Read My Latest Newsletter

Dear friend,

We've had a couple of very busy weeks, both in Wealden and in Westminster. I have been focused on lobbying East Sussex County Council to sort out potholes in Wealden, as well as delivering on election promises.

This Government got elected on a promise to get Brexit done and unleash the potential of our great nation. At 11 pm tonight, we will be making good on the first part of that promise and I can assure you that we have been working very hard these past few weeks to get the second part right as well. 

A healthy nation. A skilful nation.
The Queen's Speech has been approved by the House of Commons. This means that commitments such as a spending target on the NHS of £33.9 billion by 2023-2034, an increase of £7.1 billion in school budgets, and a new £3 billion ‘National Skills Fund’ are now enshrined in law. As Maritime Minister I am overseeing a new Maritime Skills Commission, to be chaired by Professor Graham Baldwin, whom I have appointed for his strong credentials.
I am also pleased that the Domestic Abuse Bill will come before Parliament. I have campaigned relentlessly to better protect victims and their families, especially as I respond to local residents coming forward asking for help at my surgeries. It takes courage to reach out and ask for help against this abhorrent crime and I will continue to support victims locally and nationally. 

Safe at home. Safe overseas.

Last week, the Home Secretary announced tougher sentencing and monitoring for convicted terrorists and the biggest funding boost in a decade for policing. I welcome the £22.2 million in extra funding that will go to Sussex Police. You have my firm guarantee that I shall lobby for a part of it to go towards fighting rural crime in Wealden.

Earlier this month, I joined the Defence Secretary on the front bench as he made it very clear that we are taking every necessary precaution to ensure the security of British nationals in the Middle East. As Maritime Minister, I am responsible for UK commercial shipping and have worked with the Ministry of Defence and industry representatives to discuss how best to protect UK shipping in the Gulf.
I was also pleased to welcome the unveiling of the new Veterans' Railcard, which underpins the Government’s strong commitment to our brave military men and women. I campaigned tirelessly on this issue which was also part of the Conservative election Manifesto. Yet another election promise delivered.
A United Kingdom hard at work
I am pleased that the United Kingdom is leaving the European Union entire and whole, with devolved government returning to Stormont and the Prime Minister’s categorical rejection of a second referendum on Scottish independence.

I am presently supporting regional businesses in Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales. I visited the ports of Plymouth and Southampton, as they are updating their cyber security as well as the port of Blyth, where a green maritime revolution is taking place. Last week, in Belfast I marked a new treaty with the US to protect the wreck of the RMS Titanic from damaging exploitation.

A vibrant constituency with much to look forward to
I kick-started the year welcoming Frant CofE Primary School to Westminster, celebrating High Broom Care Centre getting an ‘Outstanding’ rating from the CQC, and holding a constituency surgery. I met with constituents who raised a number of personal and local concerns and issues which require my help or that of local councillors. I met families dealing with gender dysphoria, raising valid points regarding poor local infrastructure, potholes, and youth engagement in sports.
I meet thousands of residents every year and aim to support them as best I can. Details of my monthly surgery sessions are on my website. Please click here.
I believe that Wealden is home to some of the best and brightest pupils in the country. As such, I continue to be the Hailsham Community College annual jobs fair champion. This is a large event featuring stalls to promote the diverse job opportunities across East Sussex. If you are a local employer and wish to host a stall, please let me know. 
I also believe that Wealden has some of the most dedicated teachers and that they deserve an award for their fantastic work. If you are a pupil or a parent, please nominate your favourite teacher or a teacher who has really made a difference to you for the Sussex Teacher of the Year Award.
Lastly, I am looking for a hard-working, part-time Communications Officer based in the constituency. See the full details here and do get in touch by e-mail if you think you would be a good fit for the role.