Speakers and Presiding Officers from the G7 have been welcomed to Chorley, Lancashire this weekend for the annual G7 Speakers’ Conference.
Richard Ferrand, the President of the French National Assembly, Roberto Fico, the President of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the US House of Representatives, and David Sassoli, the President of the EU Parliament were among those in attendance – hosted by Sir Lindsay Hoyle, the Speaker of the UK House of Commons.
Each year, the Speaker or Presiding Officer of the G7 host country holds a Conference, and this is traditionally held in the host’s constituency or local area. Chorley, around 12 miles south of Preston, is Sir Linday’s parliamentary constituency, known for its historic market and as the home of the famous Chorley cake.
Over the weekend, Speakers and Presiding Officers have participated in a number of panel sessions on a variety of topics, from the safety of Parliaments, to international issues and the role of social media in open parliaments.
As well as participating in panel discussions, the guests have been given a taste of Lancashire, with local food cooked by local Michelin star chef Paul Heathcote. Among the dishes on the menu for Pelosi and the other guests were Morecambe Bay shrimps, Lancashire hot pot and Chorley cakes. On Sunday, the Speakers also visited the set of Coronation Street, as part of discussions around the power of television to influence democracy.
During the weekend, the Speakers also planted trees at Astley Hall with local school children and visited a local church. Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi presented an American flag in Chorley’s St. Laurence’s Church to complement the one given 76 years ago after WWII by American Servicemembers who were housed in and around the Chorley area.
In a tweet on Sunday, Sir Lindsay Hoyle said, “As the annual G7 Speakers’ Conference comes to an end, I would like to thank G7 Speakers and Presiding Officers for coming to the North-West of England for a weekend of excellent discussion.”
The meeting, which has taken place following the G7 summit of leaders earlier this year, has aimed to promote an exchange of experience, opinions and information, primarily on parliamentary matters.