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Category: News & Articles

  • August 30, 2006

    Why Inheritance Tax Must Go

    The former Cabinet Minister, Stephen Byers, declared in mid-August that inheritance tax should be scrapped as it is a ‘penalty on hard work, thrift and enterprise’. Inheritance tax is an emotive issue, particularly for those living in London and the South East. It is virtually as traditional a par…
  • August 28, 2006

    Decision Time Looms For Pensions

    Contrary to widespread belief, the parliamentary recess is not just a long holiday for MPs here in Westminster! The summer break provides us with a valuable chance to focus on constituency work and plan for the coming parliamentary session. Understandably, the public’s attention has recently been fo…
  • July 20, 2006

    The Lamentable Waste On Identity Cards

    This month Parliament has listened to yet another Home Office Minister explain the virtues of ID cards and that the Government is close to “getting it right”. From my earliest days in Parliament in 2001 I have been against the introduction of identity cards into this nation on the grounds of their …
  • July 18, 2006

    Reflecting On The Culture Brief

    In my role as Shadow Minister for Culture, what has surprised me above all has been the amount of sheer hard work, innovation and inspiration shown by so many involved in the arts and culture world – from those employed by galleries, museums and libraries to the individuals who work to create a thri…
  • June 15, 2006

    Educational Trip To South Asia

    It seemed that most of my Whitsun break was spent either waiting for flights at an airport or on board some variety of jetplane travelling between London and Malaysia. Not that I am complaining! My globetrotting was courtesy of the London School of Commerce on whose advisory committee I have served for the past eighteen […]
  • May 15, 2006

    Why A Sense Of Britishness Matters

    This month has seen the government bring forward its ideas to incorporate an appreciation of core British values into citizenship classes in schools. It has taken some time since last July’s terrorist atrocities on and under the streets of central London to produce action despite much national soul-…
  • May 15, 2006

    Reflecting On The Local Election Results

    The local election returns in the Westminster part of my constituency were “no change”; 36 seats on Westminster City Council, 36 Conservatives returned. In virtually every Ward the Conservative candidates increased their majorities. Nationally the results were bad for the Labour government, althoug…
  • April 27, 2006

    London’s Theatreland

    More than 50 theatres make up London’s “Theatreland”. It presents more shows and has bigger audiences than anywhere else in the world including New York’s Broadway. Its value to Britain’s economy is enormous and I am fortunate to be the Member of Parliament for the area. I only wish I had enough tim…
  • April 20, 2006

    Keeping Books The Focus Of Our Libraries

    Recently I have become embroiled in a political argument about the state of Britain’s libraries. A columnist in the Times commented on the public harangue that has developed by saying “if you are seeking a good book almost the last place to look in modern Britain is a public library.” Unfortunate…
  • March 13, 2006

    A First Trip To The Caribbean

    I don’t suppose too many people would turn down the opportunity to spend nine days in the Caribbean during February. I must confess it made a pleasant early Christmas present when I was notified on 23 December 2005 that I had been selected to travel as part of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Associat…