I am only in London till Wednesday night so I will miss the chance to meet Angela Merkel, who is coming to the Houses of Parliament on Thursday. This is a shame, because I have long wanted to meet her, but over 4 months ago I committed to spending this coming Thursday in Bellingham, visiting local businesses, meeting with the local Deanery, and spending some time with Susan, the wonderful local vicar. I am really looking forward to getting back to the Upper North Tyne.
Monday of this week I have various meetings and constituency phone calls, then the Crime and Courts Bill, in the commons, and we will be sitting late until 10.30; on Tuesday I have a health question on midwife led maternity care at health questions at 2.30. Tuesday evening I am looking forward to speaking at a dinner for the Institute for economic affairs (IEA) on "Big Society Prisons", discussing the next steps on prison reform, as broadly set out in my book, Doing Time - Prisons in the 21st Century.
On Wednesday I am having a tele conference with rob Stewart of the Alzheimer's Society in the morning then there is the usual opposition day debate in the afternoon. When that finishes I will be cycling hard to see if I can make the 8pm train to Kings Cross and home in Hexham shortly before midnight.