Whilst Parliament is still sitting this coming Monday and Tuesday I have been summoned to do Jury Service next week, so will only be in Westminster after that. It means I am unlikely to make Carols in the Market Place with Romsey Rotary, which is always such a lovely evening. I should imagine a little cold this year, with the arrival of snow last weekend.
This week we have seen immigration and small boat crossings high on the political agenda once more, with a Prime Ministerial statement on Tuesday, followed by one by the Home Secretary on Wednesday. The appalling loss of life in the English Channel on Tuesday night brings home how very perilous those journeys are, and that the people smuggling gangs have absolutely no regard for human life. I reject the calls from colleagues suggesting that withdrawal from the ECHR will in some way bring the trafficking to an end, it won’t. However, if we are to have a British Bill of Rights I see that as an opportunity to make sure it includes many rights I hold dear, and shall spend Christmas drafting some thoughtful amendments just in case legislation comes forward in the New Year.
On a happier note, HM The King came to Parliament on Wednesday to unveil the plaque in Westminster Hall to commemorate the lying in state of Her Late Majesty the Queen, and also the ornate Platinum Jubilee lamp standards which MPs and peers bought to mark the historic jubilee. The bronze sculptures were cast at the Morris Singer Foundry in Hampshire and earlier this year I met the craftsmen responsible for the work when they were installed. They really are beautiful and a great tribute to our longest serving Monarch.
Hopefully I will have recovered enough from a hideous cold enough to attend a wide range of festive events this weekend, I was sorry to miss the RYC concert last week but didn’t think anyone would enjoy the presence of a sneezing MP throughout the performance!