Diary - row brews over who chairs an influential committee

A long run first thing in warm sunshine started the day. It is noticeable how few people are out in the morning compared to normal. Into the Commons and a busy morning dealing with many constituency matters before a virtual pre-meeting with businessman John Vickers and Dorset Council CEO Matt Prosser. We were preparing for another virtual meeting with business minister Amanda Solloway tomorrow. Mr Vickers has an innovative and exciting business idea which he is keen for the Government to hear about. I missed PMQs as a consequence. Then, I headed off for a much-needed haircut. What a relief that was! In the Chamber, the SNP had an Opposition Day and I occasionally tuned in on my TV to see their MPs banging on about the EU and independence. It saddens me to see these MPs doing their level best to break up our Union, when they must know it would mean economic ruin for Scotland and her people were it to happen. Some of their MPs appear to bear a grudge, bordering on hatred of the Union, which is clouding their political judgement, to the detriment of the Scottish people. I personally feel that the SNP has had its day and there's plenty of evidence - some of it highlighted in the debate - that the wheels are coming off. By late afternoon, news was breaking that my friend and colleague, Dr Julian Lewis, had had the Whip removed by the PM. From what I could gather, he was charged with working with Opposition MPs to become Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee. Chris Grayling is thought to have been No 10's preferred choice, but that's not how it's worked out. Again, as I understand it, committee members decide who is to chair it and they've clearly decided they wanted Dr Lewis. There have been calls for an independent inquiry into this pandemic and tonight the PM confirmed there would be one, but now was not the time.