End the legal witch-hunt against British Troops

 

So farewell then Sir Terry Wogan. Goodbye David Bowie, Alan Rickman and Cecil Parkinson. So long, Lemmy.

 

January 2016 seems to have been a particularly cruel month. We lost so many people who made such a contribution to national life. And Cheltenham even lost Steve Herbert from the Beehive at a dreadfully young age.

 

Growing up in the 1980s Terry Wogan was a TV institution. I will particularly miss his brand of diffident charm. In today's era of cyber self-promotion and online trolling, his quiet self-deprecation and basic politeness feel almost old-fashioned. But they are values that are more important than ever.

 

Civility was in short supply in Parliament this week. MPs, including me, were fed up with British troops being hounded by lawyers on the basis of spurious claims. We are a nation of laws, and that applies to our troops. But the balance is wrong.

 

I am in favour of proportionate steps, such as preventing those who have not lived in the UK for 12 months from claiming legal aid. I also think the Government should consider action to recover the taxpayer millions received by the law firm which shredded key documentation which could have stopped the £31m Al-Sweady inquiry into (false) allegations of torture by British troops.

 

On Monday I attended the debate surrounding the equalization of the women's state pension, which has undoubtedly hit women now in their fifties particularly hard. I was also in the chamber to hear the debate about the future of the Financial Conduct Authority.

 

Elsewhere I met representatives from Alzheimer's Research UK and the Citizens Advice Bureau. I also hosted Network Rail in the next stage of my campaign for a better train service for Cheltenham.

 

If we are going to bring the jobs of tomorrow to our town I am determined to keep pressing for a more direct service to the South-East to unblock that artery of investment.

 

Back home in Cheltenham I joined residents to discuss the aftermath of the Paris Climate Conference. I believe it is essential that we meet our target of generating 30% of electricity from renewables by 2020. And I also want to see more of us doing our bit by riding bikes! I took part in a dementia support event in Pittville, and enjoyed a Q&A grilling from local students. They were very polite. But that just made the questions more deadly. Something Terry Wogan knew only too well.