24 Oct 2012 18:40:54
By Matthew Barrett
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After today's 1922 Committee elections, Robert Buckland has been elected Joint-Secretary (replacing Karen Bradley, an Assistant Whip) and Simon Hart and Karl McCartney have also been elected to the Executive, replacing George Hollingbery (now PPS to Theresa May) and Simon Kirby (now PPS to Hugh Robertson).
A few results of the Select Committee elections have trickled through, and this post will be updated with a full list of newly elected committee members in due course.
The following MPs have been elected to Select Committee vacancies:
Business, Innovation and Skills Committee
Caroline Dinenage and Robin Walker
Culture, Media and Sport Committee
Continue reading "New 1922 Committee and Select Committee members elected" »
22 Oct 2012 15:31:06
By Matthew Barrett
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Guido Fawkes has a list of new Conservative members of Select Committees, from Graham Brady's office. Mr Brady explains: "For the following committees I have received the same number of nominations as there are vacancies, the following are therefore elected". The appointments are:
Communities and Local Government
John Stevenson (Carlisle), replacing George Hollingbery (Meon Valley), who became PPS to Theresa May at the reshuffle.
Chris Skidmore (Kingswood), replacing Damian Hinds (East Hampshire), who became PPS to Mark Francois, the Minister of State for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans.
Andrew Percy (Brigg and Goole), replacing Dr Daniel Poulter (Central Suffolk and North Ipswich), who was made the Parliamentary Undersecretary of State for Health Services.
Continue reading "Conservative Select Committee appointments announced" »
6 Jul 2012 13:17:19
By Matthew Barrett
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Robert Halfon, the Member of Parliament for Harlow, and one of the most successful campaigning MPs in Parliament, has organised a motion, backed by 60 MPs from all parties, and including 41 Tories, calling for the Office of Fair Trading to investigate allegations of price-fixing by British oil companies. The full motion is worded as follows:
"That this House urges the OFT to investigate oil firms active in the UK; calls on the Government to consider the emergency actions being taken in other G20 nations to cut fuel prices, for example President Obama strengthening Federal supervision of the U.S. oil market, and increasing penalties for “market manipulation”, and Germany and Austria setting up a new oil regulator, with orders to help stabilise the price of petrol in the country; finally urges the Office of Fair Trading to note that the Federal Cartel Office in Germany is now investigating oil firms active in the UK, after allegations of price-fixing."
Continue reading "41 Tory MPs join call by Robert Halfon MP for OFT to investigate high petrol prices" »
2 Jul 2012 20:18:25
By Matthew Barrett
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On Friday, 50 MPs, including 34 Conservatives, wrote a letter to the Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, expressing their "serious concerns" with the Department of Health’s proposal to introduce plain packaging for tobacco products.
The letter stated that:
"There is no reliable evidence that plain packaging will have any public health benefit; no country in the world has yet to introduce it. However, such a measure could have extremely negative consequences elsewhere. The proposal will be a smuggler’s charter. ... this policy threatens more than 5,500 jobs directly employed by the UK tobacco sector, and over 65,000 valued jobs in the associated supply chain. ... Given the continued difficult economic climate, businesses should not be subjected to further red tape and regulation"
The signatories of the letter also expressed concern about the freedom aspect of blocking any branding of tobacco products:
"...we believe products must be afforded certain basic commercial freedoms. The forcible removal of branding would infringe fundamental legal rights, severely damage principles around intellectual property and set a dangerous precedent for the future of commercial free speech. Indeed, if the Department of Health were to introduce standardised packaging for tobacco products, would it also do the same for alcohol, fast food, chocolate and all other products deemed unhealthy for us?"
Continue reading "34 Conservative MPs write to Andrew Lansley to express "serious concerns" about plain tobacco packaging" »
15 May 2012 15:45:08
By Paul Goodman
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8.45pm Update by Matthew Barrett: I have now learned which candidates are being backed by the traditional organisations on the right of the Conservative Party, such as the No Turning Back group. I have highlighted these in purple.
The following have been returned unopposed:-
Posts for which elections will take place (I have marked those previously identified by Tim as members of the 301 slate in blue):
1) Secretary - the following nominations have been received for TWO posts:
NICK DE BOIS
2) Executive members - the following nominations have been received for TWELVE posts.
PRITI PATEL - Priti Patel is being backed by both the 301 group, and the right of the Party.
Finally and separately, the following nominations have been received for Conservative members of the Backbench Business Committee - four posts:
20 Apr 2012 06:33:09
By Matthew Barrett
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The 301 group is perhaps the most active and important group of backbench Tory MPs. Tim Montgomerie reported last week that three MPs - Charlie Elphicke, George Hollingbery and Priti Patel - want to organise a candidate to be elected to the 1922 Committee's executive who will give the '22 a focus on policy and campaigning. The Spectator's James Forsyth blogged that "The vote for their candidate, and his opponent, will give us the best idea yet of where the backbenches are at the moment politically. Indeed, I expect that the machinery of the 301 group, the most pro-Cameron of all the backbench groups, will be thrown behind the Elphicke-Hollingbery-Patel slate."
To organise or endorse candidates for the '22 is certainly the most power a backbench group has yet wielded in this Parliament. In this profile, I'll be looking at the origins, members, aims and plans of the group to get a sense of what the group wants to campaign for.
Origins of the group
The 301 was first organised by Kris Hopkins (Keighley), a former soldier and leader of Bradford Council, and Jessica Lee (Erewash), a former barrister, and now Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Attorney General, Dominic Grieve. The group began with small meetings of a handful of MPs who were "concerned that the narrative in Parliament was not representative of the conversation" that MPs had had with the electorate while campaigning during the 2010 general election, and also dissatisfied with the fact that the mechanisms of debate amongst backbenchers, and between the back and front benches, were not conducive to trying to correct that narrative. Each of those attending brought a friend, and so on, until after three meetings the group reached 60 members.
Continue reading "Who are the 301? The Tory MPs who want to refresh the 1922 Committee" »
17 Apr 2012 07:59:19
By Matthew Barrett
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I recently profiled the 2020 and Free Enterprise groups of Tory MPs. Those two groups are formed by ideology: MPs are attracted to the groups because, in the case of the Free Enterprise Group, members wish to open up markets and make Britain business-friendly enough to compete with other world class economies. The 2020's members want to renew and refresh Project Cameron, while considering how the country should look after a majority Conservative government.
The 40 is rather different as it is a group of MPs brought together solely by necessity - the members are those MPs who were elected in 2010 with the narrowest majorities in the Party.
Origins of the group and key members
The group was founded early last year by Eric Ollerenshaw (Lancaster and Fleetwood), Graham Evans (Weaver Vale), and David Mowat (Warrington South). There is no rigid structure to the group as such, given its non-ideological purpose, but when it meets, the convener is usually David Mowat. Other key "executive" members of the group include Evans and Ollerenshaw, as well as Amber Rudd (Hastings and Rye), James Morris (Halesowen and Rowley Regis) and Ben Gummer (Ipswich).
Continue reading "What is the 40 group? Matthew Barrett profiles the MPs trying to keep hold of the most marginal Tory seats" »
13 Dec 2011 13:27:37
By Joseph Willits
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Yesterday in the Commons, Home Secretary Theresa May reaffirmed her commitment to tackling and ending domestic violence, stating that the Government had fulfilled its pledge. Asked by Devizes MP Claire Perry, about the ways in which the Government was trying to deal with domestic violence against women, May cited a "cross-Government action plan on tackling violence against women and girls", published in March by the Home Office. May said:
"It includes 88 commitments from 12 Departments to improve the provision of services for victims of violence and to prevent violence from happening in the first place. We have already delivered 22 of those commitments."
Perry spoke of the successes of a pilot scheme running in Swindon and Wiltshire, "in which perpetrators of domestic violence are effectively banned from the family home, rather than the family and the women being forced to move out, as happened previously". Due to the scheme, she said, "82 abusive perpetrators have been removed from family homes", and had been "reaching women who have never been helped before" according to the head of Wiltshire victim support unit said that the programme. The BBC reported in November that 65 Domestic Violence Protection Notices and Orders (DVPN/DVPO) had been issued.
Continue reading "The Government is delivering on its commitments to tackle domestic violence, says Theresa May" »
12 Jul 2011 08:32:49
By Tim Montgomerie
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Last night at least 32 Tory MPs (listed below) voted with Labour against an 88% hike in Britain's contribution to the IMF. The hike is to partly fund the IMF's ability to fund bailouts. I write "at least" because I've only quickly scanned the voting list. Please email email@example.com if I've missed anyone off the list.
- Steve Baker
- Brian Binley
- Peter Bone
- Douglas Carswell
- Bill Cash
- Chris Chope
- James Clappison
- Philip Davies
- David Davis
- Zac Goldsmith
- James Gray (added at 9.30am)
- Gordon Henderson (added at 9.30am)
- Chris Kelly
- Edward Leigh
- Julian Lewis
- Anne Main
- Karl McCartney
- Nigel Mills (added at 11.30am)
- David Nuttall
- Matthew Offord
- Andrew Percy
- Mark Reckless
- John Redwood
- Simon Reevell
- Richard Shepherd
- Henry Smith
- Graham Stuart
- Peter Tapsell
- Andrew Turner
- Martin Vickers
- Charles Walker
- John Whittingdale
The Government won the vote to increase Britain's contribution from £10.7 billion to £20.15 billion by 274 votes to 246. This is the first time that the Labour frontbench has voted with Tory Eurosceptics. Labour was voting against an increase in the IMF subscription that was largely agreed during Gordon brown's time in office.
On his blog John Redwood suggests that the 29 rebels are only one sign of Tory discontent. Given that there are more than 300 Tory MPs he calculates that AT LEAST 80 Conservatives were unavailable, abstained or voted against the government. He writes:
"Some of us want the UK government to use the influence it says it has at the IMF to halt the futile bail outs of Eurozone members. The debt markets show the markets do not believe that Greece can repay all its debts in full and on time. Yesterday was a day when market worries spread beyond Greece, Ireland and Portugal to Italy. Those in charge of the Euro scheme need to get a grip. It is doing a great deal of financial and economic damage, and they no longer seem to be in control of their project. The IMF should decline to bail out rich countries that have shackled themselves to a currency scheme that was badly put together and needs a thorough re think."
10.30am Douglas Carswell has just blogged this:
"The decision to raise our IMF subscriptions by 88 percent was first mooted when Gordon Brown was in charge – but was okayed by the current government last October. While Canada, Switzerland, Holland and Belgium all managed to keep the increase in their subs low, whoever negotiated the deal on our behalf seems to have preferred to have UK taxpayers assume greater debt liabilities so that they could sit on a bigger chair at the various international summits they attend on our behalf. Alongside fiscal policy and monetary policy, our approach towards the bailouts and the IMF shows that there has been remarkably little change in economic policy at the Treasury since Gordon Brown was in charge."
More from Douglas Carswell.
24 Aug 2010 07:00:00
Here is the latest in our series of Twenty Questions with members of the Class of 2010...
Karl McCartney was elected MP for Lincoln with a majority of 1,058.
1. What is your earliest political memory? Meeting David (now Lord) Hunt when I was 10 and he was our MP on the Wirral and my parents were proud my name and picture were in the local paper!
2. Complete the sentence: “I’m a Conservative because… I believe everyone should be able to make something of themselves - there is no limit on aspiration so 'rely on yourself' - and I dislike state control."
3. Who is your political hero and why? (Now Cllr) Geoff Harper - for teaching me as an agent so much about fighting elections, and the joy of politics.
4. When did you decide you wanted to become an MP? At university in my first year, so my contemporaries tell me. I remember telling my Uncle and Auntie who laughed at my lofty ambitions (in front of my then girlfriend, I was most put out) just before Christmas '88.
5. What is your reading material of choice? Various books that interest me, Battle of Britain history books most recently, practical classics magazines, Private Eye, some blogs and websites.
6. Who is your favourite political interviewer/presenter on TV or radio?
All those whose pomposity is often pricked... I like the ones who are fairly inquisitive of anyone and willing to enter intelligent debate and know their brief. I dislike the establishment pseudo-intelligentsia and those who can't grasp reality.
7. If you could run any government department, which would it be and why? Any would be a challenge and a real pinnacle to reach/achieve. Department of Culture, Media & Sport, as a civilised society is defined by the standard and emphasis placed on these - but I think the current incumbent is doing a grand job! I am very happy at this point just being an MP though, thanks - I'm busy enough!
8. Which non-Conservative politician do you most admire? Tony Benn - he speaks his mind as he sees it and believes exactly what he says. I don't agree with him much politically, but respect his honesty and loyalty to his beliefs. He life and words inspire many I am sure.
9. Who would you least want to get stuck with in a House of Commons lift? Anyone who is easily offended - one of the PC brigade who has no sense of humour possibly - or someone with BO or halitosis - or who likes singing showtunes... they know who they are!
10. If you were in the US, would you be a Republican or a Democrat? Whichever Bob Robbins is standing for (or Robin Williams in his comedy Presidential role - Man of the Year).
11. What do you enjoy doing to unwind and relax? Playing trains or scalextric with our two boys, driving anywhere in our 1959 fulltilt LR - 'MUFTI'. Daydreaming. Just spending time with family or friends... chillin' or throwin' some shapes to particular rave faves.
12. What is your favourite book? The Big Six as a child but still enjoyable, more recently thought provokingly - The Art of War.
13. What is your favourite film? Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Italian Job (original) or more recently The Hangover - inspired asides.
14. What is your favourite music? Most dance music, Spear of Destiny, AC/DC, Green Day (most recent live concert) Black Eyed Peas, or taken recently by 'mashups' - the more obtuse and inspired the better.
15. What would be your ideal meal and where would you eat it? Full English breakfast with HP or Sunday Roast if in UK. Mozzarella, tomatoes and basil if in Italy. Although they both vie with Waddington Branch's 'Puddings Only' event which is a real guilty pleasure.
16. What is your favourite holiday destination? Any snow boarding resort.
17. What do you most want to achieve during your first term in Parliament? To have helped deliver progress and real change that improves the quality of life for my constituents and the City of Lincoln.
18. Tell us one interesting, unusual or surprising fact about yourself. I like cooking and have baked some diverse birthday cakes by request for our sons.
19. Tell us one interesting, unusual or surprising fact about your constituency. It has a railway crossing on the High Street that splits the City in two for over 20 minutes in every hour at present and that could rise, if Network Rail have their way, to over 40 minutes in every hour by 2013.
20. Share with us your most amusing story or favourite anecdote from the campaign trail.
Lincolnshire Shadow Minister (at the time) helping himself to copious chips during a pub lunch from a customer who was evidently not a Conservative voter and did not want to engage. JH kindly spent a large chunk of a day campaigning with us near the start of the Campaign and was a star!. Having to deal with trickiest questions at campaign debates from people who were supposed to be Conservatives was not a favourite pastime or amusing!
> Previously: Jack Lopresti MP
14 Jul 2010 07:03:57
By Jonathan Isaby
Karl McCartney won Lincoln at the general election at his second attempt and he made his maiden speech during Monday’s committee stage of the Finance Bill.
He outlined his concern at the lack of support for long-term share ownership:
“What concerns me most is the lack of support for long-term share ownership that is eminently displayed by the current capital gains tax regime, which, ironically, now seems to be based on principles that are at odds with how we are to treat banker bonuses whereby an increasing proportion of their compensation is compulsorily taken in shares of their employing parent company. That has the quite admirable aim of encouraging actions that have at their centre the long-term interests of the companies for which they work. This is commendable.
“Less commendable is the loss of taper relief, which encourages long-term share ownership and investment. Surely many on both sides of the House see the retention of taper relief as desirable. Also less commendable is the loss of indexation relief. Following a change introduced by the previous Government, payers of capital gains tax will continue to be taxed on illusory gains. A simple example might help to explain my concern. Let us say that the average price for a pint of beer is £2.50. Instead of buying a pint, one could invest that £2.50. If inflation averages 7% per annum for five years and the investment keeps pace, the beer will have risen in price to £3.50, as will the value of the investment. The investor would therefore expect that the investment would still buy a pint, except that it would not, because 28% capital gains tax would have to be paid and the investment would therefore be worth only £2.50 net of tax. That is clearly inequitable. Given the widespread acceptance that short-termism from investors is a problem faced by businesses up and down the country that are trying to attract capital for start-up funding, working capital and expansion, surely that is short-sighted.
“I know that this matter is important to a number of people who are resident and work in the city of Lincoln. My fellow constituents are industrious and hard-working, and many of them either own their own business, want to start their own business or work for a small family-owned business. They know the importance of access to capital as an owner, a manager or an employee. Enabling measures that encourage investment is surely what this House should be about. What we have in place now enjoys the invidious merit of achieving the exact opposite and I hope that my senior colleagues will rethink these issues at the earliest opportunity. I know that we are where we are because of the utter mess bequeathed to us by Labour in the last Government, so I hope that as soon we have rebalanced the nation’s finances, we can reverse these measures, if we cannot do so now.”