Funeral views

April 12, 2002

Barry Sheerman, ever-popular chairman of the Commons' education select committee, found himself even more in demand this week.

Mr Sheerman, as befits an MP of his status, enjoys one of the finest offices in the luxurious new Portcullis House, with views across the street to Westminster Hall and the rest of the parliamentary buildings and Westminster Abbey.

On Tuesday morning, in a situation reminiscent of the stateroom scene from the Marx Brothers film A Night at the Opera , Mr Sheerman suddenly found his otherwise spacious office rapidly filling up with parliamentary colleagues from rooms with less of a view. It had become the best seat in the house from which to watch the passing pomp of the Queen Mother's funeral cortége.

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