Yesterday was one of those days when it is difficult to find the right words to easily sum up my feelings. I travelled down to London in the morning after doing a live BBC Radio Manchester interview at 7.30am. The journey into Manchester took nearly as long as the train to London. I have booked in to St Ermin’s Hotel on Caxton Street which is a few minutes walk from Westminster. (I have checked what the cost of the TravelLodge is so I will not claim more than that for this first week). There is in fact a limit of £130 per night as to how much you can claim back on hotel costs. I managed to get my train fare down to £66.20.
I promised I would not forget that it was taxpayers money that is used to pay expenses and I will always remember that.
I arrived at Portcullis House at 1.30pm and spent the rest of the afternoon in a series of briefings with various departments of the House of Commons including being taken on a quick tour of the Palace Of Westminster. At 6pm I attended a meeting of the 1922 Committee which is the name given to a meeting of the Backbench MP’s, when in opposition this includes everyone so Committee Room 14 was full to overflowing when David Cameron rose to explain the latest position regarding the negotiations with the Liberal Democrats. During the afternoon news reached us that the Prime Minister had announced he was stepping down as Leader of the Labour Party. I could never have imagined my first day in Westminster would be in quite such momentous circumstances.