Harriett Baldwin's Westminster Diary - The Evesham Observer

Harriett Baldwin's Westminster Diary

Evesham Editorial 12th Nov, 2020   0

Pershore’s MP Harriett Baldwin writes for the Observer..

Seventy years ago last month the House of Commons reopened after it had been bombed in the Second World War.

Parliament has always had to cope with changes and since March we have adapted in many ways, with some remote participation and changed voting procedures.  I’ve been going to Parliament each sitting week since April and although only fifty MPs are allowed into the Commons at once, I try, every day, to take part in questions and debates.

In this way, much of the traditional work of a backbench MP has been able to continue as normal. I still get hundreds of letters and messages a day from constituents and a good proportion of each day is spent answering these and addressing local concerns.  During lockdown, there were often a thousand new cases.  Since June I’ve been able to do constituency visits and in September, I was able to restart school visits.

I’m a member of the Treasury Select Committee which has been meeting two or three times a week on Zoom to scrutinise the Government’s economic response to the global pandemic.  We are currently looking into the economic impact of Covid-19, green finance and tax after coronavirus.  We take regular evidence from the Chancellor, Governor of the Bank of England and the financial services sector.

Cross-party Parliamentary groups have been able to keep meeting.  I chair the British Group of the Interparliamentary Union and we have met with parliaments all around the world via Zoom.  I also chair the Sudan All Party Parliamentary Group and I recently led a debate on Sudan’s transition to democracy. I asked President Trump to lift the ‘State Sponsor of Terrorism designation’ – within a week he did!

I also champion the global campaign to ensure that every child in the world gets 12 years of decent education.  It is the single most effective development investment – improving economies, health, the environment, population growth, life expectancy and the climate so I am working to launch a powerful Interparliamentary Network for Education.  I’m also a member of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, which scrutinises the NATO member governments.

Days in Westminster are always full, and I post regular updates on my website of all my activities which are reported by Hansard each day. Constituents who need urgent assistance can contact me at any time by e-mail and I am always happy to do a telephone surgery as well.

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