Diary

What a day! It started with my usual run in the morning before heading to the House. Frantic with a number of issues, not least continuing to prepare my speech for the afternoon's debate on the economy. First up was a statement by the Secretary of State on government proposals to redefine marriage. The Chamber was pretty full and as it turned out 62 questions were lodged by backbenchers - I know as I was number 61! The Minister attempted to reassure us that religious beliefs would be safeguarded, with the Church of England removed from the legislation altogether. Many of my colleagues are not convinced and feel that equal rights' laws will overall whatever 'lock' is placed by our government. The session lasted for a long time and was emotive. Yes, I accused the government of being 'arrogant and intolerant' and I believe they are. You cannot stamp on religious belief and use legislation to undermine deeply held beliefs. This issue was not in our manifesto, nor was it in anyone else's. This is being foisted on us all by Cameron and his small bunch of supporters. There's also a row over the so-called consultation process, which has ignored 600,000 signatures on an e-petition. By the time the session has ended, it was about 2.10pm. I then raced down to a nearby club to have a late lunch with a friend. He was patient and understood the delay, fortunately. Then, it was back into the Chamber for the rest of the day as I waited to be called to speak during the debate on the economy. I gave a pretty upfront speech and did not beat about the bush. The business secretary, Vince Cable, came in for some stick. Why a man more left wing than most socialists is in charge of business beats me and I think most of us. The debate ended at 7pm, after which I washed up for a further 30 minutes in the office before joining my wife for dinner. An interesting day.