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Category: News & Articles

  • November 3, 2010

    Mark stands up for the City

    Mark will be launching a defence of the City this afternoon in a Westminster Hall debate he has tabled on rebalancing the economy. Previewed on the front page of this morning's City AM, the paper's editor, Allister Heath, said 'His excellent speech is unusually brave and lucid. Others must now stand up for London’s most important industry, taxpayer and employer'. We shall be posting Mark's full speech online tomorrow but in the meantime it can be previewed on the blogs of City AM, the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal.
  • October 28, 2010

    Flexibility on Immigration

    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...
  • October 28, 2010

    Housing Benefit

    Following a contribution he made to a Westminster Hall debate on Wednesday on housing investment, Mark's comments on the government's cap on housing benefit were picked up in a number of media reports. The speech he made has been copied below so that constituents can read his words verbatim. In short, Mark robustly supports capping the amount that can be claimed on housing benefit at £20 000 per annum. He believes reform of the housing system is...
  • October 20, 2010

    The first cut is the deepest?

    There has been furious activity in recent days amongst the ConHome community with claim and counterclaim about the extent of the cuts. So just how severe can we expect this week’s Comprehensive Spending Review to be? For sure the unrelenting austerity message risks undermining business confidence, which urgently needs to be boosted by a growth strategy and a consistent recovery plan. Moreover, the fall-out of the likely future spending cuts, especially in terms of public sector employment, cannot readily be dismissed as minor fiscal tinkering...
  • October 14, 2010

    Welfare reform never comes cheap

    No one can accuse the government of paucity of ambition as it seeks to overhaul the paralysingly complicated array of welfare benefits. Wisely it also recognises that such wholesale reform cannot be rushed. It will – electorate willing – prove a two-term task. The holy grail of ending the welfare trap for those in the workplace, who otherwise stand to be better off claiming benefits, has been tantalisingly elusive...
  • September 13, 2010

    An Inequitable Outcome?

    The saga of Equitable Life often seems second only to ‘Bleak House’ in the annals of protracted legal process. Rummaging through my own papers the other day I realised with amazement that I had first spoken in parliament as long ago as November 2002 in defence of Equitable Life policyholders, who have been treated so shabbily. Although the scandal never affected me personally, I have received in my postbag a long and steady stream of correspondence from Equitable Life policyholders since I was first elected in 2001...
  • September 13, 2010

    In a fix?

    The latest staging post on the coalition government’s whistle-stop journey of constitutional reform comes today as we debate the Fixed Term Parliament Bill. Much of the press coverage over this legislation concerns the technicalities around votes of confidence, which would trigger a general election before the end of the set fixed term. The proposal that power should be vested in the Speaker of the day to issue a certificate declaring that parliament had no confidence in the government places the Speakership in a potentially damaging position of partisanship at a critical political juncture. Worse still such certificates would – in the opinion of some constitutional experts....
  • September 6, 2010

    Some observations on electoral reform

    For almost two decades now, British psephologists have been in firm agreement that the First Past the Post (FPTP) electoral system has worked to the Conservative Party’s detriment. Yet despite this at each of the past four general elections we have campaigned robustly in its defence. Never was this more apparent than during the final weeks of this year’s General Election campaign....
  • September 3, 2010

    Co-operatives in Football

    FC Barcelona, one of the world's most successful football clubs, is famously run on a co-operative basis – in short it is a private non-profit making sports association. The Club is owned and run by its 175,000 members who each pay an annual membership fee of approximately £150 bringing in around £25 million. Members have voting rights similar to that of a Co-operative Community Benefit Society in the UK and as a body they are able to dictate the future direction of their club. Fan ownership has led to FC Barcelona being placed at the very heart of the fiercely independent Catalonian region which has a population of over 7.5 million. Barcelona supplemented their ...
  • August 11, 2010

    Media Round-Up

    Now that summer recess is upon is, we have rounded up a list of Mark's newspaper appearances so that constituents can get a feel for the sorts of issues he has been campaigning on since the new parliament began. The links to each individual article have been included but we cannot take any responsibility for the use and content of external sites once you leave Mark's own website. ...