Policy

The Co-op may be on life support but there's still a lot to fight for

Recent article written about the future of the Co-op

Syria

Many of you contacting me with concerns about the growing violence that is occuring in Syria.

Lobbying Bill

Many of you wrote to me concerning the Lobbying Bill that went through last month, concerned with its impact on charities, campaigning bodies and trade unions.

Bees

Many of you have contacted me to express your concerns about neonicotinoid pesticides and their impact on the health and population of British bees.

Ministerial Statement on Save the Children’s No Child Born to Die campaign

A number of you contacted me in support of Save the Children’s No Child Born to Die Campaign. I have now received a response from the Rt Hon Justine Greening MP, the Secretary of State for International Development.

Draft Communications Data Bill

I am aware that many of you are concerned by the Government’s Draft Communications Data Bill and the potential impact this draft Bill could have on privacy.

Ministerial Statement on the awarding of the DVLA services contract

On 13 November 2012, the Secretary of State for Transport released a written statement to confirm that the DVLA’s Front Office Counter Services Contract has been awarded to the Post Office.

Ministerial Reply on Badger Cull

I have now received a reply from David Heath CBE MP, the Minister of State for Agriculture and Food on the highly controversial badger cull.

Save the Children’s No Child Born to Die campaign

The Save the Children’s ‘No Child Born to Die’ campaign calls for politicians to tackle the hunger and malnutrition suffered by children throughout the world. Members of Parliament have been asked to sign an Early Day Motion (EDM) on Global Food Security. The EDM calls for Members of Parliament to ensure pressure is applied on world leaders to commit to tackling world hunger and poverty. I do not sign EDMs however I have immediately written to the Prime Minister for assurances that he will maintain his commitment of tackling hunger as a key focus of his G8 presidency. I will update this section of my website when I have received a reply from the Prime Minister.

Badger Cull

Many of you have contacted me to raise your concerns over the proposed badger cull. On Tuesday 23 October, the Secretary of State for the Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), the Rt Hon Owen Paterson announced that the highly controversial badger cull will be delayed until the summer.

Ministerial reply on DVLA services at post offices

I have now received a reply from Mike Penning MP, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department of Transport regarding the retention of Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) services at Post Offices. Please see the full response below.

Ministerial reply on Air Passenger Duty

I have now received a reply from Sajid Javid MP, Economic Secretary to the Treasury regarding Air Passenger Duty (APD). Please see the full response below.

Air Passenger Duty

I am aware that many of you have concerns about the recent rise in Air Passenger Duty.

In the budget the Government announced there would be an 8% increase in duty from April 2012 and another rise by inflation in 2013.

This rise in duty will not only affect people wishing to take their annual summer holiday and the many constituents who visit family abroad, but could also have a negative effect on the aviation industry and trade.

I have immediately written to the Rt Hon George Osborne MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer to raise this issue and when I receive a reply I will post it on my website. If you would like to receive a paper copy please get on touch.

The House of Lords Reform Bill- Second reading

The House of Lords Reform Bill has passed the Second Reading in the House of Commons. At this stage, the vote was on whether we supported the principle of the Bill.

I am in favour of House of Lords reform, however I do have concerns with the Government’s Bill. Electing members on non-renewable 15 year terms will deliver no accountability to the electorate.

I am pleased that the Government dropped the programme motion which would have meant that Parliament only had 10 days to scrutinise the Bill. On legislation which effects our constitution and the way we are governed, it is important that Parliament is given enough time to look at it carefully.

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