A SELECTION OF MY RECENT APPEARANCES ON THE NEWS AND OTHER FORMS OF MEDIA ARE AVAILABLE BELOW
Leaseholders and Cladding - TalkRADIO
6th January 2021
There was a series of mistakes by everybody. Developers should not have put dangerous cladding on their buildings. Builders were wrong to use such cladding. Regulators were wrong not to have caught this. Within ten years this will have been sorted out in court and we will know who was to blame.
The one people who were not responsible are the innocent leasehold residents.
Cladding Crisis - BBC Newsnight
28th August 2020
I spoke on BBC Newsnight regarding the ongoing cladding crisis for home owners, leaseholders and commonholders across the country.
Regulations brought in after Grenfell require cladding safety checks for thousands of buildings and many are now struggling to sell their homes until they’re certified as safe.
The number of people involved in between six hundred thousand to a million whilst the number of available and qualified surveyors is probably as low as three hundred.
Leasehold - BBC Victoria Derbyshire
28th February 2020
the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has released a report stating clearly that people buying leasehold properties are being treated unfairly. This is not a new fact - we have been long aware of the unjust and unfair issues leaseholders have faced in purchasing and owning their leases.
I spoke on BBC's Victoria Derbyshire Show about the thousands of people facing debilitating situations.
These facts were already very clear. The CMA has played catch up but we can be relieved that they have caught up.
Resumption of Parliament - BBC News
17th December 2019
When Parliament returned in December, we re-elected the Speaker. Overseeing that will the Senior Member, myself, as Father of the House.
It is a matter of no merit and no responsibility, but I am grateful for the honour and will do with it what is possible in welcoming new Members to the House of Commons.
I spoke with Adam Boulton on Sky News about the ceremony, the role and the work Parliament has going forward.
General Election Recap - BBC News
13th December 2019
Speaking to BBC News following the General Election, I reflected on my new mantle as Father of the House and of the impressive result for the Conservatives.
Looking forward, we can hope that Boris Johnson leads the Conservatives as the community orientated, national interested Government. We hope that the other political parties can be like us. We need exceptional people in acceptable parties, both Labour and Conservatives so that we can change the government without changing the entire course of the country.
Brexit and the DUP - BBC Radio Ulster
10th October 2019
I was pleased to speak to Stephen Nolan on BBC Radio Ulster about the Prime Minister's Withdrawal Deal and what it means for Northern Ireland. Some may remember when I was Minister for Agriculture in Northern Ireland.
I respect the Democratic Unionists but their answer is always the same, that this deal is far from satisfactory. They represent a minority in Northern Ireland and ought to be questioning what is in the long term interest of their constituents and not of their party. Trade and travel will continue without disruption. Vital supply lines for goods and medicines are maintained. The sovereignty of the United Kingdom is protected.
Prorogation of Parliament - BBC Sussex
19th September 2019
This morning I spoke on BBC Sussex regarding the prorogation of Parliament for five weeks. Whilst it may be undesirable or longer than is necessary, it is not undemocratic. The current session has lasted more than 340 days and needs to be brought to a close. A prorogation is a normal occurrence between Parliamentary sessions.
We must focus on what can be done to make things better rather than arguing over impediments. There is still time to focus on passing the deal with or without any modifications the Prime Minister can get.
William Hill Closures - BBC News
04th July 2019
Bookmaker William Hill has said it plans to close about 700 betting shops.
Everyone agrees that it was sensible to bring the stake down on fixed-odds betting terminals from £100 every twenty seconds to £2. Many of these jobs were created in recent years because bookmakers were exploiting a loophole that wasn't justified, wasn't ethical and wasn't intended.
These stores were well aware that it would be brought to an end eventually. They should have been preparing their staff long before the campaign to reduce the stake came into being.
Brexit Update - BBC Sussex
17th May 2019
I was pleased to briefly reflect on the current situation of our withdrawal from the European Union during Friday's BBC Sussex Breakfast Show. Though many may criticise the Prime Minister for our delayed departure from Europe, changing the Party leader does not change the parliamentary arithmetic that has thus far prevented our departure.
Looking forward, we discussed the possible contest to replace Theresa May as Leader of the Conservative Party and, most likely, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. History shows us that often the best of leaders are not the most obvious in the lead up to a contest.
Cross-party discussions - BBC Ulster
03rd April 2019
What the majority of this country wants is certainty.
Most people desire for the Prime Minsiter to take us out of the European Union sooner rather than later. It is important that we find where common interests overlap so that our withdrawal from the European Union is in the best interest of all of us.
I was pleased to speak on BBC Radio Ulster this morning about why a no-deal withdrawal may have grave consequences for peace and stability in Northern Ireland.
BBC Radio 5, World at One
29th January 2019
We are to leave the European Union though we should agree suitable terms for withdrawal, make sensible arrangements for transition and then agree future agreements with the EU27 and with the rest of the world.
I was pleased to speak on The World at One, BBC Radio 4 ahead of Tuesday evening's vote. I thank everyone who has told me or sent a message giving their views, agreeing or disagreeing with me or with the Prime Minister who I support in her endeavours to find where what is right matches what can be made possible.
EU Withdrawal Bill - BBC Ulster
15th January 2019
Speaking to BBC Northern Ireland, I warned that crashing out risks a hard border or a change in the status of Northern Ireland, far worse than the notion of the Northern Irish backstop.
If we don't want to change the constitutional position of Northern Ireland within the United Kingdom, I recommend supporting the Prime Minsiter's Withdrawal Agreement. The next stage is a sensible trading agreement, deciding upon our nation's future relationship with the European Union and the rest of the world.
EU Withdrawal Bill - Sky News
6th December 2018
I spoke on Sky News discussing why Parliament must make progress in leaving the European Union.
Britain's withdrawal from the European Union is not a partisan issue, it is a national issue. We must not approach it based on allegiances and partisan lines. Instead, we must consider what is the best for our nation out of the options present. The other options face returning Britain to the situations we found ourselves in during the 1930s and the 1970s when we ended up with a lot of unemployment and violence on the streets.
Taste of West Sussex - WSCounty Times
20th November 2018
A showcase of the best of West Sussex food and drink was on offer for MPs and guests, with West Sussex-based MasterChef Champion 2018 Kenny Tutt making a special appearance on Thursday (November 29) at the Houses of Parliament.
It was attended by over 300 MPs and staff from across the UK who are based there. They took part in tastings from 16 artisan producers from across West Sussex, a county which is becoming increasingly well-known as a foodie destination. The showcase was suggested and hosted by Sir Peter Bottomley, MP for Worthing West.
Talk Radio with Eamonn Holmes
17th May 2018
I recently spoke with notable television and radio host, Eamonn Holmes, about why last week's announcement by the Government that they will cut the maximum stake for Fixed Odds Betting Terminals will have a radical and resoundingly positive impact on the lives of some of the most vulnerable members of our communities up and down this country.
It is critical that every sector of our society recognises their social responsibility, with a key focus on ethical and principled output that does not take advantage of anyone. The lost tax revenue is a non-starter when considering the lives of people across this country.