Below you can see my contribution to the Boundary Commission public consultation in Birmingham last week. You can have your say too here.
I am grateful for the opportunity to provide some observations on the Boundary Commission’s provisional recommendations for the West Midlands and specifically for Birmingham.
Introduction – Legislative Framework
By way of introduction, I know that I will not be the first to say that I think that the framework in which the Commission has been required to draw up its recommendations this time is both unreasonable and unfair.
The first thing to say is that using December 2015 as the reference point for assessing the size of the electorate is perhaps the worst of all possible dates. It comes after the disappearance of many thousands of voters following the introduction of individual registration and before the increase in voter registrations that we saw in the run up to the June 2016 referendum on the European Union. Read more
Let’s get one thing straight at the start. Thursday’s High Court decision did not change or overrule the result of June’s Referendum which voted for Britain to leave the European Union. I know that claiming something else makes for more lurid tabloid headlines but it is a fact.
The High Court decision is about who should have a say in how Britain should go about leaving the European Union, not whether we should do so. The judges expressed no opinion on whether Brexit is a good idea or a bad one. That is not down to judges to decide that anyway. And nobody – on either side – asked them to do so. Read more
Welcome to my latest Parliamentary newsletter. This covers local issues and developments as well as my actions in Parliament. As ever, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me on these or any other issues.
In Birmingham Northfield
The Boundary Commission published their proposals for changes to Parliamentary constituency boundaries in England. Under these proposals, Birmingham would be set to lose one Parliamentary seat overall. There would still be a constituency called Birmingham Northfield, but it would be very different to the current one. Read more
Below is a copy of my article in the New Statesman on my recent visit to Bosnia.
Two weeks ago, I joined a visit to Bosnia organised by Remember Srebrenica. If you have ever seen one of the Commonwealth War Graves cemeteries in Northern France, you will have a sense of what the cemetery in Potocari, near Srebrenica, is like. Row upon row of identical white headstones stretching into the distance. Whereas in France, of course, most of the headstones are marked by the cross, in Potocari they are white obelisks. Overwhelmingly, they mark the graves of Muslims. Read more
Welcome to my latest Animal Welfare Round-Up. This is a newsletter I send out every two months to update you on the issues that many of you get in touch with me about. This allows me to update you on the action I’ve been taking on your behalf on these issues. You can find my previous AWRUs here.
Bees and Pesticides
This issue is one that I’ve received the most emails from constituents about in recent months. Quite rightly, many people have been worried about the declining bee population and the impact this would have if the downward trend continues. There have also been concerns that the government may relax restrictions on the use of certain pesticides, particularly in light of Brexit. I wrote to the government about bees and pesticides earlier this year and you can read the government’s response to my letter here. I will be continuing to monitor this. Read more