July 12, 2011
Mark was asked by the Guardian's Comment is Free editor to provide his take on the Met's role in the News International phone hacking scandal. His comments are below: It is hard to imagine how the Metropolitan police can continue to oversee the ongoing News International phone-hacking inquiry. At least not while assistant commissioner John Yates remains in post. That is not to be critical of his performance before the Home Office select committee. Indeed, as one might expect of such senior former officers, Ian Blair, Peter Clarke and even the more earthy Andy Hayman, held their own as credible witnesses....
June 7, 2011
Four short years ago, Britain reflected upon the 200th anniversary of the 1807 Abolition of Slavery Act. At that time, amidst all the self-congratulatory celebration, I suggested our renewed focus should be on refreshing our resolve in tackling the modern equivalent of slavery: human trafficking. Last month I was able to initiate a parliamentary debate on this issue and set out the extent of the current day blight (the full debate can be read here). Human trafficking involves the recruitment, transfer and harbouring of men, women and children so that they can be exploited for forced labour, sexual services or domestic servitude...
March 28, 2011
As the local constituency MP for central London, I share much of the disgust felt by any right thinking person following the violence and damage to property perpetrated by a small minority of breakaway protestors during the Trade Union Congress (TUC) march on Saturday. Whilst the organisers attempted to evoke the spirit of the suffragettes and civil rights movement I suspect the vast majority of the British public will remember the protests for the violent scenes and wanton criminal damage.
December 10, 2010
The tuition fees furore has successfully crowded out widespread media coverage of another potential coalition fault line – law and order. Earlier this week Justice Secretary Ken Clarke announced his ambition to cut prison numbers through flexible sentencing and promoting rehabilitation programmes. He also aspires to scrap minimum sentences for murder and reverse a previous policy position to impose mandatory jail terms for knife crime...
October 28, 2010
The wisdom of the Coalition’s strict monthly cap on skilled immigration is the hottest topic for many of my commercial constituents. For multinational businesses, a liberal immigration policy is the litmus test for the proposition that the UK is ‘open for business’. Surely, my associates suggest, a cap is at odds with the government’s passionate commitment to economic growth. The apparent softening of the government’s stance on the cap this week to reflect this widely-held sentiment has been subject to press criticism...