Conservatives deliver highest national employment rate since records began

Figures released yesterday by the Office for National Statistics show that the national employment rate was 74.1% from October to December 2015. This is the highest level of employment since records began in 1971. As well as this, average weekly earnings for employees in Great Britain increased 2.0% excluding bonuses, compared with a year earlier.

View from Westminster 5th February 2016

The EU referendum moved a stage closer this week, with the proposed deal from EU president Donal Tusk being announced on Tuesday. David Cameron has been negotiating on our behalf on four key areas designed to improve not just our relationship with the EU, but the EU in its entirety.

View from Westminster 29th January 2016

Corporate tax has hit the headlines again, in a big way. US internet giant Google has reached an agreement over its tax affairs between 2005 and 2011 and has settled with a £130 million payment. A row has erupted over whether this is enough or not.

View from Westminster 22nd January 2016

There was a little piece of Parliamentary history last week. For the first time since the creation of the Union, Scottish and Welsh MPs were excluded from a vote on issues exclusive to English constituents.

View from Westminster 18th January 2016

Four years ago the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust started a review of acute services in Worcestershire. As we know so well in Wyre Forest, health issues are a highly political arena. In Redditch, where there was a possibility that they may lose their A+E department, a Save The Alex campaign was set up. In Wyre Forest I encouraged a cross party approach - The Hospital Alliance.

View from Westminster 8th January 2016

I always find the New Year a slightly odd time of year. Having had fifty-two of them (although the first few were fairly meaningless, of course), they seem to follow a similar pattern - a glance over the shoulder at the year past; a look to the future to hope for a better year. The annual question: what will next year bring that is better than last year?

View from Westminster 16th December 2015

One of the real delights of being an MP is meeting extraordinary people. Over the years I have had the chance to meet many, from presidents to astronauts, and scientists to pop stars. But some of the most remarkable people are the quiet, unsung heroes of our community – the people who make things work through dogged diligence and and an unswerving sense of community spirit. The people who get on with things and ask nothing in return save the knowledge that they have done their best and made a difference.

View from Westminster 8th December 2015

The extraordinary pictures of flooding in Cumbria remind us all just how vulnerable we are to flooding. Bewdley, susceptible to flooding, received an investment of £11 million over a decade ago. It is now resilient to the worse floods that nature has thrown at it.