Nelson Mandela Commemoration

Another one in the dark of Westminster Hall from just before Christmas as members from both Houses of Parliament and invited guests commemorated the life of Nelson Mandela. As well as the foreign secretary William Hague and Labour leader Ed Miliband, the Speakers included Lord Joffe who represented Mandela at his 1963 trial in South Africa, and long time campaigner and MP for over 50yrs Tony Benn, with music from the South African Cultural Choir, voices that sounded amazing in the hall

The Queen in Westminster Hall

 

A bit late but here’s some pictures of the Queen visiting Westminster Hall just before Christmas to view the Diamond Jubilee Window now installed in the great window over the North Door. She also got to see the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft, which is located underneath Parliament, which rather surprisingly she had never seen before. It was all a bit of a challenge light wise as: A. there was none! and B. It was pointed out to me about 10 seconds before she arrived that ‘Her Majesty isn’t a fan of flash photography, she’ll give you a look to make it clear to you if you’re using it too much..’

 

UK Youth Parliament

Really inspiring day on Friday listening to the British Youth Parliament debating in the House of Commons. Over 300 MYPs (Members of the Youth Parliament) participated in the debate, elected by their peers to represent them. This year, a record number of 11-18 year olds – 478,386 – voted for their subjects to be debated by MYPs in the House of Commons. I came away full of optimism, truly amazed at their debating skills, confidence, and passion and belief in democracy – and relieved that the biggest group shot I’ve ever had to do of about 350 came out..

2 Prime Ministers and a Senate meeting

Another interesting job last week courtesy of the House of Lords. The Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, spoke to members from both houses in the Robing Room, possibly the goldest room on the planet (making the recording of accurate skin tones a challenge!). Was very interesting to see the dynamic of British PM, David Cameron, and the leaders of the other parties, Ed Miliband  and Nick Clegg, chatting very informally before and afterwards. The following day I covered the annual meeting of the heads/speakers of the Senates of Europe – i.e the House of Lords equivalents – and shot the official group photo, in a room full of mirrors, remembering to duck down at the last minute to avoid getting in the picture myself..

Aung San Suu Kyi addresses MPs and Lords in Westminster Hall

A shoot from last year before I started this blog, but worth putting up as pretty memorable. I was quite a distance from her, struggling with an immense 500mm lens for most of it! Interesting to see Labour leader Ed Miliband chatting to the then Tory chief whip Andrew Mitchell, who has since been forced to resign over ‘plebgate’

State Opening of Parliament 2012

One of the more memorable commissions of the last 20 years with great access shooting in the House of Lords, for the House of Lords.