"Greetings from the Arctic Circle, you may be surprised to hear that all the MPs completed the 300km trek across the Arctic Circle and even more astonished to hear we are all still talking to each other!
It has truly been an incredible experience building igloos for shelter and fishing for supper in frozen rivers. Collectively we have raised over £100,000 for charity – not bad for a week’s Parliamentary recess! I’m sure it has been the longest spell a group of MPs have endured without their Blackberry’s working!
Temperatures this week have averaged -29’C. The Arctic is effectively the planet’s freezer, but the hole man as created – directly above our heads in the ozone layer – equates to leaving the freezer door open. Sadly, the threat to the very snow we have been walking across is the reason why Bournemouth must now consider raising its sea defences by a metre.
After a week trekking directly under the Northern Star, we head back to civilisation, slightly colder, slightly grizzilier (due to no shaving) and with far more respect for a most stunning corner of the globe. It is welcome news to hear that a successor to the Kyoto Protocol is being debated in Washington DC. However unless those words are turned into actions (particularly with respect to China, India and the USA) climate change here in the Arctic, and subsequently elsewhere, will gather pace.
The Westminster Challenge is now planned to be an annual event so fellow MPs best make holiday arrangements for next February now, or they may find themselves in another inhospitable corner of the earth, raising money for charity."