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Darren questions the government over Severn Bridge traffic

Both the Department of Transport and the Wales Office have failed to assess the increase in car travel in North Bristol following the removal of tolls on the Severn Bridge. Darren questioned the government over this failure.

Watch below:

 

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Darren shares his views on UK aid budget

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has shared his thoughts on maintaining 0.7% of UK gross national income(GNI) for the overseas aid budget.

Darren said:

“ During the 2010-15 Parliament, the UK became the first G7 country to enshrine in law a target to spend 0.7% of GNI on overseas aid and did so with cross-party support. The development and improvements in hundreds of millions of people’s lives that have resulted from this commitment have been a credit to humanity. For example, from 2010-15, British aid supported 11 million children through school and helped more than 60 million people to access clean water, better sanitation and improved hygiene conditions. UK support during the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014, meanwhile, halted the spread of the disease. Such achievements should be a source of pride for everyone in the UK. I therefore remain profoundly committed to spending 0.7% of GNI on overseas aid. 

I share people’s concerns at recent questioning of the UK’s foreign aid budget. It is worrying that, while the Government has committed to maintaining the 0.7% target, its plans also suggest a shift away from the current cross-party consensus on international development. For example, the Government has stated its intention to attempt to change international definitions of development assistance. It has further stated that if it fails to do this, it will change the law to allow it to use its own definition of development assistance. I am concerned that this is an attempt to use overseas aid intended for poverty reduction for things such as security and counter-terrorism, and to plug funding gaps in other departments. 

It is vital that we continue to abide by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development definition of aid and use our overseas assistance to promote the economic development and welfare of developing countries. Abandoning this global standard would undermine the purpose of the 0.7% commitment and send the wrong message to the rest of the world. I will continue to defend the UK’s aid target and press for the correct use of the international aid budget”.

 

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Darren holds debate on waiters and waitresses’ tips

Darren has recently been campaigning on the issue of what happens to tips left at restaurants, following Bristol activists and the Bristol Post raising the issue in relation to Aqua Italia. There, as well as at Turtle Bay, workers were made to pay a percentage of their table orders to restaurants, in case they received tips. This sometimes meant workers were forced to got to a cash-point to pay their employer, as they hadn’t made enough in tips.

You can watch Darren’s full speech in the debate below:

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7th March Science and Tech committee highlights

The subject for this session was the flu vaccination programme. The witnesses were Professor Paul Cosford, Director for Health Protection and Medical Director, Public Health England, Professor Steve Powis, National Medical Director, NHS England, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Professor Andrew Pollard, Chair, Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, and Dr Sue Crossland, President Elect, Society for Acute Medicine.

Watch highlights here:

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Darren questions David Davis over Airbus leaving

Airbus said that unless there is ‘imminent clarity’ over post Brexit customs arrangements, they might leave the UK. Currently, they provide or support 130,000 jobs in this country. Darren asked David Davis MP, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, to provide this clarity. Watch here:

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Watch Darren question Chancellor Philip Hammond

In European Scrutiny Committee, Darren questioned Philip Hammond on the subject of EU withdrawal and whether the Irish border could move to mainland Britain. Watch here:

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27th February Science and Technology Committee: E-Cigarettes

Darren asked a wide range of witnesses questions about how safe and healthy e-cigarettes (otherwise known as vaping devices) are.

The first set of witnesses was Dr Ian Jones, Vice President, Reduced-Risk Products, Japan Tobacco International, Dr Chris Proctor, Chief Scientific Officer, British American Tobacco, Dr Moira Gilchrist, Vice President, Scientific and Public Communications, Philip Morris Limited, and Dr Grant O’Connell, Regulatory and Scientific Affairs, Fontem Ventures.

You can watch Darren’s questions to them below (pressing play on the videos will skip to where Darren speaks):

The second set of witnesses was Professor David Harrison, Chair of the UK Committee on Carcinogenicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment, and Dr Lynne Dawkins, Associate Professor, Centre for Addictive Behaviours Research, London South Bank University.

22nd February European Scrutiny Committee

Darren questioned Sir Tim Barrow KCMG LVO MBE – Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom to the European Union and Robin Walker MP on the length of the transition period. Watch here:

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Darren questions Immigration minister

In European Scrutiny Committee, Darren questioned Caroline Nokes, Minister for Immigration, on the system by which EU citizens will be able to get ‘settled status’ – i.e. the right to live and work in the UK after Brexit. He also asked her about the Brexit negotiations.

Watch highlights below (press play and videos will skip to where Darren is questioning the minister):

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Darren backs Plastic Free Parliament

 

Darren Jones MP is proudly supporting a Plastic Free Parliament. Plastic Free Parliament is Surfers Against Sewage’s latest campaign to highlight and tackle avoidable plastics.

Darren Jones MP said:

“I’ll be reducing my plastic consumption wherever possible and I back the use of reusable bottles, plates , cutlery and mugs on the parliamentary estate. Shockingly over 2million single-use plastic items were used on the estate in 2017!”

 

You can find out more at Plastic Free Parliament.