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A new digital economy


I appreciate how important broadband is to residents and businesses in Wycombe. Fast, reliable broadband is now seen as the norm in an advanced economy, not a luxury. It underpins economic growth and allows us to function in a digital age. Over 90 per cent of UK premises are now able to connect to superfast broadband, and we are on track to reach 95 per cent by the end of next year. This means that the UK has the highest superfast broadband […]

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Airport expansion in the South East


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In recent weeks, I have heard from a number of constituents urging a final decision on airport expansion in the UK. I have long supported Heathrow Hub for its potential to increase capacity cost-effectively while decreasing road traffic and aircraft noise. The Airports Commission’s final report was published in the Summer of 2015. It made a strong case for expansion in the South East. The Government has accepted the case for expansion and the Commission’s shortlist of options. It is vitally important […]

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Academies enhance self-government: why not go co-operative?


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I am grateful to everyone who wrote to me over the Government’s potential plans to complete the process of turning all schools into academies by, at the end, forcing schools which do not choose for themselves to convert. Academies are one of the few things Labour got right, blazing the trail for high educational attainment since they were established in 2002. Claims made by those on the left that academisation means privatization are bizarre: these remain state schools. Since 2010, there […]

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Relocation of children from Europe


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Following Monday’s consideration of Lords amendments to the Immigration Bill, there has been a furious backlash challenging the humanity and, where relevant, faith of those of us who supported the Government. Parliament is sometimes required to make exceptionally difficult decisions in complex circumstances of mass suffering to which political power is a poor solution. Such decisions are always politicised. Typically, motives and character are condemned before an explanation is sought for an unwelcome decision. Lord Dubs had successfully moved a new clause which would require the Home Secretary, […]

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Syrian refugees and migrants


The UK is the second biggest bilateral donor of humanitarian aid to Syria, having already pledged £1 billion as well as some £60 million additional funding to help those still in the country. Since the crisis began nearly 5000 Syrians and their dependents have been granted asylum through normal procedures, and the Vulnerable Persons Relocations scheme is already up and running, with hundreds of the most vulnerable Syrians welcomed into the country for protection and support. The Prime Minister has […]

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Food Waste (Reduction) Bill campaign response


The Food Waste (Reduction) Bill was not debated as scheduled on 29 January owing to a lack of parliamentary time. Preventing food waste at all stages in the supply chain is an important objective for the Government, which it is working on with the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) and the food industry. Over 90% of the food manufacturing and retailer sector have signed up to the Courtauld Commitment, a voluntary agreement to limit waste. As a result, domestic household […]

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BBC Charter Review campaign response


The BBC is one of the nation’s most important institutions which is recognised internationally as a maker of high quality content. Ten years ago, the last time the Government ran a Charter Review, the media landscape looked very different. The BBC has adapted to this changing landscape, and remains much-loved by audiences. However, hard questions must be asked during this Charter Review. This should include questions about what the BBC should be trying to achieve in an age where consumer […]

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Domestic Violence


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Domestic violence is an abhorrent crime and the Government has been committed to tackling it. Nearly £40 million has been ring-fenced for specialist local domestic and sexual violence support services, the national domestic violence help line, rape crisis centres, and the stalking helpline. Domestic abuse is not just physical however, as it can mean controlling behaviour and appalling emotional attacks. The Government widened the definition of domestic violence to include both physical and verbal abuse, as well as reducing the […]

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The Assisted Dying (No. 2) Bill


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On Friday, the Commons decisively rejected the Assisted Dying (No. 2) Bill. It was “A Bill to enable competent adults who are terminally ill to choose to be provided with medically supervised assistance to end their own life; and for connected purposes.” The Bill attracted huge interest among MPs and voters, with over 85 MPs applying to speak. These matters of conscience, controversy and high emotion are difficult and important moments in the work of our Parliament. Many constituents wrote to me […]

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Hunting with hounds


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It is necessary to control both badgers and foxes in the interests of protecting farm livestock of one kind or another. My position on the badger cull remains as it was before the election: the issues at stake are primarily scientific but the science is disputed. I have therefore decided to support my colleagues in government. I have received correspondence this week asking me to either assert, clarify or reconsider my view in relation to the proposed changes to the Hunting Act. […]

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