Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Newspaper column 30 May 2018 - The Council of Europe

Parliament has now risen for Recess after a week where I was really pleased to have spoken in a number of debates on matters important to Mid-Cornwall, including the continuing issues around school holidays and term-time fines, and the roll out of the new First Kernow bus fleet.

Over Recess I look forward to getting out and about and talking to as many local people and businesses as possible about the issues, local and national that matter to you.

One other thing I will be doing in preparing for my new role as a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, which the Prime Minister appointed me to last week.

This is a real honour and as far as I am aware, I am the first Cornish person to be appointed to this body in its history.

The Council of Europe is an international organisation whose stated aim is to uphold human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Europe. Founded in 1949, it has 47 member states, covers approximately 820 million people and operates with an annual budget of approximately half a billion euros.

Although we are leaving the EU, we will still be part of the European Council and I look forward to bringing my Cornish credentials to this organisation in the future.

Of particular note to where we live, it was the European Council that granted ethnic minority status to Cornish people after years of campaigning from Cornwall.

As a true Cornishman, I am particularly keen to look at this further and use my role to make sure the Government takes their findings into account fully and fairly.  

I look forward to attending the Council of Europe  in the future and speaking up for Cornwall.
It will also be helpful in the debate I will be holding on 11 June in Parliament on the Cornish Nationality and the campaign for a Cornish tick-box on the next national census.

Along with Cornish MP colleagues and Cornwall Council I have been campaigning for the inclusion of a tick box for people who identify as Cornish on the next national census and this will be a great opportunity to highlight this issue nationally in Parliament.

My team and I are here to serve the whole constituency and work hard to make a real difference to the lives of everyone needing support. The office is open to the public Monday – Friday 10.00am – 4.00pm (no appointment necessary). If there is an issue you would like my assistance on then please, either visit the office or contact me on either 01726 829379 or Additionally, I hold regular, appointment only, advice surgeries across the constituency. Dates of these can be found at: