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Darren warns against rushed NHS-Amazon Alexa partnership

Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West, has written to the Information Commissioner and the Competition and Markets Authority to argue that there should be more oversight over a proposed deal between the Department of Health and Amazon. The deal would allow Amazon Alexa virtual assistants to give its users health advice from the NHS. Darren is concerned that patients have not been asked about what health data they think it is appropriate for Amazon to hold.

Darren said:

“This decision has been taken without any scrutiny or accountability to Parliament and – as far as I’m aware – without any attempt to understand if patients are content with this service.”

On the 25th of July Darren received a response from the Chief Executive of the Competition and Markets Authority, Andrea Coscelli.

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Darren demands PM support British prisoners in Iran

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones signed a cross-party letter to then Tory leadership candidates, Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson, calling on them to use all diplomatic powers at the Prime Minister’s disposal to free British prisoners in Iran.

Darren said:

“Yesterday (22nd July 2019), I signed a letter to both candidates in the Tory leadership contest regarding the unfair imprisonment of British nationals and residents in Iran.

Just this week, we have heard one of these political prisoners, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, has been returned to solitary confinement after a traumatic stay in a psychiatric unit. The standards foreign nationals are experiencing in Iranian jails fall well below those internationally accepted.

I know Jeremy and his team at the FCO have worked hard to move Nazanin’s case forward in recent months, but we now need to see robust action from our new Prime Minister. Of course, I hope on this occasion he can recall the required detail to ensure he is supporting Nazanin and others rather than working against them“.

 

 

 

 

 

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Darren signs Cancer UK Pledge

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has signed Cancer Research UK’s Pledge (in full below) reinforcing that he will continue to support the NHS in fighting cancer. Southmead Hospital is sited within Darren’s constituency.

Darren has previously written to the government calling for more support for young cancer patients, the need for early detection of bowel cancer, post-treatment support for breast cancer patients and backed Breast Cancer Now’s ‘Wear it Pink’ campaign.

Darren said:

“I am delighted to have signed Cancer Research UK‘s pledge to Stand with the NHS Against Cancer.

We need a long-term, fully funded plan for a specialist cancer workforce. Without this plan, workforce shortages risk undermining the investment into the NHS and the ambitions of diagnosing 75% of cancers at an early stage by 2028.

I will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with our NHS.”

Darren recently nominated some of the team’s at Southmead for NHS Parliamentary Awards and one of these nominations went on to win the national award for employee wellbeing. To follow Darren’s work on health please click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Darren gets government response on facial rec. tech.

Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West, secured a debate in Westminster Hall in May 2019 to discuss the policy and civil liberties implications of recent developments in facial recognition technology.

Since that debate, and Darren’s Science and Technology Committee’s report on Biometrics, Darren has received a response from government.

 

 

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Darren demands cessation of visa fees for commonwealth armed forces personnel

In April 2019, MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has signed a cross party letter, along with 130 other MPs, calling on the Home Secretary to cease charging visa fees for commonwealth servicemen and women.

At that time (April 2019) Darren said:

“I am pleased to have signed this letter – all visa fees, alongside the Home Office’s assessment process, need a total re-think, but making money out of those who have risked their lives for this country (as the cost to the tax payer to process these applications is very low) is totally unacceptable and must stop”.

In July 2019, Darren updated that:

“Charging high visa fees to those who have sacrificed, and put their life on the line, to serve this country is no way to thank them. The fees for Leave to Remain are over £3000, so this is not a small amount were asking brace service personnel to find! The Royal British Legion are now running a campaign to help raise awareness of this injustice and are asking for people to write to their MP. Whilst I welcome any contact from my constituents, I have already pledged my support to this campaign and will proudly continue to do so”.

 

 

 

Darren presses Science Minister on costs of no-deal

At the Science and Technology Committee this morning, Darren tried to hold the outgoing Minister for Science and Boris Johnson supporter, Chris Skidmore, to a straight answer on what leaving the EU without a deal will mean for Britain’s research partnerships and R&D spending.

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Watch: Darren presses Government over Avlon redundancies

Staff at the Avlon pharmaceuticals plant, which was recently put into administration by its American owners, were promised that should the facility fail, they would be entitled to a full redundancy package – but are now being forced to leave on statutory pay only. This unjust situation can still be avoided if the plant’s former owners AstraZeneca choose to enforce the previously negotiated guarantee, but it may take some pressure from Government. That’s why Darren’s been writing to Business Ministers and trying for weeks to secure a debate in Parliament — and this morning raised the issue directly with the Leader of the House of Commons, Mel Stride.

Watch: Darren expresses grave concern over Darroch resignation

We should all be deeply troubled by Sir Kim Darroch’s resignation as Ambassador to Washington, and by the shameful leak of his private correspondence which preceded it. Sir Kim’s decision came on the back of characteristic childishness from Donald Trump ⁠— and thereby marked the first time in modern history that a British ambassador has been forced out at the behest of a third country. Our Government must make it very clear that once appointed, Her Majesty’s ambassadors have their full backing (and so too should our likely next Prime Minister Boris Johnson).

 

 

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Watch: Darren calls for new powers to tackle fly epidemic

It’s simply unacceptable that people living near industry in Avonmouth have to put up with a huge increase in flies whenever it warms up. In spite of attempts to tackle the problem at source, for instance by eliminating open-air waste facilities, it’s manifestly not enough. We have to give regulators like the Environment Agency real powers to take decisive action, as Darren argued on Points West this afternoon.

 

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Watch: Darren demands greater accountability in NHS procurement

For patients, NHS staff and other stakeholders, the arcane procurement process can be completely mystifying. In practice, this means less accountability and not enough certainty about the future of service provision locally and their livelihoods. As Darren argued in a Westminster Hall debate secured by Bristol South MP Karin Smyth this afternoon, the process needs to be made much simpler and more transparent.