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Baroness of Moulsecoomb gives first speech in House of Lords
A newly-ennobled peer has made her maiden speech to the House of Lords.
Brighton-born Jenny Jones, who became Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb earlier this month, made her first speech to the house at 4pm on Thursday.
The 63-year-old made history by becoming the first ever Green peer to address the house.
In the speech the new Green Party peer, who sits on the London Assembly and is deputy chair of its Police and Crime Committee, paid tribute to her father who grew up in poverty in South Wales.
His own father died in the Senghenydd mining disaster in 1913, and rather than work in the same pit, he walked to London to find work.
After the war, he moved to a Homes Fit for Heroes council house in Moulsecoomb in Brighton, where Jones grew up.
Baroness Jones told the house that her background has influenced her political views.
She also criticised the Metropolitan Police for the way the force has handled current controversies including the reduced training of armed officers, stop and search and undercover policing.
She said: “I do make speeches for a living so I wasn’t as frightened as someone who might not have done that before.
“But it was still quite nerve-racking, especially as it’s quite historic as I am the first Green to have ever been appointed to the House of Lords.
“I wanted to get across I came from a quite different background from them, or at least a lot of the House of Lords.
“We were poor but I didn’t know it, it was only when I went to my secondary school that I realised that I didn’t have all the clothes and stuff that other people had, but I never felt poor.
“I felt a little bit emotional speaking about my family, it’s not something I have spoken about much and I felt like I was exposing myself.”
Baroness Jones was born in December 1949 and grew up in Newick Road on the then-relatively-new council estate to the north east of Brighton.
Earlier this month, she told The Argus that her memories include running through the woods in Wild Park, playing in traffic-free streets outside her home and going to Moulsecoomb Primary School.
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