Tackling illegal immigration

Earlier today (13 December) the Prime Minister, Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP, made a statement to the House of Commons on illegal migration, where he outlined his five-point plan to address this global challenge.

Over 40,000 people have illegally crossed the Channel in small boats this year, putting pressure on local public services. Many originate from safe countries and travel through safe countries, which is why the Prime Minister has prioritised this issue since he took office. So far, he has delivered the largest ever small boats deal with France which increases UK-funded patrols by 40 per cent, re-established the Calais Group of Northern European nations to disrupt traffickers, and set a long-term ambition for a UK-EU wide agreement on migration.

However, the measures announced today go even further and include:

1) A new agreement with Albania so that the vast majority of Albanian claimants can be removed, with weekly flights

2) A new, permanent, unified Small Boats Operational Command in the channel with 700 new staff

3) Tougher immigration enforcement with 200 new staff and better data sharing with banks

4) Cheaper accommodation sites so we can move migrants out of expensive hotels

5) Clear the initial asylum backlog by 2023 by doubling the number of caseworkers and radically streamlining the process

Rt Hon Sir David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, welcomed the measures outlined by the Prime Minister today. He commented: “I strongly support the five new measures announced today, in addition to the commitment of new legislation next year that will make it clear if someone enters the UK illegally they would not be able to remain – but will instead be swiftly detained and removed. This is a tough, but fair, approach”.


Evennett continues campaign against Southeastern timetable changes

Rt Hon Sir David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, is continuing to campaign for changes to the new Southeastern railway timetable, which will be implemented from Sunday 11 December.

To date, Sir David has held meetings with Southeastern Managing Director, Steve White, the Rail Minister, Huw Merriman MP and yesterday (6 December) participated in the Westminster Hall debate on ‘Southeastern Railway Timetable Changes’.

During the debate, Sir David highlighted the detrimental impact the new timetable will have, as well as the ever increasing pressures on rail services with more people returning to the workplace and new homes being built. He also commented: “The new timetable has met with huge dismay across our borough of Bexley, and indeed throughout other parts of south-east London. My constituents and I are bitterly disappointed by, and rather angry about, the lack of consultation on the dramatic changes that are taking place that will affect rail users and businesses across our south-east region… Frankly, the changes are inconsiderate, totally unfair and lacking in logic… We need to be consulted on changes for when the next timetables come in, because these new timetables are not fit for purpose”.

The full transcript of Sir David’s contribution can be read at: https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2022-12-06/debates/11B2B2CD-2C65-46D7-8EF1-4A2EAEB3F6B7/SoutheasternRailwayTimetableChanges#contribution-F34E890C-B4D5-4B2C-AE0C-60E73503AA39

A Conservative Budget that delivers stability, growth and public services

Earlier today (17 November), the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, delivered his Autumn Statement to Parliament, where he set out how it will restore economic stability, protect key public services, help control inflation, and boost growth.

Rt Hon Sir David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, was present in the House of Commons for Mr Hunt’s speech. He welcomed the measures, including an extra £11 billion in funding over the next two years for the NHS and schools. Public spending for the next two years will also be protected at the levels set out in 2021 and then increase by 1% in real terms a year until 2027–28.

Additionally, £12 billion of extra targeted support is being provided next year to help eight million low income, vulnerable and pensioners households, on top of the cost of living payments being provided this year. This means additional payments of £900 for people on means-tested benefits, £300 for pensioners, and £150 for disabled people to help with their energy bills.

The Conservative Government is also delivering on its commitment to protect the most vulnerable by uprating benefits in line with inflation and protecting the pensions Triple Lock.

Sir David commented: “As the Chancellor explained today, a third of the world’s economy is facing recession, so I welcome this Budget that delivers stability, growth and excellent public services.

“The Government is protecting the most vulnerable with an extensive package of energy support, increases in benefits and the State Pension, and a rise in the National Living Wage, as well as continuing investing and extra £11 billion in our schools and the NHS”.

Evennett backs proposed Parliamentary boundary changes

Rt Hon Sir David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, has expressed his “strong support” for the “sensible” proposals put forward by the Boundary Commission for new Parliamentary seats in Bexley.

This morning (8 November), the Boundary Commission for England published its revised proposals for constituencies in England, commencing the final consultation period during this constituency review, which will close on 5 December. In Bexley, the Commission have not altered the proposals put forward in the initial stage of the review, which had strong local support and largely follows the existing arrangement in the borough. The changes would see Parliamentary constituencies tidied up to realign with the new local government wards implemented in 2018.

As a result, the entirety of the Northumberland Heath and West Heath wards will be in the new Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency, whilst East Wickham and Falconwood and Welling will be transferred to the Old Bexley and Sidcup constituency.

Sir David commented: “There was a great deal of support for the Commission’s initial proposals, so I am delighted to see that there have not been any changes at this stage of the review.

“These changes are relatively minor but very sensible and would see community links maintained across our borough.”

Evennett guests at Bexley Rotary

Rt Hon Sir David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford and Honorary Rotarian, was the guest speaker at the Bexley Rotary Club meeting held on Monday 7 November at the IVI Club in Bexleyheath.

Sir David spoke about his time in Parliament, his selection for the Erith and Crayford parliamentary seat in 1983 and the changes in the role and work of MPs over the past 40 years. In particular, he noted the internet, social media, mobile phones and 24 hour news had a huge impact of Parliament and the job of an MP. After his talk, Sir David answered questions from members. Robert Munson then gave the vote of thanks.

Bexley Conservative MPs express anger over Southeastern rail timetable changes

Last Friday (21 October), Rt Hon Sir David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, and Louie French, MP for Old Bexley and Sidcup, held an hour-long meeting with Southeastern Managing Director, Steve White, and his team to discuss the changes to the rail timetable from December 2022.

Both Sir David and Louie highlighted the negative impact the alterations will have on rail users in Bexley, which include the end of direct services to Charing Cross on the Bexleyheath line in off-peak and weekends, the withdrawal of all Charing Cross services on the Woolwich line, the loss of off-peak Cannon Street services on the Sidcup line and a significant reduction of services for passengers at Albany Park.

Sir David commented: “Quite frankly these changes are inconsiderate, unfair and lack any logic. Not only will the new timetable result in significant disruption for commuters to Charing Cross travelling outside of peak hours, but will also have a considerable impact on those travelling for leisure at the weekends, where the main destination would traditionally be Charing Cross. Additionally, the requirement to change trains at London Bridge will add unnecessary stress and time for passengers requiring assistance. I have urged Southeastern to reconsider and at least look at the possibility of adding some additional services”.

Louie said: “I am very concerned and disappointed over Southeastern’s timetable changes and the impact these will have on passengers. In particular, I am concerned over the significant impact of the loss of off-peak Charing Cross services on the Bexleyheath line, the loss of the loop line on the Sidcup line and the significant reduction in Albany Park services. Sir David and I used this meeting with Southeastern to push back against these major changes.

“Given that Bexley does not benefit from direct access to the Underground, rail services are the principle means of transport into and out of London, as well as for travelling to other areas in the South East. As such, it is important that our frequency and links to a range of Central London stations is preserved, and Sir David and I will continue to stand up for this.”

Evennett disappointed and concerned with new Southeastern timetable

Rt Hon Sir David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford and Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury, met with the Rail Minister, Kevin Foster MP, at the Conservative Party Conference to express his disappointment and concern with the changes to the Southeastern timetable from December.

Following the publication of the timetable, Sir David immediately wrote to both Southeastern and the Rail Minister. He will be holding a meeting with representatives from Southeastern shortly, as well as an additional meeting with the Rail Minister, but has already raised a number of issues with the timetable. These include the removal of Charing Cross services on the Bexleyheath line during off-peak times and the weekend, the withdrawal of all Charing Cross services on the Woolwich line and the loss of off-peak Cannon Street services on the Sidcup line.

Sir David has commented: “I am very disappointed with the way Southeastern have approached the new timetable. These changes will significantly affect rail users across the Borough of Bexley, who don’t have any alternatives as we are not served by a single Underground station. The status given to Cannon Street as a major terminus for our area is nonsensical, especially as Charing Cross is the most popular service for rail users travelling to London from Bexley for both work and leisure”.

Supporting People and Businesses with Energy Bills

The new Government, under Prime Minister Rt Hon Liz Truss MP, is taking bold action to protect British households from the spiralling costs of energy. I strongly welcome and support her plans, which include an Energy Price Guarantee to give people certainty with their bills.
The price guarantee will mean that an average energy bill for a typical household will be no more than £2,500 a year for the next two years. A typical household will save on average £1,000 a year from the two-year energy price guarantee. This comes in addition to the £400 Energy Bill Support Scheme for everyone, and the £1,200 of support for the most vulnerable households. Households who do not pay direct for gas or electricity from the mains will receive support from a fund, and will be no worse off.
Businesses will get equivalent support, under a scheme lasting six months. After this there will be ongoing support, particularly for vulnerable industries.
The package is expected to reduce inflation by up to 5 percentage points from where it otherwise would have been.
Plans will also be brought forward in the next few months to detail how the Government will make the UK a net energy exporter by 2040. The ban on fracking in England will end, meaning production of domestic shale gas could begin in as little as six months.
Additionally, the Prime Minister announced that the Government will launch two reviews; firstly, a review of energy regulation to fix the underlying problems. Secondly, a review to ensure we deliver net zero by 2050 in a way that is pro-business and pro-growth.
Cost projections for the delivery of the price guarantee are uncertain as they depend upon usage levels (which are highly dependent on weather patterns) and, for future three-month periods, the wholesale price of energy. The Chancellor of the Exchequer will set out the expected costs as part of the fiscal statement later this month.

Liz Truss to become next Prime Minister

Rt Hon Liz Truss, MP for South West Norfolk and Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, will become the next Prime Minister after it was announced she had won the Conservative Party leadership election this afternoon (5 September 2022).

Ms Truss secured 81,326 votes (57%) compared to Rishi Sunak’s 60,399 (43%).

In a short speech after the results were announced, Ms Truss committed to “deliver a bold plan to cut taxes and grow our economy. I will deliver on the energy crisis, dealing with people’s energy bills, but also dealing with the long term issues we have on energy supply. And I will deliver on the National Health Service”.

Rt Hon Sir David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, supported Ms Truss during the campaign. He commented: “I am delighted Liz has been elected as our new Party Leader and will become our next Prime Minister. She’s incredibly talented and experienced, and I know she will implement the bold Conservative policies needed to continue to grow our economy, deal with the problems facing our nation and unleash our country’s full potential”.