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Category: News & Articles

  • January 30, 2012

    Stephen Hester’s Bonus – An Alternative View

    Following the announcement on the amount awarded to RBS's Chief Executive, Stephen Hester, as a bonus, Mark has been commenting on the matter on a range of media outlets including Radio Five Live, Sky News, Radio 4 and Jeremy Vine's Radio 2 show. He wrote today the following article for prominent political website, ConservativeHome.As MP for the City, I have never slavishly defended the level of rewards in financial services which are often disproportionate and, in the current climate of austerity, seen to many as ludicrously out of balance (click here). Nevertheless....
  • January 24, 2012

    Executive Pay

    Like most Conservative MPs, only a few years ago I cannot imagine that I would have been open minded to the notion of government interference in the remuneration of privately owned companies. However, Vince Cable announced to parliament yesterday afternoon that the coalition government will rapidly move towards legislating to give shareholders control over the ‘excesses of capitalism’ and clamp down on the ‘rewards for failure’. Perhaps more than any other, my own constituency, the Cities of London and Westminster, benefited from the...
  • January 23, 2012

    Should RBS Fred Stay a Sir?

    The following article by Mark appeared in today's Telegraph: Does it really matter if Sir Fred becomes plain Mr Goodwin again? Watching senior political leaders this week falling over themselves in casting to the winds the fate of the disgraced former Royal Bank of Scotland Chief Executive you could be excused for thinking that no issue in public life was more critical. Don’t be fooled by the grandstanding. Messrs Cameron, Clegg and Miliband know in their hearts that the dispute over the award of a knighthood to an erstwhile Master of the Financial Services Universe...
  • January 18, 2012

    A New Estuary Airport for London?

    Back in 2007, Mark tabled a Westminster Hall debate calling upon the last government to give serious consideration to the idea of a new airport for London in the Thames Estuary. Today, it has been revealed that the coalition government is likely soon to launch a formal consultation on such an option. Mark's 2007 speech is therefore copied below as a reminder of the arguments in favour of this airport being built: Since the beginning of the millennium the government has been dithering over the pressing need for expanding airport capacity in Britain. We have seen White Papers, judicial reviews, announcements, retractions, consultations…And the conclusion?...
  • December 13, 2011

    Parliament Square Encampment

    The Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act, which gained Royal Assent earlier this year, will prohibit people from camping in gardens and pavement in the middle of Parliament Square. While I fully support the important right to protest, removing this long standing camp will make it possible for other people to use the Square for recreation and protest. Westminster City Council is proposing additional action to deal with encampments in the area around parliament. The Act covers the central island in the Square but to...
  • December 7, 2011

    We may be no nearer to solving Europe’s economic crisis

    So here we go again! Yet another ‘last chance saloon’ Eurozone crisis conference. Maybe, just maybe, this Friday’s summit will be the game changer that financial markets so earnestly desire. In truth, I am still not convinced, in spite of coverage to the contrary, that Angela Merkel has the domestic political capital to drive forward fiscal union. Her electors may warm to the imposition of Germanic economic discipline on southern Europe, but the inflationary consequences of ECB money-printing provide...
  • December 2, 2011

    It’s not all doom and gloom

    Recently at lunch in my constituency, I found myself seated next to a native partner from one of the two Chinese law firms now operating in London. During our conversation I made some passing reference to the ‘global economic downturn’. This was greeted with a wry smile. ‘Back home’, he said, ‘we call it the North Atlantic recession’. What we so easily forget amidst the West’s doom and gloom – where the Euro teeters...
  • November 28, 2011

    Those deficit reduction plans revisited

    The following article was written by Mark for today's Telegraph: It was not supposed to be like this. Only twelve months ago we were assured that the government’s spending plans for the entire parliament had been conclusively settled. Instead George Osborne will attempt with tomorrow’s Autumn Statement to kick-start UK economic growth beyond its recent anaemic levels. Not that the Chancellor will admit his admirable strategy for deficit reduction has already been blown off course. But it has – as confirmed by his Downing Street neighbour last week...
  • November 14, 2011

    Alan Keen MP

    I was deeply saddened to learn of the death this morning of Alan Keen MP. I knew Alan principally from his eight-year stint as Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Football Group, having served as his Vice Chairman for the past three years. He was absolutely dedicated to the world of football and was an avid supporter of his beloved Middlesbrough, having worked as a talent scout for the club before entering politics....
  • November 14, 2011

    The UK’s contribution to the IMF – City AM

    The following article by Mark was published in this morning's City AM: Without stable financial markets, there is little hope for the sustained growth so essential for economic recovery. The UK economy is a global leader in the financial services sector but this leaves it especially prone to the adverse impact of uncertainty on global financial markets. No UK taxpayer stands by while unimaginably large sums or guarantees go to bail out the banking system with any sense of satisfaction. Indeed, our own Prime Minister and chancellor have repeatedly...