Louise Mensch MP

30 Jan 2012 16:31:46

The People's Pledge EU referendum campaign may not succeed, but it certainly deserves to do so

By Matthew Barrett
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PeoplesPledgeEarlier today, on Comment, Daniel Hannan MEP wrote: 

"Today, the People’s Pledge announces the most ambitious campaign ever to secure an In/Out referendum. It aims to show MPs in all parties that there is a premium in doing the right thing: that supporting a referendum carries an electoral reward. It is backed by supporters of every party and none, and by prospective ‘Yes’ as well as ‘No’ voters. I am confident that it will succeed: the momentum is now wholly one way."

In a LabourList post this morning, Director of Communications for the People’s Pledge, Ian McKenzie, gave details of the "most ambitious campaign ever" for a referendum. McKenzie explained that the People's Pledge would hold an in/out referendum in a single constituency early this year, followed by ten later this year, and 100 next year.

The referendums will be independently administered by Electoral Reform Services Ltd and conducted by full postal ballot. The People's Pledge will next week chose the first referendum seat from one of the following shortlisted constituencies:

  • Belfast East (Alliance) (Naomi Long)
  • Bolton West (Labour) (Julie Hilling)
  • Carshalton and Wallington (Liberal Democrat) (Tom Brake)
  • Corby (Conservative) (Louise Mensch)
  • Easington (Labour) (Grahame Morris)
  • Eastleigh (Liberal Democrat) (Chris Huhne)
  • Gower (Labour) (Martin Caton)
  • Halifax (Labour) (Linda Riordan)
  • Ipswich (Conservative) (Ben Gummer)
  • Newcastle-under-Lyme (Labour) (Paul Farrelly)
  • Thurrock (Conservative) (Jackie Doyle-Price)
  • Torridge and West Devon (Conservative) (Geoffrey Cox)
  • Western Isles (SNP) (Angus MacNeil)

Continue reading "The People's Pledge EU referendum campaign may not succeed, but it certainly deserves to do so" »

3 Jan 2012 10:00:56

A lesson from Louise Mensch's GQ interview

By Paul Goodman
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Mensch said:

"I’m not even a PPS (parliamentary private secretary, the lowest run on the ministerial ladder). It’s kind of annoying. What do I have to do to get promoted over here? Am I being disloyal? I don’t know."

"I need to sit down with my whip and say "What do I have to do?" No, every time there is a raft of PPS promotions and my name is not on them, I have to sit down and think ‘What am I doing wrong?"

There is no reason whatsoever why Mensch shoudn't be a PPS.  However, the same is true of the following members of her intake: Harriet Baldwin, Steve Barclay, Bob Blackman, Nicola Blackwood, Karen Bradley, Fiona Bruce, Therese Coffey, Damian Collins, Oliver Colville, Tracey Crouch, Nick de Bois, Caroline Dineage, Jane Ellison, Charlie Elphicke, George Eustice, Mike Freer, Lorraine Fullbrook, Richard Fuller, Mark Garnier, John Glen, Zac Goldsmith, Helen Grant, Andrew Griffiths, Ben Gummer, Robert Halfon, Matthew Hancock, Richard Harrington, Rebecca Harris, Chris Heaton-Harris, Kris Hopkins, George Hollingberry, Margot James, Jo Johnson, Kwasi Kwarteng, Andrea Leadsom, Phillip Lee, Charlotte Leslie, Johnathan Lord, Paul Maynard, Jason McCartney, Penny Mourdaunt, Jesse Norman, Priti Patel, Stephen Phillips, Daniel Poulter, Dominic Raab, Amber Rudd, Laura Sandys, Chris Skidmore, Henry Smith,  Anna Soubry, Elizabeth Truss, Paul Uppal, Robin Walker, Gavin Williamson, and Nadhim Zahwawi.

Come to think of it, the same is true of other members of the class of 2010 who have slipped beneath my radar: my fault, not theirs.  I have left out a handful of people off on the ground that they probably wouldn't want to serve as a PPS in the first place.

But at any rate, a lesson of the Mensch interview is: since she's no more or less ambitious than lots of other members of her intake - or previous ones - this year's reshuffle will be a headache for David Cameron.  She's only voiced what lots of her colleagues think (about themselves, that is.)

The list of PPS's published online is a bit out of date, so I apologise to any of the above who have since been promoted.

11.45am update: Mensch will at least be able today to congratulate a colleague.  PoliticsHome (£) reports that Jo Johnson, Boris's brother, has been made PPS to Mark Prisk, the Business Minister.

3 Jan 2012 07:10:42

GQ bill Louise Mensch as the "Iron Maiden"

By Tim Montgomerie
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Photograph courtesy of GQ.

Louise Bagshawe was well known to ConHome through her always provocative and passionate weekly column. Her final column at the end of 2007 was entitled 'In praise of Margaret Thatcher'.

Now Louise Mensch following her second marriage to the Metallica manager, Peter Mensch, she was one of the most quoted Tory MPs during 2011 and one of just three women MPs to be nominated as 'backbencher of the year' by ConHome readers. 2012 may well be even bigger for her as she hopes to fulfil her ambition to join the frontbench. Even if that ambition goes unfulfilled her glamour and intelligence will ensure she stays a hit at the political box office.

GQ-Cover-FebShe kicks off this year with a photoshoot and interview for the February edition of GQ (in newsagents on Thursday). In her interview with Matthew d'Ancona, entitled "Iron Maiden", she talks about her frustration at not being promoted:

“I’m not even a PPS [parliamentary private secretary, the lowest rung on the government ladder]! It’s kind of annoying. What do I have to do to get promoted over here? Am I being disloyal? I don’t know. I need to sit down with my whip and say, ‘What do I have to do?’ No, every time there is a raft of PPS promotions and my name is not on them, I have to sit down and think, ‘What am I doing wrong?’”

And what would she most like to do if David Cameron calls  and invites her into the Coalition?

“I would very much like to have a crack at International Development. The other major issue that I have is I want to see a Veterans Administration Department. I made my maiden speech on it. We are the only country in the English-speaking world not to have a dedicated Veterans Administration Department, we have a tiny agency which is a bit rubbish and doesn’t have a proper coordinating function. There are lots of bits of help, like the extra mental health care available to veterans, but we rely principally on Help For Heroes and the British Legion. I’m not asking for something like the American Department of Veterans Affairs, which has a budget of $80bn, but something more like a Canadian or Australian thing, where there is a co-ordinating function so the right hand knows what the left hand is doing."

A very good cause.

10am: Paul Goodman puts together a list of other good candidates for promotion.

12.15pm: 19 second video of Louise's GQ photoshoot.

9 Jul 2010 11:48:58

New Tory MPs raise concerns about the Government's proposal to grant anonymity to those accused of rape

Yesterday in the Commons saw a debate covering the Coalition Government's proposals to "extend anonymity in rape cases to defendants".

There were many well-informed contributions and a number of the new Conservative intake contributed to voice their concern about the proposal and to make alternative suggestions as to a way forward.

Soubry Anna Anna Soubry (Broxtowe), was a criminal defence barrister before entering Parliament, and noted how other victims come forward once an alleged perpetrator is publicly identified:

"I have no doubt from my practice and from talking to other members of the Bar and to members of the judiciary that when a name is put into the public domain other complainants come forward. There are many instances of it. I know from my practice that when the name of a priest who was arrested went into the local newspaper, other women came forward who had been to him and to whom he had been their minister. When they knew that others had made a complaint, they came forward. That tendency should not be underestimated."

She has a proposal of her own which she is putting forward via a Private Member's Bill:

"I ask the Minister to consider allowing anybody who is arrested to enjoy the privilege, almost, of not having his or her name published in the press. I believe that we can do that effectively and efficiently while still allowing the prosecution to apply to a judge, depending on the particular circumstances of an offence, for the name to be published. We must allow our judges to exercise their discretion, which they usually do, when they are allowed to do their jobs, particularly well."

 Lousie Bagshwe (Corby) agreed with this idea:

Continue reading "New Tory MPs raise concerns about the Government's proposal to grant anonymity to those accused of rape" »

12 Jun 2010 06:51:18

Margaret Thatcher lauded in the maiden speeches of Mike Freer, Louise Bagshawe and Nick Boles (who also had a word or two to say about Quentin Davies)

Three of this week's maiden speeches delivered by new Conservative MPs featured particular praise for Baroness Thatcher.

Mike Freer Commons Mike Freer gained Finchley and Golders Green for the Conservatives - a seat taking in much of the constituency represented by the former Prime Minister:

"Those hon. Members in the Chamber a couple of days ago will have heard my hon. Friend the Member for North East Somerset (Jacob Rees-Mogg) claiming that his constituency gave the country the first king of England. I cannot claim that for Finchley and Golders Green, but perhaps I can claim that we gave the country the latter-day Boadicea — in one Margaret Hilda Thatcher. In my view, my noble Friend is the best peacetime Prime Minister that we have had. In this current economic climate, we could learn much from her resolve in addressing the economic crisis that she inherited. Then, unemployment and inflation were rising, and our public sector spending was out of control.

"Perhaps the task ahead for our Government today is slightly greater, as Baroness Thatcher never managed to cut public spending. She was able only to slow its growth, yet we have laid out plans to cut public expenditure—something of a daunting task. Like her, however, I believe that we must return to sound money and good housekeeping, and to protecting our cherished freedoms. Throughout her premiership, she remained an active and effective constituency MP, and I shall be fortunate if I achieve a fraction of what she achieved through my campaigns to improve breast cancer screening for local women, to promote infrastructure investments on the north circular road, and for the free schools programme, which are so wanted and deserved by my local population."

Picture 2 Corby's new MP, Louise Bagshawe, also cited Margaret Thatcher as an inspiration:

"My noble Friend Baroness Thatcher inspired me to enter politics. She taught me the importance of ideology—crucially, in the context of this debate, that politics is in its essence counter-intuitive, and that Conservative means deliver liberal ends. On arriving at the House just after the general election, it was something of a relief to discover that, on occasion, Liberal means may deliver Conservative ones."

She also outlined her desire to see the interests of veterans looked after properly:

"If I myself have a political ambition, it is—perhaps I may ask the House’s traditional indulgence for a maiden speech—to suggest a cross-departmental project to my right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for Work and Pensions and for Defence. For several years, I lived in the United States—indeed, my family are American—and I was struck by the exceptional way in which people treat their troops and their troops’ families. Over there, the Veterans Administration, which has a seat at the cabinet table, oversees all military welfare, from hospitals to low-cost housing loans. There was much in the Conservative manifesto for our troops to celebrate, from extra money for mental health provision to the application of the pupil premium to the children of military families. Too often in Government, however, the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing.

"I am glad to see my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for North Warwickshire (Dan Byles) in his place beside me, for he spoke most movingly in his maiden speech of the need for this House to put Help for Heroes out of business by providing better medical care for our troops. I suggest to him, and to the whole House, that a fully fledged veterans administration might go even further, overseeing all military welfare, from widows’ pensions to mental health provision, and that it need not cost too much; rather, it would merely tie all military welfare together."

Nick Boles Commons Finally on the Thatcher front, Nick Boles, the new MP for Grantham and Stamford, had this to say about his seat's most famous daughter:

"Grantham achieved global celebrity because of Margaret Thatcher. Thirty years ago, she smashed through the glass ceiling in this House, and gave us all a master class in true grit. I pay tribute to her today."

He also had the task of paying tribute to his predecessor as MP, Quentin Davies, the Conservative who defected to Labour in 2007, and did so with good humour:

"I should like to thank my predecessor, Quentin Davies, for his long record of service. He worked hard for the people of south-west Lincolnshire, and played a crucial role in securing the future of Grantham hospital when it was under threat. It is therefore with a heavy heart that I report to the House the shocking truth about Mr. Davies’s recent ordeal. Three years ago he was kidnapped by a brutal and unscrupulous gang. As a political prisoner, he was spared no indignity. He was even forced to sign a statement hailing the right hon. Member for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath (Mr Brown) as

“a leader, who is entirely straightforward, who has a towering record, and a clear vision for the future of our country”.

"Last week, Mr. Davies suffered the final humiliation—exile to the House of Lords. We can only imagine his anguish as he protested his belief in a fully elected second Chamber and his scorn for titles and other baubles. I hope that the House will join me in sending our condolences to the newly ennobled Lord as he starts his life sentence on the red leather Benches."

Jonathan Isaby