On Monday, I had to get down to spend most of my time in the chamber for the second day of Report stage on the Fixed-term Parliaments Bill. I had to speak to my amendment in one debate and I contributed to another, initiated by Lord Grocott.
On Tuesday, I spent the morning giving evidence to the Public Administration Committee in the Commons on the Public Bodies Bill. They are considering whether there is much more that needs to be done to it when it reaches the Commons. I had a lunchtime meeting with the Leader of the House and then was at the meeting of the Merits of the Statutory Instruments Committee when the screen showed that the statement on the White Paper and House of Lords Reform Draft Bill was being taken. I dashed to the chamber to hear it and the subsequent exchanges. I later chaired a meeting of the Conservative Academics Group, addressed by Immigration Minister Damian Green, and then went to the Commons to attend the Speaker’s Lecture, this one on Nye Bevan given by historian and MP Gordon Marsden. After getting on with work, I got away at 11.00 p.m.
Wednesday was the busy day. In the morning, there was the meeting of the Constitution Committee where we took evidence from Deputy PM Nick Clegg (see the preceding post). As soon as that was over, I had to rush to Charing Cross to give a talk to a seminar on how Bills are dealt with in the Lords. I returned to the Lords in time for the meeting of the Executive of the Association of Conservative Peers. I then attended the start of the meeting of the full ACP, before having to nip out to prepare for my next meeting.
It was at this point that I realised that the paperwork I needed to draw together meant that I would not be able to get my usual lunch in the Bishop’s Bar. Instead, I took the underground to Temple and, with 15 minutes in hand, got a sandwich and a mug of tea (and a cake to have for later) from a snack bar by the tube station, before heading to the LSE to speak to Hansard Society scholars about the British Constitution. Questioning following the talk ran over, so I was delayed getting back to the House to entertain a colleague and some of his family to tea. As soon as I bade them farewell, it was off to a meeting of the ACP Executive with the Leader of the House, before going to Waterstone’s in Gower Street for the launch of Lee and Beech (eds), The Cameron-Clegg Government. I returned to the House to have something to eat and then went to the chamber for continuing debate in committee on the Police and Social Responsibility Bill. The House rose shortly after 10.00 p.m. and a little later I got away to head home. The cake from lunch was still in its wrapper…