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Richmond Park News: 31 March 2023

This week, I appeared on BBC Politics Live, where I had the chance to put forward my thoughts on several issues, including the Government’s Net Zero Strategy, artificial intelligence and the Illegal Immigration Bill.

In the discussion, I challenged the Conservative MP on his party’s record in Government, including their lack of a clear plan to reduce carbon emissions and hit our climate change targets.

When the discussion moved towards the Government’s Illegal Immigration Bill, I outlined my opposition to these unworkable proposals. I believe the best course of action would be to cancel the appalling ‘Rwanda Plan’, and reinvest the money into clearing our asylum claim backlog, which currently stands at 160,000 applications. This figure has quintupled since 2017. Clearing the backlog of applications is the best way to empty the costly and inhumane asylum hotels, allowing those who have a legitimate claim to stop being supported by the taxpayer and start contributing to the economy as workers.

The discussion closed by referring to artificial intelligence, where I again stressed the need for those in creative sectors such as musicians and artists to have their work protected by copyright law that would prohibit AI from utilising their work without permission or payment.

You can see a clip of me discussing Net Zero here.


At Deputy Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday, I challenged Dominic Raab on NHS figures that recently revealed that GP numbers across the country had fallen by 850 since January 2019.

Conservatives are failing to fulfil their promise at the last election to recruit 6,000 more GPs. Across London, there are now 2,466 people per fully qualified GP, a rise of nearly 20% from the 2,071 figure in December 2016. Separate figures uncovered by the Liberal Democrats have also found that there are 547 fewer GP surgeries in England compared to 2019, including a drop of 101 in London.

My Liberal Democrat colleagues have launched a pledge to recruit more GPs and give patients a legal right to see a GP within 7 days, or 24 hours in an emergency. This would be achieved through increasing training places for GPs, a programme to retain experienced doctors and staff, and launching a recruitment drive to encourage those who have left the NHS to return.

You can see a clip of my question here.

I also raised the topic of NHS waiting times on Thursday as an Urgent Question to the Department of Health and Social Care on the upcoming strike by junior doctors. Shockingly, there are now over 7.2 million people waiting for NHS treatment. I challenged the Health Secretary on what he is doing to address that backlog. You can see a clip of that question here.


This week I also had the opportunity to ask a question to the Minister for the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC.) I focused on the recent increases to service charges that many constituents have been experiencing. I have been informed by many constituents that not only is their rent being increased for the coming year, but so is their service charge payment. Often it is this payment they fear will cause them a real financial challenge.

My question referenced a particularly appalling example from one constituent whose service charge is to be increased by over 700