaries gave the young lad a quick tour of No 10.

Afterwards Matthew, who isn't sure whether he wants a political career, said: "It was a great honour to see Downing Street from the inside. I was amazed at how well I was treated by everyone."

Veteran Berwick MP Alan Beith has been elected to chair the British-Norwegian Parliamentary Group.

He said: "It is a great honour to chair the group in the year in which Norway celebrates 100 years of full independence, during which the King and Queen of Norway will visit parliament in London.

"There are strong links between Northumberland and Norway, including Alnwick's relationship with Bryne and Berwick's with Sarpsborg, which go back many years."

His constituents will be glad to know that Mr Beith is not wasting his time in the autumn of his political career. …

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