Every fortnight I write a “Kev’s Column” for the Herald Express and you can read the latest edition, published on Wednesday 23rd January 2019, below:
The old saying goes “A week is a long time in politics”, and the last one has been the most unique since I was first elected in May 2015.
A major debate on Brexit, the largest defeat for a Government Policy in decades and then a motion of no confidence in the Government, with one of the best speeches I have heard in Parliament made just before it by Michael Gove.
The atmosphere around the historic palace has been electric as corridors filled with journalists, politicians, campaigners and those who just wanted to be present for a moment in parliamentary history. Yet the biggest question, where the United Kingdom will go next, is one no-one can answer precisely, including myself.
There is not enough space in this column for extensive comments on Brexit, but I have written a more detailed piece explaining my views on last week’s vote, along with the alternative options most commonly suggested. If you would like a copy please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call my office on 01803 214 989.
One of the most poignant and thought-provoking events I attend in Parliament each year is the launch of the latest World Watch List by the Open Doors organisation.
Open Doors seeks to be a voice for the persecuted church and not only analyses trends in persecution but works with Missionaries in nations where the simple act of possessing a bible can put your life or job on the line.
The Watch List records the 50 countries where persecution of Christians, both by the state and non-state groups, is at its worst. Whilst seeing North Korea at number 1 may be no surprise, seeing Russia at 41 and India at 10 may be for many.
The right to follow whichever faith we choose or to believe in none is a fundamental one. Highlighting the nations where this does not exist is a key way to bring focus to work ensuring all will one day be able to express their faith as they wish.
For hundreds of years the Parliamentary Day has started with Prayers, led by the Speaker’s Chaplain in the Commons and a Bishop in the Lords.
Prayers last for about four minutes, with a suitable reading and a tradition of MPs turning to face the back of the Chamber during the Lord’s Prayer.
The last religious requirements for being an MP were removed in the 19th Century and attendance is not compulsory, with many using the session as a time for quiet reflection before a busy day if not taking part in the prayers themselves.
Some are suggesting this session is scrapped, yet with the current debates raging time for quiet reflection is more essential than ever.
My next surgeries will be on Saturday 26th January from 11am till 1pm at The Acorn Centre, Lummaton Cross, Torquay, TQ2 8ET and Friday 1st February from 3pm till 5pm at Age UK Torbay, 12 Denby Road, Paignton, TQ4 5DB.
Just call 01803 214 989 or e-mail me at email@example.com to book a slot. You can drop in, but appointments are recommended to avoid a long wait or disappointment. My team also run drop in surgery sessions Mon to Friday 10am -1pm at 5-7 East St, Torquay, TQ2 5SD.