Last week I wrote about the chaos in Parliament and this week started with some trepidation. However, I was very pleased that Rishi Sunak was successful in getting over half the Parliamentary party to support him and is now our Prime Minister. I know that some Conservative members were disappointed not to have a say this time, but I really believe we needed to start immediately to put the economy back on track rather than waiting another four days with the uncertainty that would have caused.
We had an hour of celebration with Rishi speaking to MPs and a quick speech at Conservative Central HQ before everyone got back to work, including Rishi. His cabinet reflects the wide views of the Party and I know that everyone will get behind him and help deliver the manifesto that we were elected on. The last few months have not been edifying but we can now put them behind us and show the country we can govern.
It would be nice to have some boring politics for a change. That was also the view of the residents that I spoke to in Bishops Waltham last Saturday and I suspect is a fairly commonly held one!
On Monday I asked a question to the Home Secretary about the Independent Inquiry into Child Abuse that was published last week. The report makes harrowing reading and there have been some very brave individuals who have come forward to speak to the panel about their experiences. As the report says there are nearly 13 million children in England and Wales, each of whom needs and deserves to be protected from harm.
Babies, toddlers and children are potentially at risk, with current estimates indicating that 1 in 6 girls and 1 in 20 boys experience child sexual abuse before the age of 16. What a horrendous statistic. I asked about online abuse where children are often groomed before they are attacked. I was pleased to hear the Home Secretary agreeing that the Government will accept all the recommendations. A link to the report is here.
On Tuesday we voted on the Second Reading of the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill and had five votes on it called for by the SNP. This is an important Bill so that we can revoke remaining EU laws. It gives us the ability to replace and improve many of those laws, as I think we have done with the Environment Act – we are putting far more stringent laws on sewage for instance than we had before. We will continue to make sure we continue to lead on the environment.
As the PM said at PMQs on Wednesday, we need to leave the country better than we find it. I am getting some emails about the environment, but I can assure you we are working very hard to make sure farmers and the countryside are in safe hands.
I helped organise a meeting with Help for Heroes on Wednesday and was I really pleased to see the level of support from MPs. We often have charities and other organisations holding events in Parliament to inform us about the work they are doing.
The second-best-attended meeting was the appearance of World Cup winner Sir Geoff Hurst and Lioness Karen Carney at an event to celebrate 10,000,000 years of McDonald’s Fun Football. It aims to get children into playing football. 20 MPs get a kit for one of their schools so I am hoping to be successful.
Lastly, I have just spent two days at Shrivenham learning more about how our three Armed Services are working together and preparing for any new threats which could emerge in the future.
I am out campaigning on Saturday again, and hope to meet some of you.
Have a good weekend.