High level talks with leaders of UK and Hungary !
It’s a nice headline but the truth is a little more mundane. With a Hungarian wife and a knowledge of the language I was quickly made vice-president of the Anglo-Hungarian Parliamentary group and was nominated to stand in the line- up to greet the Ferenc Gyurcsány PM of Hungary on his recent visit to Westminster. “It would impress my mother-in-law if I could have my photo taken with him” I said “help yourself he won’t mind at all” I was told. To my surprise he walked into the room with our very own Tony Blair. Not to be put off I launched into a Hungarian greeting then, in English, turned to the small group and said that I was just going to have quick photograph with the “Prime Minister.” Everyone assumed I meant Mr Blair who looked a bit surprise when I headed for Ferenc. He in turn diplomatically insisted that we all pose together. Thus I have a wonderful photo with no real story to attach to it.
However I was not alone in the line-up for there is one other Parliamentarian who can speak Hungarian - Baron Anderson of Swansea otherwise known as Donald Anderson - Labour MP for Monmouth between 1966and 1970. What are the chances of the only two Hungarian speakers in the Houses of Parliament having both represented the same constituency?