Tag Archives: Labour

VIDEO: The Last Word

Lively debate as politicians from our region discuss the fall-out from the recent elections. And where does Nigel Farage want to stand as an MP? Guests include John Denham (Lab) Mark Reckless (Con) Diane James (UKIP) and Jasper Gerard (Lib Dem). Apologies in advance for the poor quality.

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VIDEO: Discussing immigration on Daily Politics

Mark Reckless today joined Atul Hatwal, Director of Migration Matters Trust, on BBC’s Daily Politics to discuss the impact which mass immigration has had on the United Kingdom.

Speaking after the show Mark said:

“I know from talking to my constituents that the issue of immigration is one of their top concerns and I welcome the action which this government has taken to cut net inflow to the UK. We remain on course to cut immigration from the 100s of thousands seen under Labour to the 10s of thousands.

I look forward to debating the further proposed measures aimed at limiting immigration this coming Tuesday when the Immigration Bill returns to the House of Commons for its second reading.”

Why Do Labour Fund This?

This evening I debated on Channel 4 News with a lady from the Refugee and Migrant Forum of East London (RAMFEL). They are based in Ilford and appear to receive funding from three Labour councils, Hackney, Tower Hamlets and Barking & Dagenham.

Yet RAMFEL’s website criticises action to crack down on employers of illegal immigrants, supports a campaign called “Hands Off My Workmate” and describes employers who co-operate with the authorities against illegal immigration as “grasses”.

Do Labour agree with this? If not, why are they helping fund it?

Special Measures to support Medway Hospital

08102011535I visited Medway Maritime Hospital on Friday with my colleague Tracey Crouch MP to question hospital Chair, Denise Harker, and Chief Executive, Mark Devlin, about what they were doing to put right problems identified at the hospital by the country’s Chief Medical Officer, Bruce Keogh.

Today Jeremy Hunt, the Secretary of State for Health, confirmed that Medway was to receive special measures of support from the government.

I asked him:

Mark Reckless (Rochester and Strood) (Con):

Is the Secretary of State aware that in Medway we were left with just three consultants to share cover of A and E, but we have now increased the number to six, and it will soon rise to eight?

He replied:

Mr Hunt:

These are precisely the problems that this review is designed to root out. There were problems with long A and E waits as well as with inappropriate medical interventions and poor communication with patients, but I hope my hon. Friend’s constituents will be reassured by the transparency of what is happening today, and the fact that I am making this Government accountable for sorting out those sorts of problems.

My Medway colleagues, Rehman Chisthi and Tracey Crouch, also spoke out on behalf of hospital patients.

Rehman noted that in 2005/06 the hospital had the seventh highest death rate in the country without special measures being adopted. The ‘excess mortality rate’ now is around 8% (up to 10% in one year may be considered chance) compared to 25% in 2005/06.

Tracey asked when our constituents could expect to see significant improvements at Medway hospital and the Secretary of State said we wanted these ‘swiftly’.

I have issued the following statement jointly with Reh and Tracey:

“The Government has conducted a thorough and expert led investigation of 14 hospitals including Medway Maritime Hospital in response to the higher than expected mortality rates at the hospital, which has been shown to have existed for some time.

“The report has highlighted significant concerns over the current procedures in place to protect patients and to provide safe care in the hospital and the Government has placed Medway in special measures.

“It is vital that Medway Hospital is given the support it needs to take all necessary steps to address these concerns so that residents can have trust in the hospital providing excellent health services.”

BLOG: My cross-party alliance to defend hedge funds

On Monday just after 10pm I shouted ‘No’ to force a division against plans to regulate our successful hedge fund industry.

Consequently, we had one special ‘deferred division’ today where, rather than walk through the lobbies as normal, we fill in open ballot papers. The result has just been announced in the Commons.

The vote was on whether to approve the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Regulations 2013. These Regulations implement the EU Directive of the same name and force private equity and hedge funds to adopt structures prescribed by the EU. The Conservative party initially opposed it.

Some funds which have traditionally been based in London are already moving to Switzerland or Singapore rather than accept this EU regulation.  Protectionist aspects also stop many US funds selling into the EU, forcing some to close representative offices in London.

I was heartened therefore to assemble a cross-party alliance of 27 MPs to vote against today and try to protect our hedge funds from these EU regulations.

As well as 12 Conservatives and 4 Northern Irish MPs straddling the sectarian divide, 11 courageous and, at least on this occasion, independently-minded Labour MPs voted with me to defend the City. They were:
Margaret Beckett, Jeremy Corbyn, Ian Davidson, Paul Flynn, Jim Hood, George Howarth, Siobhain McDonagh, Jim McGovern, Ann McKechin, Dennis Skinner and Joan Walley.

The Conservatives were Bill Cash, Richard Drax, Gordon Henderson, Philip Hollobone, Stewart Jackson, Bernard Jenkin, Nigel Mills, David Nuttall, myself, Sir Richard Shepherd, Charles Walker and Craig Whittaker.

The Northern Irish MPs with us were Mark Durkan and Margaret Ritchie of the SDLP, Naomi Long of the Alliance and Independent Unionist Lady Sylvia Herman.

On a day when Ed Milliband was attacking David Cameron for supporting hedge funds – even when he was driving through EU regulation of the sector – I am particularly grateful to the 11 Labour MPs who joined me in standing up for our hard-working hedge fund managers.

Let Britain Decide

It has been nearly 40 years since the British people last had their say on Europe. In that time, so much has changed. People feel that the EU is heading in a direction they never signed up to.

We need a better deal for Britain, including putting the key question to the British people through an In/Out referendum by the end of 2017 at the latest. Currently, only one of the main three political parties are supporting this: the Conservatives.

That’s why the party has launched a new campaign website, www.LetBritainDecide.com, which makes it simple for people to back the Bill, help build public pressure, give people a voice, and urge MPs from other parties to listen to their constituents.

Please visit www.LetBritainDecide.com if you would like to get involved.

MP urges residents to have their say on Lower Thames crossing

Lower Thames Crossing: the options - Click on map  to view full size

Lower Thames Crossing: the options – Click on map to view full size

Mark Reckless, local MP for Rochester and Strood, is urging residents in Medway to make their views known as part of the government consultation on a proposed new road crossing on the Thames to help alleviate congestion at the Dartford-Thurrock crossing.

This consultation is designed to gather views on the preferred location for additional road-based river crossing capacity in the Lower Thames area.

Responses to this consultation will form part of the evidence base that government will use to make a decision on where to locate a new crossing.

The location options considered are:

  • option A: at the site of the existing A282 Dartford-Thurrock crossing
  • option B: connecting the A2 with the A1089
  • option C: connecting the M2 with the A13 and the M25 between junctions 29 and 30
  • option C variant: connecting the M2 with the A13 and the M25 between junctions 29 and 30, and additionally widening the A229 between the M2 and the M20

Speaking of the consultation, Mark said:

“I am pleased that the government is committed to tackling congestion in the North Kent area, particularly when so many of the residents and businesses in my constituency are so reliant on the existing Dartford crossing.

However, a number of concerns have been raised with me with regards to the possible impact which any new crossing may have on our local environment. While none of the final options presented appear to be quite as ecologically destructive as those bizarrely supported by the Medway Labour group, I would strongly urge all residents to make sure that their voices are heard by contributing to the consultation.”

You can find out more through the consultation page or by attending one of the following public information events being held next month in the Lower Thames area:

  • Thursday 13 June, Dartford Library, Central Park, Dartford, Kent, DA1 1EU, from 2pm to 8pm
  • Saturday 15 June, Grays Library, Orsett Road, Grays, Essex, RM17 5DX, from 10am to 5pm
  • Monday 17 June, Chadwell Information Centre, Brentwood Road, Chadwell St Mary, Grays, Essex, RM16 4JP, from 2pm to 7pm
  • Thursday 20 June, Bluewater (Thames Walk at the entrance to the plaza), Greenhithe, Kent, DA9 9ST, from 10am to 9pm
  • Friday 21 June, Lakeside (level two near the customer service desk), West Thurrock Way, Grays, Essex, RM20 2ZP, from 10am to 10pm
  • Saturday 22 June, Gravesend Library, Windmill Street, Gravesend, Kent, DA12 1BE, from 9am to 5pm
  • Monday 24 June, Basildon District Council, Basildon Centre (reception), St Martin’s Square, Basildon, Essex. SS14 1DL, from 11am to 5pm

Please respond to the consultation by 16 July.