Below is a post I did on August 31, 2007
Diana, Frank Cook and me
Princess Diana's role in my parliamentary life was 13 years ago - beyond the reach of Google's tentacles to delve.
Not that I ever meet her. I kept to my advice of telling MPs how to avoid royalty. But surprisingly she found a debate I had in the Common on the subject of the plight of young people leaving care. Shocking reports revealed the depth of misery of those who left full time care for full-time neglect at the age of 16.
Vulnerable damaged young people, scarcely more than children, were dumped into lodgings with little support. They were ill-equipped for independent living. Predictably many ended up in lives of crime, exploitation and poverty.
The debate was well attended and there was a supportive meeting organised by Barnardo's and other childrens' charities. There was not a ripple of interest from press or Government until a letter from Princess Diana arrived on my desk a month later. She said she had read the debate, was sympathetic to the cause and was especially impressed by some comments by my fellow MP Frank Cook. This gave the campaign a great fillip. The subject was then well aired in the media.
Sadly the news was soured by criticism that Diana was interfering in politics by supporting a campaign led by Labour MPs. Her help was welcome and valuable but the pro-Charles papers were more interested in bad mouthing Diana than in highlighting a scandal that was wreaking the lives of thousands of young people.
To her credit, she tried