Diary

The weather has definitely turned colder. But as the temperature dropped outside, it certainly rose inside the Chamber, but more on that in a minute. The gay 'marriage' issue had bubbled on over the weekend, with the pro lobby taking the initiative and giving various press briefings. As I drove up to the House in the early morning, the subject came up again on the radio. And, according to the papers, Sir John Major is now supporting the 'yes' camp, as is Boris Johnson. Frankly, I was not surprised. One is a nice man, but misguided, while the other is a political opportunist. As it happened, my colleague Edward Leigh called the Secretary of State to the House to explain what she was going to say tomorrow! You would not be surprised by the issues raised, although I was not in the Chamber to hear the exchanges, but caught up later on the television. My own view on this is well documented.  I have no axe to grind with gay people; indeed, some friends are gay. But legislation is totally inappropriate when it comes to curtailing the beliefs of a faith. On a separate issue, I had a very nice letter from Jez Hermer, a former Royal Marine who has established a company producing specialist vehicles. They bid for and won the contract to build more than 100 new anti-riot vehicles for the police in Northern Ireland. I am keen to get them in front of the defence minister. Ovik is a dynamic new company and is destined for a great future. Last vote was at 10pm.