Recess not holiday…

I had to take a bit of a break from blogging in May for various reasons, mostly work-related but also either being away at the weekend or having visitors, or writing things for other people’s blogs (which I should have linked to here, but I never quite got round to it).

Having now had half-term recess to catch up on work and with friends and family,  I think I’m now ready to resume normal service….

We’re back ‘at work’ on Tuesday, although I’ve not actually stopped during recess just slowed down a bit. Today I visited the Airbus site at Filton, which was fascinating – I know now all about the manufacture of the A400M composite wing and how the A380 landing gear is tested. I’ve also held my usual surgery and had meetings with various people. I have also almost – not quite – cleared my paperwork and will be battling on with trying to reduce the emails down to a manageable level over the next few days. Plus a series of Labour party meetings in Stroud, Swindon, Bristol and Exeter… And VegFest of course (formerly known as the Bristol Vegan Fayre) which was bigger and better than ever this year.

The Finance Bill is in committee at the moment, and as one of the two Shadow Treasury Ministers (the other being David Hanson MP) on the committee I’ve got to lead on roughly half of the clause/ amendments. This not only means spending the best part of two days a week in the committee itself, but also lots of preparation and research. Our opposite numbers on the Government frontbench have a whole army of civil servants to advise them and draft their speeches and pass them notes during the committee. We only have our parliamentary researchers and a couple of people from “the Eds” office (i.e. they work for both of them).

We’ve got one more week in committee when the House returns and then it will be on to Report Stage when the Bill returns to the floor of the Commons for debate on any further amendments.

I’ve also got my Ten Minute Rule Bill coming up soon, on June 7th. Its official title is the Kinship Carers (Parental Responsibility Agreements) Bill, and it’s backed by a host of great organisations. But I’ll be blogging about that separately…

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