Ben Dean-Titterrell

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Month: June, 2016

James Heappey weekly: No.14

jamesheappey

Week 20 June – 26 June

In a week when the UK voted to leave the European Union in a referendum, David Cameron announced he would resign in October following the Brexit result, and Parliament was recalled to hear tributes to late Jo Cox MP after she was killed in her constituency of Batley and Spen the previous week, what did James Heappey do?

Well, to be honest, there’s nothing to report this week.

Parliament was due to be on recess this week but was recalled so it could hear tributes for the Labour MP Jo Cox. There were no other debates or divisions and the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee did not hold oral evidence sessions.

The only suitable thing to is make this week’s edition of James Heappey weekly a special EU referendum edition. So, here’s that.

James Heappey voted to “Remain” in the EU referendum on 23 June. He finally announced how he would vote in an article for the website ConservativeHome on 13 June.

James Heappey said he was no great fan of the EU but leaving wasn’t the answer and was openly critical of the tone of the campaign, “We’ve been given plenty to worry about from economic Armageddon to all of Turkey leaving home and coming here. The bulls**t detector has been in overdrive.”

He was surprisingly frank on the personal implications of opting to back the Remain campaign, “Career wise, being openly critical of both sides has probably not been the smartest move. Choosing in the end to go the opposite way to the bulk of the Wells Conservative Association and, I suspect, a majority of my constituents is certainly not the easy option.”

The MP for Wells’s position on the EU could be best be described as choosing the devil you know rather than the devil you don’t, “If we vote to leave, everything around us will react to our decision and we just don’t know what the cost of that reaction will be. Then we’ll start negotiating for our future and with just ten days to go, nobody seems to have any idea what it is we’ll be asking for. To avoid that whopping great leap into the unknown, I’ll be holding my nose and voting to remain.”

Following the Brexit result on Friday morning, Mr Heappey tweeted:

After David Cameron announced he would resign as Prime Minister in October, the MP tweeted his disappointment:

It is currently unknown who James Heappey will back in the upcoming Tory leadership contest.

James Heappey weekly: No.13

jamesheappey

Week 13 June – 19 June

In a week when Jo Cox, Labour MP for Batley and Spen, was shot and stabbed to death outside her weekly constituency surgery, campaigning for the EU referendum was halted for several days following the MP’s death, and the US suffered its worst terrorist attack since 9/11 when 49 people were killed and 53 injured during a mass shooting in a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, what did James Heappey do?

Speeches and written questions

Mr Heappey spoke twice in Parliament this week, both times in a Westminster Hall debate on electric and low-emission vehicles.

James Heappey first thanked fellow Conservative MP Glyn Davies for securing the debate and asked if he agreed that “the great advantage of electric cars is that they present a fantastic opportunity within the grid, which may help us to achieve our decarbonisation targets.” Mr Glyn replied that if, as he expects, their use develops quickly they “will be a major contributor right across the board to our meeting our decarbonisation targets.”

Later in the debate Mr Heappey spoke again to ask Robert Goodwill, a Minister in the Department for Transport, whether he would comment on how the Department for Transport and the Treasury intend to “compensate for the loss of petrol pump tax revenues as a result of an increased uptake of electric cars.” The Minister replied that the question may best be put to the Chancellor but said “falling duty levels from petrol and diesel because we have embraced new technology would be a very good problem to have.” Mr Goodwill added “Dare I say it, but I am sure the Chancellor and future Chancellors will come up with other, more devious ways of collecting tax from everyday people.”

Voting record

The MP for Wells voted five times this week, mainly on matters relating to the Policing and Crime Bill.

On 13 May Mr Heappey voted four times on the Policing and Crime Bill. He voted: against a proposed new clause, put forward by Shadow Home Secretary Andy Burnham following the Hillsborough inquest, that would introduce the principle of parity of funding between police forces and bereaved families and inquests; against a proposed new clause, also put forward by Andy Burnham, that would compel the Prime Minister to instigate an independent inquiry such as Leveson 2 into the relationships between the press and police and the extent to which that has operated in the public interest; against a proposed new clause, put forward by Plaid Cymru MP Liz Saville Roberts, to devolve the responsibility of policing to the Welsh Assembly; and against a proposed new amendment, put forward by Labour MP Sarah Champion, that would set out the duty of English and Welsh police forces to report to the Home Secretary on the number of Child Abduction Warning Notices issued and for the Secretary of State to publish an annual report on the issue.

On 15 May James Heappey voted once on a deferred division from the last Parliamentary session. He voted: for a motion to approve the draft West Midlands Combined Authority Order 2016, first laid before the House on 28 April.

Energy and Climate Change Committee

The Committee did not carry out any oral evidence session this week.

James Heappey weekly: No.12

jamesheappey

Week 6 May – 12 May

In a week when the deadline for voter registration for the EU referendum was extended for 48 hours following problems with the government website, the value of the pound fell sharply following a poll showing a 10% lead for the Leave campaign, and Euro 2016 kicked off in France, what did James Heappey do?

Speeches and written questions

James Heappey has not spoken in Parliament since 9 May when he spoke in a debate about the government’s academisation of schools policy.

Voting Record

Mr Heappey voted 11 times this week, mainly on the Investigatory Powers Bill.

On 6 June he voted five times on the Investigatory Powers Bill. He voted: against a proposed Liberal Democrat amendment that would outline how the Investigatory Powers Commissioner would have to notify the subject or subjects of investigatory powers; against a proposed SNP amendment that would set up an Investigatory Powers Commission; against a proposed SNP amendment that would make it clear that voluntary, unsolicited disclosures are protected, and that any whistle-blower is also protected from criminal prosecution; against a proposed SNP amendment that would retain the capacity of a single warrant to permit the interception of multiple individuals but would require an identifiable subject matter or premises to be provided; and against a proposed SNP amendment that would would require that there is reasonable suspicion of serious crime for a warrant authorising interception.

On 7 June the Wells MP voted a further four times on matters relating to the Investigatory Powers Bill. Mr Heappey voted: against a proposed SNP amendment that would leave out the section on bulk interception warrants; against a proposed SNP amendment that would require authorisation from a Judicial Commissioner to obtain telecommunications data; against a proposed Liberal Democrat amendment that would exclude the collection of internet collection records; and for a motion to move the Bill onto a Third reading.

On 8 June James Heappey voted twice. He voted: against an Opposition motion to say the Government’s White Paper on the BBC fails to provide an acceptable basis for Charter renewal; and against a motion to express regret about the Government’s lack of progress towards halving the disability employment gap.

Mr Heappey voted with the majority and was loyal to the government on all 11 votes.

Energy and Climate Change Committee

This week the Energy and Climate Change Committee held an oral evidence session as part of their inquiry into the challenges of the UK meeting its 2020 renewable energy targets for heating and transport. Mr Heappey asked many questions during the session on a range of issues.

At one point during the session Mr Heappey asked questions to Christopher Snelling, Head of National and Regional Policy and Public Affairs at the Freight Transport Association, about the process of encouraging people to buy electric cars. Mr Heappey said, “If you look back at what they did 100 years ago to try to pave the way for the petrol engine, it is inconceivable that they could have considered putting out the petrol pump network first in order to incentivise people to buy the cars.” Mr Snelling replied that the situation today was different and “back in those days the car was a new invention completely, as merely an alternative to the horse. It started out with leisure usage and short-term usage from home.”

Mr Heappey then raised the point that many of the same concerns at the time when petrol cars were introduced are present today around electric cars, “stuff that was in newspapers 100 years ago when people were talking about the advantages of going for a petrol engine are exactly the same debate as people are having now, whether or not they should get an electric vehicle.” Mr Snelling responded that “For us as operators it is still the lack of confidence not only that there is the sufficient refuelling infrastructure to get around the UK to wherever you need but it is also this issue of will it be there for the next 20 years.”

James Heappey weekly: No.11

jamesheappey

Week 30 May – 5 June

In a week when legendary boxer Muhammad Ali died, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the UK should stay in the EU, and David Cameron and Michael Gove faced questions on Sky News about the referendum, what did James Heappey do?

Well, in Parliament at least, nothing. Yes, just eight days after the State Opening of Parliament and the start of a new parliamentary session, MPs went on holiday. They’re due back on Monday 6 May.

Seeing as he has now been the Wells MP for over 12 months, let’s look back at what James Heappey did exactly one year ago.

Week 30 May – 5 June 2015

Speeches and written questions

James Heappey spoke once in Parliament on this particular week, it was his Maiden Speech on June 1. His first speech in the House of Commons was on Britain’s place in the world. It covered his history of service in the army, payed tribute to his predecessor Tessa Munt of the Lib Dems, and outlined the ways in which his West Country constituency contributes to Britain’s place in the world.

Voting Record

Mr Heappey voted four times during the week. All four votes were on matters relating to the speech given by the Queen at the State Opening of Parliament the previous week.

On 3 June Mr Heappey voted once on proposals to amend an address due to be presented to Her Majesty thanking her for the Gracious Speech. He voted: against an Opposition motion to add an amendment that would express regret the Gracious Speech offered inadequate measures on devolution.

On 4 June Mr Heappey voted four times on proposals to amend an address due to be presented to Her Majesty thanking her for the Gracious Speech. He voted: against an Opposition motion to add an amendment that would express regret the Gracious Speech to provide measures for improving the economy’s levels of productivity; against an SNP motion to add an amendment that would express regret the Gracious Speech does not adequately meet the challenges facing the majority of people across the UK; and for a motion to send the address to Her Majesty thanking her for the Gracious Speech.

James Heappey was loyal to the government and voted with the majority on all four votes.

Energy and Climate Change Select Committee

The Committee members were not appointed to their positions until 8 July 2015.

Expenses

James Heappey made a total of 12 expenses claims in the seven day period. These claims totaled £356.36.

Eight of these were small amounts for travel costs within his constituency, they ranged from £1.48 to £8.46 and totaled £44.91.

There were two larger claims for travel between his constituency and London. These were for £61.20 and £65.25, a total of £126.45.

There was also a £35.00 claim for unspecified office costs.

Mr Heappey’s largest claim was of £150.00 to pay for the cost of a one night stay in a hotel while his London flat was being finalised.

All of Mr Heappey’s claims were payed in full and none have had to be repaid.