Death of a Member: Lord Judge Debate

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Department: Leader of the House

Death of a Member: Lord Judge

Lord McFall of Alcluith Excerpts
Thursday 9th November 2023

(8 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord McFall of Alcluith Portrait The Lord Speaker (Lord McFall of Alcluith)
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My Lords, the former Convenor of the Cross-Bench Peers, the noble and learned Lord, Lord Judge, died on 7 November. On behalf of the House, I extend our condolences to the noble and learned Lord’s family and friends.

Lord Judge was one of the wisest and kindest men I have ever met. He was never one to use two words where one would suffice, and was always keen to hear all sides before forming an opinion. Igor had a marvellous ability to listen intently, reflect quietly and then interject, usually with a brief few words that brought clarity to a discussion. I valued greatly his advice and support to me as Lord Speaker. His lifelong history of service as a Queen’s Counsel, a judge, the President of the Queen’s Bench Division, the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, and an active Member of this House—including, most recently, the Convenor of the Cross Benches until earlier this year—speaks for itself. How fortunate we were to serve alongside him. He will be much missed by noble Lords and, I know, by the staff of the House.

Baroness Williams of Trafford Portrait Baroness Williams of Trafford (Con)
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My Lords, I know that noble Lords from across the House were deeply shocked and saddened to learn yesterday of the passing of the noble and learned Lord, Lord Judge. I add my sadness and deepest condolences to his family.

I enjoyed nearly a year with him as Convenor of the Cross Benches. Whatever the great matters of state that we should have been discussing, we usually ended up just talking about our families. My oh my, he loved his family so much—that is probably the one takeaway I had from him.

As is normal, we will now hear tributes from the usual channels. I know that many noble Lords have passed their heartfelt remarks on to the leaders and convenor, who will, I am sure, do their best to reflect the outpourings of admiration and sadness that they have received. I am also aware that some other noble Lords may feel that they want to pay tribute today. It is customary for the focus of tributes to come from the leaders and usual channels but, if other noble Lords would like to contribute, I respectfully ask that their contributions be as brief as possible. I expect any Back-Bench remarks to be no more than a minute long, as we have seen with other similar tributes.

Noble Lords may also find it helpful to know that the Office of the Convenor of the Cross Benches is co-ordinating written tributes and regards for Lord Judge’s family, should noble Lords wish to pass those on. I have no doubt that, in the fullness of time, they will be very warmly received.