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Richmond Park News: 16 December 2022


On Wednesday, I was selected to ask a question of the Prime Minister during his weekly House of Commons appearance.

I chose to focus on the crucial issue of those who may lose their home this Christmas, or in the coming months, as they cope with rising mortgage or rental costs. In my question, I asked the Prime Minister to put a temporary block on household repossessions over Christmas, something which was done during the pandemic, and in the equivalent period last year. I also asked him to do the same for rental evictions, as no struggling family or pensioner should be living in fear of losing their home over the festive period.

Unsurprisingly, the Prime Minister denied my request, instead choosing to highlight the measures already put in place by the Government. Of course, these measures are nowhere near enough and over the past few months, the Liberal Democrats have proposed a range of policies to help households with their housing costs. There is of course more to be done and we will continue to press the Government on this in the new year.

Should you wish to view my PMQ, you can do so here.


On Monday, I voted with my Liberal Democrat colleagues in the House of Commons against a statutory instrument which would have brought in elements of the Elections Act that would require any voter to carry photo identification if they wished to cast a ballot.

Though we were defeated in the Commons, on Tuesday morning Liberal Democrat Peers tabled a 'Fatal Motion' in the Lords in the hope of halting this new restriction on voting in its tracks. This kind of motion is the strongest opposition which can be taken in the House of Lords. However, despite our best efforts, the Conservatives voted it down.

Voter identification has no legitimate positives and a wealth of negatives. The Government claims that it will be needed to cut down on election fraud, however during the 2019 General Election, there were only 6 confirmed instances of a person trying to cast another individual's ballot. Additionally, I am extremely concerned that this change will mean that when the next election comes, many people who are not prepared will simply be unable to exercise their democratic rights. Furthermore, evidence from abroad has repeatedly demonstrated that voter ID laws disproportionately impact specific groups such as voters from ethnic minority backgrounds.

On Tuesday, my colleague Baroness Pinnock spoke on this subject in the House of Lords, asking that peers stop this policy. You can watch her speech by clicking the link here and jumping to 16:21:30.


On Wednesday, I attended a Westminster Hall Debate led by my colleague Wendy Chamberlain MP, which covered the on-going visa delays at the Home Office. My office deals with a high level of correspondence related to visa wait times, and I am acutely aware of the frustration and distress often caused as a result of delayed visa applications.

I raised a particularly urgent case that had been delayed for months, despite overwhelming compassionate grounds. I stressed that if the Home Office are to continue to have extremely stringent criteria under which visas can be expedited, they must be treated with the urgency they demand. If you require assistance with an outstanding visa application which has exceeded the service level agreement processing time set by