So far today I’ve been to a meeting with Jonathan Djanogly, junior Minister at the MoJ about legal aid funding for immigration/ asylum and, more specifically, about the financial difficulties of Refugee Migrant Justice which is now in administration. This meeting follows an urgent question in the House last month. Then it was off to the daily whips meeting, and then into the Chamber for Clegg Questions, followed by Qs to the Attorney General (I asked about prosecution of rapes where the victim has disabilities – they’re disproportionately more likely to be victims, and disproportionately less likely to see cases brought to court), and then Qs to “the Hon. Member representing the Speaker’s Committee on the Electoral Commission” which is Gary Streeter MP (I asked if they’d look at whether citizenship rules and in particular the high fees for citizenship applications are a deterrent to people, and thus prevent them becoming citizens and getting the right to vote; it’s something I’ve come across quite a bit). Then there was the Annual Energy Statement, and I asked about the Severn Barrage…. apparently an announcement is coming soon???
Later on in the day I met with Macmillan Cancer Research to talk about a whole host of things, but particularly those issues which I cover in my shadow ministerial role at DWP. Then went to a meeting of the FBU parliamentary group (slightly bizarre that the two leading lights in the group are possibly the most leftwing Labour MP, John McDonnell, and the most rightwing one, Kate Hoey). My main purpose in attending was to see what the Minister, Bob O’Neill, had to say about the future of the Regional Fire Control project, which has been beset by difficulties and, some would argue, should now be abandoned. The Minister tells us to watch this space….
And now I’m going to pop down to the Members Tearoom, grab a mug of tea before it closes, and wish the staff a happy summer break, before coming back upstairs to tackle those emails. CORRECTION: as chance would have it, have just seen a reminder email from Eric Joyce about a meeting of the All-Party Digital Economy Group, starting now. Suppose I’d better put in an appearance!