This Wednesday was typical of the hectic days at Westminster.
I rose at 6.30am and I was at my desk in 1, Parliament Street by 7.30am. I went to secure my usual place in the Chamber by placing my Prayer card on my seat once the Chamber opened at 8am. After breakfast I dealt with my overnight emails and the morning post and spoke to my staff in the Constituency office to discuss the numerous ongoing constituents cases we are dealing with.
The Three Faith students from Manchester University came down to see me and because the public gallery was full I allowed them to watch Prime Ministers Questions from my office. The Three Faith students are a Christian, a Jew and a Muslim who are working together to see how different faiths can co-operate. I am acting as a mentor to them during this year. I have already met them in Bury and this was their opportunity to see what life is like in Westminster. I took them on a tour of Parliament before arranging for them to be allowed to sit in on a private meeting between myself and two colleagues with Crispin Blunt MP a Minister in the Ministry of Justice who is dealing with the problem of squatters. I am concerned that it is too difficult for homeowners to regain possession of their own property if they are illegally occupied by squatters. After a quick lunch I had a meeting of the Procedure Committee which after a short private session sat in public to consider the possibility of lay members joining the Standards and Privileges Committee which is a topic the Committee has been asked to investigate. I guess this inquiry will receive far, far less publicity than one of our other current inquiries namely that into the sitting hours of the House which is already generating a lot of interest.
After the Committee meeting the Division Bell rang and the House divided on the first of the two Opposition day debates which were taking place in the Chamber. Two of the students had to leave to catch trains back home so I directed them back to the Underground and I took the third student to watch the proceedings in the Chamber from the public gallery. Meanwhile I went back to my office dealt with a few more of the emails and telephone calls which had arrived during the day and then at 5.30pm I attended the weekly meeting of the 1922 Committee for backbench Conservatives.
After that I returned to my office to tidy up for the day, grab a cup of tea and make my way back to the chamber for the further vote at 7pm. This was followed by a debate on submitting information on Britain’s economy to the European Union. As we are not members of the Eurozone I do not believe we should be wasting officials time and taxpayers money doing this and I therefore stayed on to speak in the debate and explain why I would not be supporting the motion. The Treasury Minister confirmed that all the information contained within the 201 page Convergence Report was already in the public domain so I believe that id the European Union bureaucrats are so interested in the financial and economic affairs of the UK they should simply consult all the documents publicly available on the Treasury website.
This debate concluded at about 8.45 pm and I then left the Chamber and met up with colleagues for dinner before walking back to my flat for 11pm and back to bed.