Ben Dean-Titterrell

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Tag: David Davis

Bernard Jenkin weekly: No.13

Week 30 January – 5 February

In a week when MPs voted overwhelmingly to give the government power to activate Article 50, thousands joined protests around the world against President Trump’s travel ban, and a judge in Seattle suspended the travel ban nationwide across America, what did Bernard Jenkin do?

Speeches and written questions

Mr Jenkin spoke many times in Parliament this week, mainly when he made a statement to the House of Commons in his role as chair of the Public Administration and Consitutional Affairs Committee.

First however he contributed to a debate on Brexit on Thursday 2 February. He asked the Brexit Secretary David Davis whether after activating Article 50 the government will “take that opportunity to frame the negotiation by making it clear that we expect to agree the framework of our future relationship, as specified in article 50?” Mr David replied by saying that Mr Jenkin was quite right and the issue he raised would be thew first the government would need to resolve at the beginning of the negotiations.

Later that day Mr Jenkin made his statement to the House as chair of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, the statement focused on the committees recently published report into the National Health Service. Mr Jenkin started his statement by laying out how the NHS has consistently made the same mistakes repeatedly over the last several years despite multiple reports into the problems within the organisation.

“In its report “Learning from Mistakes”, which was published last year, the Public Health Service Ombudsman highlighted the fear of blame that is pervasive throughout the NHS. That fear drives defensive responses and inhibits open investigations, which in turn prevents NHS organisations from understanding what went wrong and why. That also undermines public trust and confidence, because the public can see that NHS organisations are failing to learn from mistakes—if they did, that would drive improvement.”

The MP for Harwich and North Essex said the committee’s report “Will the NHS never learn?” concluded that “if the Department of Health is to achieve its policy of turning the NHS into a learning organisation, it must integrate its various initiatives to tackle the issue and come up with a long-term and co-ordinated strategy. That strategy must include a clear plan for building up local investigative capability, as the vast majority of investigations take place locally. We will hold the Secretary of State for Health accountable for delivering the plan.

Mr Jenkin also commented on the establishment of the Health Services Investigations Branch, “The Government accepted our recommendation, and HSIB is due to be launched in April. It will conduct investigations into the most serious clinical incidents, and is intended to offer a safe space to allow those involved in such incidents to speak openly and frankly about what happened.”

He brought his statement to a close by expressing his hope that the government will implement the committees recommendations, “There is an acute need for the Government to follow through on their commitment to promote a culture in which staff feel able to speak out and in which the emphasis is placed on learning, not blame. I very much hope that they will implement PACAC’s recommendations as a step towards achieving that as soon as possible.”

Mr Jenkin then took several questions from other members on the committee’s report, one of which came from Labour MP Justin Madders. He first said Labour welcomed the report and thanked those who contributed to it before asking about delaying the launch of HSIB, “To give HSIB the strongest start, it was the clear view of the Committee, HSIB, the Expert Advisory Group, HSIB’s chief investigator and even the Minister himself that legislation is needed, but, as of today, no legislation has been forthcoming. Given that, does the Chair of the Committee agree that it might be better to delay implementation to allow time for legislation?”

Mr Jenkin replied, “The answer is, as the hon. Gentleman suggests, for the Government to bring forward the legislation as quickly as possible. I know that efforts are being made in that direction, but perhaps the Minister will have something to tell us.”

Voting record

Mr Jenkin voted three times this week all on 1 February regarding the bill to give the government the power to activate Article 50.

He voted: against a proposed SNP amendment to the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill that would decline giving the Bill a second reading; for a motion to give the Bill a second reading; and for setting out a three day programme for moving the Bill onto a third reading.

Mr Jenkin was loyal to the government and voted with the majority on all three votes.

Select Committees

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

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Bernard Jenkin weekly: No.12

Week 23 January – 29 January

In a week when Donald Trump signed an Executive border banning immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries, Theresa May visited the new US president at the White House, and the Supreme Court ruled that MPs must be allowed to vote on the activation of Article 50 before Brexit negotiations have begun, what did Bernard Jenkin do?

Speeches and written questions

Mr Jenkin made four contributions in Parliament this week on four separate issues, the first of these coming on Monday during a statement by Defence Secretary Michael Fallon on reports of the misfiring of a Trident missile during a test operation.

Mr Jenkin rose to ask Mr Fallon whether it wasn’t ironic that many MPs who had already spoken and expressed concern about any possible lack of credibility of the deterrent when some of them do not believe in the concept of a deterrent in the first place. He added, “It would be unwise of the Russians or any other potential adversary to suggest that they could take the risk of invading this or that country on the basis that we might have a misfire of one of our missiles.”

The Defence Secretary replied to Mr Jenkin by saying that he agreed with him and expressing his pleasure that the overwhelming majority of MPs voted to maintain the deterrent last year.

Mr Jenkin’s next contribution in the House of Commons came the following day during a session of questions to the Brexit Secretary David Davis following the Supreme Court’s Article 50 ruling. While fellow Conservative MP Anna Soubry was asking a question she said “The reality is that we have abandoned the single market and the free movement of people without any debate in this place, never mind a vote.”

In response to this Mr Jenkin said “We had a referendum.” Following the MP for Harwich and North Essex’s interjection Ms Soubry replied “Well, there was one question on the paper: leave or remain. We are leaving the European Union—that is accepted.” and continued with her question to the Brexit Secretary.

Later on the same day Mr Jenkin made a more substantial contribution during a debate on appointing the new Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration and Health Service Commissioner for England. In his speech he spoke of the history and purpose of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee and the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.

He also spoke about what the PHSO must do in the future, “The PHSO must improve the quality and speed of its investigations. It must implement technological change. It must adapt to the way in which people in our society expect a complaints process to work, and it must better retain and engage its staff in order to do so. It must do all that while reducing costs and overheads.”

Mr Jenkin concluded by saying he believed the candidate for the roles of Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration and Health Service Commissioner for England, Rob Behrens, had the skills to be successful and that he looked forward to working with him in the future.

Mr Jenkin’s last contribution of the week came when asking a question to David Jones, Minister of State in the Department for Exiting the European Union, about farming regulations post-Brexit. He asked the Minister how the government will “approach the regulations and directives that will be created and implemented between now and the date we leave the European Union?” Mr Jones replied to Mr Jenkin by saying “The great repeal Bill will absorb the body of EU law into British law. Once we have left the European Union, we will be in a position to review all that legislation and take the decisions that are best for British agriculture.”

Voting record

Bernard Jenkin voted six times this week on a variety of issues.

On 24 January Mr Jenkin voted three times on three different issues. He voted: for a motion put forward by fellow Conservative MP Chris Philip to bring forward a bill to regulate industrial action by those providing certain critical national services; against a proposed opposition amendment to an earlier Lords amendment to the Wales Bill which would have changed the maximum charge of gaming machines under regulations in Wales; and for a motion that would approve the Charter for Budget Responsibility: autumn 2016 update.

On 25 January Mr Jenkin voted another three times on another three issues. He voted: for approving the draft Bank of England and Financial Services (Consequential Amendments) Regulations 2017; against a proposed opposition motion that would have called on the Government to reduce overcrowding and improve safety while still ensuring that those people who should be in prison are in prison; and against a proposed opposition motion that would have called on the Government to ensure that all schools have the funding that they need to provide an excellent education for every child.

Mr Jenkin was loyal to the government on all six votes this week. He voted with the majority on all but the first division he voted on this week.

Select committees

The Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee was the only one to carry out any oral evidence sessions this week. The committee carried out one hearing on the structure and organisation of the Civil Service.

On 24 January the committee questioned Rupert Soames, Chief Executive and Serco and public services specialist. As chair of the committee Mr Jenkin led the questioning.

Bernard Jenkin weekly: No.5

Week 7 November – 13 November

In a week when Donald Trump was elected as the next President of the United States, yes really, Donald Trump was elected president, and, I’ll say it one more time so we’re clear, Donald Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States of America, what did Bernard Jenkin do?

Speeches and written questions

Mr Jenkin made one contribution this week in the House of Commons on 7 November about the High Court’s ruling that Parliament must vote on triggering Article 50.

He asked a question to the Brexit Secretary David Davis in which he first asked whether the Secretary of State was “aware that some people have been describing this moment as some kind of constitutional crisis?” He also invited Mr Davis to pursue an appeal at the Supreme Court and seek to get the High Court judgement overturned.

Voting record

Mr Jenkin did not vote in any divisions this week.

Select committees

The committees on which Mr Jenkin sits did not hold any oral evidence sessions this week.

Bernard Jenkin weekly: No.1

Week 10 October – 16 October

Firstly, welcome to the first edition of Bernard Jenkin weekly, the follow up to James Heappey weekly. Here, every week, I will summarise Bernard Jenkin MP for Harwich and North Essex’s actions in Parliament. This will include contributions and speeches made in debates, written questions submitted, any select committee hearings, and, when possible, expenses data. So, let’s get started.

In a week when Unilever briefly said it wouldn’t be providing Tesco with stock, Republican nominee for President of the United States Donald Trump was accused of sexual assault by several women, and the SNP held their party conference, what did Bernard Jenkin do?

Speeches and written questions

Bernard Jenkin spoke many times in Parliament this week, especially on the debates regarding Britain’s exit from the European Union.

His first contribution of the week came on Monday 10 October when he asked a question to the Brexit Secretary, David Davis. He wanted to make clear to Mr Davis and the rest of the House that leaving the EU meant leaving the single market and that the leave campaign had been clear on that from the start, “May I point out, as a director of Vote Leave, that it was made clear in our campaign that leaving the EU meant leaving the single market.”

Mr Jenkin also expressed his confusion at the way he sees the Remain campaign’s argument about single market membership now, “Is it not ironic that the remain campaign spent a lot of time telling us, “Oh, if you leave the EU you will have to leave the EU internal market.” Now they are all saying that there must be a way of leaving the EU and staying in the single market, even though all the EU leaders say that that is not possible.”

His next contribution in parliament came on Wednesday 12 October when he made an intervention to Keir Starmer, the Shadow Brexit Secretary. He wanted to know how Mr Starmer would vote if their was a vote in the House on invoking article 50, “This is the question that he has to answer: suppose there was a vote in this House; how would he vote? Would he vote against article 50 invocation, or in favour?”

Later in the debate he intervened while Stephen Gethins, an SNP MP, was speaking. The MP for Harwich and North Essex spoke of how Parliament and the Devolved Assemblies need to work together to answer questions about Brexit. He pointed to the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, which he chairs, and an earlier visit he had made to Scotland.

“I have already visited the Scottish Parliament with my Committee to that end, and am offering to give evidence to the Scottish Parliament on those questions and how we should address them. I hope that the dialogue he wants will be in that spirit of co-operation.”

His final contribution of the week came in the same debate when he made a point to fellow Conservative MP John Redwood about how article 50 was included in the Lisbon treaty to make it less complicated to leave the EU, “Is it not also incumbent on the Government to be mindful that article 50 was not put into the Lisbon treaty to make it less complicated to leave the European Union? If we try to include too many things under article 50 that stray into mixed competences, we will finish up with an agreement that requires unanimity?”

He added that in his view it could be beneficial for withdrawal from the EU to be done in less than the two years stated under article 50, “In fact, it would be an advantage to business if we could complete this in a much shorter period than the two years specified under the article 50 process.”

Bernard Jenkin has not submitted any written questions so far in this Parliamentary session.

Voting record

Mr Jenkin voted four times this week, including three times on the Wales Bill.

On 12 September he voted on the issues relating to the Wales Bill. He voted: against a proposed amendment that would establish two distinct legal jurisdictions of England and Wales; against a proposed clause that would remove restrictions on certain public sector bodies bidding to operate a rail franchise that is made up of or includes rail services within Wales; and against a proposed clause that would make air passenger duty a devolved tax in Wales.

On 14 September the MP for Harwich and North Essex voted once on a piece of business that came without a debate. He voted: for approving the draft West Midlands Combined Authority (Election of Mayor) Order 2016.

Mr Jenkin way loyal to his party and voted with the majority on all four votes.

Select Committees

Bernard Jenkin sits on three House of Commons Committees. He chairs the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee as well as sitting on both the Liaison Committee and the Speaker’s Committee on the Electoral Commission.

None of the committees carried out any oral evidence sessions this week.

Expenses

Bernard Jenkin’s expenses records going back to 2010 are accessible on the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority website. Here I will only present the most recent data published by the IPSA, expenses for April and May of this financial year.

In April, Bernard Jenkin made 25 expenses claims, totaling £3,072.55. The data published says he did not make any expenses claims during May.

His largest claim during April was for £2,671.00 to pay for a PRU (Policy Research Unit) subscription, a scheme only open to Conservative MPs that lets them share researchers and save money as a result.

Most of his other claims were small claims to pay for travel costs within his own car. The lowest of these claims was for £0.32 to pay for a 0.7 mile journey within his own constituency.

All of Mr Jenkin’s claims were paid in full and none have had to be repaid to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority.