TIM LOUGHTON: High-profile incidents not good for politics

Tim Loughton

Tim Loughton

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Most of my time in the past week has been taken up with work on the Home Affairs Select Committee report into anti-Semitism.

This is a hard-hitting report which pulls no punches about the growing problem with anti-Semitism in parts of the UK and in parts of political parties, and particularly the far left of the Labour movement.

Tim Loughton with Sir Peter Bottomley outside 10 Downing Street

Tim Loughton with Sir Peter Bottomley outside 10 Downing Street

All the parties come in for criticism but the recent high-profile incidents involving Labour Party members suspended for anti-Semitic activity have raised the profile of the problem.

Seeing such incidents in a mainstream political party, and with a number of Jewish Labour MPs coming in for a torrent of vile abuse, in one case resulting in three prosecutions so far, is not good for our politics or our country generally.

It was notable that, despite the criticism, the report was approved unanimously by all the Conservative, Labour and SNP members of the committee and this added to its weight when I spent most of my Sunday touring the media studios to be questioned on it.

You can find the full report on the Home Affairs Select Committee website.

With the latest revelations on the historic sex abuse inquiry, which also comes under the remit of the Home Affairs Select Committee which I have been chairing on an interim basis, it has certainly been an action-packed chairmanship.

I was sad to hand over the reins to a new permanent chair this week, as it is a Labour designated committee, but I remain a member of the committee.

I was very pleased to have been able to take part in a very emotional and well-informed debate on baby loss last week where colleagues across all parties spoke movingly about their own experiences.

I used the opportunity to resurrect by Stillbirth Registration Bill based on the experiences of one of my constituents who tragically lost a baby before the 24-week threshold, which is therefore not recognised by the state only adding to the heartache of parents who have lost a child in such tragic circumstances.

I am pleased to report the new health minister pledged to look at it again.

This week I also joined parliamentary colleagues from West Sussex and local head teachers ramping up the campaign for fairer funding of our schools with the handing in of a petition at Number 10 and we also held a meeting with Schools’ Minister Nick Gibb, to be followed up by a further session with Justine Greening shortly.

I have recorded a podcast with more details on my website.

• If you would like to get in touch with me, please write to me at the House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA, or email me at loughtont@parliament.uk

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