The Immigration Bill
Posted Thursday, 30 January 2014 at 14:20
This afternoon I will be supporting the amendment to the Immigration Bill put forward by Dominic Raab MP. Human Rights legislation is being abused by criminals to stay in this country when it is in our national interest to make sure they are deported as quickly as possible.
In his speech Dominic made the case better that I ever could. How can anyone support a system whereby a criminal convicted of violence against his girlfriend uses his link to that same woman as a ‘family’ connection that he couldn’t live without?
If an irresponsible father has never paid a penny of child support or made any effort to see his children, why on earth should he be allowed to use the fact that he has those children as a reason to avoid deportation?
The provisions in current human rights legislation are being abused. The right to family life is not absolute, unlike the right to life itself. Making it easier to remove dangerous foreign criminals from this country is not a magic bullet, but it is one small measure to make our country safer and I am very happy to vote for this amendment.
Opposing Labour's Education Policies
Posted Wednesday, 29 January 2014 at 17:27
I spoke twice this afternoon in the education debate, opposing Labour’s policy to restrict the recruitment options available to head teachers of state schools and preventing them from employing those who they think are the best for the job.
It is to the great advantage of independent schools that they can employ outside experts in various fields such as music, art etc, people who are distinguished in their field and for whom teaching is a pleasure to benefit children, not a bureaucratic tick boxing exercise.
The success of independent schools by adopting such a flexible policy of recruitment is evident in their admirable exam results.
Labour’s motion, like most of their policies, is well meaning but would be totally counter-productive. It would drive talented people out of the state sector and entrench the advantage of independent schools.
As Michael Gove replied, it would be impossible for a state school to poach an excellent teacher from an independent school if that teacher didn't have the exact formal qualifications, leaving the state sector disadvantaged.
Debating Renewable Energy with the Green Party
Posted Tuesday, 28 January 2014 at 15:12
Posted Monday, 27 January 2014 at 15:49
I was really pleased to hear the news that, as of last Thursday, ambulances will once again be taking children to Bedford Hospital following the resolution of staffing issues at Riverbank ward.
I know the problems had caused lots of worry among many parents in the constituency so return to business as usual should be a great relief all round.
The changes were designed to ensure that children always got the very highest quality care but it’s better for children to be treated closer to home wherever possible.
I remain in touch with the hospital management about all aspects of care as raised by constituents.
Posted Monday, 27 January 2014 at 11:35
As well as personal cases presented by constituents at my surgeries, it's always nice to get to meet many of the businesses that operate in Mid-Beds. Here I am with the team from Trans Haul, based in Flitwick.
Holocaust Memorial Day
Posted Thursday, 23 January 2014 at 11:49
Yesterday I signed the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Book of Commitment in the House of Commons, honouring those who died during the Holocaust. It also honours the extraordinary Holocaust survivors who work tirelessly to educate young people about what they endured.
Holocaust Memorial Day is on 27th January and marks the anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration and death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, the site of the largest mass murder in history.
BBC Question Time
Posted Friday, 10 January 2014 at 12:30
to watch my appearance on BBC Question Time
Westminster's New Year Business
Posted Tuesday, 7 January 2014 at 12:11
I hope that readers of my blog enjoyed the break over Christmas and New Year, although I know many people worked hard to keep our public services and transport networks running and many others fell victim to some of the worst festive weather I can remember.
The first day back at Westminster saw debated the perfectly timed Water Bill. This aims to end the bizarre cycle we seem to have in this country whereby it rains all winter yet by the middle of spring we are embroiled in a water shortage.
This evening, along with other county MPs, I will be meeting with the Chief Constable and PCC of Bedfordshire Police to discuss issues surrounding rural crime and the provision of better policing with a smaller budget.
Last year Beds Police appointed a new Chief Constable. I‘ve been really impressed with Colette Paul’s ability and determination and I’m sure that she will drive through the required changes while maintaining the highest levels of protection against crime for my constituents.