James Gray, MP for North Wiltshire - Never a dull moment as vote tops the agenda (From The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald)
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James Gray, MP for North Wiltshire - Never a dull moment as vote tops the agenda
12:00pm Thursday 5th September 2013 in News
The aftermath of the Syria vote, its effect on Syria, on British foreign policy and relations with America (much aided by Obama’s decision to ask Congress for a vote) and on the Conservative Party dominated the first ‘real’ week back.
It’s such a fast-moving story that I will try to keep the 10,000 or so recipients of my weekly email up to date. If you’d like to join the list, let me have your email address via firstname.lastname@example.org or sign up online at www.jamesgray.org I have a busy Parliamentary term ahead of me. Every day I attend question time, and nearly always ask something; spend a great deal of time chairing committees on behalf of Mr Speaker; serve on the Commons procedure committee, and finance and services committee, and attend and vote at most debates.
This Parliamentary year I am adding to my chairmanship of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Armed Forces by taking on the chairmanship of the Armed Forces Parliamentary Trust – which seconds up to 70 MPs and peers a year to the services for 22 days.
I am organising a high- level conference on the Polar regions in October. I am also working on a 10,000-word pamphlet on the way Parliament debates and decides on going to war, for which I hope to find a publisher. And I have a few (unpaid) outside interests – President of the Association of British Riding Schools and adviser to a local group which finds jobs for military spouses.
All of that is on top of my first priority – working for the people of North Wiltshire.
There’s an organisation called 38 Degrees which gives people pre-drafted emails to send to their MPs. All well and good until you hear that I have in the last week received several hundred on the important, but relatively obscure, subject of Part Two of the Lobbying Bill, and a similar number on the badger cull. Syria, of course, has added greatly to that. I am fortunate in having a first-class team in my office who help me in my aim of replying to them all within a day or two of receipt (my apologies if we do not always achieve it).
Fridays and Saturdays are usually spent in the constituency – visits, surgeries, social events – a total of 12 engagements over the coming weekend.
So much refreshed by a month or so in glorious Wiltshire, I am launching back into my busy Parliamentary life.
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