Thursday, February 21, 2008


First posting in February!

In the Houise:

February 6 question on Kenya, debate on Zimbabwe
February 7 question on floods in southern Africa
February 18 chaired Maqbool Butt memorial event, spoke on Infant Formula
February 20 statement on citizenship
February 21 question on Darfur

During the week's February recess, spent four days in Pakistan talking to journalists, lawyers and others about the legal crisis, with 50 judges sacked, 3 judges of the Supreme Court in incommunicado detention. Most were pessimistic about the likelihood of change after the February 18 Parliamentary elections, but they were reasonably fair, and there is some hope now that the rule of law will be restored.

Tomorrow I have the second reading of my House of Lords (Amendment) Bill, to abolish the by-elections to maintain the 92 hereditary peers. But with the emergency legislation on Northern Rock there's a danger that Friday's sitting will be cancelled.

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