My View on the BBC Licence Fee for Over-75s


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After speaking with some of my constituents about TV licences for the over-75s, I promised to provide my view. The BBC’s decision to stop funding free TV licences for most over-75s is disappointing. The Government’s position on the licence fee is as follows:  It is important to note that this was the BBC’s decision and not the Government’s, after Parliament legislated to give the BBC the full responsibility from 2020. This was part of a deal the Government reached with […]

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My article in The Telegraph: I cannot support this second lockdown


The PM is doing what he thinks is best for public health, yet the modelling is much too uncertain. Following my article yesterday on The Telegraph, I have re-published it here: Our Prime Minister faces a nightmare scenario. Official advice on NHS capacity is that “even surge capacity is burnt through in all regions but London in the next four weeks” and “on the current trajectory the NHS will not be able to accept any more patients by Christmas week”. […]

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Financial support for jobs and businesses


A national lockdown is not cost-free; like many, I am concerned that England’s new restrictions may potentially harm lives, livelihoods and mental health. Though I voted no in the motion which approved England’s second national lockdown, we must comply. To support these restrictions the Government have announced: An extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme until the end of March Eligible employees will receive 80% of their usual salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 There […]

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Summary of Methodological Issues in Epidemiology – Mike Hearn


This report on the methodological issues in epidemiology was produced by Mike Hearn, a former senior Google software engineer. I have raised the issues it highlights with the Chairs of the Science and Technology Committee, Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, and the Health and Social Care Committee. I have also raised it with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care as well as the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. Find the report here:

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02.11.2020 Briefing with MPs, Scientists and other Experts: Lord Sumption’s Speech


This morning, I chaired a Zoom meeting between MPs, scientists and other experts. We discussed a strategy for living with coronavirus, Recovery’s Five Reasonable Demands and the impact of the current restrictions. Below reads Lord Sumption’s speech: I am not a scientist. But I firmly believe that every citizen has a right and duty to understand the science. I also consider that when scientists differ, as they do on Covid-19, a sceptical lay public comes into its own. Across Europe, […]

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02.11.2020 Briefing with MPs, Scientists & other Experts: Emma Kenny’s Speech


This morning, I chaired a Zoom meeting between MPs, scientists and other experts. We discussed a strategy for living with coronavirus, Recovery’s Five Reasonable Demands and the impact of the current restrictions. TV psychologist, presenter and writer, Emma Kenny, gave this powerful speech: Recovery is asking the Government for five reasonable demands To behave with humanity To give equal regard to all lives To be willing to hold a comprehensive public enquiry and a balanced public debate, To safeguard all…. […]

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Update on the Department for Education’s ‘Get Help With Technology’ Programme


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At the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, IT equipment was rolled out rapidly by the Department for Education to deliver an ambitious programme, enabling children to access remote education. A group of leading IT service providers and equipment manufacturers rose to the challenge – working with the Government to achieve the goal. As we approach the second part of the autumn term, the Department’s approach will ensure allocations are more effectively targeted to the children and schools that have the […]

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Government Engagement on Sri Lanka


Although known for its tremendous natural beauty, Sri Lanka has long borne a burden of violence. Following a civil war that lasted nearly three decades, sectarian divides have continued to grow to the point where 2018 saw officials declare a state of emergency in the central district of Kandy. I have taken up my concerns with the Government; last week, I asked the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to promote peace […]

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Supporting Families throughout the Coronavirus Pandemic


Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, knowing how challenging these times have been, I am pleased the Government has delivered unprecedented support to help those most in need. In addition to providing over £200 billion to protect jobs, livelihoods and businesses, they have : Increased Universal Credit by £1,000 a year Awarded £16 million to food charities Delivered £63 million of additional funding to councils across the country to help support families facing financial difficulties get hold of food and essentials Increased […]

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Important Update from Buckinghamshire Council: Fighting Coronavirus


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This week, I, like many other Wycombe residents, received an email from Martin Tett, the Leader of Buckinghamshire Council. He wrote to update on how the situation in Buckinghamshire is progressing, what to do to stay safe, and reveal the campaign the Council are running to help keep Buckinghamshire stay out of the ‘High’ category for COVID. Please see the email below: “The Situation in Buckinghamshire This week there is a clear message as unfortunately, we are starting to see […]

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