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Richmond Park News: 11 November 2022


On Tuesday evening, I called a debate to demand that the Government ban flights coming into Heathrow between 11 pm and 6 am. There is a growing mountain of evidence, collected by researchers and campaign organisations across the world, that these flights negatively affect the physical and mental health of those living underneath flightpaths, yet the Government refuses to institute a total ban.

I was extremely pleased to be supported in this debate not just by my party colleagues, but also by Labour, SNP, and DUP MPs from across the nation. During my campaign against night flights, I have maintained that this is not a matter of politics but one of public health. I welcome support in this campaign from everyone, whether they are an MP, councillor, or local resident.

Since the debate, Heathrow has pledged to prevent a repeat of the chaos experienced this summer during the Christmas holiday season. If Heathrow is able to keep to this pledge and provide Richmond Park with some respite from unscheduled night flights over the Christmas period, we will have struck a critical blow for everyone living under the flight path. If you would like to see my opening statement at the debate, click here. For the full debate, follow this link and scroll to the debate beginning at 7:04 pm.

You can help support my campaign against night flights by posting on social media with the hashtag #NoNightFlights. Make sure to tag Heathrow, the DfT, and Civil Aviation Authority. You can also make a complaint directly to Heathrow by emailing Finally, if you have been particularly affected by night flights, please email me your story at


This week, I wrote to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport with my Liberal Democrat Parliamentary colleagues to demand that she works with the BBC to amend their current proposals to scrap local radio provision, and preserves the current level of local service. The proposals as they are would see large parts of the country without a specialised local radio service during parts of the day. I feel this would break the vital link between local radio and the specific communities they represent.

These plans would also unfairly affect the elderly and those without access to high-speed broadband, in addition to putting significant numbers of local BBC staff at risk of redundancy. Should you wish to read our letter to the Secretary of State, you can do so here, and if you would like to read more regarding the proposed changes, you can do so here.


I was very pleased to secure a debate in Parliament this Wednesday on the UK Government’s response to the human rights abuses and economic situation in Sri Lanka. I secured this debate alongside my colleagues on the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils.

Tamils are a minority community in Sri Lanka who have faced years of oppression at the hands of the Sri Lankan government. Richmond Park is home to a vibrant Tamil community (Kingston borough is home to 12,000 Tamils) so I was proud to represent my Tamil constituents in the debate. In my speech, I highlighted the ongoing human rights atrocities against the Tamil community in Sri Lanka and called on the UK Government to work with international partners to support democratic and political reform.

As a key stakeholder in the International Monetary Fund, the UK should be using its position to call for conditions to be imposed on any IMF assistance to Sri Lanka. The UK should also take the vital step of finally recognising the crimes committed against the Tamils as a genocide. You can watch a clip of my contribution here, and read a full transcript of the debate here.


During my adjournment debate on Tuesday night, I also had the chance to welcome Richard Holden MP to his new role in the Department for Transport. As the Minister for Roads and Local Transport, he will be responsible for pushing forward the stabilisation and strengthening works to Hammersmith Bridge.

The government's lack of attention to the bridge has been appalling. At every step, they have delayed progress and only taken action when other organisations have forced their hand. I was therefore pleased when the new minister, in his first week in office, provided a response to a letter I had sent the DfT more than six weeks ago. While he has not committed to an immediate meeting of the Hammersmith Bridge Task Force, he has at least pledged that it will meet once the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham has submitted their Outline Business Case.

You can read the full text of the letter I sent to Richard Holden here, and the minister's response to my previous letter here.


There will be Remembrance Day ceremonies this Sunday at a number of war memorials across the boroughs of Kingston and Richmond. Most of these events will consist of a parade of Armed Forces veterans, civic dignitaries and religious officials followed by a service and a two-minute silence. I look forward to commemorating the contributions of British service personnel in both boroughs.

In The Royal Borough of Kingston services will be held in Kingston, Surbiton, Chessington and New Malden. Details of locations and times can be found on here.

In the London Borough of Richmond Upon Thames, there will be services in Richmond, East Sheen, Ham and Barnes as well as several on the Twickenham side of the river. You can see the details here.


On Wednesday I was delighted to spend an evening with the Fifth Kingston Brownies and their leader Caitlin. The girls had worked hard on wonderful presentations, and in addition to asking me some very perceptive questions, they had a number of imaginative and positive ideas to share with me. You can see how much fun we had in the photo below!


On Thursday I held a coffee morning at the Plough in East Sheen, where dozens of my constituents came to speak with me about local and national issues. In addition to talking about Sheen Gate in Richmond Park and Hammersmith Bridge, we talked about support for family carers, public transport, the chaos at the Home Office and the compounding problems of Brexit and the pandemic.

Thank you to Sonia and her staff at the Plough for a warm welcome to us at the pub!


The River Thames Scheme is running a public consultation until Tuesday 20th December.

The Scheme represents a new landscape-based approach to creating healthier, more resilient, and more sustainable communities by reducing the risk of flooding and creating high quality natural environments.  Since the previous consultation in 2016, the Scheme has changed into a more integrated scheme which responds to the challenges of flooding. It creates more access to green open spaces and sustainable travel routes. In addition the project will encourage inclusive economic growth, increase biodiversity and respond to the dual challenges of climate change and nature recovery.

During the forthcoming public consultation, the RTS will host a number of information events across the route of the Scheme. There will be a public exhibition in Teddington on Tuesday 29th November 2022, at the Peter and Paul Centre, 4 Church Rd, Teddington TW11 8PB  from 1-7pm. Details of all the locations they will visiting, and more information about the scheme, can be found here.