Events and speeches
The Lord Speaker represents the House of Lords at a wide range of events, broadening understanding about the work and role of the House, and explaining how the public can engage with this work.
The Lord Speaker also has a ceremonial responsibility to speak on behalf of the House of Lords on State occasions.
The Lord Speaker's Lecture Series
The Lord Speaker's Lecture Series features Members of the House of Lords and external figures who give talks on their specialist subjects or topics of interest.
The lectures are open to members of both Houses and staff to highlight expert opinion and create discussion.
Lord McFall of Alcluith
Baroness Hale of Richmond: Women in the Law
On Tuesday 26 October 2021, Lord McFall of Alcluith relaunched the Lord Speaker's Lecture Series. Over the series, the Lord Speaker will host a number of Lectures on the theme of ‘Women in…’ The first in this series was an evening with Lady Hale of Richmond, former President of the Supreme Court and first woman to hold the position. Lady Hale reflected on the history of Women in the Law and what progress is still to be made 100 years on. The lecture took place in the Robing Room in the House of Lords and was the first held in person since the start of the pandemic.
In the 2020-21 series of lectures, when Lord Fowler was the Lord Speaker, both Houses had the opportunity to hear from:
Lord Clarke of Nottingham in conversation with Lord Mandelson: Father of the House: a reflection on 50 years in Parliament
On Tuesday 27 April 2021, in his final lecture as Lord Speaker, Lord Fowler hosted a virtual lecture with Lord Clarke of Nottingham in conversation with Lord Mandelson who, through a series of questions spanning the past 50 years, explored Lord Clarke’s career and what has changed in Parliament. The digital lecture was attended by over 140 Members, MPs, staff and external partners.
Baroness Lane-Fox of Soho, Back to the Future: what this year has taught me about technology
On Wednesday 24 March 2021, drawing on her career in digital, Baroness Lane-Fox of Soho delivered an online lecture about how the big questions about technology are playing out now, and what her predictions are for the next year. The digital lecture was attended by over 80 Members, MPs, staff and external partners.
Lady Young of Cookham, Churchill's Sculptor: the life and work of Oscar Nemon
On Tuesday 2 March 2021, Lady Young of Cookham gave the first virtual talk in the Lord Speaker's lecture series on Microsoft Teams Live. She spoke about her father, the sculptor Oscar Nemon and the parliamentarians and royalty who sat for him. The digital lecture was attended by over 70 Members, MPs, staff and external partners.
In the 2019-20 series, both houses had the opportunity to hear from:
Baroness Bull, Unleashing potential: what role for the arts and creative industries?
On Tuesday 11 February 2020, Baroness Bull gave a talk in the River Room, focused on the role of the arts and creative industries in unleashing potential. The lecture was attended by over 65 Members, MPs and staff.
Sir David Attenborough, Hopes and fears for the planet
On Wednesday 22 January 2020, Sir David Attenborough spoke in conversation with Baroness Hayman and Baroness Worthington on his hopes and fears for the planet. The lecture was held in the Royal Gallery in the House of Lords and was attended by over 350 Peers, MPs and staff.
Baroness Henig, The league of nations: the enduring legacy
On Wednesday 10 July 2019, Baroness Henig gave a talk about the league of nation's far reaching influence in the modern world on the centenary of its creation in 1919. The lecture was held in the River Room in the House of Lords and was attended by over 50 Members, MPs and staff.
Lord Hall of Birkenhead, The BBC and the future of news
On Wednesday 20 March 2019, Lord Hall of Birkenhead gave a talk about impartiality, the fightback against 'fake news' and the global role of the BBC. The talk, which was held in the Robing Room in the House of Lords, was attended by over 180 Peers, MPs, staff and external stakeholders.
Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale, 20 Years of Scottish Devolution: pass or fail?
On Wednesday 15 May 2019, Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale gave a talk held in the Robing Room in the House of Lords that was attended by over 120 Peers, MPs, staff and external stakeholders. Lord McConnell, former MP, MSP and first minister of Scotland spoke about the last 20 years of Scottish devolution and the role of the Scottish Parliament.
Lord Rees of Ludlow, Technology and environmental stresses in 2050 and beyond
On Wednesday 27 February 2019, Lord Rees of Ludlow gave the first talk of the year in the Lord Speaker's 2019 Lecture Series. He spoke about technology and environmental stresses in 2050 and beyond and participated in a lively Q&A session following the talk. Over 100 Peers, MPs, staff and external stakeholders attended.