A busy but productive two days
Posted Thursday, 3 November 2011 at 11:48
The last forty eight hours have been slightly odd and rather busy. I have had a photo shoot for Conde Naste, chaired three Westminster Hall debates and put a question to Bill Gates about the children in Equatorial Guinea, in addition to a very lively PMQs, discussions with backbenchers over Europe, meetings over Covanta and all the usual inward flow of constituency work.
However, I have learnt two very important things over the last couple of days;
The first came whilst I was chairing a debate convened by Barry Sheerman MP on carbon monoxide poisoning.
Barry was my first Chairman when, as a rookie MP, I sat on his education select committee. He was a good Chairman. Barry has valiantly championed raising awareness of carbon monoxide emissions for ten years following the death of a child in his constituency. During the debate I learnt about the death of a child whilst camping with his parents. Following a BBQ, they brought the used disposable BBQ container inside the tent overnight to keep it dry. I had no idea that a used BBQ emitted carbon monoxide or that it could so easily be fatal. I now feel like I want to warn the world about this.
Bob Russell MP convened a fantastic debate during which he named and shamed a cowboy builder in his constituency and a much longer debate convened by Paul Maynard MP on HS2 and the north of England was impassioned and fiery.
The second thing I learnt yesterday was about the value of Westminster Hall debates. They provide MPs with a great opportunity to hold Ministers to account at eye level. I felt very proud when I finished chairing the two and a half hours of debates and, although the eyes of the media and the pundits had all been on Prime Ministers Questions, Westminster Hall was ticking along like an engine in the boiler room facillitiating democracy at its very best.
Nadine Dorries MP
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA
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