Mediation in Planning

With planning again proving to be a contentious subject in this area I have reproduced here an article I wrote with barrister, John Pugh-Smith, on the use of mediation in the planning system.  It is difficult to see what is not to like about a cheap and quick way of resolving disputes that works

John comments on Prorogation of Parliament

I completely understand concerns that are being raised over the announcement of the Prorogation of Parliament. As many will know, I have not always seen eye to eye with Boris Johnson, but I do not feel that he is being fairly treated in this current situation.

Oxford-Cambridge Expressway

I have received a number of emails raising questions on various issues related to the proposed Oxford-Cambridge Expressway. This article sets out the background to the project and comments on some of the key issues that have been raised with me so far.


A note of the vote on Northern Ireland and gay marriage

The claim that the voting this week was about the introduction of same sex marriage or abortion rights in Northern Ireland was wide of the mark.  Everyone was using this Bill for their own purposes including those who wanted to use it to stop a proroguing of Parliament.

New approach to poverty

The past few weeks have been overwhelming in politics. We have lost a Prime Minister. We have also had European elections which had some of the characteristics of a second referendum. The physical outcome of the election was clear with both Labour and the Conservatives doing badly.

Brexit indicative votes

I have set out below the details of the two rounds of indicative votes and how I voted. 

Brexit response

I am writing this response in view of the emails I have received on a number of subjects to do with Brexit from the revocation of article 50 to a People's Vote. There are a number of points I would like to make.

National and local

One of the most interesting challenges for an MP is dealing with the bigger picture issues such as the Finance Bill or Brexit (or the international issues which are the staple of an MP's life) while staying focused on the nitty gritty issues that directly affect constituents.

Holocaust Memorial Day

This week I signed the Holocaust Educational Trust's Book of Commitment, in doing so pledging my commitment to Holocaust Memorial Day and honouring those who were murdered during the Holocaust as well as paying tribute to the extraordinary Holocaust survivors who work tirelessly to educate young

Brexit update

While we wait to see how the vote or votes on the relationship with Europe will be tabled in January, I wanted to comment on a number of points made in emails to me.