Saturday, November 01, 2008

This week

Maurice arrived from Auckland this afternoon for a short visit. He had a little sleep on the 26-hour journey and seems in very good shape.

Monday, lunch with the Armenian Foreign Minister. Then fielded a question by Lord Naseby on security and business aviation, and in the evening, attended the presentation by Mr Speaker of the Mr Speaker Abbott Awards, for which I am one of the judges. This year there were joint winners: Michel Kilo, a Syrian journalist who is serving a three-year prison sentence,presented in absentia to his son, and Jonathan Paye-Layleh, who reports from Liberia for the BBC.

Tuesday, hosted a Silbury Fund lunch for Jonathan Paye-Layleh, then chaired a Parliamentary Human Rights Group meeting for him to meet NGOs. Attended a meeting of the Parliamentary Drugs and Alcohol Harm Group.

Wednesday, fielded a question by Lord Greaves on the statement by the new Minister for Immigration, Phil Woolas, that the Government would prevent the UK population from rising to 70 million. Then spoke on two Orders; on the next phase of the Points Based System of immigration control, and on remands by the English courts of persons indicted by the International Criminal Court. In the evening, attended the joint 80th birthday party of Bill Rodgers and Dick Taverne.

Thursday, meeting with the Prime Minister of the Turks and Caicos Islands; then fielded a question by the Bishop of Winchester on the situation in the eastern DRC, and at the end of business, moved an amendment to the Education & Skills Bill on the education of GRT children - mainly in order to get a progress report from the new Minister, Baroness Morgan, on assurances given by her predecessor Lord Adonis before the summer recess.

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