Westminster News

View from Westminster 29th July 2016

Over the last few years, I have put on a number of local Jobsfairs here in Wyre Forest. These aim to link those looking for work, with employers looking for workers. Twice a year, around 50 employers have offered around 500 jobs to local people and the attendance has been terrific. But as unemployment has come down in the district, there have been fewer and fewer people coming to the Jobsfairs, whilst employers are increasingly unable to fill vacancies. To me, this identified a subtler problem – that there could be a disconnect between schools and employers.

View from Westminster 22nd July 2016

It really is extraordinary how quickly things move in politics. A couple of months ago, the plan was for David Cameron to stand down before 2020, with an expected competition for the next Conservative leader to be between George Osborne and Boris Johnson. Three weeks ago that all changed with Cameron’s resignation, and ten days ago, we were expecting to be in for a long hot summer of leadership campaigning, for the next Prime Minster to be announced in September. Now we have a new PM, and new cabinet and a fully appointed list of ministers.

View from Westminster 15th July 2016

They say a week is a long time in politics: 25 minutes seems an eternity these days. A journalist Tweeted on Monday morning that she hoped we were in for a no-news day. Her hopes were dashed immediately.

View from Westminster 8th July 2016

MPs make many decisions, but one of the most unusual is choosing the next Prime Minister. By far the majority of times, leaders of political parties are chosen in opposition, when they are given time to bed down in their new role and to learn the skills they will need if they ever get into No 10. This time, the person appointed PM on September the 9th will write the next day to the captains of our nuclear submarines, instructing them what to do in the event of a catastrophic nuclear attack. There is no time to learn on the job, no time for settling down, no opportunity to learn from mistakes off-stage.

View from Westminster 1st July 2016

After more than 4 decades since we last had a vote on EU membership, the country has had another chance to voice its opinion on our continued membership of the EU. Over 72% of people turned out to vote on this incredibly important issue and the result was a small majority in favour of leaving. But we have already seen a petition raised to call another election to have another go, to get a ‘better’ result. It is widely known that I was very much in favour of the UK remaining in the EU and I made the economic case for us to do so. Having another referendum would be something that could give a result that I would favour.

View from Westminster 24th June 2016

The polls have closed, the results are in and we are set for Brexit. This is not a result I wanted, but I am proud to be part of the greatest democracy on Earth and so I look forward to representing, and acting on, the will of the people.

View from Westminster 20th June 2016

My favourite film is Apollo 13, the story of the doomed 1970 moon mission. In a key scene, Jim Lovell, the commander, radios mission control. “The earth’s getting pretty big in the window, fellers,” he calls. “We’re gonna need a plan for re-entry.” On the ground, mission commander Gene Krantz shrugs his shoulders and the message is returned “We’re just working on that now.”

View from Westminster 10th June 2016

Immigration is about the hottest topic that comes up on the doorstep. Whilst having an overall beneficial effect on our economy, it is not beneficial for everyone in our economy. Immigration might push down wages for unskilled workers, but even that is subjective given that we have such low unemployment in this country. But it worries many, many people.

View from Westminster 3rd June 2016

Interest in the referendum is intensifying. Last week I debated the pros and cons of our EU membership with regional UKIP MEP Jim Carver, attracting around 400 people – an impressive turnout. It was our intention that as many undecided people as possible would be in attendance, but in the end the audience was overwhelmingly decided, largely in the “out” camp. They were certainly eager to put across their opinions. Irrespective, however, of pre-formed views, it really was incredible to see so many at a political debate.