Diary - a hot, sticky day in the Commons

On another boiling hot day, I headed to the Commons, passing a gridlocked A31 and M3 all the way to Winchester as everyone headed to the beach. More than aware of the problems of the last invasion caused, I rang the police, James Weld and the council, predicting another. I was correct, I heard later, with traffic bringing chaos to all the roads leading to our beaches. With little traffic on my side of the road, I was soon in the Commons. With few staff in, and many MPs working from home virtually, it was like a ghost-town. PMQs was another tetchy session, with the PM countering the Labour leader effectively. Two Opposition Day debates followed, one questioning Robert Jenrick's behaviour over a controversial planning decision. Mr Jenrick defended himself forcefully and the papers Labour were calling for were released. I took the opportunity to catch up with several colleagues, which included a fascinating chat with Sir John Redwood. Why such talent and experience are not in the Cabinet really is an indictment on the lack of meritocracy. We had one vote at 1900, which took about 20 minutes. I was not surprised to learn that today was officially the hottest day of the year so far. The Met Office said the temperature hit 32.6C at Heathrow Airport, beating the previous record of 28.9C set at the end of May. During the day, I was stunned to hear that Rose Paterson, the wife of my good friend, Owen, had died. The news took shook us all and I can only send my love and affection to Owen and his family. By the end of the day, we'd dropped to a one-line Whip, so I headed home, passing another gridlock on the A31; this time heading east. Back to work and school the nation must go.