month, I have given blood and sweat, but mercifully no tears. I gave
blood to support the Charlotte's Helix campaign to combat anorexia, and
was given a good run around learning a new sport, 'TouchTennis'.
Parliament grappled with emergency surveillance legislation, and
debated the spiraling crisis in Ukraine. I'm away for a fortnight in
August, so my next e-bulletin will be at the end of September. Enjoy
the sunshine while it lasts!
MP for Esher and Walton
Dom learns from coding experts
at Milbourne Lodge school
recently met a local mum whose daughter suffered from anorexia. She
encouraged me to support the Charlotte's Helix campaign, which aims to
promote research into possible DNA links that would help doctors treat
the condition. You can read about the campaign here. I was happy to give
blood as a control sample to help with their research, and I blogged
about it here.
From giving blood to sweat, this time it was a local Dad, Rashid Ahmad,
who roped me into playing TouchTennis, a fun and informal new sport he
invented and is promoting to get more people - of all ages - into
sport. I blogged about it here,
and the visit was reported here.
July is always full of local summer shows and festivals. It was a
privilege to join the wonderful Claygate Flower Show (to hand out
prizes for the fancy dress competition) and later the same day attend
The Foley Boxing Club's annual party and awards, as blogged here.
I also ducked by Hersham Scouts as they were preparing for their
festival to raise money for their local group, as blogged here.
And, as ever, it was a pleasure to speak at the Walton Business Group's
summer lunch, and hear their feedback on the state of the economic
recovery, as blogged here.
Finally, the girls from Milbourne Lodge School gave me a master-class
display of IT proficiency, up in Parliament, at the excellent 'Get
Girls Coding' event, which I blogged on here.
Sticking with local schools, I was delighted my campaigning efforts
have helped deliver an additional injection of funding from the
government for local schools, worth over £200 per pupil in
Elmbridge, as reported here.
Another long-standing campaign of mine is to introduce a safeguard
'voting threshold' for strike action. That way militant union bosses
can't inflict disruption on the hard-working majority, when a majority
of their own members don't even back them. I raised this issue again at
Prime Minister's Questions, and was delighted to hear that my proposal
will be in the next Conservative manifesto. You can watch the exchange here.
I also took the opportunity to raise the issue of value for
money and overcrowding on South West Trains with Ministers here,
and the shortage of affordable homes here.
Separately, there is a lot of heady talk about promoting democracy
abroad. I am sceptical about the realism of wholesale nation-building
in countries with no experience or culture of democracy. On the
other hand, there are places like Hong Kong, where we have longstanding
ties and which has a democratic tradition, where I think the UK should
be more assertive diplomatically. I raised the issue with FCO Ministers
I also spoke in the latest debate about whether or not the UK should
opt back into the 130 odd EU measures on crime and policing. You
can read my speech here.
the biggest controversy of the month came despite the tripartite
amongst the political parties that saw emergency surveillance
legislation rushed through the House of Commons in a single day. I
spoke in the debate here,
declined to support the Bill, and voted for a cross-party amendment
that would still have passed the legislation, but required us to
come up with a better version (after proper scrutiny) by Christmas.
has been considering the UK and international reaction to the shooting
down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 by separatist rebels in Ukraine
(with Russian support). I wrote a column for The Independent, arguing that we
can learn some lessons from Putin's peasant cunning, while retaining
moral high ground. You can read the piece here.
recently sat on the Conservative task force looking at reform of UK
human rights laws. It draws on many of the issues I have written about
and campaigned on since 2009, including ensuring Parliament has the
last word about where to set the human rights bar. Downing Street
has started briefing out the new plans, as reported here,
and it is a good illustration of the influence it is possible to
exert as a backbench MP.
Finally, I wrote a column for Conservative Home looking at aspects of
the 2010 Equality Act. I make the case for a more meritocratic, and
less box-tick, approach to equality. You can read the column here.
a full list of media comments, click here. For blog posts on
local issues and national debates, click here.
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