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From: Conor Burns MP news@conorburns.

Subject: News Bulletin from Conor Burns MP #125
Date: 25 October 2014 17:33

In this edition:

Conor Burns MP’s Diary

Conor in Parliament:
European Union
(Referendum) Bill

Photo news:
Arts University
Bournemouth's Medeira
Road opening

Conor in Parliament:
Recall of MPs Bill debate

Photo news:
Conor backs community
pubs and Britain's brewers

Bournemouth West MP
hosts Dorset Community
Foundation reception in

Conor Burns MP calls for
an end to "game of chance"
bus service for blind people

Bournemouth West MP
welcomes historic fall in

Bournemouth West MP
welcomes fall in crime

Photo news:
Healthwatch Dorset

Conor Burns MP talks
tactics with campaigners at
the Conservative Party
conference as he pledges
to tackle prostate cancer

How to contact
Conor Burns MP

Issue 125 - Saturday 25th October 2014

Since the past edition, Conor has:

Spoken in the House of Commons about the proposed MP
Recall Bill.
Attended the opening of the new Arts University
Bournemouth accommodation on Madeira Road.
Met with members of Bournemouth North Rotary Club after
their tour of the House of Commons.
Discussed events in Syria and Iraq with the Deputy High
Commissioner of Singapore.
Attended Digital Day Bournemouth at the Pavilion, to help
raise awareness of digital careers and opportunities amongst
young people.
Met with Poole councillors to discuss local issues.
Attended a reception hosted by Healthwatch Dorset in
Hosted a reception in Parliament for Dorset Community
Foundation to celebrate philanthropy in Dorset.
Met with the CEO of EDF Energy to discuss in person his
opposition to the Navitus Bay Wind Farm.

Conor in Parliament:
European Union (Referendum) Bill

Friday 17th October 2014

Click on the image above to watch Conor's intervention.

The text of Conor's intervention was as follows:

Conor Burns (Bournemouth West) (Conservative): Twenty-one
years ago, I was elected national chairman of the Conservative
students. That decision was overruled by central office, and the
person who lost was appointed. The reason was that I was leading
student oppositionto the Maastricht treaty, along with my hon. Friend
Douglas Carswell and Dan Hannan. Some of us have been absolutely
consistent on this and predicted at the time that the European
Community would change beyond recognition. That is why the British
public need to have a say on this totally changed construct from what
they were promised and offered in 1975.

Photo news:
Arts University Bournemouth's Medeira
Road opening

Conor Burns ‘cutting the ribbon’ to open Arts University
Bournemouth’s new Madeira Road Accommodation.

Conor Burns giving a speech at the Madeira Road openin.

Conor Burns with AUB Principal and Vice-Chancellor Stuart

Conor in Parliament:
Recall of MPs Bill debate

Tuesday 21st October 2014

Click on the image above to watch Conor's speech.

The text of Conor's speech was as follows:

Conor Burns (Bournemouth West) (Conservative): It is a pleasure
to be participating in the latter stages of this important debate and to
follow my hon. Friend Mr Jackson. We are distinguished members of a
small group of resigned Parliamentary Private Secretaries to the
former Northern Ireland Secretary, my right hon. Friend Mr Paterson.
My hon. Friend might find that some of his views are echoed in my

It was a pleasure to listen to the speech made by my right hon. Friend
Sir George Young, the former Chief Whip and Patronage Secretary.
His knowledgeable contribution showed how much he will be missed
from the House after the general election.

Today is Parliament talking about Parliament. As I look up towards
those who look down on us—literally and metaphorically—I am
conscious that I do not see many of them. My hon. Friend Anne Marie
Morris, who has just left the Chamber, referred to our being in a
goldfish bowl, but not many people are looking into this particular
goldfish bowl. When we vote on bombing Syria or gassing badgers,
this place is surrounded by members of the public wishing to tell us
their views. We find that our inboxes are full of e-mails and our
correspondence rates go up, but that has not happened in the build-up
to today’s debate.

I am pleased to see my hon. Friend Douglas Carswell back in his
place below the Gangway on the Opposition Benches. He reminded
us of the case of Winchester in 1997, which is probably one of the
only times we have seen what a recall looks like. I declare an interest
in that case—you may well remember it, Mr Speaker—because the
Conservative candidate in that Winchester by-election, who had been
the Member for Winchester until the 1997 general election, was one
Gerry Malone, who once held the very high office of deputy chairman
of the Conservative party responsible for youth. It was Mr Malone who
showed his commitment to democracy by overturning the results of
the Conservative student elections in which I was elected as national
chairman and by appointing my successor. It was ironic that he called
that a consultation exercise, as he went on to find out what being on
the wrong end of a consultation exercise felt like some years later in

I am sorry that Chris Bryant is not in the Chamber. He made an
eloquent but characteristically depressing speech. A young man from
the sixth form of my old school,St Columba’s in St Albans, is doing
some work experience in my office this week. He told me with great
pride that he had spotted an error in the hon. Gentleman’s speech,
because there had been a reference to the Great Reform Act of 1830,
when it was, of course, of 1832. I am pleased that the standards of my
old history teacher, Mr Byrne, are alive and well in St Columba’s today.

Several hon. Members have talked about trust, which goes to the
heart of this matter, and the expenses scandal. I viewed that scandal
as a member of the public. Like many Members who were first elected
at the 2010 general election, I looked on in despair at what happened
during the expenses scandal. I understand that many in the House
who lived through that experience are so scarred by it that they do not
feel able to stand up and say that it was a small minority of people
who did wrong and that those people were rightly punished. When a
new regime is in place, it is wrong that this House continues to sit
back and take the flak for something from the past. Members on both
sides of the House who were first elected in 2010 believe that we have
a mandate to restore the bond of trust between this place and the
electorate, and we have tried to achieve that through everything that
we have done and said in our constituencies.

We hear that we are all the same and that the political class is
useless, but all hon. Members must be visited in their surgeries almost
every week by people in abject despair, and because of the two letters
after our names, we are able to escalate their problems into the hands
of people who can sort them out. If we lose faith in this place, we will
deserve to fall into public contempt. I assert that it is time for this
Chamber to stand up again and bravely say to the British people,
“This is the cockpit of parliamentary democracy in Britain. This is
where we resolve issues by debate and argument. This is a place that
is populated by people who are motivated by generous, good and
decent instincts to do their best for their country and their

However, I assert that one of the reasons people have disengaged
from politics is that, as the late Tony Benn once said, this place has
swapped power for status. Members of Parliament are asked to go on
television, but they are afraid to exercise the powers vested in them by
their constituents in the Lobby and to stand up powerfully to the
Executive. We have shuffled power off to the European Union and to
unelected quangos, to people we do not elect and cannot remove. It is
vital that in the years ahead this House confidently starts to bring
some of those powers back to this place and to exercise them in the
name of our constituents who sent us here.

I thought that the comment that Mark Durkan made about Enoch
Powell having a good majority in his South Down seat because he
tipped his hat to the local electorate was a novel one. I am not sure
that rushing out, buying trilbies and tipping them to our local
electorates is the full solution to the problem we find ourselves in. The
hon. Gentleman also referred to Edmund Burke, and I am delighted
that the statue of that great conservative philosopher has now been
liberated from behind the bookshop in St Stephen’s Hall, so that it can
be seen as an inspiration to us all. It was Burke who said, in his
famous speech to his electors in Bristol, that we as Members of
Parliament owe our constituents our judgment above all else, and that
we betray them and do not serve them if we sacrifice our judgment to
their opinion. It is absolutely right that during the course of a
Parliament we in this place will vote for unpopular measures. I
remember a few years ago—I have told this story before—telling Lady
Thatcher that the Conservative party was 9% behind in the polls. She
asked when the next election was, and I said that it was three and a
half years away. She said, “That’s not far enough behind at this stage.”

It is up to us as politicians to take decisions, confident in our
judgments and confident that over time they will be shown to be right. I
will use the recent example of same-sex marriage. I agonised over
how to vote on that, as a practising Catholic and as an openly gay
man. If I had listened to those in my constituency whose voice was
loudest, whose e-mail send button was pushed the most often, I would
have gone into the Lobby to vote against that legislation, but I decided
that I owed them my judgment. Although I might not have earned their
support on that, I am certain from their reaction afterwards and from
the line I took with them that I have earned their respect. That, to me,
is a much more important aspiration than to be liked.

Zac Goldsmith (Richmond Park) (Conservative): I thank my hon.
Friend for giving way; he is making a powerful speech. On his point
about gay marriage, would he have made a different decision, or felt
obliged to vote differently, had there been in place a recall regime of
the sort that I and colleagues are proposing?

Conor Burns: That is a very good question. Some hon. Ladies and
Gentlemen in this Chamber have known me for more than 20 years,
yourself included, MrSpeaker, along with my hon. Friend the Member
for Clacton, and they know that I have consistently put my principles
ahead of promotion. I would not have sacrificed the national
chairmanship of the Conservative students to oppose Maastricht in
1993, and I certainly would not go through the Lobby in this place for
something I fundamentally did not believe in—it is a liberating
experience when one decides that.

Zac Goldsmith: I would be interested to know why my hon. Friend
thinks that others might do that as a consequence of recall. What is it
about this House that makes him feel that the existence of recall
would enfeeble Parliament, as opposed to strengthening it in the way
he has just demonstrated?

Conor Burns: My hon. Friend has given me an excellent introduction
to how I want to end my speech. I will support the Government’s Bill,
which was ably introduced today by my right hon. Friend Greg Clark—
not Angry of Tunbridge Wells, but moderate and very sensible of
Tunbridge Wells. I look forward to the amendments from my hon.
Friend Zac Goldsmith in Committee, because I think that they need to
be probed.

When I resigned from my role as PPS in order to vote against a Bill
which I fundamentally opposed and believed would damage
Parliament, I did so in the knowledge that that would lead to a
sacrifice. As a friend of mine said at the time, “You’re a genius: you’ve
established yourself as a person of principle over an issue that nobody
really cares about.” I suppose that there was an element of truth in
that. What I want to know—my right hon. Friend the Member for North
West Hampshire made this point absolutely brilliantly—is how the
amendments proposed by my hon. Friend the Member for Richmond
Park would enable the separation of sanction on personal probity
issues from people taking policy positions. In this House a Member
must be able to take a policy decision, a difference of philosophical
understanding on an issue, and be confident that they will be judged
on that over time at the next general election. Issues of personal
conduct are completely separate. If my hon. Friend can convince me
and others that we can separate policy and probity, we will be open-
minded in how we vote.

Photo news:
Conor backs community pubs and Britain's

Conor Burns supporting the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) at
Conservative Party Conference.

Bournemouth West MP hosts Dorset
Community Foundation reception in

DCF Chair of Trustees Ashley Rowlands talking at the Dorset
Community Foundation Reception.

On Tuesday 21 October, Conor Burns MP welcomed more than 30
philanthropic members of the Dorset community at a special reception
in Parliament on behalf of the Dorset Community Foundation.

The event in Parliament provided an opportunity for Dorset
Community Foundation’s ambassadors and trustees to talk with
invited guests in order to promote the work of the Foundation and
encourage other individuals to become involved.

The attendees were welcomed to the reception by Conor Burns,
before listening to speeches from Dorset Community Foundation’s
Chair of Trustees, Ashley Rowlands, the chairman of UK Community
Foundations, David Sheepshanks, and Martha Searle, one of the
many beneficiaries of the Dorset Community Foundation’s work in

Commenting after the event, Conor said: “I was delighted to host this
celebration of philanthropy on behalf of the Dorset Community
Foundation. The event was a great success, and highlighted the
fantastic work that the Dorset Community Foundation does in
connecting local people to local causes.”

Chair of Trustees Ashley Rowlands said: “The Foundation wants to
broaden its appeal to those people born or resident in Dorset who
work in London. This event was intended to start this process of
engagement by introducing those attending to the opportunities for
philanthropy and how the Foundation can assist people who are
connected to Dorset and want to give something back. I was delighted
with the event which was well attended and enthusiastically received.
On behalf of the Board I would like to express my particular thanks to
Conor Burns who offered to host the event. We will be holding more
of these events in the future both in Dorset and in London, and we are
always happy to talk to anyone interested in how they can tailor their
philanthropy to the causes they believe in and which can benefit the
people of Dorset.”

The Dorset Community Foundation was established in 2000, and
since that time has distributed over £10 million to more than 1,800
local charities and community groups. It is one of 48 community
foundations in the UK, which collectively distributed over £65 million to
good causes in the last year alone.

To learn more about the work of the Dorset Community Foundation,
please visit their website at

UK Community Foundations Chairman David Sheepshanks
addressing guests.

Conor Burns MP calls for an end to “game
of chance” bus service for blind people

Conor Burns MP with UK Guide Dogs at Conservative Party

Getting off at the right bus stop is like “playing a game of chance”,
says guide dog owner Linda, about her experiences navigating the
bus network without sight.

Conor Burns MP got a chance to experience for himself why people
with sight loss need audio-visual announcements (AV) on buses,
through playing a memory game, at the Conservative Party
conference last month.

AV is essential for people with sight loss to live independently and,
without AV, bus passengers with sight loss have to ask the driver to
remember to tell them when they have reached their stop.

Finding out more about Guide Dogs’ work, the MP for Bournemouth
West heard that 7 in 10 bus passengers with sight loss have been
forgotten by a bus driver. For a sighted person, missing a stop is an
annoyance, but for someone with sight loss, it is distressing and
potentially dangerous.

Commenting, Conor Burns said: “I was pleased to have the
opportunity to meet with Guide Dogs at conference and find out more
about the challenges that blind and partially-sighted people face in
their day to day lives. I am happy to support their call for the
installation of AV on all new buses, to give the opportunities for living
independently to those with sight-loss that many of us take for

James White, Campaigns Manager at Guide Dogs commented:
“Guide dogs do fantastic work getting people out and about safely, but
the lack of AV acts as a real barrier to their independence. That’s why
we’re urging politicians like Conor Burns MP to call for the installation
of AV on all new buses, something which is cheap to do.”

AV doesn’t just help people with sight loss – tourists, older people and
infrequent bus users all find AV useful. Guide Dogs released their
Destination Unknown report this September showing that nearly half
of survey respondents would use the bus more frequently if it had AV.

Bournemouth West MP welcomes historic
fall in unemployment

Recently released figures from the independent Office for National
Statistics show that Britain saw its largest annual decline in national
unemployment figures in recorded history this year, with
unemployment falling below 2 million for the first time since Labour’s
Great Recession. The success of the Conservative government’s
welfare reforms and long term economic plan has seen unemployment
fall to 6 per cent, its lowest levels since 2008. It fell by 538,000 in the
last year alone.

Bournemouth West MP Conor Burns welcomed these figures, hailing
the 53 per cent fall in Job Seekers Allowance in Bournemouth West
since 2010, and the 60 per cent decrease in youth unemployment.

Commenting, Conor said: “These significant changes nationally and
locally clearly show the positive impact our long term economic plan is
having. It is great news to see unemployment and youth
unemployment claimant figures continue to fall in Bournemouth West.
More people have the peace of mind of a job and the security of a
weekly pay packet. More families are enjoying the stability that work
brings. We are giving the futures of our young people back to them.

“Today’s figures show our welfare reforms and long term economic
plan are getting Britain working. There is more to do and I will continue
to fight for jobs and full employment in Bournemouth.”

Bournemouth West MP welcomes fall in

Conor Burns MP has welcomed news that crime is falling. Crime
recorded by the police in Dorset has fallen by 21 per cent since 2010.

The latest figures from the independent Crime Survey of England and
Wales show that crime across the country has fallen by more than a
fifth in the same period.

! In England and Wales this means that in the last year,
compared with the year before this Government came to
power, there were:
! More than 2.3 million fewer crimes.
! 160,000 fewer homes burgled.
! 290,000 fewer vehicle crimes.
! 413,000 fewer violent crimes.
! 962,000 fewer incidents of criminal damages.

Commenting, Conor Burns said: "The Government is following an
action plan to tackle crime and make Bournemouth West a safer place
to live.

"Crime has fallen by 21 per cent across Dorset thanks to our plan and
the hard work of police officers.

"This means families are safer and more secure – and Bournemouth
West residents can enjoy a better, brighter future."

Photo news:
Healthwatch Dorset

Conor Burns at Healthwatch Dorset’s Parliamentary Event.

Conor Burns MP talks tactics with
campaigners at the Conservative Party
conference as he pledges to tackle
prostate cancer inequalities

Conor Burns joins ‘Men United’ at Conservative Party Conference
on behalf of Prostate Cancer UK.

Conor Burns, Member of Parliament for Bournemouth West, has
pledged to help eradicate the inequalities men with prostate cancer
face after speaking with campaigners at the Conservative Party
conference in Birmingham last month.

Despite being the most common cancer in men, those affected by or
at risk of prostate cancer continue to face a number of injustices,
particularly when it comes to access to the best treatments and
aftercare support for their condition.

Prostate Cancer UK was at the Conservative conference calling for
urgent action on these issues. As well as pledging long term
commitment to helping bring about real change for men, politicians
were being asked to show their support for the charity’s game plan by
signing up to Men United – a new team which seeks to unite people
across the UK against the common enemy of prostate cancer.

Three ways to contact Conor Burns MP:

By Phone: 020 7219 7021
By email:
By post: Conor Burns MP
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA

More news from Conor Burns MP, Conservative Member of Parliament
for Bournemouth West, coming soon!

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Promoted by Andrew Morgan on behalf of Conor Burns, both of 135 Hankinson Road, Bournemouth, BH9 1HR