It's back to Westminster for real in October as we have come to the end of the summer and conference recesses. It has been wonderful spending so much time out and about in our great constituency while Parliament has not been sitting, but a lot of business has been stored up now for completion before Christmas, so it will be a very interesting few months ahead!
Looking back, I had a busy time in the couple of weeks that we do sit for in September. I was fortunate enough to ask the very first oral question of the new sitting, in which I pushed the government to do more to tackle poaching of endangered species – and I pressed the point home again the following day at Prime Minister’s Questions. With all of the domestic and political challenges that every government faces in different ways and to different degrees, I just feel it is right to keep the ‘big picture’ on the radar – what sort of world do we want our children and grandchildren to inherit?
I will now be acting as the Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Lord Chancellory and Ministry of Justice. While it means I leave Esther and the rest of the team at the Department for Work and Pensions, where so much has now been done to make sure more people are in work and to drive down the unemployment rate to its lowest level for over forty years, I am very much looking forward to the new challenge at the MoJ and working with the Lord Chancellor and his Ministers.
As it happens, parliamentary business was dominated in those two weeks by Justice Bills, alongside debates, an urgent question and ministerial meetings. For instance, I attended the Westminster Hall debate on legal aid, as well as supporting Ministers in the ‘Outlawing of Upskirting’ Bill.
I’m looking forward to the next few weeks and months – we’ve got some exciting times ahead of us. We might sometimes disagree on policy or approach but my work for – and commitment to – my constituents will never diminish.
I reply to every single piece of correspondence I receive – though this can sometimes take time given how much correspondence I receive – and my ‘Tell Ranil’ sessions will be continuing throughout the year, so please do pop along to one. Details on my website as always!