Maiden speech

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A maiden speech is the first speech given by a newly elected or appointed member of a legislature or parliament.

Traditions surrounding maiden speeches vary from country to country. In many Westminster system governments, there is a convention that maiden speeches should be relatively uncontroversial, often consisting of a general statement of the politician's beliefs and background rather than a partisan comment on a current topic. This convention is not always followed, however; for example the maiden speeches of Pauline Hanson in the Australian House of Representatives and Richard Nixon in the United States House of Representatives broke the tradition. Margaret Thatcher's maiden speech was the successful introduction of the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960.

There is also a strong convention in some countries that maiden speeches should not be subjected to interruption or interjection and should not be attacked or dismissed by subsequent speakers.[citation needed] Another convention in the UK House of Commons is that a Member of Parliament will include tribute in a maiden speech to previous incumbents of their seat.

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