18 members and their guests attended the visit to the seat of Government - The Palace of Westminster. We met for coffee and as it was my first event with the Guild the warm welcome and conversations with fellow members reinforced the reasons I joined.
We were taken round by our guide Nick who was engaging and informative. He led us through the path that many of our leaders have taken through the lobbies and into the Commons Chamber. It was very moving to see the shield of arms for Jo Cox on the wall with all the other MPs who had died in service. Sadly, we were not able to visit the Lords Chamber due to preparations for them moving in the near future. We finished the tour in the amazing Westminster Hall which to call ‘vast’ is probably an understatement.
We adjourned for lunch in the Jubilee Cafe and some of us took time in the shop to purchase mementoes of the day.
After seeing The Speaker’s Procession at 2.25pm we took our seats in the Public Gallery of The Commons to see government in action. The topics discussed were relevant to our profession. We heard questions to The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions about Universal Credit and the Fitness to Work. We then listened to a statement by Matt Hancock updating the work being undertaken on Brain Cancer following the inspirational work of Tessa Jowell MP prior to her death.
A huge thank you to Jane Burch for arranging the visit and looking after us on the day.