Bulletin - July 2014
Well, the weather's been better than the football - which is even less bearable with a Brazilian wife.

This month, I've been spanning the generations - enjoying Rosalita Edwards' nursery sports day, Hersham Scouts Festival, through to National Care Home Day.  Up at Westminster, I backed the government's legislative agenda during the Queen's Speech and published a new report, The Meritocrat's Manifesto.

Best wishes,


MP for Esher and Walton

Dom Joins Rosalita Edwards Nursery Sports Day
Dom joins
Rosalita Edwards' Nursey Sports Day


It was an enormous pleasure to join Rosalita Edward's Montessori Nursery sports day, not least because it was their 25th anniversary year as a nursery.  It was great fun in glorious sunshine - especially the highly competitive grandma and grandpa races - as blogged here. Sticking with youngsters, I also popped in on Hersham Scouts group, organising their annual festival to raise money for their group, as blogged here.

20th June was National Care Home Open Day, so I took the chance to visit St George's care home in Cobham and Sunrise in Esher. With penalty shoot outs, opera singers, and of course lots of cake, it was a good opportunity to sing the praises of our local care homes and have some fun with residents, as I blogged here

Finally, I continue to visit local businesses across the borough. I caught up with Kia motors CEO Paul Philpott at their new headquarters in Walton. It's an amazing site, and Paul talked me through the company's plans and their excellent initiatives in the local community. 


Westminster Watch


Last month, the Court of Appeal ruled against the application to hold a terrorism trial in total secrecy, but imposed unprecedented restrictions on the reporting, based on very old common law powers. I questioned why Parliament has not had a chance to scrutinise the issue - you can watch it here - and warned about the precedent, as reported here and here.

The last Queen's Speech before the general election was delivered on 4th June, with all the usual pomp and ceremony. After that, we have a series of themed debates on the substance. I spoke in the first debate on the economy and the cost of living - to defend the government's record, and promote its new plans. You can read my speech (scroll down to 2.36pm) here. I also spoke in support of mandatory custodial sentences for knife possession here, and sought reassurances from the Justice Secretary that prisoner numbers would not lead the government to repeat Labour's early release scheme (here). 

Finally, I questioned DfiD ministers about action to support a return to democracy in Thailand after the recent coup, here, and asked BIS Ministers about progress in giving employers a greater role in crafting apprenticeships here.

 


In early June, I attended the Conservative Home conference, speaking at a session on what should be our approach in the wake of the European elections. I put the gist of it into an article for the Sunday Express which you can read here.

Tony Blair waded into the debate about Iraq, given renewed terrorist activity by the ISIS group. There has been a surprising amount of loose talk about returning to the fray. I set out in a column for Prospect magazine here, why I think that would be foolish. I also  defended the coalition from Oxfam's highly politicised attack, on The Spectator blog here.

Finally, I launched my latest report on social mobility, The Meritocrat's Manifesto,  setting out a policy agenda - across schools, vocational training, start ups, home ownership and other areas - to re-build ladders of opportunity for bright youngsters from humble backgrounds. I wrote about the paper for The Sun here, and The Sunday Times here.



For a full list of media comments, click here.
For blog posts on local issues and national debates, click here.



 

 

 

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