Category Archives: youtube

VIDEO: Mark Reckless speaks up for Hoo Peninsula during aviation debate

I was determined to rise to the challenge when the speaking time limit was cut from 7 minutes to 4 minutes in today’s Aviation Strategy Debate. It was almost as if repeated interventions from Bernard Jenkin, described as the only other person mad enough to support Boris’ scheme, were designed to time me out!

Thankfully our excellent Deputy Speaker Lindsay Hoyle managed to get me in to speak (not sure if this meant cutting short Adam Afriye instead).

I was short of breath by the end. However, I hope that years spent living and breathing opposition to an Estuary Airport meant I was able to get in most of the key points.

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Filed under boris johnson, conservatives, economy, Employment, Energy, Environment, estuary airport, Heathrow, hoo peninsula, hs1, isle of grain, Lord Foster, mark reckless, medway, No Estuary Airport, rochester and strood, Thames Hub, youtube

VIDEO: Discussing immigration on Daily Politics

Mark Reckless today joined Atul Hatwal, Director of Migration Matters Trust, on BBC’s Daily Politics to discuss the impact which mass immigration has had on the United Kingdom.

Speaking after the show Mark said:

“I know from talking to my constituents that the issue of immigration is one of their top concerns and I welcome the action which this government has taken to cut net inflow to the UK. We remain on course to cut immigration from the 100s of thousands seen under Labour to the 10s of thousands.

I look forward to debating the further proposed measures aimed at limiting immigration this coming Tuesday when the Immigration Bill returns to the House of Commons for its second reading.”

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Filed under bbc, conservatives, Employment, Home Office, Immigration, labour, mark reckless, medway, News, theresa may, youtube

VIDEO: A day in the life of Mark Reckless MP

An exclusive behind the scenes look at a typical day in the life of Mark Reckless, Member of Parliament for Rochester and Strood. A revealing video which highlights the vital work which MPs undertake on behalf of local children, residents and businesses in their constituency:

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Filed under academies, Business, Children, cliffe woods, conservatives, economy, education, Employment, Lower Thames Crossing, mark reckless, medway, MP, rochester, Rochester Airport, rochester and strood, Rochester East, save st. peter's, schools, strood, Strood South, youtube

Mark Reckless highlights lack of support for Boris Island during PMQs

Mark Reckless took the opportunity during today’s Prime Ministers Questions to highlight Boris Johnson’s own admission that his pie in the sky Boris Island scheme lacked any credible support further to Sir Howard Davies’s indication that some plans will not pass first base environmentally.

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Mark Reckless calls on France to take on migrant responsibility

Speaking on this evening’s BBC South East news programme item, Mark Reckless MP called for France to take greater responsibility in shouldering the burden of non-EU migrants seeking a better life in Europe:

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Rochester and Strood says No Estuary Airport!

Mark Reckless, MP for Rochester and Strood, today joined local residents and campaigners at St James’ Church in Cooling to reveal the results of his No Estuary Airport ballot prior to making his submission to the Davies Aviation Commission. Over the past seven months, residents across the Rochester and Strood constituency have been asked for their opinion on whether or not they support the proposals to build a new hub airport in or around the Thames Estuary.

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The results are (wheeled) in… Rochester and Strood says No Estuary Airport!

The response has been extraordinarily good. Just under 8,000 residents took the time to have their say on the plans, and the answer has been a resounding ‘NO’ to proposals put forward for a Thames Estuary airport including by Boris Johnson and Foster+Partners. 92.6% of residents across the constituency do not support the proposals, with just 7.3% in favour. In Strood Rural and Peninsula wards, which would be most impacted by a new airport, the figure was even higher with 94.4% of all respondents saying ‘NO’, with just 5.5% supporting the plans.

Across the rest of the constituency, excluding Peninsula and Strood Rural wards, 87.8% of local residents oppose the plans, with 12.1% in favour.

Download full breakdown of results by ward – Click Here

WP_20130930_003Speaking prior to making his submission to the Davies Commission, Mark Reckless said:

“These proposals are, economically, completely unjustified. It is going to cost, perhaps, up to £100bn, and much of that will be government-guaranteed money, while all of the other proposals will be, in the main, privately funded. I just don’t believe it’s a credible proposal which merits further investigation. That’s what I said to Sir Howard Davies when I met him a week or so ago, and this ballot shows the strength of feeling against the proposals here in Rochester and Strood.

The jobs argument has completely failed. It would devastate West London to close Heathrow which would be necessary. Even Boris himself has now been pushing Stansted because he realises he hasn’t been able to gather enough support for this flight of fancy, pie in the sky proposal. I hope now we can rule this out once and for all. I would like to thank everyone who has been helping me with my campaign to do just that. Thank you all very much.”

View Mark’s submission to the Davies Aviation Commission – Click Here

Mark Reckless also accepted for submission to the Davies Commission a 1,800+ strong petition against the Thames Estuary Airport on behalf of the Friends of North Kent Marshes (FoNKM).

WP_20130930_035Speaking at the event, Gill Moore of FoNKM, said:

“We’re asking the Davies Commission to rule out all thoughts of a Thames Estuary Airport at the earliest opportunity and we hope he will be doing that in December. We’ve collected loads and loads of signatures alongside our MP, Mark Reckless, and we’re hoping against hope that the Davies Commission will take notice of it.”

V__AC86Mark was delighted to hand in the petition along with his own submission and the result of the constituency-wide ballot directly to Jillian Spindura at the office of the Davies Airport Commission who stated:

“Yours are the biggest and most comprehensive set of responses we have had opposing any airport proposal.”

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Blind to CPS Failings

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Keir Starmer QC, came to see us yesterday at the Home Affairs Select Committee for what is likely to be his last appearance before us.

Mr Starmer has gone some way to open up the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to greater scrutiny by explaining and reviewing decisions. That is very welcome but the DPP has had greater difficulty accepting the reason why this is necessary – that the CPS sometimes gets things wrong.

That blindness seemed particularly to the fore in my final ten minutes of questioning him, with the DPP seeking to defend the following propositions:

  1. The CPS must be right to have brought a case if it is not struck out at half time by the judge for giving ‘no evidence’. This despite the media criticism in the Le Vell case being that there was ‘no corroborating evidence’ and the requirement for the CPS to prosecute being ‘sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction’ (and it being in the ‘public interest’).
  2. When a case is ‘reviewed’ and a prosecution decision is reversed, neither decision can be considered wrong and, despite this partly depending on whether there is a complaint, celebrities are treated exactly the same, as if every case is reviewed by his principal legal adviser Alison Levitt QC.
  3. Were I to suspect him of criminality in office I should take this to the police, and not just leave it to the Bar Standards Board, although when there is sufficient evidence to prosecute doctors for gender selective abortion, that is not in the public interest because the General Medical Council can be left to deal with it.
  4. Failure by the police and CPS to prosecute anyone for gender selective abortion for over five years, including in a high profile case where the CPS agrees there was ‘sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction’, will make no difference to the number of girls aborted.

Unfortunately, I did not have time to follow up with the DPP on the first issue on which we crossed swords two years ago. That was when the CPS impeded the Metropolitan Police from prosecuting more journalists for phone hacking by advising them that they would have to prove that the message was hacked before the recipient first listened to it. That utterly wrong and deeply damaging CPS advice for which we can blame the whole Leveson circus was finally ruled against by the Court of Appeal last month.

We are still waiting for any apology from the CPS.

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Filed under Blog, conservatives, CPS, Home Affairs Select Committee, Keir Starmer, mark reckless, rochester and strood, youtube

Making Medway Hospital Better

Jeremy Hunt, the Secretary of State for Health, today announced that the government will give £6.12 million extra to Medway hospital.

This very significant sum, and one of the ten largest grants to any hospital in England, is to support the hospital to reconfigure our Accident and Emergency (A&E) department and better deal with pressures this winter. The minister confirmed to me in Parliament that this was additional money and that our local GP Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) should not cut back the amount of money that it might otherwise have provided to the hospital.

Mark Reckless: Hospital staff have acted with extraordinary enthusiasm to, as they put it, reboot Medway following the Keogh review. Can the Secretary of State confirm that the £6 million or so extra that he may provide to help our A and E should be in addition to anything that the clinical commissioning group might otherwise have agreed to provide?

Jeremy Hunt: Yes, I am happy to confirm that it is additional money. I thank my hon. Friend for the interest that he shows in his local hospital, which is going through a very challenging time. We are absolutely determined that where hospitals are failing or delivering inadequate care, we will not sit on those problems; we will expose them and deal with them. That is the best thing we can do for my hon. Friend’s constituents and people all over the country where there are, unfortunately, problems with local hospitals.

I was also able to highlight to Parliament and the Secretary of State the huge amount which is being done at Medway hospital to improve following the recent Keogh Review.

Reboot Medway

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I have seen that work in train, not only at the hospital Board and in repeated meetings with the hospital Chair and Chief Executives, but through shadowing doctors and nurses in their work.

Steve Hams, Medway’s new Chief Nurse, has brought non-clinical staff, who usually work behind the scenes, on to the wards to help solve design, administrative and IT problems which can hinder medical staff. For example, when I saw doctors queuing to use a computer on one ward, I was told that this was due to there being one less data port than needed, something which Denise Harker, who chairs the hospital Board, has promised me she will now take up.

There is still much to do and I continue to have rounds of meetings with key decisions makers in the NHS to make sure the hospital gets the support it needs.

Partly support means money, and as well as the £6.12 million A&E money just announced we will get the necessary funds for additional training, but staff from most junior to the most senior at the hospital also need to know that they are valued, and that both their NHS partners and the wider community believe in them.

Let’s show them that we do.

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Why Do Labour Fund This?

This evening I debated on Channel 4 News with a lady from the Refugee and Migrant Forum of East London (RAMFEL). They are based in Ilford and appear to receive funding from three Labour councils, Hackney, Tower Hamlets and Barking & Dagenham.

Yet RAMFEL’s website criticises action to crack down on employers of illegal immigrants, supports a campaign called “Hands Off My Workmate” and describes employers who co-operate with the authorities against illegal immigration as “grasses”.

Do Labour agree with this? If not, why are they helping fund it?

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Filed under Community, Employment, Home Affairs Select Committee, Home Office, Immigration, labour, mark reckless, rochester and strood, youtube

BLOG: Met Commissioner says ‘Sorry’ to Andrew Mitchell

I am proud to do have done something for a colleague at today’s Home Affairs Select Committee.

Andrew Mitchell lost his job as our Chief Whip after at least one police officer lied about what happened at Downing Street, where Andrew was accused of calling police officers ‘plebs’.

Later he fought back and got video footage which showed that there was little time for any altercation, and no shocked members of the public, as had been falsely claimed.

However, reports then appeared in the Guardian and on the front page of the Times of 29th March saying that there was no evidence that police had lied as Andrew ‘claimed’.

It then emerged that Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe met the journalists concerned before the articles appeared, and that no record was kept of the briefing, notwithstanding all the Leveson recommendations.

Today the Commissioner appeared before the Home Affairs Select Committee to answer questions.

Before I had a chance to speak James Clappison MP pursued Sir Bernard in his usual dogged and persistent fashion. Michael Ellis MP, a fellow barrister, then came in and in his final question got the Commissioner to express ‘regret’. That then gave me the chance to press the Commissioner to say ‘sorry’ to Andrew Mitchell MP for his briefing about Plebgate (now Operation Alice).

The Commissioner did not remember clearly what words he had used and did not know exactly how they were used to justify the stories, but he did say ‘Sorry’.

For me that counts for a lot in a public official, particular one as senior as Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, so I accepted his apology and moved on.

Andrew Mitchell may understandably want to pursue things further, but I am pleased to have at least got the Metropolitan Police Commissioner to say ‘Sorry’.

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