In the House of Commons a few days ago I managed to get the DPM behind these two projects, when I raised the following at Questions to the Deputy Prime Minister:
Guy Opperman:
The North East LEP has done great work, but does the Deputy Prime Minister agree that in rural Northumberland we need the LEP to support rural connectivity and economic regeneration projects such as The Sill and the Gilsland station rebuild?

Deputy Prime Minister
If those issues are not covered by the growth deal that has already been entered into, they are precisely the kind of items that my hon. Friend and others locally may wish to push for in the successor rounds, because devolving control over transport investment decisions is emerging as one of the common themes in all the different growth deals across the whole country.
Hansard source (Citation: HC Deb, 14 October 2014, c152)
Back in June of last year I spoke up on the floor of the House of Commons in favour of the European Arrest Warrant making the case for the UK's continued participation, an important agreement that helps keep the UK safe from criminals and terrorist threats. This issue has returned to the top of the political agenda as the time limit for the UK's commitment to remain within the EAW is running out

 

At the peak in 2007 130,000 mortgages a month were being issued. House prices were rising, new buyers came into the market. The rise in interest rates and the credit crunch which the authorities organised in 2008-9 changed all that. Banks had to throttle back on new loans. Some individuals struggled to meet their mortgage payments. The number of new mortgages slumped to 30,000 at the worst in 2008.

There has been a reasonable recovery this decade. By January of this year the monthly rate of new mortgage approvals was running at 76,500.  £18.5 bn was lent. By this September the figures have fallen back a bit. 61,000 new mortgages were arranged, with a value of £15 bn. This is still well above the low point, and well down on the high point of the  bubble in 2007.

Home ownership is a good aim of public policy. It is far better to look forward to your old age knowing by then you will own your home and not face a rent bill. Owning a property will be cheaper than renting the same kind of property over a typical adult lifetime. Ownership also gives you greater flexibility about use,adaptation and decoration of your home, subject to planning rules for the bigger changes. It is also 0ften easier to switch homes and move locations if you own, than if you are a tenant in social rented accommodation.

Homes are less affordable today when comparing prices with incomes than forty years ago. Part of this reflects social change. Two earner couples are more common now, and  greater account is taken of both incomes in mortgage calculations. Part of it means young people have to wait longer, save more, and achieve higher earnings levels before they can buy their first home. Some get round this by buying property jointly and sharing.

The Mortgage Market Review has required those advancing money to be properly trained, to take full account of the affordability of the mortgage for the individual, and to stress test the mortgage asking what would happen if interest rates rose. Some say this has held back mortgage lending in recent months as people adjust to the new system. Others say this is a welcome, as it should make it more difficult for people to take out unaffordable levels of new debt.

To have a healthy first time buyer market there also needs to be a sensible balance between new home construction and additional people seeking accommodation.

 

Not since the 1970s has Britain had such a mediocre government.

Cast your mind back to that sun-lit May morning four years ago. What was it that the Coalition promised us, and what has actually happened?

"We'll come together in the national interest to sort out the public finances", Clegg and Cameron told us. Since that press conference in the Downing Street garden, our nation's public debt has almost doubled. If getting government borrowing under control was really what brought them together, they have taken their eye off it. Government borrowing last month was ten percent up on the year before.

Ministers pushed through costly NHS reforms. None of it has actually improved health care. Many folk cannot get to see a GP, and no one seems to be in charge.

Energy policy continues to be built on expensively subsidised renewable targets. To meet our renewable obligations, poorer people have been priced out of heating their homes. Businesses have been made less competitive and there are fears a winter blackout.

Instead of cutting immigration, it's back up to where it was under Gordon Brown. Our armed forces remain over stretched and under resources. Localism, which was supposed to give local people decide on planning, turns out to be a sham. Using the language of the free market, ministers intervene in the economy in the interests of crony corporatism.

"But what about the government's welfare reforms?" you ask. "And what about Michael Gove at education? Surely ministers have got some things right?"

To be fair, not even Ted Heath's government got everything wrong. Yet a lot of this administration's welfare reforms were in fact pioneered by that uber Blairite minister, James Purnell. Much of the rest, such as universal credit, has yet to actually happen.

As for Gove at education, he is no longer at education. Rather like Ted Heath and the unions, this government runs shy of vested interests.

Just as Ted Heath promised a radically new approach to the economy, Clegg and Cameron promised a different kind of politics. Last week we saw government whips use the same old Westminster tricks to sabotage the Recall Bill. A measure designed to allow voters to hold MPs to account will do nothing of the sort.

On Europe, at least Ted Heath had the virtue of consistency, even if he was consistently wrong. Mr Cameron has flipped from Heathite acquiescence to mere flops.

First ordered his own MPs, on a three line whip, not to vote for an In Out EU referendum. Now he puts the prospect of an In Out vote, and the faux offer of real change, at the heart of his re-election bid.

A few months ago, Number 10 told us they were opposed Jean Claude Junker as European Commission President. A couple of weeks ago, he ordered his MEPs to vote for the Junker Commission. How long before he tells us he was against Euro Arrest Warrants all along?

Of course, there is one big difference between this administration and that of Ted Heath, and that is the economy. Output is up and unemployment is down. But so it seemed under Ted Heath during the Barber boom, too.

They might not call it that, but with the government spending £100 billion a year more than they take in tax, we are living through the largest Keynesian spending stimulus in our history. Record low interest rates mean a massive monetary – as well as fiscal – stimulus. Like the Barber boom, will it last?

Osbrown economics may yet turn out to be little more than reheated Heathism.

The names of all 453 UK fallen in the Afghan War are today published on the Commons papers in 27 Early Day Motions in the name of Newport West MP Paul Flynn.
He said: "In the past I have read out the names of the fallen in the Commons Chamber. This is now forbidden by Commons rules. Now that the troops are returning, it’s vital we remember the true costs of war. It’s sad but inevitable that the memorial to the fallen in Camp Bastion has been dismantled to avoid desecration. As long as MPs continue to sign the EDMs, the names will continue to be printed, occupying an unmissible thirteen pages of the Commons papers."

 

FATALITIES IN AFGHANISTAN (No. 1)

  • Session: 2014-15
  • Date tabled: 28.10.2014
  • Primary sponsor: Flynn, Paul
  • Sponsors:

    That this House salutes the bravery of the armed forces who served in Afghanistan and records with sorrow the deaths of Captain Thomas Clarke, aged 30, from Cardiff, Flight Lieutenant Rakesh Chauhan, aged 29, from Birmingham, Warrant Officer Class 2 Spencer Faulkner, aged 38, Corporal James Walters, aged 36, from Cornwall, Lance Corporal Oliver Thomas, aged 26, from Brecon, Sapper Adam Moralee, aged 23, from Newcastle, Captain Richard Holloway, aged 29, from Durham, Warrant Officer Class 2 Ian Fisher, aged 42, from Essex, Lance Corporal James Brynin, The Intelligence Corps, aged 22, from Shoreham-by-Sea, Flight Lieutenant Steven Johnson, aged 38, from Collingham, Nottinghamshire, Flight Lieutenant Leigh Anthony Mitchelmore, aged 28, from Bournemouth, Flight Lieutenant Gareth Rodney Nicholas, aged 40, from Newquay, Cornwall, Flight Lieutenant Allan James Squires, aged 39, from Clatterbridge, Flight Lieutenant Steven Swarbrick, aged 28, from Liverpool, Flight Sergeant Gary Wayne Andrews, aged 48, from Tankerton, Kent, Flight Sergeant Stephen Beattie, aged 42, from Dundee, Flight Sergeant Gerard Martin Bell, aged 48, from Ely, Cambridgeshire, Flight Sergeant Adrian Davies, aged 49, from Amersham, Buckinghamshire, Sergeant Benjamin James Knight, aged 25, from Bridgwater, Sergeant John Joseph Langton, aged 29, from Liverpool, Sergeant Gary Paul Quilliam, aged 42, from Manchester, Corporal Oliver Simon Dicketts, The Parachute Regiment, aged 27, Marine Joseph David Windall, Royal Marines, aged 22, Corporal William Thomas Savage, aged 30, from Irvine, Fusilier Samuel Flint, aged 21, from Blackpool and Private Robert Murray Hetherington, from the United States of America.

FATALITIES IN AFGHANISTAN (No. 2)

  • Session: 2014-15
  • Date tabled: 28.10.2014
  • Primary sponsor: Flynn, Paul
  • Sponsors:

    That this House salutes the bravery of the armed forces who served in Afghanistan and records with sorrow the deaths of Lance Corporal Jamie Webb, 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment, aged 24, from Wythenshawe, Kingsman David Robert Shaw, 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, aged 23, from Barrow-in-Furness, Sapper Richard Reginald Walker, 28 Engineer Regiment, aged 23, from Leeds and Captain Walter Barrie, 1 Scots, aged 41, from Glasgow, Lieutenant Edward Drummond-Baxter, 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles, aged 29, from County Durham, Lance Corporal Siddhanta Kunwar, 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles, aged 28, from Pokhara, Nepal, Corporal David O'Connor, 40 Commando Royal Marines, aged 27, from Havant, Hampshire, Corporal Channing Day, 3 Medical Regiment, aged 25, from Newtownards, County Down, Captain Carl Manley, Royal Marines, aged 41, Captain James Anthony Townley, Corps of Royal Engineers, aged 29, from Tunbridge Wells, Sergeant Jonathan Eric Kups, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, aged 38, from Nuneaton, Warwickshire, Sergeant Gareth Thursby, 3 Yorks, aged 29, from Skipton, Private Thomas Wroe, 3 Yorks, aged 18, from Huddersfield, Lance Corporal Duane Groom, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, aged 32, from Suva City, Fiji, Sergeant Lee Paul Davidson, The Light Dragoons, aged 32, from Doncaster, and Guardsman Karl Whittle, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, aged 22, from Bristol.

FATALITIES IN AFGHANISTAN (No. 3)

  • Session: 2014-15
  • Date tabled: 28.10.2014
  • Primary sponsor: Flynn, Paul
  • Sponsors:

    That this House salutes the bravery of the armed forces who served in Afghanistan and records with sorrow the deaths of Corporal Jack Leslie Stanley, The Queen's Royal Hussars, aged 26, from Bolton, Sergeant Luke Taylor, The Royal Marines, aged 33, from Bournemouth, Lance Corporal Michael Foley, Adjutant General's Corps (Staff and Personnel Support), aged 25, from Burnley, Lancashire, Captain Rupert William Michael Bowers, 2nd Battalion The Mercian Regiment, aged 24, from Wolverhampton, Sergeant Nigel Coupe, 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, aged 33, from Lytham St. Annes, Lancashire, Corporal Jake Hartley, 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, aged 20, from Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, Private Anthony Frampton, 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, aged 20, from Huddersfield, Private Christopher Kershaw, 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, aged 19, from Bradford, Private Daniel Wade, 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, aged 20, from Warrington, Private Daniel Wilford, 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, aged 21, from Huddersfield, Senior Aircraftman Ryan Tomlin, 2 Squadron RAF Regiment, aged 21, from Hemel Hempstead, Lance Corporal Gajbahadur Gurung, Royal Gurkha Rifles, aged 26, from Majthana, Nepal, Signaller Ian Gerard Sartorius-Jones, 20th Armoured Brigade Headquarters and Signal Squadran (200), aged 21, from Runcorn, Cheshire, Rifleman Sachin Limbu, 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles, aged 23, from Rajghat, Morang, Nepal, Private John King, 1st Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, aged 19, from Darlington, Squadron Leader Anthony Downing, Royal Air Force, aged 34, from Kent and Captain Tom Jennings, Royal Marines, aged 29.

FATALITIES IN AFGHANISTAN (No. 4)

  • Session: 2014-15
  • Date tabled: 28.10.2014
  • Primary sponsor: Flynn, Paul
  • Sponsors:

    That this House salutes the bravery of the armed forces who served in Afghanistan and records with sorrow the deaths of Guardsman Jamie Shadrake, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, aged 20, from Wrexham, Wales, Lance Corporal Matthew David Smith, Corps of Royal Engineers, aged 26, from Aldershot, Lieutenant Andrew Robert Chesterman, 3rd Battalion The Rifles, aged 26, from Guildford, Warrant Officer Class 2 Leonard Perran Thomas, Royal Corps of Signals, aged 44, from Ross-on-Wye, Guardsman Craig Andrew Roderick, 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, aged 22, from Cardiff, Guardsman Apete Saunikalou Ratumaiyale Tuisovurua, 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, aged 28, from Fiji, Corporal Alex Guy, 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, aged 37, from St Neots, Cambridgeshire, Lance Corporal James Ashworth, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, aged 23, from Kettering, Private Gregg Thomas Stone, 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, aged 20, from Yorkshire, Corporal Michael John Thacker, 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh, aged 27, from Swindon, Wiltshire, Captain Stephen James Healey, 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh, aged 29, from Cardiff, Corporal Brent John McCarthy, Royal Air Force, aged 25, from Priorslee, Telford, Lance Corporal Lee Thomas Davies, 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, aged 27, from Carmarthen, Corporal Andrew Steven Roberts, 23 Pioneer Regiment, The Royal Logistic Corps, aged 32, from Middlesbrough, Private Ratu Manasa Silibaravi, 23 Pioneer Regiment, The Royal Logistic Corps, aged 32, from Fiji, Guardsman Michael Roland, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, aged 22, from Worthing and Sapper Connor Ray, 33 Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), aged 21, from Newport.

FATALITIES IN AFGHANISTAN (No. 5)

  • Session: 2014-15
  • Date tabled: 28.10.2014
  • Primary sponsor: Flynn, Paul
  • Sponsors:

    That this House salutes the bravery of the armed forces who served in Afghanistan and records with sorrow the deaths of Sapper Elijah Bond, 35 Engineer Regiment Royal Engineers, aged 24, from St Austell, Rifleman Sheldon Lee Jordan Steel, 5th Battalion The Rifles, aged 20, from Leeds, Private Thomas Christopher Lake, 1st Battalion The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment, aged 29, from Watford, Lieutenant David Boyce, 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards, aged 25, from Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, Lance Corporal Richard Scanlon, 1st The Queen's Dragoons Guards, aged 31, from Rhymney, Gwent, Lance Corporal Peter Eustace, 2nd Battalion The Riffle, aged 25, from Liverpool, Private Matthew Thornton, 4th Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, aged 28, from Barnsley, Private Matthew James Sean Haseldin, 2nd Battalion The Mercia Regiment, aged 21, from Settle, Yorkshire, Rifleman Vijay Rai, 2nd Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles, aged 21, from the Bhojpur District, Deaurali East of Nepal, Marine David Fairbrother, Kilo Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, aged 24, from Blackburn, Lance Corporal Jonathan James McKinley, 1st Battalion The Rifles, aged 33, from Darlington, County Durham, Sergeant Barry John Weston, Kilo Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, aged 40, from Reading, Lieutenant Daniel John Clack, 1st Battalion The Rifles, aged 24, from North London, Marine James Robert Wright, 42 Commando Royal Marines, aged 22, from Weymouth and Corporal Mark Anthony Palin, 1st Battalion The Rifles, aged 32, from Plymouth.

FATALITIES IN AFGHANISTAN (No. 6)

  • Session: 2014-15
  • Date tabled: 28.10.2014
  • Primary sponsor: Flynn, Paul
  • Sponsors:

    That this House salutes the bravery of the armed forces who served in Afghanistan and records with sorrow the deaths of Lance Corporal Paul Watkins, 9th/12th Royal Lancers (Prince of Wales's), aged 24, from Port Elizabeth, Republic of South Africa, Highlander Scott McLaren, The Highlanders 4th Battalion the Royal Regiment of Scotland, aged 20, from Edinburgh, Private Gareth Leslie William Bellingham, 3rd Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Stafford), aged 22, from Stoke-on-Trent, Corporal Lloyd Newell, The Parachute Regiment, Craftsman Andrew Found, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, aged 27, from Whitby, Rifleman Martin Jon Lamb, 1st Battalion the Rifles, aged 27, from Gloucester, Lance Corporal Martin Joseph Gill, 42 Commando Royal Marines, aged 22, from Nottingham, Corporal Michael John Pike, The Highlanders 4th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, aged 26, from Huntly, Scotland, Lieutenant Oliver Richard Augustin, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, aged 23, from Kent, Marine Samuel Giles William Alexander MC, Juliet Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines, aged 28, from London, Colour Sergeant Kevin Charles Fortuna, A Company, 1st Battalion The Rifles, aged 36, from Cheltenham, Marine Nigel Dean Mead, 42 Commando Royal Marines, aged 19, from Carmarthen, Captain Lisa Jade Head, 11 EOD Regiment RLC, aged 29, from Huddersfield, Colour Sergeant Alan Cameron, 1st Battalion Scots Guards, aged 42, from Livingston, Scotland, Major Matthew James Collins, 1st Battalion Irish Guards, aged 38, from Backwell, Somerset and Lance Sergeant Mark Terence Burgan, 1st Battalion Irish Guards, aged 28, from Liverpool.

FATALITIES IN AFGHANISTAN (No. 7)

  • Session: 2014-15
  • Date tabled: 28.10.2014
  • Primary sponsor: Flynn, Paul
  • Sponsors:

    That this House That this House salutes the bravery of the armed forces who served in Afghanistan and records with sorrow the deaths of Private Daniel Steven Prior, 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment, aged 27, from Peacehaven, East Sussex, Lance Corporal McKee, 1st Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment, aged 27, from Banbridge, County Down, Northern Ireland, Lance Corporal Liam Richard Tasker, Royal Army Veterinary Corps, aged 26, from Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland, Private Robert Wood, 17 Port and Maritime Regiment Royal Logistic Corps, aged 28, from Hampshire, Private Dean Hutchinson, 9 Regiment The Royal Logistic Corps, aged 23, from Wiltshire, Lance Corporal Kyle Cleet Marshall, 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment, aged 23, from Newcastle, Private Lewis Hendry, 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment, aged 20, from Norwich, Private Conrad Lewis, 4th Battalion The Parachute Regiment, aged 22, from Bournemouth, Warrant Officer Class 2 (Company Sergeant Major) Colin Beckett, 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment, aged 36, from Peterborough, Ranger David Dalzell, 1st Battalion, The Royal Irish Regiment, aged 20, from Bangor County Down, Private Martin Simon George Bell, 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment, aged 24, from Bradford, Private Joseva Saqanagonedau Vatubua, 5th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, aged 24, from Suva, Fiji, Warrant Officer Class 2 Charles Henry Wood, 23 Pioneer Regiment Royal Logistic Corps, serving with the Counter-Improvised Explosive Device Taks Force, aged 34, from Middlesbrough, and Corporal Steven Thomas Dunn, 216 (Parachute) Signal Squadron, attached to 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment Battlegroup, aged 27, from Gateshead.

FATALITIES IN AFGHANISTAN (No. 8)

  • Session: 2014-15
  • Date tabled: 28.10.2014
  • Primary sponsor: Flynn, Paul
  • Sponsors:

    That this House salutes the bravery of the armed forces who served in Afghanistan and records with sorrow the deaths of Private John Howard, 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment, aged 23, from Wellington, New Zealand, Guardsman Christopher Davies, 1st Battalion Irish Guards, aged 22, from St Helens, Merseyside, Ranger Aaron McCormick, 1st Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment, aged 22, from Coleraine in County Londonderry, Senior Aircraftsman Scott 'Scotty' Hughes, 1 Squadron Royal Air Force Regiment, aged 20, from North Wales, Sapper William Bernard Blanchard, 101 (City of London) Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), aged 39, from Gosport, Hampshire, Corporal David Barnsdale, 33 Engineer Regiment, aged 24, from Tring, Sergeant Peter Anthony Rayner, 2nd Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, aged 34, from Bradford, Rifleman Suraj Gurung, 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles, aged 22, from Gorkha in Nepal, Corporal Matthew Thomas, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, Sergeant Andrew James Jones, Royal Engineers, aged 35, from Newport, South Wales, Trooper Andrew Martin Howarth, The Queen's Royal Lancers, aged 20, from Bournemouth, Kingsman Darren Deady, 2nd Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, aged 22, from Bolton, Captain Andrew Griffiths, 2nd Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, aged 25, from Richmond, North Yorkshire, Lance Corporal Joseph McFarlane Pool, The Royal Scots Borderers 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, aged 26, from Greenock, and Lance Corporal Jordan Dean Bancroft, 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, aged 25, from Burnley.

FATALITIES IN AFGHANISTAN (No. 9)

  • Session: 2014-15
  • Date tabled: 28.10.2014
  • Primary sponsor: Flynn, Paul
  • Sponsors:

    That this House salutes the bravery of the armed forces who served in Afghanistan and records with sorrow the deaths of Sapper Ishwor Gurung, 69 Gurkha Field Squadron, 21 Engineer Regiment, aged 21, from Pokhara, Nepal, Sapper Darren Foster, 21 Engineer Regiment, aged 20, from Carlisle, Rifleman Remand Kulung, 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Cheshire), aged 27, from Nepal, Lietuenant John Charles Sanderson, 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Cheshire), aged 29, from Oklahoma, USA, Marine Adam Brown, 40 Commando Royal Marines, aged 26, from Burtle, near Glastonbury, Lance Sergeant Dale Alanzo McCallum, 1st Battalion Scots Guards, aged 31, from Hanover, Jamaica, Sapper Mark Antony Smith, 36 Engineer Regiment, aged 26, from Swanley, Kent, Corporal Matthew James Stenton, The Royal Dragoon Guards, aged 23, from Wakefield, Lance Corporal Stephen Daniel Monkhouse, 1st Battalion Scots Guards, aged 28, from Greenock, Staff Sergeant Brett George Linley, The Royal Logistic Corps, aged 29, from Birmingham, Sergeant David Thomas Monkhouse, The Royal Dragoon Guards, aged 35, from Aspatria, Cumbria, Senior Aircraftman Kinikki 'Griff' Griffiths, aged 20, Marine Jonathan David Thomas Crookes, 40 Commando Royal Marines, aged 26, from Birmingham, Marine Matthew Harrison, 40 Commando Royal Marines, aged 23, from Hemel Hempstead, Major James Joshua Bowman, 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles, aged 34, from Salisbury, Lieutenant Neal Turkington, 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles, aged 26, from Craigavon, and Corporal Arjun Purja Pun, 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles, aged 33, from Khibang village Magdi District, Nepal.

 

FATALITIES IN AFGHANISTAN (No. 10)

  • Session: 2014-15
  • Date tabled: 28.10.2014
  • Primary sponsor: Flynn, Paul
  • Sponsors:

    That this House salutes the bravery of the armed forces who served in Afghanistan and records with sorrow the deaths of Marine David Charles Hart, 40 Commando Royal Marines, aged 23, from Upper Poppleton, North Yorkshire, Bombardier Samuel Joseph Robinson, 5th Regiment Royal Artillery, aged 31, from Carmarthen, Private Thomas Sephton, 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment, aged 20, from Warrington, Trooper James Anthony Leverett, Royal Dragoon Guards, aged 20, from Sheffield, Corporal Seth Stephens, Royal Marines, Corporal Jamie Kirkpatrick, 101 Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), aged 32, from Llanelli, Bombardier Stephen Raymond Gilbert, 4th Regiment Royal Artillery, aged 36, from Topcliffe, North Yorkshire, Colour Sergeant Martyn Horton, 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment, aged 34, from Runcorn, Lance Corporal David Ramsden, 1st Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, aged 26, from Leeds, Private Douglas Halliday, 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment, aged 20, from Wallasey, Merseyside, Private Alex Isaac, 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment, aged 20, from the Wirral, Sergeant Steven William Darbyshire, 40 Commando Royal Marines, aged 35, from Wigan, Lance Corporal Michael Taylor, Charlie Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines, aged 30, from Rhyl, Marine Paul Warren, 40 Commando Royal Marines, aged 23, from Leyland, Lancashire, Marine Richard Hollington, 40 Commando Royal Marines, aged 23, from Petersfield, Trooper Ashley Smith, Royal Dragoon Guards, aged 21, from York, Corporal Taniela Tolevu Rogoiruwai, aged 32, from Nausori, Fiji, Kingsman Pomipate Tagitaginimoce, aged 29, from Nausori, Fiji, and Marine Steven James Birdsall, 40 Commando Royal Marines, aged 20, from Warrington.

FATALITIES IN AFGHANISTAN (No. 11)

  • Session: 2014-15
  • Date tabled: 28.10.2014
  • Primary sponsor: Flynn, Paul
  • Sponsors:

    That this House salutes the bravery of the armed forces who served in Afghanistan and records with sorrow the deaths of Lance Corporal Andrew Breeze, B (Malta) Company, 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Cheshire), aged 31, from Manchester, Private Jonathan Monk, 2nd Battalion The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment, aged 25, from London, Lance Bombardier Mark Chandler, 3rd Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, aged 32, from Nailsworth, Gloucestershire, Corporal Terry Webster, 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Cheshire), aged 24, from Chester, Lance Corporal Alan Cochran, 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Cheshire), aged 23, from St Asaph, North Wales, Marine Anthony Dean Hotine, 40 Commando Royal Marines, aged 21, from Warminster, Marine Scott Gregory Taylor, 40 Commando Royal Marines, aged 20, from Buxton, Corporal Stephen Curley, 40 Commando Royal Marines, aged 26, from Exeter, Gunner Zak Cusack, 4th Regiment Royal Artillery, aged 20, from Stoke-on-Trent, Corporal Stephen Walker, 40 Commando Royal Marines, aged 42, from Lisburn, Northern Ireland, Corporal Christopher Lewis Harrison, 40 Commando Royal Marines, aged 26, from Watford, Sapper Daryn Roy, 21 Engineer Regiment, aged 28, from Consett, County Durham, Lance Corporal Barry Buxton, 21 Engineer Regiment, aged 27, from Meir, Stoke-on-Trent, Corporal Harvey Holmes, 1st Battalion The Mercian Regiment, aged 22, from Hyde, Greater Manchester, Fusilier Jonathan Burgess, 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh, aged 20, from Townhill, Swansea, Rifleman Mark Turner, 3rd Battalion The Rifles, aged 21, from Gateshead and Guardsman Michael Sweeney, 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards, aged 19, from Blyth in Northumberland.

FATALITIES IN AFGHANISTAN (No. 12)

  • Session: 2014-15
  • Date tabled: 28.10.2014
  • Primary sponsor: Flynn, Paul
  • Sponsors:

    That this House salutes the bravery of the armed forces who served in Afghanistan and records with sorrow the deaths of Rifleman Daniel Holkham, 3rd Battalion The Rifles, aged 19, from Chatham, Kent, Lance Corporal of Horse Jonathan Woodgate, Household Cavalry Regiment, aged 26, from Lavenham, Suffolk, Sergeant Steven Campbell, 3rd Battalion The Rifles, aged 30, from Durham, Lance Corporal Scott Hardy, 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, aged 26, from Chelmsford, Private James Grigg, 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, aged 20, from Hartismere, Suffolk, Captain Martin Driver, 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, aged 31, from Barnsley, Corporal Stephen Thompson, 1st Battalion The Rifles, aged 31, from Bovey Tracey, Devon, Lance Corporal Tom Keogh, 4th Battalion The Rifles, aged 24, from Paddington, London, Rifleman Liam Maughan, 3rd Battalion The Rifles, aged 18, from Doncaster, Rifleman Jonathan Allott, 3rd Battalion The Rifles, aged 19, from North Shields, Corporal Richard Green, 3rd Battalion The Rifles, aged 23, from Reading, Rifleman Carlo Apolis, 4th Battalion The Rifles, aged 28, from South Africa, Sergeant Paul Fox, 28 Engineer Regiment, aged 34, from St Ives, Rifleman Martin Kinggett, 4th Battalion The Rifles, aged 19, from Dagenham, Senior Aircraftman, Luke Southgate, II Squadron Royal Air Force Regiment, aged 20, from Bury St Edmunds, Lance Sergeant David 'Davey' Walker, 1st Battalion Scots Guards, aged 36, from Glasgow, Lieutenant Douglas Dalzell, 1st Battalion Goldstream Guards from Berkshire and Sapper Guy Mellors, 36 Engineer Regiment, aged 20, from Coventry.

FATALITIES IN AFGHANISTAN (No. 13)

  • Session: 2014-15
  • Date tabled: 28.10.2014
  • Primary sponsor: Flynn, Paul
  • Sponsors:

    That this House salutes the bravery of the armed forces who served in Afghanistan and records with sorrow the deaths of Kingsman Sean Dawson, 2nd Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, aged 19, from Ashton-under-Lyne, Manchester, Rifleman Mark Marshall, 6th Battalion The Rifles, aged 29, from Exeter, Lance Sergeant Dave Greenhalgh, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, aged 25, from Ilkeston, Derbyshire, Lance Corporal Darren Hicks, from Mousehole, Cornwall, Warrant Officer Class 2 David Markland, 36 Engineer Regiment, aged 36, from Euxton, Lancashire, Corporal John Moore, The Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, aged 22, from Lanarkshire, Private Sean McDonald, The Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, aged 26, from Edinburgh, Corporal Liam Riley, 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, aged 21, from Sheffield, Lance Corporal Graham Shaw, 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, aged 27, from Huddersfield, Lance Corporal Daniel Cooper, 3rd Battalion The Rifles, aged 22, from Hereford, Rifleman Peter Aldridge, 4th Battalion The Rifles, aged 19, Corporal Lee Brownson, 3rd Battalion The Rifles, aged 30, from Bishop Auckland, Rifleman Luke Farmer, 3rd Battalion The Rifles, aged 19, from Pontefract, Captain Daniel Reed, 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment, Royal Logistics Corps, aged 32, from Rainham, Kent, Private Robert Hayes, 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, aged 19, from Cambridge, Sapper David Watson, 33 Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), aged 23, and Rifleman Aidan Howell, 3rd Battalion The Rifles, aged 19, from Sidcup, Kent.

FATALITIES IN AFGHANISTAN (No. 14)

  • Session: 2014-15
  • Date tabled: 28.10.2014
  • Primary sponsor: Flynn, Paul
  • Sponsors:

    That this House salutes the bravery of the armed forces who served in Afghanistan and records with sorrow the deaths of Lance Corporal Tommy Brown, The Parachute Regiment, Lance Corporal Christopher Roney, A Company, 3rd Battalion The Rifles, aged 23, from Sunderland, Lance Corporal Michael David Pritchard, 4th Regiment, Royal Military Police, aged 22, from Maidstone, Corporal Simon Hornby, 2nd Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, aged 29, from Liverpool, Lance Corporal David Leslie Kirkness, 3rd Battalion The Rifles, aged 24, from West Yorkshire, Rifleman James Stephen Brown, 3rd Battalion The Rifles, aged 18, from Kent, Lance Corporal Adame Drane, 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, aged 23, from Bury St Edmunds, Acting Sergeant John Paxton Amer, 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards, from Sunderland, Sergeant Robert David Loughran-Dickson, 4th Regiment Royal Military Police, aged 33, from Deal, Kent, Corporal Loren Owen Christopher Marlton-Thomas, 33 Engineer Regiment (EOD), aged 28, Rifleman Andrew Ian Fentiman, 7th Battalion The Rifles, aged 23, from Cambridge, Rifleman Samuel John Bassett, 4th Battalion The Rifles, aged 20, from Plymouth, Rifleman Philip Allen, 2 Rifles, aged 20, from Dorset, Sergeant Phillip Scott, 3rd Battalion The Rifles, aged 30, from Malton, Warrant Officer Class 1 Darren Chant, 1st Battalion The Grenadier Guards, aged 40, from Walthamstow, Sergeant Matthew Telford, 1st Battalion The Grenadier Guards, aged 37, from Grimsby, Guardsman James Major, 1st Battalion The Grenadier Guards, aged 18, from Grimsby, and Corporal Steven Boote, Royal Military Police, aged 22, from Birkenhead, Liverpool.

FATALITIES IN AFGHANISTAN (No. 15)

  • Session: 2014-15
  • Date tabled: 28.10.2014
  • Primary sponsor: Flynn, Paul
  • Sponsors:

    That this House salutes the bravery of the armed forces who served in Afghanistan and records with sorrow the deaths of Corporal Nicholas Webster-Smith, Royal Military Police, aged 24, from Glangwili, Staff Sergeant Olaf Sean George Schmid, Royal Logistic Corps, aged 30, from Truro, Corporal Thomas 'Tam' Mason, the Black Watch, 3rd Battalion the Royal Regiment of Scotland, aged 27, from Rosyth, Corporal James Oakland, Royal Military Police, aged 26, from Manchester, Lance Corporal James Hill, 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards, aged 23, from Redhill, Surrey, Guardsman James Janes, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, aged 20, from Brighton, Acting Corporal Marcin Wojtak, 34 Squadron RAF regiment, aged 24, from Leicester, Private James Prosser, 2nd Battalion The Royal Welsh, aged 21, from Cwmbran, Acting Sergeant Michael Lockett MC, 2nd Battalion The Mercian Regiment, from Monifieth in Angus, Acting Sergeant Stuart McGrath, 2nd Battalion, The Rifles, aged 28, from Buckinghamshire, Trooper Brett Hall, 2nd Royal Tank Regiment, aged 21, from Dartmouth, Kingsman Jason Dunn-Bridgeman, 2nd Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, aged 20, from Liverpool, Corporal John Harrison, The Parachute Regiment, Private Gavin Elliott, 2nd Battalion The Mercian Regiment, aged 19, from Woodsetts, Worksop, Nottinghamshire, Lance Corporal Richard Brandon, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, aged 24, from Kidderminster, Sergeant Stuart 'Gus' Millar, The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, aged 40, from Inverness, Private Kevin Elliott, The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, aged 24, from Dundee, and Sergeant Lee Andrew Houltram, Royal Marines.

FATALITIES IN AFGHANISTAN (No. 16)

  • Session: 2014-15
  • Date tabled: 28.10.2014
  • Primary sponsor: Flynn, Paul
  • Sponsors:

    That this House salutes the bravery of the armed forces who served in Afghanistan and records with sorrow the deaths of Fusilier Shaun Bush, 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, aged 24, from Warwickshire, Sergeant Paul McAleese, 2nd Battalion The Rifles, aged 29, from Hereford, Private Jonathon Young, 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Duke of Wellington's), aged 18, from Hull, Lance Corporal James Fullarton, 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, aged 24, from Coventry, Fusilier Simon Annis, 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, from Salford, Fusilier Louis Carter, 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, from Nuneaton, Sergeant Simon Valentine, aged 29, from Bedworth, Private Richard Hunt, 2nd Battalion The Royal Welsh, aged 21, from Abergavenny, Captain Mark Hale, 2nd Battalion The Rifles, aged 42, from Bournemouth, Lance Bombardier Matthew Hatton, 40th Regiment Royal Artillery (The Lowland Gunners), aged 23, from Easingwold, North Yorkshire, Rifleman Daniel Wild, 2nd Battalion The Rifles, aged 19, from Hartlepool, Private Jason George Williams, 2nd Battalion The Mercian Regiment, aged 23, from Worcester, Corporal Kevin Mulligan, The Parachute Regiment, aged 26, Lance Corporal Dale Thomas Hopkins, The Parachute Regiment, aged 23, Private Kyle Adams, The Parachute Regiment, aged 21, Craftsman Anthony Lombardi, aged 21, from Scunthorpe, Trooper Phillip Lawrence, Light Dragoons, aged 22, from Birkenhead, Warrant Officer Class 2 Sean Upton, 5th Regiment Royal Artillery, aged 35, from Nottinghamshire and Bombardier Craig Hopson, 40th Regiment Royal Artillery (The Lowland Gunners), aged 24, from Castleford.

FATALITIES IN AFGHANISTAN (No. 17)

  • Session: 2014-15
  • Date tabled: 28.10.2014
  • Primary sponsor: Flynn, Paul
  • Sponsors:

    That this House salutes the bravery of the armed forces who served in Afghanistan and records with sorrow the deaths of Guardsman Christopher King, 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards, aged 20, from Birkenhead, Liverpool, Captain Daniel Shepherd, 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment, The Royal Logistic Corps, aged 28, from Lincoln, Corporal Joseph Etchells, 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, aged 22, from Mossley, Rifleman Aminiasi Toge, 2nd Battalion The Rifles, aged 26, from Suva, Fiji, Corporal Jonathan Horne, 2nd Battalion The Rifles, aged 28, from Walsall, Rifleman William Aldridge, 2nd Battalion The Rifles, aged 18, from Bromyard, Herefordshire, Rifleman James Backhouse, 2nd Battalion The Rifles, aged 18, from Castleford, Yorkshire, Rifleman Joe Murphy, 2nd Battalion The Rifles, aged 18, from Castle Bromwich, Birmingham, Rifleman Daniel Simpson, 2nd Battalion The Rifles, aged 20, from Croydon, Corporal Lee Scott, 2nd Royal Tank Regiment, aged 26, from King's Lynn, Private John Brackpool, 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, aged 27, from Crawley, West Sussex, Rifleman Daniel Hume, 4th Battalion The Rifles, Trooper Christopher Whiteside, The Light Dragoons, aged 20, from Blackpool, Captain Ben Babington-Browne, 22 Engineer Regiment, Royal Engineers, aged 27, from Maidstone, Lance Corporal Dane Elson, 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, aged 22, from Bridgend, Lance Corporal David Dennis, The Light Dragoons, aged 29, from Llanelli, Wales, Private Robert Laws, 2nd Battalion The Mercian Regiment, aged 18, from Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, Lieutenant Colonel Rupert Thorneloe MBE, Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion Welsh Guards and Trooper Joshua Hammond, 2nd Royal Tank Regiment, aged 18.

FATALITIES IN AFGHANISTAN (No. 18)

  • Session: 2014-15
  • Date tabled: 28.10.2014
  • Primary sponsor: Flynn, Paul
  • Sponsors:

    That this House salutes the bravery of the armed forces who served in Afghanistan and records with sorrow the deaths of Major Sean Birchall, 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, aged 33, Lieutenant Paul Mervis, 2nd Battalion The Rifles, aged 27 from London, Private Robert McLaren, The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, aged 20 from the Isle of Mull, Rifleman Cyrus Thatcher, 2nd Battalion The Rifles, aged 19 from Reading, Lance Corporal Nigel Moffett, The Light Dragoons, aged 28 from Belfast, Corporal Stephen Bolger, The Parachute Regiment, Lance Corporal Kieron Hill, 2nd Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Worcesters and Foresters), aged 20, from Nottingham, Lance Corporal Robert Martin Richards, Armoured Support Group Royal Marines, aged 24, from Betws-y-Coed, North Wales, Sapper Jordan Rossi, 25 Field Squadron, 38 Engineer Regiment, aged 22 from West Yorkshire, Fusilier Petero 'Pat' Suesue, 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, aged 28 from Fiji, Marine Jason Mackie, Armoured Support Group Royal Marines, aged 21 from Bampton, Oxfordshire, Lieutenant Mark Evison, 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, Aged 26, Sergeant Ben Ross, 173 Provost Company, 3rd Regiment Royal Military Police, Corporal Kumar Pun, 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles, Rifleman Adrian Sheldon, 2 Rifles, from Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Corporal Sean Binnie, 3 Scots, aged 22, Lance Sergeant Tobie Fasfous, 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, aged 29, Corporal Dean Thomas John, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, aged 25 from Neath, and Corporal Graeme Stiff, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, aged 24 from Munster, Germany.

FATALITIES IN AFGHANISTAN (No. 19)

  • Session: 2014-15
  • Date tabled: 28.10.2014
  • Primary sponsor: Flynn, Paul
  • Sponsors:

    That this House salutes the bravery of the armed forces who served in Afghanistan and records with sorrow the deaths of Lance Corporal Christopher Harkett, 2nd Battalion The Royal Welsh, aged 22, from Swansea, Marine Michael 'Mick' Laski, 45 Commando Royal Marines, aged 21, from Liverpool, Corporal Tom Gaden, 1st Battalion The Rifles, aged 24, from Taunton, Lance Corporal Paul Upton, 1st Battalion The Rifles, aged 31, Rifleman Jamie Gunn, 1st Battalion The Rifles, aged 21, from Leamington Spa, Lance Corporal Stephen 'Schnoz' Kingscott, 1st Battalion The Rifles, aged 22, from Plymouth, Marine Darren 'Daz' Smith, 45 Commando Royal Marines, aged 27, from Fleetwood, Lancashire, Corporal Daniel 'Danny' Nield, 1st Battalion The Rifles, aged 31, from Cheltenham, Acting Corporal Richard 'Robbo' Robinson, 1st Battalion The Rifles, aged 21, from Cornwall, Captain Tom Sawyer, 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery, aged 26, from Hertfordshire, Corporal Danny Winter, 45 Commando Royal Marines, aged 28, from Stockport, Marine Travis Mackin, Communications Squadron United Kingdom Landing Force Command Support Group, aged 22, from Plymouth, Sergeant Chris Reed, 6th Battalion The Rifles, aged 25, from Plymouth, Corporal Liam Elms, RM, 45 Commando Royal Marines, aged 26, from Wigan, Lance Corporal Benjamin Whatley, 42 Commando Royal Marines, aged 20, from King's Lynn, Corporal Robert Deering, Commando Logistic Regiment Royal Marines, aged 33, from Solihull, Rifleman Stuart Nash, 1st Battalion The Rifles, aged 21, from Sydney, Australia, and Lieutenant Aaron Lewis, 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery, aged 26, from Essex.

FATALITIES IN AFGHANISTAN (No. 20)

  • Session: 2014-15
  • Date tabled: 28.10.2014
  • Primary sponsor: Flynn, Paul
  • Sponsors:

    That this House salutes the bravery of the armed forces who served in Afghanistan and records with sorrow the deaths of Lance Corporal Steven 'Jamie' Fellows, 45 Commando Royal Marines, aged 28, from Sheffield, Marine Damian Davies, aged 27, Sergeant John Manuel, aged 38, from North East England, Corporal Mark Birch, aged 26, from Northampton, Marine Tony Evans, aged 20, from Sunderland, Marine Georgie Sparks, aged 19, from Epping, Marine Alexander Lucas, 45 Commando Royal Marines, aged 24, from Edinburgh, Colour Sergeant Krishnabahadur Dura, 2nd Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles, aged 36, from the Lamjung District of Western Nepal, Marine Neil David Dunstan, aged 32, from Bournemouth, Marine Robert Jospeh McKibben, aged 32, from County Mayo, Rifleman Yubraj Rai, 2nd Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles, aged 28, from Khotang District, Eastern Nepal, Trooper James Munday, aged 21, from the Birmingham area, Lance Corporal Nicky Matson, 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment, aged 26, from Aveley in Essex, Private Jason Lee Rawstron, 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment, aged 23, from Lancashire, Warrant officer Class 2 Gary 'Gaz' O' Donnell GM, 1 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment Royal Logistic Corps, aged 40, from Edinburgh, Ranger Justin James Cupples, 1st Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment, aged 29, from County Cavan, Ireland, Corporal Barry Dempsey, The Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland, aged 29, from Ayrshire, Signaller Wayne Bland, 16 Signal Regiment, aged 21, from Leeds and Private Peter Joe Cowton, 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment, aged 25, from Basingstoke.

FATALITIES IN AFGHANISTAN (No. 21)

  • Session: 2014-15
  • Date tabled: 28.10.2014
  • Primary sponsor: Flynn, Paul
  • Sponsors:

    That this House salutes the bravery of the armed forces who served in Afghanistan and records with sorrow the deaths of Sergeant Jonathan Mathews, The Highlanders, 4th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, aged 35, from Edinburgh, Lance Corporal Kenneth Michael Rowe, Royal Army Veterinary Corps, aged 24, from Newcastle, Corporal Jason Stuart Barnes, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, aged 25, from Exeter, Lance Corporal James Johnson, B Company, 5th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, aged 31, from Scotland, Warrant Officer 2nd Class Dan Shirley, Air Assault Support Regiment, Royal Logistics Corps, aged 32, from Leicester, Warrant Officer 2nd Class Michael Norman Williams, 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment, aged 40, from Cardiff, Private Joe John Whittaker, 4th Battalion The Parachute Regiment, aged 20 from Stratford-upon-Avon, Corporal Sarah Bryant, Intelligence Corps, aged 26, from Liverpool, Corporal Sean Robert Reeve, Royal Signals, aged 28, Lance Corporal Richard Larkin, aged 39, Paul Stout, aged 31, Lance Corporal James Bateman, 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment, aged 29, from Staines, Middlesex, Private Jeff Doherty, 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment, aged 20, from Southam, Warwickshire, Private Nathan Cuthbertson, 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment, aged 19, from Sunderland, Private Daniel Gamble, 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment, aged 22, from Uckfield, East Sussex, Private Charles David Murray, 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment, aged 19, from Carlisle, and Marine Dale Gostick, 3 Troop Armoured Support Company, Royal Marines, aged 22, from Oxford.

FATALITIES IN AFGHANISTAN (No. 22)

  • Session: 2014-15
  • Date tabled: 28.10.2014
  • Primary sponsor: Flynn, Paul
  • Sponsors:

    That this House salutes the bravery of the armed forces who served in Afghanistan and records with sorrow the deaths of Drummer Thomas Wright, 1st Battalion The Worcestershire and Sherwood Forresters, aged 21, from Ripley, Derbyshire, Guardsman Neil 'Tony' Downes, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, aged 20, from Manchester, Lance Corporal Paul 'Sandy' Sandford, 1st Battalion The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters, aged 23, from Nottingham, Corporal Mike Gilyeat, Royal Military Police, aged 28, Corporal Darren Bonner, 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, aged 31, from Norfolk, Guardsman Daniel Probyn, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, aged 22, from Tipton, Lance Corporal George Russell Davey, 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, aged 23, from Suffolk, Guardsman Simon Davison, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, aged 22, from Newcastle upon Tyne, Private Chris Gray, A Company 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, aged 19, from Leicestershire, Warrant Officer Class 2 Michael 'Mick' Smith, 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery, aged 39, from Liverpool, Marine Benjamin Reddy, 42 Commando Royal Marines, aged 22, from Ascot, Berkshire, Lance Bombardier Ross Clark, aged 25, from South Africa, Lance Bombardier Liam McLaughlin, aged 21, from Lancashire, Marine Scott Summers, 42 Commando Royal Marines, aged 23, from Crawley, East Sussex, Marine Jonathan Holland, 45 Commando Royal Marines, aged 23, from Chorley, Lancashire, Lance Corporal Mathew Ford, 45 Commando Royal Marines, aged 30, from Immingham, Lincolnshire, Marine Thomas Curry 42 Commando Royal Marines, aged 21, from East London and Lance Bombardier James Dwyer, 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery, aged 22.

FATALITIES IN AFGHANISTAN (No. 23)

  • Session: 2014-15
  • Date tabled: 28.10.2014
  • Primary sponsor: Flynn, Paul
  • Sponsors:

    That this House salutes the bravery of the armed forces who served in Afghanistan and records with sorrow the deaths of James Thompson, Trooper Ratu Sakeasi Babakobau, Household Cavalry Regiment, aged 29, from Fiji, Trooper Robert Pearson, The Queen's Royal Lancers Regiment, aged 22, from Grimsby, Senior Aircraftman Graham Livingstone, Royal Air Force Regiment, aged 23, from Glasgow, Senior Aircraftman Gary Thompson, Royal Auxiliary Air Force Regiment, aged 51, from Nottingham, Lieutenant John Thornton, 40 Commando Royal Marines, aged 22, from Ferndown, Marine David Marsh, 40 Commando Royal Marines, aged 23, from Sheffield, Corporal Damian Mulvihill, 40 Commando Royal Marines, aged 32, from Plymouth, Corporal Damian Stephen Lawrence, 2nd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards), aged 25, from Whitby, Corporal Darryl Gardiner, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, aged 25, from Salisbury, Wiltshire, Sergeant Lee Johnson, 2nd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, aged 33, from Stockton-on-Tees, Trooper Jack Sadler, The Honourable Artillery Company, aged 21, from Exeter, Captain John McDermid, The Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, aged 43, from Glasgow, Lance Corporal Jake Alderton, 36 Engineer Regiment, aged 22, from Bexley, Major Alexis Roberts, 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles, aged 32, from Kent, Colour Sergeant Phillip Newman, 4th Battalion The Mercian Regiment, aged 36, Private Brian Tunnicliffe, 2nd Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Worcesters and Foresters), aged 33, from Ilkeston, Corporal Ivano Violino, 36 Engineer Regiment, aged 29, from Salford and Sergeant Craig Brelsford, 2nd Battalion The Mercian Regiment, aged 25, from Nottingham.

FATALITIES IN AFGHANISTAN (No. 24)

  • Session: 2014-15
  • Date tabled: 28.10.2014
  • Primary sponsor: Flynn, Paul
  • Sponsors:

    That this House salutes the bravery of the armed forces who served in Afghanistan and records with sorrow the deaths of Private Johan Botha, 2nd Battalion The Mercian Regiment, from South Africa, Private Damian Wright, 2nd Battalion The Mercian Regiment, aged 23, from Mansfield, Private Ben Ford, 2nd Battalion The Mercian Regiment, aged 18, from Chesterfield, Senior Aircraftman Christopher Bridge, C flight, 51 Squadron Royal Air Force Regiment, aged 20, from Sheffield, Private Aaron James McClure, 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, aged 19, from Ipswich, Private Robert Graham Foster, 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, aged 19, from Harlow, Private John Thrumble, 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, aged 21, from Chelmsford, Captain David Hicks, 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, aged 26, from Surrey, Private Tony Rawson, 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, aged 27, from Dagenham, Essex, Lance Corporal Michael Jones, Royal Marines, aged 26, from Newbald, Yorkshire, Sergeant Barry Keen, 14 Signal Regiment, aged 34, from Gateshead, Guardsman David Atherton, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, aged 25, from Manchester, Lance Corporal Alex Hawkins, 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, aged 22, from East Dereham, Norfolk, Guardsman Daryl Hickey, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, aged 27, from Birmingham, Sergeant Dave Wilkinson, 19 Regiment Royal Artillery, aged 33, from Ashford, Kent and Captain Sean Dolan, 1st Battalion The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters, aged 40, from the West Midlands.

FATALITIES IN AFGHANISTAN (No. 25)

  • Session: 2014-15
  • Date tabled: 28.10.2014
  • Primary sponsor: Flynn, Paul
  • Sponsors:

    That this House salutes the bravery of the armed forces who served in Afghanistan and records with sorrow the deaths of Marine Richard J Watson, 42 Commando Royal Marines, aged 23, from Caterham, Surrey, Marine Jonathan Wigley, 45 Commando Royal Marines, aged 21, from Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, Marine Gary Wright, 45 Commando Royal Marines, aged 22, from Glasgow, Lance Corporal Paul Muirhead, 1 Royal Irish Regiment, aged 29, from Bearley, Warwickshire, Lance Corporal Luke McCulloch, 1 Royal Irish Regiment, aged 21, Corporal Mark William Wright, 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment, aged 27, from Edinburgh, Private Craig O'Donnell, The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, 5th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland, aged 24, from Clydebank, Flight Lieutenant Steven Johnson, aged 38, from Collingham, Nottinghamshire, Flight Lieutenant Leigh Anthony Mitchelmore, aged 28, from Bournemouth, Flight Lieutenant Gareth Rodney Nicholas, aged 40, from Newquay, Cornwall, Flight Lieutenant Allan James Squires, aged 39, from Clatterbridge, Flight Lieutenant Steven Swarbrick, aged 28, from Liverpool, Flight Sergeant Gary Wayne Andrews, aged 48, from Tankerton, Kent, Flight Sergeant Stephen Beattie, aged 42, from Dundee, Flight Sergeant Gerard Martin Bell, aged 48, from Ely, Cambridgeshire, Flight Sergeant Adrian Davies, aged 49, from Amersham, Buckinghamshire, Sergeant Benjamin James Knight, aged 25, from Bridgwater, Sergeant John Joseph Langton, aged 29, from Liverpool, Sergeant Gary Paul Quilliam, aged 42, from Manchester, Corporal Oliver Simon Dicketts, The Parachute Regiment, aged 27, Marine Joseph David Windall, Royal Marines, aged 22, and Ranger Anare Draiva, 1 Royal Irish Regiment, aged 27, from Fiji.

FATALITIES IN AFGHANISTAN (No. 26)

  • Session: 2014-15
  • Date tabled: 28.10.2014
  • Primary sponsor: Flynn, Paul
  • Sponsors:

    That this House salutes the bravery of the armed forces who served in Afghanistan and records with sorrow the deaths of Lance Corporal Jonathan Peter Hetherington, 14 Signal Regiment (Electronic Warfare), aged 22, from South Wales, Corporal Bryan James Budd, 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment, aged 29, from Ripon, Lance Corporal Sean Tansey, The Life Guards, aged 26, from Washington, Tyne and Wear, Private Leigh Reeves, Royal Logistics Corps, aged 25, from Leicester, Private Andrew Barrie Cutts, Air Assault Support Regiment, Royal Logistics Corps, aged 19, from Mansfield, Captain Alex Eida, Royal Horse Artillery, aged 29, from Surrey, Second Lieutenant Ralph Johnson, Household Cavalry Regiment, aged 24, from Windsor, Lance Corporal Ross Nicholls, Blues and Royals, aged 27, from Edinburgh, Private Damien Jackson, 3rd Battalion the Parachute Regiment, aged 19, from South Shields, Tyne and Wear, Corporal Peter Thorpe, Royal Signals, aged 27, from Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, Lance Corporal Jabron Hashmi, Intelligence Corps, aged 24, from Birmingham, and Captain David Patton, The Parachute Regiment, aged 38.

FATALITIES IN AFGHANISTAN (No. 27)

  • Session: 2014-15
  • Date tabled: 28.10.2014
  • Primary sponsor: Flynn, Paul
  • Sponsors:

    That this House salutes the bravery of the armed forces who served in Afghanistan and records with sorrow the deaths of Sergeant Paul Bartlett, Royal Marines, aged 35, Captain Jim Phillipson, 7 Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, aged 29, from St Albans, Hertfordshire, Lance Corporal Peter Edward Craddock, 1st Battalion The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment, aged 31, Corporal Mark Cridge, 7 Signal Regiment, aged 25, Lance Corporal Steven Sherwood, 1st Battalion The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Light Infantry, aged 23, from Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, Private Jonathan Kitulagoda, The Rifle Volunteers, aged 23, from Clifton, Bedfordshire, Sergeant Robert Busuttil, the Royal Logistic Corps, Corporal John Gregory, the Royal Logistic Corps, and Private Darren John George, the Royal Anglian Regiment.

I am a strong supporter of Breakthrough Breast Cancer, who recently launched their strategy for 2013-2025. It is an impressive document and makes some important points about the disease.

Most significantly, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women, with about 50,000 new cases every year. For men, there are about 400 cases per year. With breast cancer making up about a quarter of all the cancer cases in the UK, it is obvious that advances in preventing, treating, and curing this disease would save many lives, and save the NHS many resources.

Breakthrough Breast Cancer is focussing on a five-point plan :

  • To realise the potential for preventative drugs, but also to promote the value of a healthy lifestyle in general. It’s estimated that 40% of cases could be avoided if the sufferer had adopted a healthier lifestyle.
  • If prevention is not possible, early diagnosis is key. It is vital that women check themselves regularly, and report anything unusual to a doctor.
  • Breast cancer is being treated more effectively than ever. This is good news, but cells can become resistant to certain drugs over time, and research must continue to find new and better treatments.
  • Metastatic breast cancer – cancerous cells moving round the body, and spreading the cancer to other organs – is a significant problem. Almost all breast cancers deaths are as a result of this process and it must receive greater focus.
  • Encouraging supportive communities and raising awareness is key in increasing public knowledge of the disease and raising charitable funding against it.

I am proud to be associated with the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Committee locally, who work so hard to raise vital funds and  increase awareness.


Joining Londoners of Sierra Leonean origin who were out in force today supporting efforts to tackle Ebola. Thanks to Abdul Seisay for organising the march to Westminster....

Stockton South MP James Wharton has welcomed the decision by the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust to suspend work on its plans to close North Tees and Hartlepool hospitals for a new hospital at Wynyard.

James has conduced a poll of constituents over the past 3 months and can now reveal the findings for the first time:

76% Opposed the plans

8% Unsure of the plans

16% Supported the plans

(2,673 replies were received)

James at North Tees Hospital

James at North Tees Hospital

James said: “The Trust has not convinced the public to support these plans and without public support such significant reconfigurations cannot be carried through.  People have told me in overwhelming numbers that they do not want this scheme and many will welcome the decision to suspend work.

Scrapping the Wynyard Hospital plan was one of the first things the new government did, but the idea lived on.  This process has taken years and cost a fortune.  The Treasury has been clear that more information would be needed before any money could be approved and the Trust has now decided it cannot provide it.

This is a suspension rather than cancellation but the Trust now needs to turn its attention to North Tees and the investment it needs.  I was born in North Tees Hospital and I understand what it means to our community.  We need to invest in it and upgrade facilities to provide top quality care.  The Trust should immediately start planning to use some of the hundreds of millions it had earmarked for Wynyard on North Tees so that local people get the care they deserve.”

There is a debate going on about whether the Recall Bill is "Real" or not. As usual there is a lot of confusion about what alternatives are proposed. Zac Goldsmith put forward proposals for a different system.  The government proposal is triggered by one of two options either a criminal conviction or a decision by the Standards Committee.  Zac Goldsmith's is triggered by 5% of constituents
Last week, the NHS published its Five Year Forward View. I have written about the emerging models, as they might impact upon Wycombe. On 28th October, three NHS leaders provided evidence to a regular session of the Parliamentary Health Select Committee under the Chairmanship of Dr Sarah Wollaston MP. They were: Simon Stevens, Chief Executive Officer, NHS England Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, National Medical Director, NHS England Paul Baumann, Chief Financial Officer, NHS England On the financial position of the NHS, and on the […]
On Friday I was delighted to be asked to open a new headquarters and manufacturing plant for a high-tech business which has decided to relocate to Swindon.  PRP Optoelectronics may not be a household name, but they are world leaders…

The Liberal Democrats have killed the European Union (Referendum) Bill of which Tony Baldry is a sponsor.

As everyone is aware, the Prime Minister plans to negotiate a better deal for Britain in Europe, and then to put that new deal to the British people in an in-out referendum before the end of 2017. That’s because Conservatives believe the British people should decide our future in Europe. The European Union (Referendum) Private Member’s Bill would have put this referendum onto the statute book.

But Labour and now the Liberal Democrats have blocked it.

With the European Union (Referendum) Bill coming third in the ballot, it was always going to be very difficult to pass it. But until now Sir Tony and the Bill’s other sponsors had hoped that Liberal Democrat colleagues would play fair by granting this Bill the critical money resolution it needed to proceed into committee – as they did for a similar Bill last year which Tony Baldry also sponsored.

It had also been hoped that the Liberal Democrats might make the Bill a government Bill which would have guaranteed its safe passage through the Common.

The Liberal Democrats refused.

The Liberal Democrats asked instead that the Conservatives give them permission to go ahead with a measure – the Affordable Homes Bill – which would cost up to £1 billion and unravel the Government’s welfare reform programme. The Conservatives could not support this because it would have simply meant more borrowing, more debt and more people on benefits rather than in work.

So, because the Conservatives insisted the Liberal Democrats stick to their previous promises on cutting the deficit and reforming welfare, they sabotaged the European Union (Referendum) Bill.

Labour and the Liberal Democrats’ message is clear – they do not trust the British people to decide our country’s future in Europe. And UKIP can’t deliver a referendum at all. For those who want an in-out referendum they have to work hard to secure the Conservative majority government which will deliver the in-out referendum.

Last night I spoke and voted in favour of Zac Goldsmith’s amendment to the Recall Bill. We need real recall that will give real power to voters. The government bill is not that.  It is a deep shame that the amendment didn’t pass, a majority of MPs ...
Birkenhead MP Frank Field said: “Local people know their NHS is desperately short of money, and staffing levels are critical. Hospitals are having to plug the gaps by paying sky-high amounts for...

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Ed Balls was in town today. I completely understand the anger of former Labour voters who feel betrayed by the Blair and Brown governments he served – to say nothing of the Miliband shadow cabinet. Many are finding the same warm welcome in UKIP I did, where they will never be taken for granted. But I must pull Mr Balls up on one point. He said in Rochester & Strood that I want to let corporations loose on the NHS. I don’t. UKIP’s health policy is clear – defend and fund the NHS.

My father was a doctor. My mother was a nurse. My brother is a doctor. I’ve been working closely with the staff at Medway Hospital to get it out of special measures, which is one reason why Strood GP Dr Juneja was good enough to endorse my NHS record. I’m doing the work on the ground. That, not misrepresenting opponents, is how patients get higher standards.


toryghostroadJill Seymour MEP is one of UKIP’s stars on the party’s front bench and it was a real pleasure today to welcome her back to Rochester & Strood for the second time already. The other parties are rounding-up the camera crews for their big names, who get out of a car, offer the old clichés, and disappear back to London again at the very first opportunity. Jill and I tried to do something more useful.

We went to the Tory ghost road at Riverside, Strood built at £13 million expense in a predictably doomed green attempt to stop people driving to work as they wish, and now silent all day save for the odd (mainly empty) bus. What a shambles. The Tory council won’t open it to cars. Conservative-led central government won’t open it. UKIP, when we get the chance, will drop the nonsense and open the road. Jill said it well today – ‘for that much money, I’d have expected a motorway – and a long one’.


The volunteers generously showing up at the UKIP campaign shop at 30 Rochester High Street are a mix of all backgrounds, all ages. I’m grateful to each. Our youngest is Jonathan Woods from Rainham. You’d never imagine listening to him talk about why he’s helping out with UKIP that he’s only 14. You can watch him explain himself here, he’s already a terrific advocate for his community and his country and I really appreciate the support of all the Woods family:


WP_20141027_005Not only has she written a book discussing why UKIP really matters – and it’s well worth a look, you’ll find it here, but Suzanne Evans has won a deserved reputation with the People’s Army for leading from the front with real passion, generosity, and tirelessness.

She was in Rochester & Strood today to support my campaign, and I really appreciate it. Joining UKIP means finishing up on the same side as people like Suzanne, and I can’t understate how much I’m glad that’s now the case.


Some of the dedication UKIP receives is no less inspiring. Caroline Stephens is our prospective parliament candidate for Stroud and I can’t overstate how impressed I am by her commitment to the cause. She’s able to join the local cohorts volunteering because she makes a 300-mile trip each weekend. All I can say is that I salute her and I thank her.


She’s not the only one by any means. This is the UKIP team from Leicestershire, who got off the bus outside our campaign shop today – a Monday too! – without our even knowing they were making such an effort. They brought their own supply of pork pies too!

WP_20141027_003

 


Dan Hannan, a Conservative MEP of wit and erudition I’m proud to call a friend, put out a good tweet today. It was about the European Arrest Warrant. Actually, that was one of the reasons I’m now in UKIP. This EU arrest warrant makes any British liable to be hauled up in court in any of the other twenty-seven countries trapped in the European project. To put it mildly, they don’t all match the standards of British justice – and British citizens have been caught up in some truly shocking cases. Dan said: ‘There scare-stories about criminals evading justice without the EAW are hysterical. There were extraditions agreements in place before 2004’, the year the EU enlarged so fateful. Dan, you’re right on the money.


B04jcyUIgAAFPcnI’ve long been a believer in democracy not just in the way every decent person is, but in a way I think I can fairly call radical – believing not only in getting power back from Brussels to Britain, but from London to local communities, and in engaging people again in a process that should always have been theirs from the start.

This is John Turner. He’s never voted before. He never felt any of the old parties listened to people properly. He’s seventy-three years of age and he’s voting for the first time – for UKIP, and for me, it’s quite a humbling thing to be able to say.

Here’s a blog from my recent visit to Somalia. I went in my capacity as Minister for International Development, and UK Ministerial Champion for tackling violence against women and girls abroad. 

When you think of Somalia, you probably think of Black Hawk Down, Al Shabaab terrorism and piracy. But if you’re born a girl in Somalia, you face so many other risks, both severe and everyday.

Decades of war and humanitarian crises have given Somalia a reputation as one of the worst places to be woman or a child in the world. Girls and women suffer disproportionately from violence and instability. One in 16 women will die during childbirth, and 1 in 10 will die during her reproductive years. Whilst data is scarce, it is thought that 98% of Somali women have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM).

Last week I became the first DFID minister to spend a night in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia. I was there in my capacity as the UK’s ministerial champion for tackling violence against women and girls overseas, as part of a fact-finding and awareness-raising tour to break the silence on an issue that can no longer be taboo. So far my tour has taken me to the United Arab Emirates to tackle the issue of gender-based violence in refugee camps, and I am now in Bangladesh, where two-thirds of girls are married before their eighteenth birthday. All countries suffer from violence against women and girls. We’re all located on a spectrum of violence, and we must help and learn from each other to end it.

Lynne Featherstone with the Somali minister of Women and Human Rights. Picture: DFID Somalia
Lynne Featherstone with the Somali minister of Women and Human Rights

Back to Somalia. There is a nascent movement in Somalia to end FGM, and the Federal Government of Somalia as well as the governments of Somaliland and Puntland, committed to eliminate the practice at the Girl Summit the coalition government hosted in London in July. But new research suggests that while there is widespread support in Somalia for ending the most extreme and medically egregious form of FGM, known as ‘pharaonic’ ‘type III’ or infibulation, the majority of Somalis still supports ‘sunna’, which can involve anything from a small nick to the full removal of the clitoris, removal of flesh, or stitching. People are also now going to medical facilities to undergo FGM, with the help of health professionals, in the belief it is more hygienic. So we’ve got a long way to go.

Lynne Featherstone with the Somali minister of Women and Human Rights and the Gender Based Violence Working Group. Picture: DFID Somalia
Lynne Featherstone with the Somali minister of Women and Human Rights 

But my visit confirmed that there is reason for hope. I met ministers, religious leaders, NGOs, men, women and girls who were all committed to ending FGM. Every one of them had the same message: ‘sunna’ is not OK, and they will not have won until they have eliminated all forms of FGM.

I talked to girls from an amazing girls’ club in Somaliland. Formed to provide vocational training and address gender-based violence issues in their community, its members were eloquent and open. They had succeeded in breaking the taboo of talking about FGM – even with the men in their families and communities.

And I heard about Somalia’s efforts to tackle gender-based violence in conflict, including the development of a sexual offences bill.

But one particular issue seems hardest to tackle, and that is domestic violence. It affects so many women across the world: 2 women a week are killed by their partners or ex-partners in the UK, and 1 in 4 women in the UK suffers domestic violence at some point in her life. In Somalia, there are no data on domestic violence, but in a place where the prevalence of FGM is so high, we can assume that domestic violence is happening in everyday life.

Lynne Featherstone visits the Girls' Club which works to increase awareness of the health impacts of female genital mutilation. Picture: Health Poverty Action
Lynne Featherstone visits the Girls’ Club which works to increase awareness of the health impacts of female genital mutilation. Picture: Health Poverty Action

I asked a group of women at a maternal health clinic whether they had suffered domestic violence. Silence. But when I asked whether they knew any women who had been beaten by their husbands, every one of them put up their hand.

The girls’ club told me that the right to beat one’s wife was a widely accepted social norm. But when I asked whether they felt it was a good social norm, they were vehement in their answer: absolutely not.

It’s through young leaders such as these girls that we can really change the future. If these girls refuse to cut their daughters, the cycle ends. If these girls speak out against domestic violence, it can end too.

Through them, we can break the silence, and stop violence before it starts.

I have always said we need to be careful about losing good agricultural land to solar farms and earlier this week, as Farming Minister, I announced our plan to end the payment of farm subsidies on land occupied by solar farms. The new rules, which will come into force from January next year, mean that farmers who choose to use fields for solar panels will not be eligible for any of their "single farm payment" available through the Common Agricultural Policy on that particular piece of land.

I think this is good news for the country but particularly for Cornwall, where we have been especially blighted by these ugly solar developments. Last year alone, 67% of new solar developments could be found in the West Country and Cornwall planners have been inundated with applications from developers hoping to take advantage of energy subsidies. During my time as MP I have been contacted numerous times by residents opposed to these developments and I have supported their cases all the way to the Planning Inspectorate.

In the next few decades food security is going to become an increasingly important issue with a growing world population and demand for food growing. Farming is what our farms are for and it is what keeps our landscape beautiful but crucially it produces the food we need. It makes my heart sink to see row upon row of solar panels here in Cornwall where once there were fields of crops or grassland for livestock to graze.

Some developers have attempted to claim that farming can continue underneath solar panels but I think these are sham arguments which developers just advance to try to get around planning guidance. There is no doubt that land covered in solar panels is, for all intents and purposes, lost to agriculture. Crops need sunlight to grow and if fields are smothered in solar panels, there is no light left for crop production and it is not possible to get tractor access to manage the soil. In addition, when it comes to the idea of grazing sheep or other livestock, while developers talk this up, in reality they are concerned that livestock will damage their expensive panels. Many write into their agreements that farmers can't use the land themselves but that only the energy company's sheep can occupy the land. I don't know whether they think they have specially trained solar friendly sheep or something but none of it sounds very plausible.
We do need to diversify our energy supply and there could be a role for some solar panels, but on roofs not on prime agricultural land. Solar panels are best placed on the 250,000 hectares of south facing commercial rooftops where they will not compromise the success of our agricultural industry and I hope that a more innovative approach along those lines could remove the threat to our Cornish landscape.

George Eustice can be contacted at george.eustice.mp@parliament.uk or 1 Trevenson Street, Camborne, Cornwall TR14 8JD or by telephone on 020 72197032.
I have written a column for The Independent tomorrow, making the case for opting out of the European Arrest Warrant and various other EU regulations covering the British criminal justice system.

You can read the article here. I also discussed the issue on Radio 4's Today program, accessible here (from 1 hour, 33 minutes).
  Chloe Smith, Member of Parliament for Norwich has joined the fight against breast cancer by taking part in Breast Cancer Campaign’s flagship fundraiser, ‘Wear It Pink’ day. Chloe sported a...

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The latest jobs and inflation figures were announced last week. Local unemployment is down by 749 in south Manchester since this time last year, and stands at 2.8%, down from […]

South West Surrey MP Jeremy Hunt meets with Surrey County Council Leader in Farnham to discuss pedestrianisation of the town centre

Following the victory in his referendum on pedestrianisation in June, Jeremy Hunt, MP for South West Surrey,  met on Friday 19th September with leader of Surrey County Council, David Hodge and County Councillor for Farnham Pat Frost in order to press ahead with establishing a viable pedestrian-friendly plan for Farnham and what the next steps might be for developing a scheme.

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Tomorrow, Parliament is recalled to debate a motion tabled by Her Majesty's Government supported limited action against the brutal terrorist organisation, ISIL. It reads as follows;

That this House;

Condemns the barbaric acts of ISIL against the peoples of Iraq, including the Sunni, Shia, Kurds, Christian and Yazidi and the humanitarian crisis it is causing;

Recognises the clear threat that ISIL pose to the territorial integrity of Iraq, and the request from the Government of Iraq for military support from the international community and the specific request to the UK Government for such support;

Further recognises the threat ISIL pose to wider international security, and the UK directly through its sponsorship of terrorist attacks and it's murder of a British hostage;

Acknowledges the broad coalition contributing to military support of the Government of Iraq, including countries throughout the Middle East;

Further acknowledges the request of the Government of Iraq for international support to defend itself against the threat that ISIL poses to Iraq and it's citizens, and the clear legal basis that this provides for action in Iraq;

Notes that this motion does not endorse UK air strikes in Syria as part of this campaign, and any proposal to do so would be subject to a separate vote in Parliament;

Accordingly supports Her Majesty's Government, working with allies, in supporting the Government of Iraq in protecting civilians and restoring its territorial integrity, including use of UK air strikes to support Iraq, including Kurdish security force's efforts against ISIL in Iraq;

Notes that Her Majesty's Government will not deploy UK troops in ground combat operations;

Offers it's wholehearted support to the men and women of Her Majesty's Armed Forces.


The Home Secretary appointed Fiona Woolf to chair the child abuse inquiry on Friday. Since then, a number of people have asked for my views on the matter, some of them quite high profile survivors.

I’d never heard of Fiona Woolf until I saw the announcement but I know her type – successful, rich and married to a big Tory.

A number of survivors are concerned she’s too close to the establishment and seems to have some kind of social or informal links to Leon Brittan, the former Home Secretary who was recently interviewed under caution by the police.

Believe me, I understand the concerns of survivors but I’m supporting the appointment all the same.

The way I look at the situation is this:

A year ago, there was no chance of an inquiry.

Theresa May has done the right thing despite considerable internal pressure not to act. She has also listened to concerns of many survivors and MPs by assembling a panel of people who do not share the background of Fiona Woolf.

I’m desperate to see the inquiry get moving because I’m now convinced that members of organised criminal networks have evaded justice – and that some very powerful people need to be exposed.

As soon as the inquiry starts to take a look at documents as well as testimonies of survivors and former police officers,I believe the weight of evidence will be so great that even more will have to be done.

This might take the form of a bigger police inquiry team, made up of investigators from around the country but managed nationally. Then we really might see some powerful people brought to justice.

To oppose Fiona Woolf will have the effect of further delaying the evidence gathering, leaving survivors in limbo for longer and perpetrators evading scrutiny.

From what I’ve seen so far, we risk losing more with a delay than we do with a chair who has not yet won the confidence of a number of survivors. It’s for her to build trust with them through her leadership of the inquiry team.

I know enough about the panel members and their expert advisers to be certain that they will not tolerate an establishment whitewash. If more revelations come out about Fiona Woolf then I’m sure they will make their opinions known to Theresa May.

They should be allowed to examine the institutional failings of the past in order to understand how vulnerable children were abused by powerful people who were not held to account.

So, I’m giving Theresa May the benefit of the doubt.

It’s time for this inquiry to get moving. The team leading it should be judged on the tenacity of their research and the strength of their investigations.

I hope you can give them your support in what will be a very distressing inquiry.

Just by way of an update to Monday’s post… Another invite has arrived. WWF are the culprits again!

PRASEG & WWF-UK Event – The economics of climate change policy: what are the overall costs and benefits of the UK meeting its carbon budgets?
Wednesday 10 September 2014, 17:00 – 19:00, Committee Room 6, House of Commons

 Chair:
• Dr Alan Whitehead MP, Labour MP for Southampton Test and PRASEG Chair.

Panel:
• The Rt Hon Ed Davey MP, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change
• Professor Paul Ekins, University College London
• Matthew Knight, Director of Strategy and Government Affairs, Siemens Energy
• Steven Heath, Director – Public Affairs and Strategy, Knauf Insulation
• Trevor Maynard, Head of Exposure Management & Reinsurance Team, Lloyds Bank

 

 

 


On Saturday 13 September 2014, after an interval of four years, I will be taking part in the sponsored cycle ride to raise money for the Buckinghamshire Historic Churches Trust.

On Saturday 13 September 2014, after an interval of four years, I will be taking part in the sponsored cycle ride to raise money for the Buckinghamshire Historic Churches Trust.

This is an excellent charity under the patronage of the Lord Lieutenant, Sir Henry Aubrey-Fletcher and the Bishop of Buckingham, designed to help the maintenance of churches of all denominations throughout the county.

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This morning I unveiled a memorial stone to Captain Douglas Reynolds, on the hundredth anniversary of the action that led to him being awarded Britain’s highest military honour, the Victoria Cross.

In this centenary year of the outbreak of the First World War there will be many events around Britain and the rest of Europe. There will be further anniversaries to mark down to 11 Novemeber 2018, a hundred years after the Armistice on the western front that now sets the date for our annual Remembrance Sunday event for all conflicts.

The government is supporting a wide ranging programme of events over the next four years. These include battlefield tours for schools, where children will also be learning to play the “Last Post”. The Communities Department is providing memorial paving stones to be laid in the communities of origin of the recipients of the Victoria Cross.

There were 628 Victoria Crosses awarded to 627 individuals, as Noel Chavasse was the only man to be awarded twice. Over the next four years memorial stones will be laid across the British Isles, 361 in England, 16 in Wales, 70 in Scotland and 35 in Ireland, which at that time was all within the United Kingdom.  The remaining 145 memorials will all be laid at the National Memorial Arboretum on 9 March 2015, Commonwealth Day.

This Commonwealth group reminds us of the fact that the war was the first truly global conflict. It was a clash of European empires, drawing in colonial soldiers from around the world. I have visited the memorials in Ypres in Flanders, where the name Singh is more common than Smith or Williams. There was also combat at sea and on land around the world.

Some people may ask why are we commemorating a war that is now outside the life memory of everyone. I think it is right that we do so.  The First World War touched the lives of every community and family in a way not seen before.  The wars of the nineteenth century and before were fought in the main by regular soldiers and sailors. The war from 1914 – 18 was a total war, particularly after conscription was introduced in 1916. As so many men were in uniform, the role of women was also changed profoundly, working in the fields and munitions factories. After the end of the war, the British social order was never the same, with the ‘ruling class’ weakened by taxes, the end of deference and the universal franchise.

I hope the paving stones and various events will rekindle an interest in the war in every community.  There are war memorials in every town and many workplaces and schools, listing the names that could be brought to life by research.  I hope to discover more about my great-grandfather Stephen Davies, who served and survived physically but died in a mental hospital years later.

Today’s event in Castle Park, Bristol, was to commemorate the sixth winner of the VC, the first from Bristol.  Captain Reynolds was awarded his VC for an action on 26 August 1914, just three weeks after the war started. He led his men to recapture a gun at Le Cateau, Belgium Mons. He survived this episode but was killed by gas poisoning in February 1916 and is buried at Etaples. His VC is on display at the Royal Artillery Museum in Woolwich.

The next Bristol memorial stone will be laid on 20th November, the centenary of the VC being awarded to Thomas Rendle.  The other six Bristol VCs are Frederick Room (1917), Hardy Falconer Parsons (1917), Daniel Burges (1918), Harry Blansard Wood (1918), Manley Angell James (1918) and Claude Congreve Dobson (1919).

Bristol has one of the very best commemorative programmes in the country over the next four years. See http://www.bristol2014.com for more details.

 


So, avid readers will notice that I've been a little absent in the blogging world over the past few months.  I've been busy, which isn't an excuse as we are all busy, I know, but writing a blog can't be top on the list of my priorities so posts on here have fallen by the wayside a little bit, sorry.

Summer recess, however, is a great opportunity to catch up, take stock, and get on top of things as best as possible, so here I am again with a new (Parliamentary) year resolution to get back to blogging.

I hope I still have at least one reader left!
In politics you get very used to promises and pledges; there's always a lot of talk and if something goes wrong, the emergency response is often to have yet another meeting or 'write a report '. It always reminds me of a certain scene in The Life of Brian ( fans will know which one I mean). Recently the national papers exposed not just my thighs in a picture of me in my old work outfit of a red swimming cozzy, but the fact I used to work on Cornish beaches as a surf life guard. In that line of work, talk cannot replace Action. So it is especially good to see actual physical action happening in re-opening the Lamplighters Pub. In a welcome break from paperwork, Cllr Wayne Harvey and I rolled up our sleeves and got busy in renovating the pub. Still a long way to go, but great to see Kathie and Dominic Gundry-White actually getting something done and bringing our pub back to life! 

First published by The Observer Parliament talks ceaselessly of “the next generation”. But, in Cumbria, where I’m an MP, voluntary activity and politics are generally driven by people over the age of 55. Every village seems to have a retired engineer attempting to build a community fibre-optic cable network and baffling the most confident civil servant […]

The post Our culture excludes the old when they have so much to contribute appeared first on Rory Stewart.


Today (22 January) the coalition government's controversial 'Lobbying Bill' returns to the House of Commons after it has been debated and amended in the House of Lords. The government has been forced to make concessions in response to the strength and breadth of opposition. It is nevertheless likely that the Government will seek to overturn at least some of the amendments made in the House of Lords which have gone some way to improve this ill-considered Bill.

It has already had to drop its proposals to cut the total that charities are allowed to spend on campaigning in the run-up to a general election and concede that the election period is specified as the period from the day after the referendum here in Scotland rather than a full 12 months.

These changes are welcome but they simply make a bad bill slightly better. So far, the Government has refused to accept other amendments such as the one excluding background staff costs from the spending limits and requiring lobbying of special advisers to be included on the statutory register.

I was pleased to see that both of these were passed in the House of Lords despite the Government’s opposition and I and my Labour colleagues will be voting to keep these two Amendments in the Bill if the Government seeks to overturn them.

Charities are already forbidden to campaign in a partisan way by existing legislation on the way they operate and as a spokesperson for the Electoral Reform Society Scotland has pointed out, it is hard to see the problem that this Bill is seeking to solve.

          There are many other things wrong with the Bill. It would have been even better if the
          government had dropped it entirely and rethought its proposals after proper consultation
          with charities, NGOs, and trade unions, but the Commons does at least have the chance
          to make it a little better today.

One of the welcome features of the new expenses system is that constituents can see all expenses claims online here, including everything from claims for rent on the constituency office, office phone bills or standard class rail tickets to Wesminster.

In addition, the subject of MPs' accommodation arrangements in London continues to be the focus of some attention, so I thought it would be a good opportunity to provide an update on my own arrangements.

When first elected in 1997 I rented a room for a short period but it quickly became apparent that in the longer-term it would be cheaper to have a mortgage and claim the interest.  Over the years I have stayed overnight and claimed mortgage interest on a bedsit or one-bedroom flat in Westminster. 

Under the rules of the scheme, I would be entitled to retain any profit made from increases in the value of such property prior to the 2010 General Election.  But I have made it clear that in my view the purpose of the scheme is simply to give MPs somewhere to live whilst in London and not to provide a profit.   I have therefore said for some years that when I no longer owned a property in Westminster I would return any profit to the taxpayer.  I am now making arrangements to do this.

In October this year I sold my London flat and am now renting (and ceased claiming for mortgage interest in July).    I estimate that I made a profit, net of capital gains tax and legal fees etc. of around £22,000 through increases in the value of the properties on which I have claimed.  I have therefore written to IPSA confirming that I wish to return this sum and asking for details of how I can return this amount to the taxpayer.
Shadow Fisheries Minister Tom Harris has welcomed a campaign by representatives of the smaller fishing industry to win a fairer share of UK fishing quotas.

Speaking on the day that Greenpeace and NUTFA (the New Under Ten Fishermen’s Association) launched their Manifesto For Fair Fisheries, Tom called on the government to take the lead in supporting small fishing communities. He said the case had now been made for a “radical overhaul” of the way fishing quotas are allocated within the UK.

Smaller “inland” fishing vessels make up three quarters of the UK’s fishing fleet and employ nearly two thirds of all full-time workers. But they are restricted from catching more than four per cent of the UK fishing quota, with 96 per cent being allocated to the larger industrial fleet.
 
Tom added: “Labour wants reform that tackles vested interests and rewards those who fish more sustainably and selectively, with less impact on the environment. It is unacceptable that fleets representing the smaller, sustainable end of the industry, and which employ nearly two thirds of full-time workers, should have to survive on just four per cent of the UK fishing quota.
 
“The Government should be taking a lead in supporting our small fishing communities that are the lifeblood of many coastal areas.

“The case has now been made for a radical overhaul of the way fishing quotas are allocated within the UK. The Government needs to issue a definitive list of who exactly owns the rights to UK quota, and begin urgent talks on significantly increasing the percentage quota allocated to the Under Ten fleet.”



Yesterday, the Prime Minister launched the Government’s Challenge on Dementia – a new initiative to tackle one of Britain’s most serious health concerns. As Vice-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Dementia, I believe that our approach to dementia care in Britain is unsustainable, with the figure of 800,000 people who currently live in the UK projected to rise to 1 million within a decade and 1.7 million by 2051.

Aside from the obvious human tragedy of the condition, which affects one in three people over the age of 65, there are serious financial consequences of dementia. Through increased healthcare costs and other expenses, the condition costs the economy £23bn, compared to £12bn for cancer and £8bn for heart disease which, per patient, means that a single dementia patient will cost the economy £27,000 – four times higher than a cancer patient and five times higher than someone with heart disease.

Despite this, research into the condition receives significantly less funding than research into other diseases. The Government’s announcement that it will double dementia research funding to £66m by 2015 is therefore extremely welcome and represents not only a fantastic opportunity for greater research into the cause, cure, care and prevention of dementia, but a greater recognition from Government that this is an issue that must be addressed.

The Prime Minister’s announcement yesterday was timely as APPG is investigating how to improve the rate of dementia diagnosis. The Group has heard from a range of people involved in the condition, including clinicians, social workers, those with the condition and those working to support them. The Government’s additional commitment to funding an additional £54m to help increase early diagnoses of the condition represents a fundamental appreciation of the importance that early identification of the disease plays in transforming dementia care.

There are important benefits to diagnosing dementia as early as possible and early diagnosis is key to living well with the condition. It means that GPs can work together with patients from an early stage to help plan their care and start treatment to slow down the progression of the disease. This can help to lower the risk of dementia-related accidents and complications, reducing both the probability that a patient will need to go into residential care as well as the overall cost of dementia to the health service.

Despite this, only between thirty and forty percent of those with dementia are diagnosed, with huge variations in diagnosis rates not just across the UK but within counties themselves. In Medway, for example, 44% of those with dementia are diagnosed compared to just 38% in West Kent. Additionally, only five to ten percent of diagnoses are made at an early stage of dementia, meaning that many of the benefits of its early identification are lost.

Some of the evidence that the Group heard suggests that a huge barrier to people coming forward for assessment is that stigma associated with dementia and it is essential that the media plays a role in helping to change the perception of those with the condition. The image of people with dementia on television is one of invalidity and ineptitude while it is often the case that a patient diagnosed early enough can live independently and with a high quality of life for many years. As with many medical conditions in the past, changing the image of dementia in the media to show it in a more realistic light is essential in getting people to visit their GP if they have concerns.

It is also therefore essential that clinicians are appropriately trained in recognising the symptoms of dementia and knowing which services are available to refer patients to. Amazingly, a quarter of GPs say that they do not receive enough training on dementia and it is therefore unsurprising that so many people with dementia slip through the net and get misdiagnosed with other conditions such as depression.

However, we cannot just rely on patients going to see the GP to get diagnosed because they are concerned about symptoms; professionals across a range of fields must work to actively recognise symptoms of dementia when interacting with older people. One of the doctors giving evidence to the Group pointed out that if a patient went into a hospital for an unrelated medical condition, it would be inconceivable for health care professional to notice potential symptoms of cancer and not follow it up, but that is not the case if they spot some early symptoms of dementia. It is only through this kind of proactive approach that we will significantly increase the rate of diagnosis.

While I look forward to the Group’s publication of the report in the summer, it is clear that we must take action to raise awareness about how important early diagnosis is and remove the stigma that stops people going for assessments while ensuring that all our healthcare professionals are properly trained to spot the early signs of dementia. The Prime Minister’s challenge to tackle dementia and improve both diagnoses and care for the condition is extremely welcome and, I hope, represents the turning point in the fight to end the unsustainable dementia status quo.

There are many groups and charities in Kent which can provide support for those with dementia and their carers. For more information, contact my office on 020 7219 2828.
I recently organised a meeting with a number of local residents about the upkeep and maintenance of Kew Bridge Railway Station. I met with representatives from Strand on the Green Association, St George's, Kew Green, The Kew Bridge Society, Express Tavern, West Thames River Group, a disability interest group, Friends of Stile Hall Gardens, Brentford Community Council and Network Rail.
Prior to the meeting, I had already been in touch with Network Rail, to strongly urge them to deal with some of the key issues around the station. Network Rail confirmed at the meeting that, as a result of my request, they had immediate plans in place now to paint the station, address the rodent problem, board up unused windows and clear graffiti They had also requested additional litter bins from Hounslow Council. At the meeting, St George's highlighted the work they had been doing too to clear up graffiti in the local area.
I am very pleased that Network Rail responded so well and are giving Kew Bridge Station a 'facelift,' which will help local residents. It will make the station seem cleaner and safer and I welcome their efforts to improve it for passengers. As a group, we are also in discussion regarding the future of the station building at Kew Bridge. As it is a Listed Building, it is obviously of architectural importance. It would be excellent if it could be restored to its former glory and put to good use.
The group is going to meet again within the next month to review progress and discuss next steps.
Maria Miller, MP for Basingstoke, has welcomed the Localism Bill published by the Government on 13 December. The Bill will give individuals, groups, and their local councils a much greater say in decisions affecting their local communities.

 

Maria said: “This new legislation will make a real difference to how local matters are decided. The Community Rights measures, for example, will give new rights to local community and voluntary groups to protect, improve and even run important frontline services that might otherwise close down, such as local shops, pubs and libraries,.”

 

Maria added: “This Bill offers great opportunities for Basingstoke. Among other things, it will radically reform the planning system so that local people have a greater say and influence over what Basingstoke looks like in the future. Giving local people the opportunity to shape the development of the communities in which they live is something that I have long campaigned for, and I am delighted to see it being enshrined in law.

 

“The Borough Council’s current consultation on the number of new homes needed in Basingstoke is part of this process of taking local people’s views into consideration in developing a vision for the future. I would urge all residents to let the Council have their views on this before the end of the consultation on 14 January.”

 

Starting with a Bang

The long parliamentary recess has started - weeks without time being spent in the weekly grindingly boring train ride to London and back. Mind you its a hectic pace back at Southport but you can control your agenda better.

Yesterday I found a little time for light exercise the odd game of table tennis and a workout with heavy weights.
I've done the latter all my adult life and it has a slight addictive quality. If you don't do it for a while you actually feel muscle cramps only relieved by putting the old system under pressure.
Constraints of time often mean I forego all the warm ups and warm downs etc. So there I was on Tuesday doing a few front squats in excess of 300lb. I finished, replacing the barbell on the shoulder-high squat stand or so I thought. The stand was not aligned right .It tilted sideways as I released the weight and as the weight crashed to the floor the stand was pulled rapidly down by it pausing on its way to hit the stooping me on the head and catching me on the hand.
If you wanted to dramatise it , it might be compared to being hit on the head by a 20 stone man with an iron bar from a short distance. I thought I'd better take a break. We've had enough by- elections recently
When the family saw me with a lump as though a tennis ball had been buried in my scalp I was advised to pop into A&E. So clutching a plastic bag filled with ice cubes to my temple and bleeding from my finger I was run there and tested by some very nice jolly staff who established so far as we could tell that there was no skull or brain damage.At any rate I could still recall who the Prime Minister and reigning monarch was. I left a wiser man with a determination to avoid photo opportunities for a few days.
Desperate to prove they are doing something about the rising toll of deaths from guns and knives the government have resorted to the old idea of an "amnesty." This will enable a few aging war veterans who collected a "souvenir" and some farmers who forgot to renew their shotgun licenses to hand over guns that would never have been used for any kind of crime. Some of the younger "wannabe" gansters may also find that their weapons, usually replicas, are handed in by angry mothers.

This will be enough for the amnesty to achieve its real objective - photos of a smiling Minister in front of an impressive looking array of guns claiming that the government have "taken action".

But make no mistake the serious criminals will continue to roam the streets without any fear of being stopped and searched, (human rights) and knowing that even if by some chance they are found in poossession of a gun or knife the sentence will be minimal.

The toll of death will continue to rise.

Caroline with FSB representative in front of FSB banner

Caroline with Lord Brett McLean, FSB East Sussex Region Policy Chairman

 

Yesterday afternoon I attended the launch of a Business Manifesto by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). This focuses on the organisation’s new #ibacksmallbusiness campaign.

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of Brighton & Hove’s economy so I was very pleased to attend to make sure that concerns put to me by constituency businesses were included in the discussion.

I was also delighted to become one of the FSB's parliamentary champions, and will continue to do all I can to support small and micro businesses in Brighton & Hove.

The manifesto covers some issues that already have a high profile in our city.

For example, it recognises the importance of universal digital connectivity, referring to this as “the fourth utility”. Following on from our successful bid for money to improve digital infrastructure, including access to ultrafast broadband, Brighton & Hove's leadership as a major centre for creative and digital businesses looks set to grow still further.

It also calls for a complete ban on energy rollover contracts, which would build on the commitment I won from energy suppliers to give small businesses the choice to opt out of contracts each year.

The manifesto calls for the temporary doubling of small business rate relief to be made permanent, echoing my call for the scheme to be broadened. This would benefit an additional 500-600 businesses in our city, including many social enterprises.

These measures, alongside others that I’m working on with the local business community, such as the call to reduce VAT on tourism and support for apprenticeships, would make a real difference to constituency businesses.

The FSB manifesto is here – http://tinyurl.com/n6szy77

I’m keen to hear what Brighton Pavilion SMEs think about this document so do get in touch with any thoughts and feedback.