Knight Calls for Puppy Farm Ban

East Yorkshire MP Sir Greg Knight is sponsoring a Parliamentary Motion calling for an end to both puppy farms and the sale of young puppies in pet shops.

The motion, which has received cross party backing, highlights government advice that purchasers should see puppies interacting with their mother in the place where they were born.

Sir Greg said: “It is neither right or necessary for puppies to be sold away from their mothers, often caged in small perspex boxes in pet shops”.

“Sadly, there are still some irresponsible and unscrupulous practices by a number of dog breeders. The Government should protect breeding dogs and puppies by making all breeders accountable and cutting out third party ‘dealers’ of puppies from the market”.

Knight Clears First Hurdle in Battle Against Rogue Parking Companies

East Yorkshire MP Sir Greg Knight has welcomed his Private Member’s Bill, the Parking (Code of Practice) Bill, receiving its Second Reading in the House of Commons today.

The Bill enjoyed cross-party support, including the backing of the Government, and has now cleared its first Parliamentary hurdle. If successful, Sir Greg’s Bill will introduce a statutory code of practice for private parking companies which will prevent motorists being unfairly treated.

Following the ban on wheel clamping in 2012, privately issued parking ‘tickets’ soared to 4.7 million last year – one every 7 seconds with a number of these issued in dubious circumstances.

Sir Greg said: “The clear majority of car park providers are honest and fair but unscrupulous rogues are undermining the whole sector with bad practice”.

“Some dodgy operators are engaging in practices such as deliberately unclear signage, fining people whist they are getting change to pay for parking and tickets being issued despite parking payment machines being out of order. Currently there is no legally binding code to prevent this”.

“My Bill does nothing to diminish the rights of landowners to earn a fair income from their land, including seeking redress when motorists don’t play by the rules. But the scales need to be rebalanced so the system is fair for all involved. My Bill, will help stamp out rogues in the industry”.

“I am delighted that today Parliament took the first step towards making parking fairer for motorists”.

East Yorkshire Farmers See Behind the Scenes at Westminster

East Yorkshire MP Sir Greg Knight has met with East Yorkshire farmers and representatives of the National Farmers Union in Westminster to discuss issues of concern.

Before the meeting the farmers were given a tour of the Palace of Westminster including the Queen’s Robing Room, the House of Lords and Westminster Hall.

The meeting, organised by the NFU, covered a wide range of issues from fly-tipping and badger culling to pesticide use and EU red-tape, with a focus on getting the best deal for farmers as Brexit negotiations unfold.

Sir Greg thanked the NFU for organising the event and said the meting was ‘positive and constructive’. He agreed to take up several the issues raised by farmers with farming minister George Eustice MP.

Sir Greg said, “It is vital that we have good farming policy as we approach Brexit not only because of the jobs that farming provides both here in East Yorkshire and across the country but for its crucial contribution to Britain’s food and drink industry and for our food security”.

Knight Backs Plans for Food Labelling Shake-Up

Sir Greg Knight, MP for East Yorkshire, has welcomed comments from farming Minster George Eustace MP indicating that Britain could see a shake-up of food labelling rules after we leave the EU.

Currently food labelling regulations disadvantage British farmers, confuse consumers and do not promote animal welfare and currently, ministers are powerless to act because these rules are set by the EU.

Sir Greg, who has been a long-term campaigner on this issue, said: “Food labelling should be simple, clear and truthful but at the moment it is lacking all of these”.

In just this past year we have seen New Zealand lamb slipped into a major supermarket chain’s ‘Lancashire’ Hot-Pot, bacon from foreign reared pigs regularly passed off as ‘British’ because it was processed in the UK and, despite many concerned consumers asking for the information, people still have no idea if the meat that they buy has been pre-stunned before slaughter”.

“More and clearer information is desperately required. When these rules are updated it will not only be good for consumers but it will also give a boost to East Yorkshire farmers who pursue some of the highest animal welfare standards in the world but currently cannot differentiate their superior product on the supermarket shelves”.

Speaking about the method of slaughter used, farming Minister George Eustace recently made clear that he believes the public should be told how their meat is slaughtered. He said: “The Government believes that consumers should have the necessary information available to them to make an informed choice”, he added, “This is something we can consider in the context of leaving the EU.”

Knight Backs Bill to Protect Live Music

East Yorkshire MP Sir Greg Knight has joined other MPs and music industry figures outside the Houses of Parliament to give his backing to the introduction of the Planning (Agent of Change) Bill.

The MPs, from across all political parties, were backed by Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason, singers Feargal Sharkey and Sandie Shaw and UK Music Chief Executive Michael Douger.

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The Bill, presented to the Commons by John Spellar MP and sponsored by Sir Greg aims to incorporate the ‘agent of change’ principle within planning law.

Presently when buildings near a much-loved local music venue are converted to residential use or a new development is erected, the onus is on the music venue to ensure the new dwellings are protected from noise.  This situation is having a crippling effect on some of them.

This Bill would flip this responsibility and means that residential developers would be obliged to deal with the impact of sound from pre-existing businesses like music venues before going ahead with their plans.

Sir Greg said, “I welcome the introduction of the agent of change Bill as a vital means of protecting the future of our local music venues. All too often planning laws have placed unreasonable demands on small venues, threatening the development of our music industry.

I am pleased that this Bill recognises the challenges that music venues face. I hope the Government will take action to secure the changes needed.”

See the campaign launch

 

 

Sir Greg Gives East Yorkshire Student a Taste of Westminster

Sir Greg Knight, MP for East Yorkshire, welcomed Charlie Procter from Allerthorpe, near Pocklington, for work experience in the Palace of Westminster. The 17-year old A-level student who studies at York College helped out with Sir Greg’s day-to-day work. This involved updating records and seeing behind the scenes of the Palace and discussing with Sir Greg the issues that first-time voters are most passionate about.

During his time in Westminster, Charlie was able to sit in the gallery of the House of Commons during Prime Ministers Questions. Charlie also watched a Select Committee examining the Brexit negotiations and saw a debate in Westminster Hall discussing Legal Aid.

Charlie, who studies Modern History, Geography and Government and Politics, said, “I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience at Westminster and the interesting contributions I was able to make to the running of an MP’s office. I was able to see in the flesh some leading figures in today’s politics and hear some important questions being asked of the Government.”

“My time in Westminster has allowed me to experience the ‘mother of all parliaments’ in its daily running, and also to gauge what a career in politics would consist of. It has been an engaging and useful experience”.

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Greg Backs Retention of Services at Local Hospitals

East Yorkshire MP Sir Greg Knight is ‘very concerned’ that some unelected health officials seem ‘hellbent on stripping services from smaller local hospitals’.

Greg says: “These changes cannot be driven by a lack of money as the NHS is receiving a record £124bn this year with a further £8bn planned in the next 5 years.  Further, health managers themselves admit that the changes at Driffield Hospital have nothing to do with saving cash.  It is a pity then that they did not listen to members of the public who made it quite clear that they did not support their proposed changes.

So far as Bridlington Hospital is concerned, it is a grossly underused NHS resource and I find it incredible that a ward closure is now proposed whilst over at Scarborough Hospital people are working out of porta-cabins.

I am therefore meeting the Chief Executive of the Trust responsible early in the New Year to discuss this worrying situation in further detail.

And that is why I have also raised my concerns in the House of Commons with the Health Secretary.

House of Commons Official Record 19th December 2018

Sir Greg Knight MP

Does my right hon. Friend not think it is unfortunate that, at a time when GP services are being sustained, local hospital services in some areas are being reduced? Does he share my concern that some NHS trust managers and clinical commissioning groups seem hellbent on removing valued local services from our smaller hospitals, such as at Driffield and at Bridlington in my constituency?

Jeremy Hunt MP

My right hon. Friend has talked to me extensively about this in private, and I fully understand his concerns. The Government are increasing funding to the NHS, which involves extra money going both to out-of-hospital services, such as general practice, and to hospital services. We expect all areas of the country to find sensible ways for those two sectors to work together.

Greg Backs Better Cat Welfare

East Yorkshire MP Sir Greg Knight joined more than 60 MPs at the Parliamentary Cats Protection Annual Christmas reception to celebrate the charity’s work speaking up for cats, held at the House of Commons recently.

The event was hosted to thank Parliamentarians for their continued support of Cats Protection’s work throughout the UK.

Apart from Sir Greg, amongst those attending were Lord Gardiner, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Rural Affairs and Biosecurity, and George Eustice, Minister of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Cats Protection is the UK’s leading cat charity, helping around 190,000 cats every year through a network of over 250 voluntary-run branches and 34 centres.

The charity’s Head of Advocacy & Government Relations Jacqui Cuff said: “Cats are one of the nation’s favourite pets so it was wonderful to welcome so many politicians to our Christmas Reception.

“This reception is our way of saying thank you to our elected representatives and to the many other animal welfare charities and professional organisations we work with.

“We are delighted the Government has announced it will be reviewing air gun licensing. Sadly, air guns are frequently used to deliberately inflict harm and suffering on cats.

“All this shows that there are a lot of people who want to see real change to improve how cats are treated in the UK. It’s heartening that so many politicians came along to our reception to support Cats Protection.”

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Yorkshire Politicians Back Small Business Saturday

Two Yorkshire politicians are calling on the public to support small local businesses this Saturday (2nd December). East Yorkshire MP Sir Greg Knight and Lord Kirkhope of Harrogate are backing Small Business Saturday to celebrate the UK’s small businesses and to encourage communities to support them at a key time in the shopping calendar.

Experience has shown that on Small Business Saturday, now in its fifth year, spending in small businesses has risen across the UK.

Sir Greg says: “Small Business Saturday is particularly relevant to East Yorkshire given the area’s market towns with high proportions of small and independent traders”.

“Shopping locally not only supports local jobs it also boosts local economic growth by putting more money in the pockets of local people. This weekend we encourage everyone in East Yorkshire to get out and see what our local traders have to offer”.

Lord Kirkhope adds: “Across Yorkshire trade at small independent businesses on the high street is much more sensitive to parking charges and the weather which can drive people to out of town retail parks, where the shops are all giant multi-nationals”.

Knight Welcomes Acquittal of Chennai 6

East Yorkshire MP Sir Greg Knight has welcomed the news that 6 British former soldiers, including Paul Towers from East Yorkshire, who have been imprisoned on weapons charges in India since 2013, are to be released.

The so-called ‘Chennai 6’ always denied the charges, which were initially quashed but later reinstated. The former soldiers appealed, and a judge has just ruled that they be acquitted.

It is not yet known when Mr Towers and the other British nationals will be able to return home, as the authorities might appeal against the decision.

Sir Greg said: “I am delighted at this court decision and pleased that it is a full acquittal. The court also ordered that the men’s passports be released which is a good sign that an end could be near for this whole sorry saga”.

Before the men leave India they need to obtain exit visas which are being urgently sought by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Sir Greg added: “The proceedings before the Indian courts have taken far too long. Even if all the men get home for Christmas, which now looks likely, there is an injustice here.”