Ealing bright and early – everyone seems very jolly this morning. Think that is probably the aftermath of the news that broke yesterday about the Tory Tony Lit (and Tory must be a loose description) who gave £4,800 to Labour just before he became Tory candidate.
Then back to Parliament, where suddenly see on the annunciator (TV screens around Parliament that tell you what is happening in the Commons and Lords) that there is a statement to be made – an update from the Foreign Secretary on Litvinenko.
I seize my opportunity, as I have been waiting for the new Cabinet to be in place before trying to arrange for Marina Litvinenko and myself to meet with the Foreign Secretary. I get called – compliment (genuinely) David Miliband on his proposal to take a hardish (but proportionate line) with the Russians – expelling diplomats in response to their refusal to extradite the murder suspect in the case – and then ask him if he will agree to meet with me and Marina. He basically says yes – him or if not him – his official. So – a good ask!
Then straight into the BAE corruption debate. It is a Liberal Democrat Opposition motion. What struck me most was the Government’s absolutely vitriol towards us for raising the issue. Very telling! They didn’t like it one bit. I expect it is because the Government has used the smoke screen of ‘national security’ to hide the reason for the dropping of the investigation into BAE by the Serious Fraud Office. They wanted the contract for jobs and commercial reasons – but that is not a reason that can be used for dropping an investigation – only national security is. Hence – it is about national security and I’m the sugar-plum fairy! I didn’t catch Mr Speaker’s eye sadly – despite bobbing up and down for a few hours. I had to satisfy myself with a few interventions instead!