April Fools' jokes & genuine stories from the week at Westminster

Tim Farron and Rory Stewart

First, a few genuine stories from the week at Westminster that you may have missed.

The head of Cumbria's tourist board visited parliament herself on Tuesday, but told MPs that the marketing of the UK to visitors from overseas is too focused on London. Gill Haigh, Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism, was giving evidence to the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee.

She said: "International visitors of course want to see London and other parts of the country, but they are also strongly interested in the rural and countryside offer, and obviously the Lake District is a world-renowned brand, so there's a massive opportunity for us, particularly extending outside the main holiday season."

Last year, Workington Conservative MP Mark Jenkinson was drawn out first in a ballot of MPs, giving him the chance to put forward a Private Members' Bill on a subject of his choosing. He sought to ensure that careers guidance is available to children from the start of secondary school.

The Education (Careers Guidance in Schools) Act 2022 received royal assent on Thursday, meaning it has become law.

Scottish Secretary (and Dumfries & Galloway Conservative MP) Alister Jack visited Belfast at the end of the week, where he called for work to upgrade the A75 to start immediately. The road leads to the Cairnryan ferry port and therefore on to Northern Ireland. The Scottish Government again noted that transport is devolved to Holyrood.

Now, a couple of April Fools' Day jokes from Friday.

Westmorland & Lonsdale Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron dreamed up a TV series that surely won't be commissioned anytime soon.

Former Penrith & The Border MP Rory Stewart ran against Boris Johnson in the Conservatives' leadership contest in 2019 and has since been a fierce critic of the Prime Minister, making this 'announcement' very unlikely.

MPs are off now for easter recess, but next week the UK government is expected to publish its delayed energy strategy, promised after Russia's invasion of Ukraine put the spotlight on our energy sources.