“IT WAS a fabulous day out and meeting Boris Johnson was just the icing on the cake!”
That was the verdict of Knighton Deputy Mayor Sally Vaughan after town councillors visited the Houses of Parliament in the company of Brecon and Radnor MP Chris Davies who introduced them to former London Mayor, popular television celebrity and possible prime ministerial contender Boris Johnson.
“It was a pleasure to meet him, he was very nice, very cheery and much bigger in real life than you expect,” said Cllr Vaughan.
“But perhaps he’s not the Iron Lady,” (Margaret Thatcher) she said of his prime ministerial prospects.
The council were invited by MP Chris Davies who hosted their visit to tour the House of Commons on Tuesday, October 17.
“I always thoroughly enjoy having guests visit Westminster from our wonderful constituency,” said Mr Davies.
“This trip was an extremely special one, with my esteemed guests from Knighton Council getting to see me speak live in the House of Commons Chamber.
“I hope I lived up to their expectations. My guests were also lucky enough to get the chance to meet with our charismatic Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson MP,” said Mr Davies.
Councillors were given a tour of various parts of Parliament, from Portcullis House to Westminster Hall and the Committee Corridors.
From the visitors’ gallery they were able to watch the Parliamentary Foreign Office questions debate being led by Boris Johnson and in which Mr Davies, spoke.
The group then went on to the Commons Terrace, overlooking the river Thames, where Knighton Town Crier Derek Price was given permission to ring his bell and thankfully was not arrested.
Knighton Mayor Bob Andrews said the invitation from Mr Davies had come some months ago and he was able to attend with his wife Pam as Mayoress, Deputy Mayor Sally Vaughan and her partner, and councillors Chris Bevan, Bob Hyde, Nick Johns, Chris Branford, and Roy Williams, with town clerk Neil Hird and town crier Derek Price.
“The group visited the House of Commons, the House of Lords and were taken on to the members terrace by Chris Davies next to the river Thames.
“The group also had tickets to the public gallery in the Commons to listen to debates.
“I would also like to stress that the trip was paid for by those who made the visit to Westminster and not by the Town Council,” said Cllr Andrews.
Cllr Vaughan added: “Chris Davies was a very thoughtful host and the only down side was that it wasn’t long enough but Boris was the icing on the cake and it was a pleasure to meet him.
“I would have liked to have met Theresa May and if we had been able to stay past 2.30pm we would probably have been able to,” said Cllr Vaughan.
Town crier Derek Price is well travelled in his official capacity but he said: “This was my first time at the Houses of Parliament and it was a wonderful day, very interesting and one of the nicest days I have had for a long time.
“It was really thrilling for me being there for a parliamentary question time and meeting Boris Johnson.
“But for me there was a policeman who wanted a photograph with me in my uniform and then another policeman came along and wanted to be in it too and they both had guns with me standing between them,” said Mr Price.
Chris Davies said: “I look forward to the next few groups we have coming to Westminster in the coming months.”
See full story in the County Times