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A strong experienced voice for North Wiltshire
I offer long-standing experience and a track record as a successful, hard-working and caring representative of North Wiltshire in Parliament.
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Thursday 20 July 2017 Weekly Column

Phew! So that’s it, then. Last year’s ‘Long Summer Recess’ (it’s only about a month) seems like a century ago. Since then we’ve had Mrs May crowned as Leader and PM, at least two reshuffles that I can think of; the triggering of Article 50 after a mild Parliamentary/legalistic battle to allow it, and the start of the Brexit negotiations; we’ve had a General Election which started with the promise of a massive Conservative majority, and ended with a hung Parliament, at least partly as a result of a shockingly bad Manifesto, and a poor campaign; we’ve had Jeremy Corbyn go from least liked pariah of the Labour Party to something of a National hero, cheered to the rafters at Glastonbury; (Mrs May’s decline in the ratings has been almost as dramatic); the SNP are on the wane, with the Tories stronger in Scotland than they have been for 30 years; the Liberal Democrat terminal decline reconfirmed by the end of their Leader and the appointment of septuagenarian sourpuss, Vince Cable; we’ve had ongoing warfare in the Middle East and the terrible tragedies of terrorist attacks  at Westminster and London Bridge and in Manchester; and then we had the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower.

So by the time you read this, Parliament will have risen for the Recess; MPs struggling home for a rest; leadership squabbling put on hold; Cornwall and Tuscany beckoning wearied tribunes of the people. For me, I can think of nowhere better than Wiltshire for a rest, although I ought to relieve Philippa of cooking from time to time. So we’re off for a battlefield tour of Monte Cassino with Colonel Bob Stewart; we’ve got a long weekend in Yorkshire, a few days in Menorca with a friend, and by September I am leading a little expedition to Spitzbergen with 10 or so MPs and peers to visit the British Antarctic Survey who have the most northerly of all inhabited settlements on the Globe. Brrr…

I like nothing better than constituency events like the brilliant concert of the Scots Guards band in Chippenham’s Neeld Hall last Thursday, or the Royal International Air Tattoo at Fairford (the end of the run way is in North Wiltshire!) on Friday.

But we MPs need a bit of time off, and our constituents deserve a bit of time off from us; and a bit of a rest from the political turbulence and excitement of the last 12 months. So let’s have a nice quiet summer when we can all nurse our wounds, unwind, clear our heads, and generally relax and recover and prepare ourselves for the year that lies ahead. I won’t miss out on my Columns, but I hope that instead of politics, plots and parliamentary performances, they will be describing sun, sand and sangria. And with the school holidays arriving at last, I hope that you all too can look forward to a restful Summer Holiday.

Thursday 13 July 2017 Weekly Column

There’s a lot of twaddle being talked about Brexit. Here is how I see some of the bigger issues:-

- It will happen. The people voted for it. We will have left the great behemoth in the sky by April, 2019. That cannot – and if you believe in democracy must not- be reversed.

- There is no such thing as a ‘hard’ Brexit, nor a ‘soft’ one, nor a ‘red white and blue one’ nor anything in between. Either we are In the EU or we are Out of it. The ‘Hard Brexit’ name has been devised

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Thursday 6 July 2017 Weekly Column

Sometimes a particular constituency event sparks ideas on a wider canvass, or inspires me to think in new ways or new areas. One such was Friday’s ultra-moving and inspiring first viewing of two films about the life and achievements of Stanton St Quintin 11-year-old, Jonathan Bryan. Jonathan has Cerebral Palsy, and were it not for his huge personality and character and the love and fantastic support of his parents, we would never have discovered that despite his inability to speak or write,

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Thursday 6 July 2017 Latest News

James Gray MP attended a Guide Dogs event at the House of Commons on Monday 3rd July to show his support for the campaign to end problem pavement parking.

At the event, the MP for North Wiltshire heard from guide dog owners how parked cars blocking the pavement force them to walk in the road, into the path of traffic they cannot see. Some guide dog owners face these dangerous situations on a daily basis, risking their safety every time they go shopping or make the school

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Monday 3 July 2017 Weekly Column

It is at least a theoretical possibility that if Theresa May had not done a deal with the DUP, HM the Queen would ultimately have been forced to summons Mr Corbyn to ask if he felt he was able to form a minority Government. The only other possibility would have been a second General Election, with the likelihood of a serious Labour challenge, if not guaranteed victory.

So it may be that some of us dislike some aspects of DUP social policy (yet most are matters of personal conscience

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