One of the exciting things about this parliament is that a Government defeat is much more likely. Tonight we were voting on the Lords amendments to the Racial and Religious Hatred Bill and a combination of opposition MPs and Labour rebels meant that one of the Government's dafter ideas was held well and truly in check.
The second vote was won by a majority of one so it's a good thing that the Member for Winchester turned up and voted appropriately.
Members of the public may find it hard to believe but the House of Commons can be an incredibly supportive place at times of personal crisis. The support is cross party and can come from surprising quarters. So, it was particularly gratifying to see senior Tories approaching Mark in a supportive manner. Before anyone says anything there may well have been similar gestures from Labour MPs - it's just that I didn't spot them!