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Richard’s Blog

Westminster Diary – over and out

Last week was a week of ‘lasts’. On Tuesday evening I was summoned to the PM’s Commons office. He said some nice things about the importance of long-serving and loyal friends and the values of the Parliamentary party and he restored the Conservative whip to the ten of...

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#GiveADayToPolicing

MPs across the country were invited to #GiveADayToPolicing this summer and, amidst all the current chaos and confusion of the political scene, it was salutary to take a day out with the neighbourhood team in West Berkshire. The aim of the initiative was for MPs to see...

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My article in the Evening Standard last week

By tradition the first speech of a new Parliamentary session is made by a seasoned back bencher from the governing party. At the start of this session the honour of being that old codger fell to me. The Queen’s Speech came a year after the referendum and a few weeks...

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Reset for veterans

As the case of ‘Soldier F’ reached court in Northern Ireland last week, the scandal of historic prosecutions hanging over our Army veterans intensifies. Many of those who may have to face trial are old men now, some with life-threatening conditions. Once again, they...

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Greenfest

Hampstead Norreys is one of those communities that works. Community spirit seems to pervade the village with its thriving pub, church, its OFSTED rated “outstanding” school and of course its community owned village shop that recently was awarded the “best rural shop...

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Action on alcohol

Gary Puffet is a Labour Party activist and former Chair of Newbury Constituency Labour Party. What, you may ask, was I doing sitting on a bench with him in Lambourn? Gary’s brother Shaun was a Lambourn resident who died of alcohol related illness in 2017. Gary is...

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The next PM

As the Conservative leadership contest draws to its close, we will shortly know who is to be the next Prime Minister. The current betting seems to suggest a clear front runner in Boris Johnson. I know Boris. He is a friend of mine. For many years he was my...

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West looks away as Syria’s Idlib heads for disaster

The gods of war have created the most complex and seemingly intractable situation in Idlib province, one of the last areas of Syria not under President Bashar Assad’s control. After eight years of conflict the remaining al-Qaeda fighters have been squeezed into an...

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D-Day 75

As I write this, the road outside my office is jammed with protestors carrying placards saying things like #dumpTrump, while the President of our most important ally continues his controversial state visit. Whatever you think about its current President, 75 years ago...

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Valuing our values

As the Conservative party leadership contest gets underway it’s important to remember some clear facts about our current political situation and why this leadership election really matters. For the first time in any of our lives, the main opposition party is led by a...

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