Week 18 April – 24 April
In a week when President Barack Obama said it was in Britain’s best interest to stay in the EU, the Queen turned 90, and legendary musician and performer Prince died, what did James Heappey do?
Speeches and written questions
On 20 April James Heappey spoke in a Commons debate considering several amendments made in the House of Lords to the Energy Bill. Mr Heappey spoke at great length in the debate. The Wells MP showed frustration at the delay in the the Government not being able to fulfill its manifesto pledge to close the renewables obligation to new onshore wind because of “the intervention of the unelected Members of the other place.” Mr Heappey said “It is important that we do not allow the closure of the renewables obligation for onshore wind to be cast as anti-green.” adding “The Government need to deliver their manifesto commitment to ensure that bill payers are not expected to foot the bill for the excessive deployment of this type of generation.” Following an intervention from a fellow MP, Mr Heappey urged that it was time for onshore wind to have an equal footing in the energy market, “This is not the end of onshore wind in that onshore wind is not being banned, but is simply being told that it is time to find its own feet and to go it alone, where it can be sited in a permissive planning environment.” He closed his speech by talking about the work of the Energy and Climate Change Committee in preparation for the next energy Bill, “It is also important to note that the Energy and Climate Change Committee has recently begun pre-legislative scrutiny of the next energy Bill. There is a great deal in it that is quite exciting, in my view, so let us get this one done and get on with that one.”
On 19 April James Heappey voted five times, all five votes were on aspects of the Bank of England and Financial Services Bill [Lords]. Mr Heappey voted: against a second reading of a clause to the Bill submitted by SNP MP George Kerevan which said the Chancellor, when nominating people to the Bank of England’s Court of Directors, must have regard to the importance of ensuring a balanced representation from the nations and regions of the United Kingdom; against a second reading of a clause to the Bill submitted by Labour MP Richard Burgon which said, among other things, that regulators must undertake an annual review for presentation to the Treasury into abusive tax avoidance; against an amendment, also submitted by Richard Burgon, which outlined how someone would be guilty of misconduct; against an amendment to the Bill submitted by Plaid Cymru MP Jonathon Edwards which said that Lloyds Banking Group, the holder of the Bank of Wales trademark, be given power to issue banknotes in Wales; and for moving the Bill onto a third reading.
On 20 April James Heappey voted twice, once on the Energy Bill [Lords] and once on how Acts of Parliament are recorded. Mr Heappey voted: for a government motion to disagree with an amendment from the Lords to the Energy Bill that went against the government’s plans for planning permission of new wind power projects; and for a motion put forward by Conservative MP James Gray which said that Parliament continue to record laws on vellum, a type of parchment made from calf skin.
James Heappey voted with the majority and was loyal to the government on all seven votes.
Energy and Climate Change Committee
The Committee did not hold any oral evidence sessions this week. The Committee announced that on Tuesday 26 April they will question Andrea Leadsom, a Minister in the Department of Energy and Climate Change, as a part of their inquiry into low carbon network infrastructure.
Any data later than November 2015 on MPs expenses has not yet been published. The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority have not specified a specific date for when they will publish the data, but they say it will be at some point in May.