Darren calls for Houses of Parliament to be retired

Darren said, as quoted in the Bristol Post;

I think quite frankly we should just move out and give it over to the National Trust and have a building that is fit for purpose… I think we should move out completely and turn it into an attraction, make sure it is fit for purpose but actually put us in a new modern building that sets a new tone, that is more family friendly in its hours – but that doesn’t have a pub in it.

I don’t know any other workplace that has a pub in it. I don’t know why there are pubs in Parliament.




Darren asks the government about sexism in schools

In a written question, Darren wrote:

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the National Education Union report on Sexism in schools published in December 2017, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that the relationships and sex education curriculum is designed to prevent sexism and sexual harassment among children and young people at all key stages.

Nick Gibb, Minister for Schools, replied:

On 14 December 2017 the Department published advice for schools on how to prevent and respond to reports of sexual violence and sexual harassment between children: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sexual-violence-and-sexual-harassment-between-children-in-schools-and-colleges.

The Department wants to ensure that all pupils gain the knowledge and skills they need to keep themselves safe and develop healthy, respectful and positive relationships for adult life in modern Britain. The Department is actively engaging with a wide range of stakeholders to develop the regulations and guidance on Relationships Education and Relationships and Sex Education; and we launched two calls for evidence on 19 December, one for adults and one for young people, to seek views on the curriculum content for these subjects. The calls for evidence close on 12 February and can be accessed via this link: https://consult.education.gov.uk/life-skills/pshe-rse-call-for-evidence/.

We envisage draft regulations and the guidance will be published for consultation later this year. The regulations will then be laid in Parliament.


Darren asks government about sexism

Darren asked whether the Secretary of State for International Development would support the charity Theirworld and their campaign on attitudes and behaviours around women in school and education.

Darren asked

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether she plans to support the charity Theirworld’s #RewritingTheCode campaign on attitudes and behaviours that prevent girls and women from succeeding and leading.

Alistair Burt, Minister of State for the Middle East and North Africa, replied:

We welcome any action that supports girls and women to succeed and lead and therefore applaud TheirWorld’s campaign. DFID is committed to challenging and changing the negative attitudes and discriminatory practices that hold women and girls back throughout their lives. UKaid funded programmes have secured pledges from more than 8 million people to abandon female genital mutilation and have reached over 750,000 girls at risk of child marriage. UKaid also supports women and girls to achieve their full potential through education, supporting more than 5.3 million girls in school and helping over 36 million women access financial services.

It is perhaps disappointing that the government refused to go as far as stating support of the campaign.

16th January Science and Tech Committee – Artificial Intelligence

The witnesses were Dr Dominic King, Senior Staff Research Scientist and Clinical Lead, DeepMind Health, Dr Ian Hudson, Chief Executive, Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), Professor Harry Hemingway, Farr Institute of Health Informatics Research, and Eleonora Harwich, Head of Digital and Tech Innovation, Reform.

Listen to highlights below (press play and the audio will skip to where Darren is speaking:

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Darren backs Alzheimer’s Society and becomes ‘Dementia Friend’

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has pledged his support to the Alzheimer’s Society by signing-up to become a Dementia Friend.

Darren Jones MP said:

” I am proud to have become a Dementia Friend. Dementia Friends are a crucial initiative of the Alzheimer’s Society and they’re aiming for 4 million friends by 2020.

I’ve seen and heard first-hand at constituent surgeries, as well as last Autumn’s Bristol Memory Walk, the crucial work the society do and the value it has to those individuals and families experiencing dementia.

I’ve pledged to raise awareness of the great work the society does, attend their events where possible and to keep a close eye on government and push for more support to those experiencing dementia”.

You can find out more about Dementia Friends and sign-up to become a friend online.


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Gender Pay Gap

Darren Jones MP names and shames Bristol employers who pay men more than women.

In January 2018, the Government published information about the gender pay gap: the difference that men are paid to women.

Labour passed the Equalities Act in Government which made it clear: men and women should get equal pay for equal work. Yet many organisations are failing to do that, with conscious or unconscious bias in appointments, promotions and pay between men and women. This is unacceptable and must stop.

Today, Darren Jones MP has written to organisations on the list of published offenders that employ people in Bristol to call them out, and ask what they’re doing to fix the problem. This is part of wider work being done by Darren to eradicate modern slavery and unethical work from Bristol. The  list includes prominent Bristol employers such as the BBC, day nursery Mama Bears, Rolls Royce and Wessex Bus.

Darren said:

There is no excuse for employers who pay men more than women for the same work. And to respond saying that women aren’t in senior positions misses the point entirely. For whatever reason, women continue to get paid less than men for doing exactly the same job. It’s time to call that out publically and I encourage women to raise it with their employers, and to ask what is being done to fix the problem. They have my full support in doing so.

Here is the list of organisations thought to employ people in Bristol, who pay men more than women:

  • Accenture (16.7% gap)
  • Arup (17.4% gap)
  • Baker Tilly (14.8% gap)
  • BBC (10.7% gap)
  • BDO (18.3% gap)
  • Capgemini (19.4% gap)
  • Clydesdale Bank (37% gap)
  • CMS Cameron McKenna (17.3% gap)
  • Coral Racing (14% gap)
  • Crown Prosecution Services / CPS (10.6% gap)
  • Deloitte (17% gap)
  • Ernst and Young (19.7% gap)
  • Europa Worldwide Logistics (19% gap)
  • First Wessex (15.1% gap)
  • Fujitsu (16.7% gap)
  • Hayley Group (18.6% gap)
  • HSE (22.9% gap)
  • Ladbrokes (15% gap)
  • Land Registry (33.3% gap)
  • Mama Bears (27.5% gap)
  • Ministry of Defence (12.5% gap)
  • NHS Digital (16.1% gap)
  • Rolls-Royce (6.3-11.1% gap)
  • Shell UK (18-31.5% gap)
  • The Coop Bank (30.3% gap)
  • TSB Bank (31% gap)

This list is based on national figures, excludes a 10% +/- range (not that a pay gap of less than 10% is an excuse!) and where there are various subsidiaries a range has been included.

And here is the letter Darren has sent to each of them:


Listen to Darren on Radio 4’s Westminster Hour

On the 7th of January Darren appeared on Radio 4’s Westminster Hour. He spoke about Brexit, amongst other things. You can listen to the full episode below: