TIM LOUGHTON: Pay the mother of parliaments a visit

Tim Loughton
Tim Loughton

It was a very busy week at Westminster last week ending with a barrage of emails from constituents either indignant or supportive of the High Court ruling on why parliament, and not the Government, should trigger Brexit.

I have written up my take on the latest Brexit twist on my website and Facebook page.

Tim Loughton with the Tibetan Sikyong and Speaker John Bercow

Tim Loughton with the Tibetan Sikyong and Speaker John Bercow

At the beginning of the week I was delighted to welcome a group of North Lancing Residents Association members for a tour of parliament.

I always encourage constituents to come up and look round their mother of parliaments and if we have to move out in a few years’ time for renovations I hope more will get on with it quickly.

Later that day I spoke in the debate on the Cultural Property (Armed Conflict) Bill which seeks to sign up the UK to the UNESCO 1954 agreement on protecting important historical sites such as Palmyra and Nineveh during military activity.

As someone who trained as an archaeologist and, along with everyone else, despaired at the mindless destruction this is a welcome move even if it did take 52 years.

Another part of the world which has suffered greatly is Tibet and, as chairman of the Parliamentary All Party Tibet Group, I took great pleasure in welcoming the Sikyong of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile to Westminster where he addressed MPs and met the Speaker.

As the equivalent of the Tibetan Premier the Sikyong represents millions of Tibetans who have been forced to flee their country or still live there, and is an impressive, if relatively powerless, advocate on their behalf.

On Wednesday I joined other West Sussex MPs in another debate to highlight the unfair funding of pupils in West Sussex schools before meeting Education Secretary Justine Greening to make our forceful case face to face.

I have posted a video of the debate on my website for up to date details of the campaign we are waging.

Back in the constituency on Friday I attended the AGM of the South & Mid Sussex Branch of the NSPCC at Arundel Castle which you could be forgiven for thinking was a gathering of Lancing residents as I had started the week.

Lancing is the strongest branch in the area raising over £12,500 for the NSPCC last year thanks to the hard work of people like Rosemary Hannam, the area branch secretary, and her colleagues.

It was particularly good to see another Lancing resident Pauline Burton receive a special long service award for all her efforts.

When it comes to volunteering for good causes you can certainly rely on Lancing.

• 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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