A letter to the Foreign Secretary regarding Kashmir

David has written to the Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to express his concern about the current situation in Kashmir following the revoking of Article 370 removing Kashmir’s special status. The letter asks the Foreign Secretary to outline the diplomatic efforts being undertaken by the UK Government to defuse this situation.

David said: I have written to the Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab about the recent developments in Kashmir to express my deep concern. As a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, the UK has a responsibility to strive to prevent such a conflict. As such I have asked the Foreign Secretary to outline what action the Government is taking to assist in de-escalate this situation.

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A letter to Transport Secretary about the HS2 Oakervee Review

David has written to the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps to find out the terms of reference for the Oakervee Review into HS2. David has put a number of specific questions to the Transport Secretary about the scope and power of the review.

David said: I have written to the new Transport Secretary Grant Shapps regarding the Oakervee Review. As I have said, the Review must be given the correct terms of reference to allow a full, in-depth look at the business case for HS2. I have also asked whether the terms of reference will give Mr Oakervee the power to recommend that scheme is scrapped

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Aylesbury Employment Data

The total number of unemployed claimants in Aylesbury constituency in June 2019 was 1,090.

This represents a rate of 1.7% of the economically active population aged 16-64.

The equivalent UK claimant rate was 3.6%. The UK unemployment rate, which includes people not claiming benefits and is estimated from survey data, was 3.8% in March to May 2019.

The number of claimants in Aylesbury constituency is 315 higher than June 2018 and 60 higher than May 2019.

There were 175 claimants aged 18-24 in June 2019, 40 higher than June 2018.

Figures are not seasonally adjusted and are rounded to the nearest five. 'Unemployed claimants' include people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance or who are claiming Universal Credit and are required to seek work.


How do figures change when we adjust for Universal Credit roll out?

Universal Credit requires a broader group of claimants to look for work than was the case under Jobseeker’s Allowance. This has the effect of increasing the number of unemployed claimants after Universal Credit is rolled out in an area.

To adjust for this, new statistics are now published. In addition to counting people currently claiming unemployment benefits, they include people who would have been required to look for work had Universal Credit always been in place. These figures have been updated this month.

Using this alternative count, there would have been 1,400 unemployed claimants in Aylesbury in May 2019.*

On this basis, the number of claimants would have been 20 lower than April 2019, and 40 higher than May 2018.


David is the latest guest on Political Thinking with Nick Robinson

David was the most recent guest on Political Thinking with Nick Robinson, a 45 minute podcast looking at politics at deeper level. David and Nick discussed his government role and the job of balancing competing priorities in politics. Nick Robinson was former Political Editor at the BBC and now BBC Radio 4 Today Programme presenter.

The full podcast can be found here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p07d4ssk?fbclid=IwAR01qx2TKKBH8EPgADIaR0hHaaD_uCvjUS82FuicmccumKwqXWd0JPGEIUc

Following the interview, David said:

“It was an absolute pleasure talking to Nick Robinson for the latest Political Thinking podcast! It was a refreshing change to be able to discuss politics and other subjects for 45 minutes with an informed journalist rather than the standard four or eight minute interview.”

A letter from the Education Secretary about school funding

David thought that you would be interested to see a letter from the Education Secretary outlining school results and resourcing.

HS2 CEO Meeting

David recently met HS2 Ltd CEO Mark Thurston.

David said:

“I asked HS2 Ltd CEO Mark Thurston to meet me in the House of Commons to discuss a range of constituents' concerns including the Wendover tunnel, A413 viaduct, traffic implications, environmental impact, and compensation delays. I also gave him list of individual cases needing prompt action. “


HS2 hedgerow netting

In recent weeks a number of people have a been in touch with David about their concerns over the use of controversial hedgerow netting by HS2 Ltd as part of their approach to preliminary development works for the HS2 line. David has written to both the Environment Secretary and the Local Area Commander for Thames Valley police, whose replies you can see below.

As you can see from the correspondence, there is provision in the Animal Welfare Act 2006 for offences which cause unnecessary animal suffering. If you believe that you have evidence indicating that this netting is causing suffering for animals, you can contact Thames Valley Police here.

If you have any other concerns, please feel free to get in touch with David at david.lidington.mp@parliament.uk or on 020 7219 4573.

Tiffin Cup 2019: Aylesbury restaurant nomination


David is pleased to announce that he has nominated local restaurant Mela for the Tiffin Cup 2019.

They will now enter the Regional Final and will be in with the opportunity to win a place in the Grand Final.

The Tiffin Cup is an annual British competition run by Tiffin Club to find the best South Asian restaurant. The competition has been running for a number of years and David has always been proud to nominate one of of the excellent South Asian restaurants in Aylesbury constituency. This year he decided to nominate Mela this year and would encourage you to visit them at 103 London Road, Aston Clinton, Aylesbury HP22 5LD. You can find more about Mela here: http://melarestaurants.co.uk/.

What is the Tiffin Cup?


The Tiffin Club was set-up by Keith Vaz in Parliament in 2005. The competition receives cross-party support and has steadily grown over the years to reach most parts of the UK.

All the restaurants entered into the Regional Finals, regardless of whether they are successful, will be invited to the final of the Tiffin Cup 2019 on 2 July 2019 at the House of Commons.

We wish Mela restaurant the best of luck!