Villager Magazine June 2016 - That Referendum feeling
I am sure that, on a bright early summer morning in Bedfordshire, the last thing anyone might want is to hear about the Referendum, again.
But, forgive me. I would be failing in my duty as your Parliamentary representative if I did not offer you my opinion on the most important vote you are likely to cast in the next few decades.
I am not equivocal or heavy hearted in casting my vote for the United Kingdom to remain a member of the EU. I believe it is in our interest as a nation, in the interest of our people, and in the interest of a wider world. Let me explain why.
Bulletin Magazine May 2016 - Referendum
It will not be long before you cast your vote in the Referendum.
Forgive me for writing about it, when you may already have heard enough, but this is important for you, your family and friends, and for the future.
As the MP for NE Bedfordshire, my vote counts the same as yours, no more or less. But I do think you have a right to know my view. I will vote to remain in the EU. This is not half hearted, or after much agony. I believe absolutely that it is the right thing for the UK and its people.
Villager Magazine May 2016 - Aid: is our 0.7% worth it?
I am very conscious that a number of my constituents are concerned about issues regarding foreign aid and recently my colleague, the Secretary of State for International Development has set out the facts of our overseas aid programme and I am always happy to talk to constituents about these issues.
UK aid is spent where it is most needed and it is subject to rigorous internal and external checks and scrutiny. The strategy recognises that tackling poverty overseas means tackling the root causes of global problems such as disease, corruption, migration and terrorism. The Department for International Development (DFID) is the UK’s primary channel for overseas aid, working in conjunction with other Government departments and agencies.
Burt on the Benches May 2016 - Referendum
With the conclusion of elections last week, attention will turn in earnest to the Referendum. Up until now it has been a bit of a phoney war. There has been some media jousting, a few speeches, and a bit of entertainment over differing opinions amongst my Conservative colleagues.
This is going to come to an end, because we are not having a school debate, nor an internal party political discussion. We are going to have on June 23rd perhaps the most important vote any of us are likely to cast in the next forty years. I predict the vast majority of us are going to vote, because by the time June 23rd comes around I think there will have been a realisation of what is a stake.
Bulletin Magazine April 2016 - Autism
When I first became an MP in 1983, I would occasionally meet parents at an advice centre who would say to me 'I think my child has something called autism, but the school does not know what it is'.
This is rather different now. There has been growing awareness and diagnosis over recent decades. It is estimated that there are some 700,000 people in the UK with autism, of which 120,000 are of school age.