I re-established and co-chair the cross-party group of MPs against a third runway and am leading opposition to the expansion in and outside of Parliament. With a vote expected in the coming weeks, I continue to build on the alliance among MPs of all parties. I am working closely with the No 3rd Runway Coalition that I set up to unite local communities, campaign groups and MPs in opposition to Heathrow expansion. I will of course vote against expansion myself, but regardless of the outcome, the campaign will continue and I am confident we will succeed. For an overview please visit LINK.
I am leading calls for a strong UK response to the dire problem of plastic in our oceans, with a ban on all single-use plastics as soon as is feasibly possible and a proper analysis of the types of plastic we use, with the aim of reducing the amount in circulation.
BREXIT AND THE ENVIRONMENT
I was pleased to have convinced the Government to accept an amendment to its EU Withdrawal Bill to ensure that Brexit will benefit the environment. My amendment compels ministers to create a powerful and independent environmental governance body for the UK when we leave the EU, as well as a strong statement of environmental principles to which all government policy must adhere.
IVORY AND THE ILLEGAL WILDLIFE TRADE
I have campaigned for an end to the ivory trade for years and so I was delighted to speak in support of the Government’s new Ivory Bill, which will do just that. I am working to ensure that this bill is as strong as it can be. This means making sure that it extends to all ivory-bearing species – like hippos, killer whales and narwhals – and not just elephants – and that it is passed in time for the Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference hosted by the UK in October.
AHMADIYYA MUSLIM COMMUNITY
As a co-Chair of the all-Party Group, I spoke in a cross-party debate in Parliament to condemn the persecution faced by the Ahmadiyya Muslim community in the UK and across the world. Having seen the fantastic community work they do and having attended the annual Ahmadiyya convention last year, I urged the Government to be much stronger in tackling anti-Ahmadi hatred at home and abroad.
I have called on the Government to proscribe the political wing of the terrorist organisation Hezbollah, which currently only has its military wing banned. In a debate in Parliament, I argued that there is no difference between the two wings, and that the Government should make our country safer by stopping activities of this organisation.
PAROLE BOARD TRANSPARENCY
Following the successful appeal against the early release of serial sex offender John Worboys by his brave victims, I am campaigning for this case to be a watershed in how the Parole Board operates in the UK. Specifically, I am calling on the Ministry of Justice to make sure that victims can hear the Board’s reasons for a proposed release, access the evidence on which this is based, and challenge decisions.