Representing the House: Chairman of the Ukrainian Parliament
On 20 October I met Mr Volodymyr Lytvyn, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada – Ukraine’s national legislature.
Mr Lytvyn was in the UK on a visit organised by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office intended to strengthen inter-parliamentary ties between the UK and Ukraine.
We had an interesting discussion about current parliamentary relations, led here by the UK-Ukraine All Party Group, and Mr Lytvyn also talked about the current debate in Ukraine on whether or not to establish a second chamber.
Representing the House: President of the House of Councillors, Japan
I met the President of Japan’s House of Councillors, Mr Satsuki Eda, who was visiting Westminster as part of a brief visit to the UK on 16 October.
The House of Councillors is Japan’s Upper House and I was able to discuss with Mr Eda the role our two chambers have in scrutinising the Executive and contributing to the legislative process.
Mr Eda was accompanied by another member of the House of Councillors, Mr Yoshimitsu Takashima, and also met the Rt Hon Sir Alan Haselhurst MP, Deputy Speaker in the House of Commons.
Outreach: Jack Petchey Foundation
On 20 October I was delighted to meet the winners of the Jack Petchey Foundation’s ‘Speak Out’ challenge.
The Foundation gives grants to programmes and projects which benefit young people and, in a recent initiative, helped train over 20,000 students from state secondary schools in London and Essex in public speaking.
The students competed in the ‘Speak Out’ challenge, a public speaking competition, and the winners were able to enjoy a tour of the Palace of Westminster and a small reception which I hosted in the River Room at the House of Lords.
Event: ‘Make IT Happy’ competition
The Parliamentary Information Technology Committee (PITCOM) ran their annual ‘Make IT Happy’ competition, which challenges primary schools from across the country to demonstrate innovative and imaginative use of IT.
I presented the prizes to the regional and national winners at an awards ceremony on 19 October with Lord Harris of Haringey (Hon. Treasurer of PITCOM), Clive Efford MP and students and staff from Willow Dene School in Greenwich.
PITCOM was founded in 1981 to promote in Parliament an awareness of the social and economic impact of IT policies.
Image: Parliamentary copyright