FORA enjoys drinks on the terrace at Westminster

Inside Westminster

Inside Westminster

On 6th July 2016 FORA members were treated to a historical tour of the Houses of Parliament by the highly entertaining Leyton & Wanstead MP John Cryer. Alongside the 900 year history of the building John explained the workings of parliament from the point of view of a current Member of Parliament. John is also chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party, a role which has been not been without challenges of late. So it was very interesting for FORA members to hear of the mood at Westminster during this historic last 10 days in British politics.

 

John explains the story of Emily Wilding Davison

John explains the story of Emily Wilding Davison

 

 

 

 

As the weather was warm we took the opportunity to have a drink and chat on the terrace bar from which there are wonderful views across the river Thames. All members who took part expressed their gratitude for an excellent event.

Riverside Terrace Westminster

Riverside Terrace Westminster

 

FORA would like to express appreciation to John Cryer MP for giving us such an informative and lively tour of the seat of government during what has been a very busy time for him. For a write up of a previous tour given to FORA members by John see here.

FORA visits Parliament

Big Ben 18 November 2015

Big Ben 18 November 2015

On Wednesday evening a group of Leytonstone residents visited The Houses of Parliament and were treated to an informative and highly entertaining personal tour by our member of parliament John Cryer MP.
We met John in Westminster Hall built 1097-99, he came straight from the division lobby where he had been voting on a bill in the commons. John is an excellent and highly knowledgeable speaker and gave us a fascinating history of the parliament buildings, an explanation of how parliament works today, and many anecdotes and stories from behind the scenes at Westminster.

John Cryer MP with residents of Leytonstone at Westminster

John Cryer MP with residents of Leytonstone at Westminster

We saw bomb damage from both the IRA attacks of the 1970s and the Luftwaffe from the Second World War. We saw where kings and queens of England where laid in state. We saw where the gunpowder had been deposited in the 1605 gunpowder plot. We saw the statue where the suffragette Emily Wilding Davison chained herself during a protest for women’s rights in 1911. We saw the door Black Rod knocks on during the state opening of parliament by the Queen. We entered the division lobby where members of parliament vote for or against by entering either the ‘Aye’ or the ‘No’ lobbies. While waiting for John we heard the division bell ring calling MPs to a vote in the commons. We entered the commons chamber and stood by the dispatch box where David Cameron, Harold Wilson, Tony Blair, Winston Churchill, David Lloyd George, and Clement Atlee among many others have stood and made their speeches. We heard about the seating arrangements and protocol in the commons and found out the origin of the term ‘toeing the line’.
John described the traditions of the commons and shared stories of some of the colourful characters who have been elected over the years.

FORA residents with their Member of Parliament

FORA residents with their Member of Parliament

All of the members of our group felt the event was highly informative as well as wonderfully entertaining. On behalf of FORA I would like to express our appreciation to John for an insiders view of parliament and for being an excellent host.

If you would like to find out more about this topic visit the Parliament website
By Martin Sepion