Richard’s Blog

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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Some pain then more trains

Last week I held a meeting in my office at Westminster with representatives from Great Western Railway (GWR) and Network Rail. The upshot is good news and bad news. The good news is that in about a year we will have more trains providing a better service to Newbury...

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Friday catch-up

Constituency Fridays are a high point of my week. They keep you grounded. You find a reality often missing at Westminster. Last Friday started with a meeting with a locally based scientist who wanted to share with me some brilliant work she was doing at the National...

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Looking back at my year of mental health

As Berkshire’s year of mental health draws to a close this month, Brighter Berkshire asked me for a review of what the year has meant to me. This is just some of the highlights. JANUARY My involvement with Brighter Berkshire began with the planning session at...

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