Iceland Parliament Speaker at Westminster

On Monday and Tuesday the 4th and 5th of February 2013, the Speaker of the Iceland Parliament visited London and was received at the Houses of Parliament. As an officer and member of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Iceland, Fabian was asked to host the formal part of the visit when Ms Ásta R. Jóhannesdóttir speaker of the Alþingi and a member of The Social Democratic Alliance party was invited to lunch at Westminster.

Alþingi is the Icelandic word for parliament and its English rendering is Althingi. The primary responsibility of the Speaker of Althingi is to ensure that constitutional provisions regarding Althingi and its rules of procedure are followed. The Speaker of Althingi is one of the deputies of the President of Iceland and, together with the Prime Minister and the President of the Supreme Court, assumes the presidential functions in his or her absence.

Ms Ásta R. Jóhannesdóttir was accompanied by the Icelandic Ambassador to the UK, Mr Benedikt Jonsson, and Fabian was pleased to officially entertain the distinguished visitors. Iceland was severely damaged, economically, during the 2008 global financial and banking crisis. Some British investors funds were at risk as they had been deposited in Iceland's banks which collapsed and had to be rescued by the government. Fabian and his colleagues on the APPG Iceland group have maintained a close interest in that country as it has successfully battled to reform its finances. The Iceland government has made impressive progress in restoring the economy and confidence of the country and its work offers a model for other countries, including the UK, whose own restructuring is not yet complete.

Ms Ásta R. Jóhannesdóttir and Mr Benedikt Jonsson being entertained for lunch at Westminster on the 5th February 2013