Wednesday, 7 November 2007

The West Amersham Question

It doesn't feel like Wednesday. There's no prime minister's question time, which may disappoint David Cameron more than Gordon Brown after yesterday's exchanges.

MPs are instead embarking on several days' debate on the Queen's Speech. Well, some of them are - there are no Commons votes until next week so some will be catching up with their constituents.

Cheryl Gillan invited the Welsh media to her loft-style office in Portcullis House for her regular weekly briefing over coffee and biscuits.

She wouldn't be drawn on Stephen Crabb's views on devolution - pity that. Discovering Ms Gillan's inner thoughts on devolution is like getting blood from a stone. We never had that problem with Bill Wiggin!

She did suggest one potential problem with plans to raise the education leaving age to 18 in England, a question that emerged after she was having her hair done in a salon with a 17-year-old work experience person.

What happens if someone of the same age in Wales moves to England (perhaps her own constituency of Chesham and Amersham) a year after leaving school? Would they be prosecuted or forced back to school?

The most probable answer is that the 17-year-old's work would include a large enough element of training to qualify as education, training or an apprenticeship - but an interesting question nevertheless.

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