I wrote a few days ago about a polite and decorous parliamentary row that took place between two Liberal Democrat MPs David Heath and Sir Alan Beith. While the source of disagreement was about the powers of select committees it took place against the background of the debate about the use of ‘hand held electronic devices’ in the chamber of the House of Commons. I largely took the side of Sir Alan in that row. I was critical for David Heath for displaying the conservatism of a government minister – but I am pleased to find out that in contrast, and rather appropriately, he can be a radical embracer of technology.
Some comments on Twitter alerted me to the possibility that Heath may be the first minister to use an iPad or other tablet computer whilst leading for the government from the front bench. While moving a timetabling motion on the Public Bodies Bill yesterday the Deputy Leader of the House of Commons can clearly be seen referring to notes on a tablet resting on top of the Despatch Box.
I haven’t seen anyone else do this before and so I am hopeful that we can claim another Liberal Democrat first!
You can see the incident via BBC iPlayer here.
This content was originally posted on my old Strange Thoughts blog.