More than fifty Labour Peers packed into the office of the Leader of the House of Lords to listen to the swearing in and inaugural address of Barack Obama as 44th President of the United States.  This couldn’t happen in the House of Commons – just as President Obama stepped forward to begin his address, their division bells rang so MPs had to go and vote.  No divisions in the Lords (none so far this Session – they will come later), so no interruptions and even Labour Peers fell silent to listen (apart from one wit pointing out that even the most articulate American President in over fifty years still stumbled over the oath of office).  And yes, it was an emotional moment as those present listened to those words of hope and repositioning of the United States.  The hard work begins now ….

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