Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    David Cameron:


    I do not really have a pasa doble, so I can promise that that is not the case.


    Let me thank the right hon. Gentleman for his kind remarks and good wishes to my amazing wife Samantha and my lovely children, who are all watching from the Gallery today. He is absolutely right: the pressure in these jobs often bears hardest on those we love around us. Let me send my best wishes to his family as well.


    I have done a bit of research, Mr Speaker. I have addressed 5,500 questions from this Dispatch Box; I will leave it for others to work out how many I have answered. Because of your belief in letting everyone have their say, I think I have done a record 92 hours of statements from this Dispatch Box, as well as some very enjoyable Liaison Committee appearances and other things.


    I will certainly send the right hon. Gentleman’s best wishes back to my mother. He seems to have taken her advice and is looking absolutely splendid today.


    This gives me the opportunity to put a rumour to rest, as well—it is even more serious than the “Strictly Come Dancing” one. The right hon. Gentleman will appreciate this because El Gato, his cat, is particularly famous. This is the rumour that somehow I do not love Larry; I do, and I have photographic evidence to prove it. Sadly, I cannot take Larry with me; he belongs to the house and the staff love him very much, as do I.


    Peter Lilley:


    Is my right hon. Friend aware that in 33 years in this House watching five Prime Ministers and several ex-Prime Ministers, I have seen him achieve a mastery of that Dispatch Box unparalleled in my time? That is not just because of his command of detail and his wit, but because he commands the respect of friend and foe alike, who know that he is driven not just by legitimate political ambitions and ideas, but by a sense of duty that always leads him to try to make this country more prosperous, more solvent, more tolerant, more fair, and more free. He will command the respect of generations to come.