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Parliament, gas and fish on menu during Speaker meeting with Norway’s ambassador

8 December 2022

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The Speaker of the House of Commons joked that he would "fit right in" to Norway’s parliamentary system – because of its focus on geography over political affiliation.

Sir Lindsay Hoyle made the comments during a visit by His Excellency Wegger Chr. Strommen – Norway's ambassador to the UK.

Mr Strommen explained that unlike the UK, Members of The Storting – Norway's unicameral Parliament – sit by county and not by political parties.

"Geography is often more important than political affiliation," he said. "Sometimes you should caucus with your county – not only your political party."

Mr Strommen, who has been in London four years, said it was "very difficult to run for Parliament unless you grew up in the place you represent".

"It is 44 years since I left my home-town on the south coast of Norway, but it would be very hard for someone to be elected to represent that area if they were not from that area, or at least that county," he said.

Sir Lindsay, who has represented Chorley in Lancashire for 25 years and as Speaker is politically neutral, said: "I think I would fit into the Norwegian system very well.

"I was born in Chorley, grew up there and still live there,’ he said. ‘I think we have more in common than you realise!"

The Storting has 169 Members and parliamentary elections are held every four years.

During the meeting, Mr Strommen told Sir Lindsay that Norway currently supplied the UK with 40% of its gas, adding that his country’s main export is energy and fish, with haddock and cod some of its biggest sellers.