The Live Music Forum

Hamish Birchall Bulletin

Friday 17th March 2006 - Tessa's 'illegal' singing

On 8th March, Tessa Jowell and other women MPs celebrated International Women's Day with a song, performed for the media's benefit in Victoria Tower Gardens, a public park next to the Houses of Parliament.

Earlier, the MPs had placed a bouquet of flowers beneath the statue of Emmeline Pankhurst, a campaigner for women's suffrage in the early 20th century. While the cause was undeniably just, it is worth noting that Mrs Pankhurst and her supporters pursued their cause through violent means including arson and attacks on politicians. It is tempting to speculate whether supporting such tactics today would amount to the 'glorification of terrorism'...

Anway, according to Westminster City Council, Tessa's singing was a licensable performance and no licence was in force. It would seem that a criminal offence has been committed. MPs will be relieved, however, that Westminster council has already decided not to prosecute.

This was covered in this morning's BBC R4 Today programme which can usually be downloaded from the BBC website by mid-morning:


Read a short account in today' Times:,,2-2089859,00.html


View the BBC's coverage on 8th March:


Hamish Birchall