Last week I attended the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham. As always, Conference is an excellent opportunity for our party to set out our policy agenda for the coming year. I was delighted to hear Theresa May’s important announcements that Article 50 will be triggered by the first quarter of 2017 and that the Government will adopt a more interventionist philosophy to tackle social inequality, corporate malpractice and institutional inefficiency.
At the Cancer Research UK stand at Conservative Party Conference
Being interviewed by Phoenix News
L-R Jonathan Lui, Cllr Alex Yip, Jackson Ng, Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, Tony Caldeira, Samantha Harvey, Cllr Xingang Wang
With Conservative Friends of Turkey
Aside from the announcements of new Government policy, Conference always acts as a useful platform to meet with charities, party organisations and national and local media to really promote the Conservative Party’s message.
In my capacity as Vice-President of the Board of the AECR I travelled to Ankara to meet representatives of the Turkish Government to discuss the current political situation in the country following the failed coup d’etat in July. With the full endorsement of Downing St, I met members of the governing AKP along with other delegates from the AECR. There are many serious concerns surrounding the situation in Turkey: the arrest of journalists, freedom of assembly, refugees, Kurds, Daesh terrorism and the situation in Syria to name but a few. The UK must do everything possible to maintain strong, cordial relations with the country. Turkey is an instrumental member of NATO with great strategic importance and internal Turkish stability must be paramount to any foreign policy initiative.
Damage inside Turkish Parliament building, Ankara
As Parliamentary Adviser for the Conservatives Abroad group I am delighted to have succeeded in scrapping the outdated ’15 year rule’ for overseas voters. I began this campaign several years ago and successfully persuaded David Cameron to include it in our 2015 election manifesto. Following the Conservatives Abroad conference on 6th October, the Minister for the Constitution, Chris Skidmore MP, has also supported the reform wholeheartedly and I can now happily announce that our best unofficial global ambassadors are now free to vote as British citizens for the rest of their lives.
Finally, on Monday 10th October I was able to speak in the House of Commons on behalf of my many constituents who have written to me regarding planning issues. Neighbourhood plans are an important way for local people to have their say in the type of development that takes place in their town or village. The Bill strengthens Neighbourhood Plans, restricts planning conditions and simplifies compulsory purchase rules.
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