HC Deb 29 November 2000 vol 357 c965 3.31 pm
Mr. Tony Benn (Chesterfield)

As tomorrow is the 50th anniversary of my first election to the House of Commons, may I take this opportunity of expressing my sincere thanks to many Members past and present, from both sides of the House, for the many kindnesses shown to me and my family, especially during the past few days following the death of my wife, Caroline?

Those of us who work here will know of the strong bond of friendship and warmth between Members and the staff who work with us in the building. I am proud to have been a member of that wider parliamentary family—first as the representative of Bristol, South-East and now of Chesterfield—from whom I have learned and gained a very great deal during my half century in this place.

Hon. Members

Hear, hear!

Mr. Speaker

I am sure that the House would want me to offer our congratulations to the right hon. Gentleman on his long service to the House, and to express to him and to his family our sympathy in their recent loss of Caroline.