Well, this has been something of a week. For the record I was not invited to any party in Downing Street last Christmas, if I had been I would not have attended as I was very clear that any party pr gathering was not permitted under the covid rules. Like the vast majority of my constituents I have abided by the various rules at different stages of the pandemic, because I wanted to keep the spread of covid-19 to a minimum. It is one of the reasons I am an enthusiastic mask wearer, I know that it doesn’t help me, but it does protect others. I was even wearing a mask in the chamber when it was not required.
But in better news, I very much enjoyed the George’s Trust Christmas Concert last weekend. Since the Trust was set up it has raised enormous sums for the Teenage Cancer Trust, for the ward at Southampton General Hospital and to provide support to young musicians in the Romsey area. It was a lovely event and reminded me that Christmas is well and truly on its way. I also spent much of the day supporting Small Business Saturday but cannot really indicate which businesses without giving away to my nearest and dearest exactly where their Christmas presents have come from.
I was pleased to see the Law Commission review indicating their support for making public sexual harassment a specific offence. When the Police Crime Sentencing and Courts Bill comes back from the Lords the Government has the opportunity to bring in their own amendment to just make it happen. I very much hope they choose to listen to the Commission and women campaigners up and down the country who have been calling for this change. It is an issue I repeatedly raise with Ministers and indeed the Prime Minister, and I will continue to do so.
As I write this I don’t know if the Government will try to introduce further restrictions as part of Plan B. I know how strongly some of my constituents feel about vaccine passports, but the vast majority have not let me know their thoughts and I would be very interested to hear from more local residents on their opinions.