The Commons at its best

It's a pity there's been so little newspaper coverage of yesterday's debate on assisted dying - having been quick to condemn the Commons at its worst over party funding on Monday, it's only fair to say this was MPs at their best - thoughtful, nuanced and respectful of differing opinions.

In particular the speeches of MPs like Paul Blomfield and Edward Leigh deployed powerful emotional arguments - Mr Blomfield talked about the suicide of his father; Mr Leigh of the death of his friend and former parliamentary colleague, Piers Merchant - without slipping into the maudlin or the trite.

For anyone interested in the issue, it's well worth reading and watching in full.

In the end, MPs didn't call for a change in the law, but they did support the existing guidelines which allow for people who assist someone to die in certain specified circumstances not to be prosecuted. And they called for further development of specialist palliative care.

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