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The attacks on Paris and potential action in Syria

The atrocity in Paris last weekend has horrified people across the globe.  It is clear this barbaric attack has underlined all decent people’s rejection of terror and violence and reaffirmed their commitment to live in an open and free society. It has reinforced everyone’s intolerance of violence and extremism. The freedoms we enjoy were won at great cost and should not be surrendered in cowardice. Our way of life is worth defending. Those of us on the centre right of politics believe […]

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Defending our country – Conservatives: securing a better future

Tonight is the John Hampden Grammar School Question Time which kicks off the election campaign in Wycombe. More here. In preparation for the event, I’m publishing a series of videos which set out how Conservatives are securing a better future for our country.

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Contributions in the Commons since Christmas

Via Hansard by MP, my contributions since Christmas in the Commons chamber over a range of subjects: 13 January 2015 Charter for Budget Responsibility Grammar School Funding [Westminster Hall] Topical Questions (Health – urgent care) 12 January 2015 Topical Questions (Defence – nuclear deterrent) 5 January 2015 Regionalising Police Forces Contributions in the Treasury Select Committee are available separately. On health, a helpful direction of travel is emerging which I indicated in my topical question: Steve Baker (Wycombe) (Con): As it […]

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The capacity of the Royal Air Force

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Much of Friday’s debate took for granted the Royal Air Force’s capacity to deliver substantial air power. We are to understand the operation in Iraq could last for years. In 1991, at the time of our first Gulf War, the RAF had exactly 30 front-line fast jet squadrons. Today, we have seven. Of those seven, four are Typhoon squadrons. They do not yet have the necessary Stormshadow, Brimstone or RAPTOR capabilities. The other three squadrons – II(AC), IX(B) and 31 – are equipped with […]

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Visiting RAF Coningsby and experiencing Typhoon

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As one of just two ex-Royal Air Force officers in Parliament – Jason McCartney is the other – I was delighted this week to visit RAF Coningsby under the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme to witness first-hand a Quick Reaction Alert training sortie. We flew to an area over Wales to rehearse techniques for intercepting, identifying and coercing aircraft which could be a threat to the UK. There is surely no comparison to flying in a Typhoon with a Royal Air Force pilot. I am most grateful to […]

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Reflections on Armed Forces Day

Today was Armed Forces Day: It’s an opportunity to do two things. Firstly, to raise public awareness of the contribution made to our country by those who serve and have served in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces, Secondly, it gives the nation an opportunity to Show Your Support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community: from currently serving troops to Service families and from veterans to cadets. One of the most sobering aspects of service as […]

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The UK remains a European Defence Agency member

The Government has decided to remain a member of the European Defence Agency (EDA). The EDA is part of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). It is yet another area of mission creep by the European Union towards a unified foreign affairs policy. Ultimately, it would rival and undermine the strength of NATO. As the third largest contributor to the EDA after Germany and France in 2012, the British Government should consider the Agency’s objectives and whether it is […]

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Defining “reasonable force” in practice

After the riots last year, I wrote to the Home Secretary asking what would be a reasonable use of force by a property owner in defence of their own or their neighbours’ property and what constitutes reasonable force by the police in the prevention of crime, both in the circumstances of a riot?  I said “I hope in Parliament we established that the state’s duty is to protect the law-abiding and their property first and foremost, and that the police […]

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Brize Norton repatriation question answered

A number of constituents asked about the repatriation process through Brize Norton so I submitted a written question to the Ministry of Defence. I have now had the Department’s response: Steve Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what representations he has received on arrangements for the repatriation of deceased servicemen and women via Brize Norton; and if he will make a statement. Mr Robathan: The Ministry of Defence has received in the region of 200 pieces of […]

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David Cameron: My radical plan for Britain’s armed forces – Telegraph

Via David Cameron: My radical plan for Britain’s armed forces – Telegraph: Taking full charge of the issue for the first time, the Prime Minister disclosed that more Chinook helicopters would be made available for British troops in Afghanistan. Speaking to The Sunday Telegraph on the eve of the Tory party conference, he pledged that Britain’s Armed Forces would be given “everything that they need” to fight the Taliban. Even after key spending decisions were made in the coming months, he […]

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