Guest column: Cancer charity solves problem posed by Parliament recall

John Bercow MP PNL-140621-181136009
John Bercow MP PNL-140621-181136009
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Parliament was recalled last Friday to debate a motion relating to the terrorist group ISIL, write Buckingham MP and Speaker John Bercow.

Recalls always generate a bit of a buzz around the building – MPs hurrying back from their constituencies and further afield jolt Parliament out of the quiet of recess, and the seriousness of the subject matter added a level of urgency to proceedings.

The Commons Chamber comes in for occasional criticism for the behaviour of some of its inhabitants, but last Friday the contributions were measured, sincere – sometimes passionate – but listened to with respect by the rest of the House.

The atmosphere was muted, sombre, even, and emphasised sharply to all of us, I think, the dangerous world in which we live.

One of the consequences of a recall during recess is that Members have to cancel their constituency engagements in order to return to London.

This posed something of a problem for the charity Macmillan Cancer, which had organised a series of coffee mornings throughout the country, which were to be attended by MPs or, in some cases, hosted by them.

When it became clear there was to be a mass exodus to London on Friday, Macmillan decided to host an event in the Jubilee Room off Westminster Hall instead.

During a quick break from my duties in the chair, I was delighted to be able to pop along to their coffee morning for a hot beverage and a chat – not least because one of my own constituents was helping to organise the event.

Macmillan are to be commended for their efforts (and their lateral thinking), and I wish them all the best in their endeavours.

As the Conference recess reaches its close, my mind is turning to my constituency engagements in the run-up to Christmas, which I predict will be upon us before we know it.

My diary is already looking pretty busy for the next couple of months, and I am looking forward to updating readers on what I’ve been up to in the coming weeks.