Richmond Park News: 26 May 2023
PRIME MINISTERS QUESTIONS
This week, I had the opportunity to challenge Rishi Sunak at PMQs about the exodus of investment from the UK in recent years. Indeed, I recently learnt that just a few days ago a solar power developer, Oxford PV, said that Britain was the ‘least attractive’ market to locate its new factory, and would be planning to list elsewhere.
This issue has been a serious problem for the UK since our exit from the European Union, and should the Government not ditch their ideological rhetoric and adopt a genuine industrial strategy, this is a trend that could continue to seriously hamper British economic growth. Frustratingly, Sunak refused to acknowledge the issue, dodging the question with a series of statistics that did not address the point at hand.
The crisis of investment facing many UK businesses is often raised with me, both in my role as MP for Richmond Park, but also as Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson, and I will continue to hold this Conservative Government to account for their failure to support UK businesses.
Should you wish to see a clip of my question, you can do so here.
PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION: SORT THE SYSTEM EVENT FOR ELECTORAL REFORM
On Wednesday, I attended the ‘Sort the System’ lobby event for electoral reform in Westminster to reaffirm my support for a change in our voting system to a more proportional alternative.
This has long been a key campaign for the Liberal Democrats, and one which I proudly ran on in 2019 when I was elected as the MP for Richmond Park.
Now, more than ever, it is crucial that we ensure votes matter, and introduce a system where people who live in 'safe' constituencies can still make their voices heard. It was great to meet so many of my constituents at the event and see the growing support for a fairer electoral system first-hand.
GOVERNMENT SCRAPS KEY ANIMAL WELFARE LEGISLATION
The Government announced yesterday that it is breaking yet another 2019 manifesto commitment by scrapping the Kept Animals Bill. This Bill would have introduced new powers to end the export of animals for fattening and slaughter, tackle puppy smuggling and ban the keeping of primates as pets.
My Liberal Democrat colleagues and I have been strong supporters of the Kept Animals Bill and I am extremely disappointed that this vital piece of legislation has been dropped, after years of dither and delay.
If we accept animal sentience then animal cruelty must be considered unacceptable, and it is crucial that we change the law to better protect animals from harm. The Government have said that they aspire to be a global leader in animal welfare, yet only one of the three animal welfare Bills proposed in the 2021 Queen’s Speech has since been enshrined into law.