Over the course of the 30+ years that the book has been published, I have received many hundreds of letters complimenting me on its usefulness to Parliamentarians and those who do business with the Palace of Westminster. I trust that you will find this issue as informative and as helpful as previous issues.

As I write this brief introduction, the main topic of political debate is the UK recession and the precarious international financial environment about the availability of capital and its effect on industry, housing, employment and the high street. No matter how much interest and discussion that is generated by crises or personalities, the day-to-day work of Parliament must continue the social, economic and business affairs of the country must be managed and it is these, the issues involved in the government of the nation, that are covered by the features in the Parliamentary Yearbook.

My appreciation goes out to everyone who has been involved in the book's production

Parliamentary Yearbook Information Office

David Blake