A lot of people got in touch at the end of the week to say they'd seen me doing the bowing bit to give the vote result at the end of the Queen's Speech debate. Some things didn't change - we lost all the votes as usual. But the margin of only 14 is a reminder that if the Conservatives hadn't raided their magic money tree for the billion pounds bung to the DUP they would struggle even more to win votes in the mother of parliaments. And only days after they voted against ending the 1% pay cap on public sector pay we've had a weekend of Tory Cabinet members making exactly the same argument that we the Labour Party made last week and they, the Conservatives, voted against! The need to reward our firefighters, our police, our nurses, our teachers and other public sector workers properly is becoming ever clearer. So perhaps next time we wont just win the argument but we'll win the vote as well. And if this is what a hung parliament looks like - making life better for people - then it has to be an improvement on where we were before the General Election.
Getting all party groups up and running before the summer recess comes has involved meetings with the secretariats for the All Party Group on Pancreatic Cancer and the All Party Group on Cancer. The important work they do in focusing arguments on how to improve our performance in the fight against cancer is crucial. My first contribution in the Commons since the election was to ask for a statement on the performance of NHS Improvement as I and other stakeholders locally become increasingly frustrated at how slow the are being in providing timely and effective support to Scunthorpe General Hospital.
I was pleased to join Scunthorpe Town Centre retailers, North Lincolnshire Council officers, local Labour Councillors and Humberside Police for a meeting to focus on how to tackle the growing problems of anti-social behaviour in and around the High Street. There was a strong desire to work together to make the improvements that are needed so that our hard working retailers can provide the fantastic shopping experience that local people value.
It was good to catch up with Scunthorpe United to be updated on their future plans. And I really enjoyed being with the Scunthorpe Cooperative Junior Choirs - such amazing talent from the children and staff.