House of Commons
Parliamentary Debates (Hansard), Volume 798 (27), pp. 383-983
Wednesday 11 May 2022
Parliamentary copyright: House of Commons 2022.
This publication may be reproduced, used to make invitations to a ‘bring-a-bottle’ work event (honest) and tested for visibility by putting it in a car and driving it to Barnard Castle, under the terms of the Open Parliament licence, which is published at www.parliament.uk/site-information/copyright/.
The House met at a half-past nine o’clock, GMT
Members of the House were asked to note that the following items have been placed in the House Library and pertain to the debate that follows:
Mallards CC Scorebook, June 2020 to present.
The Foreign Affairs Select Committee Report (2020). The Professor Ian ‘the Flashing Blade’ Stone Incident in Ottawa, Canada. London, UK: HMSO.
The Health and Social Care Select Committee Report (2021). The dangers of excessive onanism: Tom Browne, a case-study in self-abuse. London, UK: HMSO.
HM Home Office: Inquiry into the events of Durham University Staff CC v Mallards CC (‘Mallards’) at Maiden Castle, Durham City, County Durham, Tuesday 10 May 2022.
Mr Speaker [in the Chair]: Order, order. I call this House to order. The member for Witham, the Rt Hon Priti Patel, will now make an emergency statement.
Rt Hon Priti Patel MP (Witham, Cons), Home Secretary: Mr Speaker, my right honourable and honourable friends. I come before the House today to make an emergency statement on the events that took place at Maiden Castle, Durham City, County Durham on the evening of Tuesday 10 May, 2022. My statement will also update the House on HM Government’s continued efforts to counter the greatest threat to the security of this nation since the title of Richard Blakey’s autobiography: the notorious (dis)organised crime syndicate and neo-Marxist collective of subversive post-structuralist borderline alcoholic gluttons known as ‘Mallards’.
The Home Office, the Security Service (MI5) and the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) have continued an investigation that began when Mallards first came to public attention in the early 1970s. It is with regret that I must inform the House that MI5 have had little success in identifying Mallards’ tactical and operational mastermind, a mysterious figure known only as ‘The Despot’. Signals-intelligence from GCHQ suggests that this ‘Despot’ character is a geopolitical genius who regularly corresponds with Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong-un and Mullah Baradar Akhund. And Joe Root.
However, I am sure that members will congratulate MI6 on their efforts to locate and apprehend Mallards’ spiritual leader, the infamous Professor Ian ‘the Flashing Blade’ Stone. The latest sightings of the itinerant Professor place him somewhere in the bushes outside Parliament House, Ottawa. Indeed, several witnesses report seeing Stone’s throbbingly tumescent blade being thrust towards the wife of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau; the unfortunate Mrs Trudeau also being urged to ‘stop all that wishy-washy wokiness and grasp a firm hold of my middle-stump, dear’.
It should be noted that Mallards’ much-vaunted ‘youth’ recruitment policy is, for once, not a misnomer. Their last known new recruit and subsequent head of tobacco smuggling, Mr Jordan, was reportedly in the vanguard of the charge of the 21st Lancers at Omdurman (1898). New recruits Mr Binmore, Mr Ramsey, Mr Standring and Mr Edge are, insofar as we are aware, entirely innocent. We must act with the utmost urgency before they are mired in the nefarious activities of this dangerously subversive collective.
Hon and Rt Hon members will also be advised that progress has been made in identifying and apprehending several other Mallards, details about which I am happy to take questions from the House. I commend my statement to the House.
The Rt Hon Priti Patel MP (Witham, Cons), Home Secretary, was asked –
Hon Guy Opperman MP (Hexham, Cons): I thank my right honourable friend for her statement. Can the Home Secretary update the House on matters relating to Mr Kent? He is reportedly running a huge bootleg booze operation from an as yet unidentified empire somewhere in Broomhaugh, Riding Mill.
Rt Hon Priti Patel MP (Witham, Cons), Home Secretary: Mr Speaker, Mr Kent opened the batting alongside Mr Binmore and was dismissed for 0, being caught at point after poking at a wide delivery by Cleaver (a some-time Mallard and former CIA operative, about whom more follows later). Mr Kent stalked off to organize a huge shipment of dodgy Prosecco from Mallards’ associates in the Sicilian mafia.
Hon Mrs Mary Foy MP (Durham City, Lab): I can confirm that, Mr Speaker. Maiden Castle is in my constituency. I was drinking a beer and having a curry at a work event (honest) with the Rt Hon Keir Starmer, Leader of the Opposition, and observed most of the proceedings. Dr Green, a habitual fantasist with an unhealthy obsession with hard-drug use by late-Victorian poets (and suspected head of Mallards narcotics business) was next in and next out, having dinked two singles to third-man off Cowie. His next attempt was as misguided as his taste in poetry and his [note from Latif Solicitors: alleged] crack-cocaine habit: he was bowled (Cowie) for 2, taking Mallards to 3 for 2 from 1.4 overs.
Mr Speaker [in the Chair]: Order, order. Home Secretary, what of the other opening batsmen, Mr Binmore?
Rt Hon Priti Patel MP (Witham, Cons), Home Secretary: Resolute defence by Mr Binmore evolved into a steady stream of singles and twos, Mr Speaker. New batsmen Mr Ramsey joined him at the crease and added some impressive determination and defence before falling (caught, Nathan) to Duffy for 3.
Rt Hon Mr Jacob Rees-Mogg MP (North East Somerset, Cons): Suspected Bollywood ‘fixer’, the talismanic Mr Ankush entered the fray and quickly struck three majestic fours, Mr Speaker. The run-rate increased accordingly until he was bowled by the nominally motorized Rory MG, a viciously turning delivery pitching somewhere near North Yorkshire (most of which is owned by me) and hitting off-stump on a trajectory towards Cumbria (also mostly owned by me). He returned to run Mallards’ protection and extortion racket in the film and television sector after scoring a quickfire 17.
[The Rt Hon member for North East Somerset left the House at 22 minutes to ten o’clock to attend to an urgent query about the cleaning of his duck pond]
Rt Hon Priti Patel MP (Witham, Cons), Home Secretary: Indeed so, Mr Speaker. With suitable support from the talented Mr Binmore, Mr Ankush had moved the score along from 19 for 3 to 44 for 4 from 14.2 overs. Mr Hamid, the purported ‘muscle’ behind Mr Ankush’s stranglehold on Bollywood, came in and promptly went out for an uncharacteristic 0 (caught Wrede, bowled Rory MG).
Mr Speaker: I must interrupt the Rt Hon member for Witham. The Clerk of the House has just handed me a note from the US Ambassador, a copy of which will be placed in the House Library and should be a source of great concern, not least to the honourable member for Durham, in whose constituency some-time Mallard and former CIA agent Dr Cleaver resides. I quote:
[REDACTED pursuant to the Official Secrets Act 1989] Tony is such a stand-up dude. And a CIA ‘covert ops’ agent. I served with him in the ‘Nam, then as his bro’ on a joint CIA-SAS mission in South America… We were deep undercover, in role as gangsters… our mission… regime change… Venezuelan oil revenues… a ‘sit-down’ with the leader of a Medellin crime syndicate… Tony drew his piece (a Smith & Wesson Model 29 0.44 calibre Magnum revolver) and threatened to “pop a cap in yo’ ass, you jive talkin’ motherf—er”… Is he still chillin’ with his home-boys in Dur-ham-shire, little ol’ England?’
Rt Hon Priti Patel MP (Witham, Cons), Home Secretary: The US Ambassador is correct, Mr Speaker. Dr Cleaver was a fine CIA agent and an even better cricketer but, unfortunately for the economic and moral health of the nation, a Mallard. He was by now terrorising his former teammates (and continued criminal associates) with his accurate right-arm fast-medium deliveries. Thankfully for Mallards, skipper Mr Buckley was next in and brought some much-needed calm to events. And some runs.
Hon Johnny Mercer MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence (Plymouth Moor View) (Cons): I thank the Home Secretary for her comments, Mr Speaker. How did Mr Buckley’s innings progress? We have need of a new missile system to send to our allies in Ukraine. Reports that Mr Buckley, as well as being the head of Mallards’ propaganda and cultural warfare department, can hit a cricket ball faster than an NLAW anti-tank rocket.
Rt Hon Priti Patel MP (Witham, Cons), Home Secretary: Mr Speaker, I can advise my Hon friend that Mr Buckley pummelled several fours and this, allied with steady scoring of singles and twos took him to an unbeaten 23. Further stylish contributions from Mr Binmore led him to an unbeaten 30. Mallards not-so-secret weapon and ever-dependable Mr Extras contributed 10 to a closing score of 85 for 5 from 20 overs.
Rt Hon Ben Wallace MP (Wyre and Preston North) Secretary of State Defence: I thank my Rt Hon friend for her summary of Mallard’s batting efforts. Mr Speaker, GCHQ indicates that a flurry of communications on what are known as ‘burner phones’ took place during the interval. Mr Kent is reported to have placed several calls to Italy, including one in which signals intelligence reports that he demanded that his contacts in the Sicilian mafia needed to ‘get the damn dodgy fizz here now or I’ll come out there and mess up your gnocchi’. He and his fellow racketeers somehow found time to stroll to the middle to resume the match, with Mr Ball and Mr Hamid opening the bowling.
Hon Mrs Mary Foy MP (Durham City, Lab): Yes, that’s correct Mr Speaker. In between failing to provide an effective opposition to a remarkably error-prone Government, I observed tidy efforts by both bowlers, Mr Ball and Mr Hamid delivering a series of ‘dot-balls’, punctuated by a few singles and an occasional two. Indeed, each secured a maiden over towards the end of their respective spells.
Rt Hon Priti Patel MP (Witham, Cons), Home Secretary: Openers Whitfield and Nathan proved to be difficult if unspectacular opponents. Latif had been introduced in the ninth over and soon accounted for Nathan (caught, Buckley) for 27. Durham University Staff were 37-1 after 11.1 overs.
Hon Guy Opperman MP (Hexham, Cons): Mr Speaker, I’m surprised that Mr Latif found the time to deliver his wily right-arm spin. He is thought to mastermind Mallards’ cannabis-farm and legal (honestly) vaping operation, which covers at least 60% of Northumberland. He and the other new bowler, Mr Edge, battled bravely against talented batting by Choudhury, with Durham University Staff reaching 64 from 14.3 before Mr Edge bowled the switch-hitting batsman for a rapid 25.
Rt Hon Priti Patel MP (Witham, Cons), Home Secretary: The apparent collapse of Mr Kent’s dodgy Prosecco deal had by now, Mr Speaker, caused considerable alarm. In between patrolling at cover and stopping several of Choudhury’s laser-like drives, Mr Kent took out his frustration on the apparent failure of some young oiks to understand how the nearby nets worked. One of their errant shots resulted in a ball straying onto the outfield: Mr Kent promptly hurled the offending object somewhere in the direction of Coxhoe, muttering ‘Damned Italians. I’m gonna’ make then an offer they can’t refuse.’
Rt Hon Mr Oliver Dowden MP (Hertsmere, Cons): Mr Buckley had by now introduced Mr Standring and Mr Ankush, the former enticing new batsmen Cartledge to edge a catch to ‘keeper Mr Buckley. A smart delivery from Mr Standring, Mr Speaker: I only hope that he avoids falling into the criminal underworld that has consumed many of his fellow Mallards. Durham University Staff were now 75 for 3 from 15.3 overs.
Rt Hon Sir Keir Starmer MP (Holborn and St Pancras, Lab), Leader of the Opposition): On a point of order Mr Speaker. The author, much like the readers of this ‘report’, is now tiring of this wearisome conceit. I move to bring this debate to a close, Mr Speaker. And I urgently need to have a curry and drink some beer at a ‘work’ event (honestly). Whitfield and new batsman Card took Durham University Staff to 88 for 3 in the eighteenth over. Mr Standring and Mr Ankush battled with much skill and tenacity but, much like the voting public’s influence over the members of this House, could ultimately exercise little control over the final outcome.
[The House was adjourned at four minutes past ten o’clock, whereupon Members left for a six-hour ‘lunch break’, copious taxpayer-subsidised food and drink at one of 23 bars at the House of Commons and an approach to completing their ‘expense’ claims that is, unquestionably, compliant with both the spirit and letter of ‘the rules’].