Ben Dean-Titterrell

Bernard Jenkin weekly: No.8

Again, this is late. Was meant to be published weeks ago. Been busy.

Week 28 November – 4 December

In a week when David Davis admitted to MPs that the UK may continue to pay the EU for access to the single market after Brexit, MPs voted down a motion accusing former Prime Minister Tony Blair of misleading Parliament over the case for war in Iraq, and an ICM poll gave the Conservatives a 16 point lead over Labour, what did Bernard Jenkin do?

Speeches and written questions

Mr Jenkin spoke in one Parliamentary debate this week on the Chilcot Inquiry. He intervened while SNP MP Alex Salmond was speaking about his dissatisfaction at the answers given by the Cabinet Secretary when he was questioned by the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee about whether changes to the flow of information to the Intelligence and Security Committee would a difference to a Prime Minister committed to a particular course of action.

The MP for Harwich and North Essex said that the committee did not necessarily take the advice of the Cabinet Secretary, adding “We will be making recommendations that we are confident will prevent such events from happening again.”

Mr Jenkin later tried to intervene and make another contribution to the debate when Chris Skidmore, Parliamentary Secretary at the Cabinet Office, was speaking. Mr Skidmore, however, declined to give way.

Voting record

Mr Jenkin voted four times this week on the Digital Economy Bill and the state pension.

He voted three times on 28 November on the Digital Economy Bill. He voted: against a proposed clause that would mean that the Secretary of State would have to include in guidance to maintained schools that pupils learn as part of sex education the risks and dangers of internet pornography and the legal age requirement to access it; against a proposed amendment that would require the Secretary of State to introduce a voucher scheme that would provide consumers with an alternative solution to their broadband needs other than that which is supplied by the provider of the universal service order; and against a proposed amendment that would ensure the entitlement and cost of over-75s TV licences remain with the Government.

On 30th November he voted a further one time on the state pension age for women. He voted: against a motion put forward by the SNP that would call on the government to take more action to help women affected by the acceleration of the increase in the state pension age.

Mr Jenkin voted with the majority and was loyal to the government on all four votes this week.

Select committees

Non of the committee which Mr Jenkin sits on carried out any oral evidence sessions this week.

Bernard Jenkin weekly: No.7

This edition of Bernard Jenkin weekly is, like the last one, late. Again, just busy with Uni stuff.

Week 21 November – 27 November

In a week when the Chancellor Philip Hammond delivered his first autumn statement, Jeremy Corbyn gave a speech to the Confederation of British Industry, and the Institute for Fiscal Studies said workers would face a decade without real-terms wage increases, what did Bernard Jenkin do?

Speeches and written questions

Mr Jenkin made one contribution this week during a debate on the impacts of Brexit on higher education. He gave a speech of considerable length in the debate

The MP started by cautioning against the use of negative language when talking about Brexit and higher education and said that in his experience universities were keen to make the best of leaving the EU.

He stated that there were three main issues facing the government in regard to higher education post-Brexit. Firstly there’s the issue of foreign students from the EU. Mr Jenkin said that outside the EU universities  could finally charge EU students full fees rather than the reduced ones they are currently obligated to charge, “It is actually going to be an advantage to the universities sector if we can charge EU students full fees. At the moment, the British taxpayer helps to fund those students.”

Second the MP for Harwich and North Essex said the issue of EU funds for universities would not be as much of an issue as many are making it out to be. He suggested that having left the EU the government would no longer have to subsidise European universities, “We should be able to afford to pay more into our universities to fund more research and support our universities more effectively as a result of leaving the European Union, because we will no longer be forced to pay to subsidise universities elsewhere in the European Union.”

The final issue Mr Jenkin raised the issue of collaboration between EU and UK universities. He dismissed the idea that collaboration would end as “potty”, adding “If I am correct, we have four universities in the world rankings top 10. We have 10 of the top 50 universities in the world—more than any other country outside the US. Two are in London—the same number as are in the entirety of the rest of the EU.” He asserted that it would not be in EU univerities’ interests to sever ties with UK institutions.

He finished in his speech in typical pro-Brexit fashion by claiming that “Outside the EU, our universities have as great a future, if not a greater future, than they would if we remained in the EU.”

Voting record

Mr Jenkin voted nine times this week on a few issues but mainly on aspects on the Higher Education Bill.

On 21 November he voted seven times on the Higher Education and Research Bill. He voted: against a proposed opposition amendment that would have restricted how repayment terms for student loans could be modified after the loan was agreed; against a proposed amendment that would have reversed the change made last year that changed student grants into loans; against a proposed amendment that would have required UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to commission research on the effects of the absence of arrangements for post study work visas and assess how such arrangements could operate in the UK and their effect on the higher education sector and the UK economy; against a proposed amendment that would ensure Teacher Excellence Framework measures, a scheme to asses the quality of higher education, were subject to scrutiny by, and approval of, both Houses of Parliament; against a proposed amendment that would require the Office for Students to be assured about the maintenance of standards and about students’ and the public interest before issuing authorisation to grant degrees; against a proposed amendment that would place a duty on the Secretary of State such that before giving directions to the UKRI in regards to research priorities, the Secretary of State must consult the devolved administrations; and for moving the Bill onto a third reading.

On 22 November Mr Jenkin voted only twice. He voted: against an opposition motion that would call on the government to abandon its plans to bring in additional selective education and concentrate on providing the best education possible for all children; and against an opposition motion that would call on the Government to use the Autumn Statement to address the underfunding of the NHS and guarantee sustainable financing of the NHS.

Mr Jenkin voted with the majority and was loyal to the government on all nine voted this week.

Select committees

None of the committees Mr Jenkin sits on carried out any oral evidence sessions this week.

Bernard Jenkin weekly No.6

This edition of Bernard Jenkin weekly should have been published on Sunday 20 November. I was really ill that weekend and I just haven’t found the time to do it till now. I’ll try and make sure this doesn’t happen again. 

Week 14 November – 20 November

In week when Present-elect Donald Trump continued continued to prepare his administration for when he becomes President of the United States next January, Russia withdrew its signature from the International Criminal Court, and Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May launched their new car show, what did Bernard Jenkin do?

Speeches and written questions

Bernard Jenkin did not speak in any Parliamentary debates this week.

Voting record

Bernard Jenkin did not vote in any divisions this week.

Select Committee

The Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs committee was the only committee on which Mr Jenkin sits that carried out any oral evidence sessions this week.

It carried out two sessions, one where the committee asked questions to Lord Kerslake, former Head of the Civil Service, and Lord Lord Butler, former Cabinet Secretary, about the work of the civil service.

Another session was on how the NHS can learn from its mistakes in which the Minister of State for Health, Philip Dunne, was questioned by the committee