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NHS top brass at the Health Select Committee


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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 […]

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Amending the Recall of MPs Bill with Zac Goldsmith


The Government’s Recall Bill is before Parliament. I am signed up to all the amendments brought forward by Zac Goldsmith to deliver voter-led recall. As I have long said here, I am in politics to re-establish a working system of Parliamentary democracy. As a minimum, that means an EU referendum plus proper recall. As it stands, the Government’s proposals involve three stages. The trigger for recall would be an MP receiving a custodial sentence, or suspension from the House. Voters in the […]

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Why I will vote to recognise Palestine


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On 21 July, I wrote of the conflict over Gaza: As we have recoiled from the violence committed by both sides, too little attention has been paid to the reality of Israeli settlements on the West Bank, their development over the years and their consequences for Palestinians. The progression of those settlements has left the Palestinian people in a state of despair. The election of Hamas appears to be one result. A hopeful future must be found instead. As William Hague […]

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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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On declining to support action in Iraq


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ISIL is a brutal tyranny founded on a narrow and perverted interpretation of Islam together with unyielding violent religious intolerance. Muslims in Wycombe have with one voice condemned ISIL. Resisting ISIL with lethal force is a just and essential cause. We have been asked to set aside the mistakes of the past. Sectarianism, intolerance and entrenched interest appear to have prevented the emergence of open liberal democracies across the Middle East and North Africa. Those factors are apparently still in place. […]

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