Richard’s Blog

Support for ‘Magnitsky’

One of the bravest men I have ever met is Vladimir Kara-Murza, a Russian journalist who has twice survived being poisoned, the last one had him inches from death. He and other brave dissidents like Bill Browder, campaigner and author of Red Notice, continue to work at...

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West Berkshire in top ten for broadband speeds

West Berkshire has the best rural broadband, as well as the highest median download speed in the UK, according to new research by Thinkbroadband. The study, which ranks local authorities by the average broadband speed possible if everyone in the area bought the...

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Syria

We have all woken up to the news that Britain has joined the US and France in targeted attacks on Syrian locations linked to the Assad regime and their repeated use of chemical weapons. The overall strategy here is right. There has been a time honoured rule that the...

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Gaza

Last week I met with Professor Michael Lynk, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories. I heard from first-hand experience of the immense suffering faced by the citizens of Gaza. In 2016 alone, 1,094 Palestinian structures and homes...

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Health consensus

Along with around 100 other MPs from across the political spectrum, I signed an open letter to the Prime Minister last week calling for a Parliamentary Commission to look at the future of the NHS, social care and public health. Coordinated by Sarah Wollaston, chair of...

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Spies, lies and nerve agents

The attempted murder of Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury has stunned the world. We shouldn’t really be surprised. In 2006 Alexander Litvinenko was murdered in London by drinking tea laced with the highly radioactive substance polonium-210. He had just...

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The truth about free school meals

On Tuesday this week, MPs voted on new eligibility criteria for free school meals and, under new regulations, the Government estimates that by 2022 around 50,000 more children will benefit from a free school meal, compared to the previous benefits system. I have been...

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NATO and Russia

The first part of last week was spent in Brussels at a NATO meeting. I lead the UK delegation of members of the House of Lords and Commons to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. We were there to hear from the Secretary General, the American Supreme Allied Commander and...

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Give a shift

Oxfam is running a campaign to get more people volunteering in their charity shops asking people to ‘give a shift’ during the week to help sort donations and man the tills. On my visit I met Doreen who has given more shifts than most. She has worked at Oxfam Newbury...

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Moving to electric

It is early days but there is a transport revolution going on. The number of electric vehicles bought in the UK was up nearly 30% last year and the Government has stated its commitment to end the sale of new conventional petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2040. MPs...

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