Budget 2020: “Getting it done”


Sir David Evennett and Rishi Sunak.jpgRt Hon Sir David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford and Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party, has praised the 2020 Budget for delivering on the promises to the British people at the General Election in December. Sir David was present in the House of Commons Chamber to listen to the Budget Statement made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP.

The Chancellor advised the Commons that our economy will grow in each of the next five years, long-term productivity will increase, wages will continue to grow and unemployment will remain historically low.

The Budget reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to do everything possible to tackle Coronavirus (COVID-19), making it the number one priority to keep people safe. In addition to the record funding increase the NHS is already receiving, any extra resources needed by the NHS will be provided, as well as a new £5 billion Initial COVID-19 Response fund and £40 million for further research into COVID-19. Statutory sick pay will be expanded to cover more individuals who are unable to work because they are self-isolating, with those that do not meet the criteria able to make a claim for Universal Credit or for enhanced Employment and Support Allowance. The Chancellor also pledge to support businesses affected by COVID-19 by allowing SMEs and employers to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay paid for sickness absence and from 1 April there will be a new temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme delivered by the British Business Bank. The Government has abolished business rates for thousands of small firms as part of emergency measures to deal with the economic fallout from COVID-19.

The Budget also delivered on promises the Conservative Party made to the British people and gets things done. Mr Sunak delivered on the commitment to increase the National Insurance threshold, which will rise to £9,500 this April, whilst also increasing the National Minimum Wage by 6.2%. He also announced the largest cash investment in affordable housing in a decade with the extension of the Affordable Homes Programme and a new multi-year settlement of £12 billion, and almost £1.1 billion of allocations from the Housing Infrastructure Fund to build nearly 70,000 new homes in high demand areas across the country.

Additionally, there were a number of measures announced to help support businesses and allow them to thrive, including £130 million of new funding to extend Start-up Loans, £5 billion of new export loans for businesses and more money for growth hubs, among other measures.

Following the Budget Statement, Sir David commented: “This is a Budget that lays the foundations for Britain to succeed post-Brexit and I welcome the Chancellor’s upbeat approach and dynamism. It is a Budget for ‘getting it done’ and implementing the peoples’ priorities.

“People are also rightly concerned about the Coronavirus and the potential impact this could have on them and their families. I am therefore certain that my constituents will welcome the measures announced by the Chancellor today to not only tackle the virus but to also support anyone affected by it.”

Share a Million Stories for World Book Day


WorldBookDay2020_MPs_photosJustineStoddart-123.jpgRt Hon Sir David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford and Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party, attended a Parliamentary Reception yesterday (4 March) to show his support for World Book Day and the ‘Share a Million Stories’ campaign, which is calling on parents and carers to read with their children for ten minutes a day. World Book Day reaches 15 million children and young people and the tokens are distributed to over 45,000 educational establishments in the UK and Ireland

Every year, World Book Day creates bespoke £1 books for children and young adults across the country to promote the magic of books, the power of imagination and the importance of reading. Each child can exchange their book token in select bookshops and supermarkets to get their free World Book Day book.

Following the reception, Sir David commented: “I am delighted to be able to support World Book Day 2020 and their ambitious campaign to get the nation reading. I have always enjoyed reading stories myself since I was young and this is a tradition that has continued with my children and grandchildren. I very much hope that this initiative is well supported across Bexley.”

Evennett holds Social Mobility debate

David Evennett Speaking in Social Mobility Westminster Hall Debate 12 February 2020 (© Parliamentary Recording Unit).jpg
© Parliamentary Recording Unit

Rt Hon Sir David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford and Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party, held a Westminster Hall debate yesterday (12 February) on Social Mobility.

Sir David has worked as both a teacher and a lecturer outside of politics and has therefore always taken a keen interest in educational issues and social mobility. Earlier in the day, Sir David briefly participated in a different Westminster Hall debate on the educational attainment of white working-class boys, to express his concerns that unless action is taken then there will be consequences for local communities and a loss of talent in the workforce.

During his own debate, Sir David spoke of how he himself is a product of social mobility with family ties to the East End of London, but through education and family support he became the first in his family to attend University.

Among other issues, Sir David highlighted the role further education providers can play in improving social mobility and how important apprenticeships are. He spoke of his recent visit to the Bexley campus of London South East Colleges, where he met several inspirational apprentices who also believed a more innovative and proactive approach is needed to raise awareness of the schemes available.

He concluded the debate by commenting: “There is a lot to be done. I know the Government are committed to creating a country where everyone has the same chances to go as far as their talents allow. I am a strong supporter of the Prime Minister’s agenda of opportunities for all across our country. We must now ensure that people are encouraged from a young age to engage with education and training and understand the long-term benefits. Without action—the Government must be involved, as must all the others I have mentioned—social and economic divisions in the UK could widen, meaning our country and our workforce will not be geared up to ensure that global Britain is the success that our PM wants and we all strongly believe we can achieve. This is an important issue and, at this time in our history, social mobility should be top of our agenda.”

Bexley Conservatives Celebrate Brexit


The three Conservative Associations in Bexley Borough joined together on Friday evening (31 January) to celebrate Brexit with a two-course traditional roast beef dinner at the Bexleyheath Conservative Club.

Organised by Cllr Teresa O’Neill OBE, Cllr James Hunt, Cllr Linda Bailey and Cllr Philip Read, the event was a sell out and members toasted Brexit and the Conservative Party under Prime Minister Boris Johnson MP, which had delivered on its Manifesto commitment to leave the EU on 31st January.

The Master of Ceremonies was Cllr John Fuller, who also presented the fundraising raffle and Cllr Teresa O’Neill OBE said a few words and thanked all involved in the organisation of the evening.

Among the guests were Rt Hon Sir David Evennett MP and local councillors.

Environment Secretary Guests at Tory Dinner


Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, was the guest speaker at the Bexleyheath and Crayford Conservatives Annual Dinner last night (30 January) at Stuzzichini restaurant in the Broadway, Bexleyheath.

A two course dinner was enjoyed by the capacity audience followed by a fundraising raffle. The evening was organised by Association Officers Maureen King and Janet Power.

Association President, Mark Brooks OBE, introduced the Minister and the Association Chairman, Cllr Howard Jackon, gave the vote of thanks. Among those attending were Rt Hon Sir David Evennett MP and his wife, Lady Evennett, as well as Cllr Louie French (Deputy Leader of Bexley Council), Matthew Scott (Police and Crime Commissioner for Kent), and local Councillors.

Ms Villiers spoke about her role as Environment Secretary, the opportunities presented by Brexit for the green agenda, the Government’s Environment Bill and her determination for Britain to be a world leader on environment issues. She then answered questions from guests on Breixt and the environment.

Evennett joins monitoring team at Bexleyheath Academy

Visit to Bexleyheath Academy January 2020.JPG

On Friday morning (24 January), Rt Hon Sir David Evennett MP visited Bexleyheath Academy to meet the Governors, speak with CEO Julian Drinkall and to join a monitoring team on a tour round the school.

He spoke with Governors, the school’s Head Boy and Head Girl, Headteacher Graham Napier, Executive Director David Moody and David Hatchatt National Director for Secondary Schools. He discussed the school plans, their improvement strategy and the new policies already implemented. He toured the school, visited classrooms and spoke with teachers, before attending a music group rehearsal lesson where he is pictured with students and Mr Drinkall.

Afterwards Sir David commented: “it was a most constructive and informative morning. I was very pleased to learn about and see the improvements first hand, including discipline, lessons and pupil engagement. I wish all involved success in their venture to get Bexleyheath Academy to be the very best.”

Bluesky Citadel Hosts First Anniversary Dinner and Awards Ceremony

City of God Anniversary Dinner January 2020.jpgRt Hon Sir David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, was the Special Guest at the Awards Ceremony of Bluesky Citadel held on Saturday afternoon (25 January) at the City of God Church in Crayford.

Sir David, who attended the launch of the free online computer school last year, presented the awards to students and listened to their testimonies on the tremendous impact their courses have had on their lives. In his speech Sir David praised the Church, the staff and the students for all their work and dedication over the past year and congratulated all involved in the positive and successful outcomes. He also  highlighted the inspirational leadership of the Church Pastor, Tutu Sofowora.

Among other guests attending the Awards Ceremony were Bexley Mayor Cllr Geraldene Lucia-Hennis and her husband, Peter.

Evennett signs Holocaust Educational Trust Book of Commitment


Earlier this week, Rt Hon Sir David Evennett MP signed the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Book of Commitment, in doing so pledging his commitment to Holocaust Memorial Day and honouring those who were murdered during the Holocaust as well as paying tribute to the extraordinary Holocaust survivors who work tirelessly to educate young people of today.

This year marks 75 years since the liberation of the concentration camps of Europe and the end of WWII. At the end of the month, on the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, people across the globe will remember.

In the lead up to and on Holocaust Memorial Day next Monday (27 January), thousands of commemorative events will be arranged by schools, faith groups and community organisations across the country, remembering all the victims of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides. The theme for this year’s commemorations is ‘Stand Together’.

Sir David’s message in the Book of Commitment read: “Remembering the horrors of the Holocaust and those who died. Still fighting prejudice in the 21st Century. We must never forget”.


Evennett calls for more action on Social Mobility

Speaking in Queens Speech Debate January 2020 (© Parliamentary Recording Unit).jpg
© Parliamentary Recording Unit

Yesterday afternoon (14 January), Rt Hon Sir David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, participated in the debate on the Queen’s Speech to raise the issue of the underachievement of white working-class boys.

Sir David welcomed the contents of the Queen’s Speech, expressed his strong support for it and also highlighted the Government’s many achievements on education, including improving standards in schools across the country since 2010 and record levels of funding. However, he used his speech to express his concerns about the educational attainment of white working-class boys, and commented:

“I want briefly to highlight the fact that every child deserves the best start in life regardless of their background or where they live. Access to good schools is essential to build the foundations for success in future life. I am concerned about the underachievement of many working-class boys; this topic has not received enough attention in the past. This particular demographic is falling ever further behind and it shows no sign of catching up with its peers. The difference in attainment between richer pupils and their disadvantaged classmates has closed since 2011, but when results are broken down by ethnicity, it appears that the improved results among poorer pupils are largely down to the achievement of non-white children; this is exacerbated when gender is taken into account.

“I welcome the fact that girls are achieving so much more now. In my constituency, we have a very good secondary school, Townley Grammar, which is excellent and is offering girls tremendous opportunities, but the boys—the working-class heroes we should have in the future—are not achieving and the Government must look into that.”