Wednesday, 18 December, is UN International Migrants Day. To express their solidarity with the many men, women and children who perish on dangerous journeys as they flee war and seek a better life, two bishops, four MPs and a nun will be sailing past the Houses of Parliament in a tiny migrant boat that previously sailed from North Africa to Italy.
When the boat reached Lampedusa 18 months ago, it was crammed with 36 passengers who had to be rescued by the Italian coast guard. Since then it has been fixed up and made safe to sail again, and has sailed across oceans to London. The Thames Authorities will not allow more than seven passengers and two crew members.
The group which will be leaving Westminster Pier at 12.45am consists of: Sarah Teather MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Refugees; Keith Vaz MP, Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee; Simon Hughes MP, Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats; Rob Flello MP; Bishop Jonathan Clark; Sister Margaret Baxter and Bishop John Arnold.