A famously levelling feature of our political system is that ministers not drawn from the House of Lords need to have a constituency, with all the local ‘issues’ that implies.
So Obiter wondered what our home team of Ministry of Justice ministers might be going home to over the Easter recess when they leave their helpful civil servants behind.
Lord chancellor Chris Grayling’s back yard is Surrey’s Epsom and Ewell, where constituents are so keen on the back yard that they would like pretty much nothing more in it. Much on their mind is a planning application for a site called ‘Nescot Animal Husbandry land’. In place of husbanded animals, developers want 90 houses and a care home – cue 100 objections.
For Damian Green (pictured) – handling policing, criminal justice and victims in term time – it’s back to Ashford, Kent, where he’ll be looking to build on earlier successes that include the opening of a sewage plant.
Minister of state Simon Hughes has less far to go – a self-driven cab-ride to Bermondsey and Old Southwark, south-east London. But he’ll be shifting from implementation of the Norgrove family law reforms to his local party’s ‘Save our Pubs!’ campaign.
Parliamentary undersecretary Jeremy Wright, MP for Kennilworth and Southam, can spend the time reconciling the, erm, dissonance between government policy on high speed rail and the views of his Warwickshire constituents.
Fellow under-sec Shailesh Vara, representing North West Cambridgeshire, has a pretty invulnerable majority – though opening a ‘canine centre’ is among his previous activities.
Obiter suspects that MPs may envy the lot of Lord ‘Eddie’ Baron Faulks of Donnington in the Royal County of Berkshire, who can instead go for a walk round the village castle and still be home in time for tea.