Adam Afriyie
MP for Windsor
Conservatives are social reformers

As a long-standing advocate of social mobility I was cheered by the message at this years’ conference.

The Prime Minister laid out the moral mission for Conservatives over the next Parliament in his keynote address.

The message was clear and unequivocal: if you want something done about the challenges facing society, then the Conservatives are the only party for you.

As Conservatives, we are determined to tackle the complex social and economic issues of our time. Whether it’s housing, prisons, family stability, the care system or social mobility, we need to get to work, even if other politicians and political parties are reluctant to express their views through fear of being exposed as out of kilter with the sentiments of modern Britain.

The Conservative party has a proud heritage of social reformers from Disraeli’s “One Nation” conservatism to Macmillan’s housebuilding and Thatcher’s reshaping of the economy. We have a strong tradition of reforming and strengthening society. It should be no different today.

Campaign Kids changing the world!

One of the best gifts a young person can receive in life is a good education to give them hope for the future and the chance of a better standard of life. So I was over the moon when I received several wonderfully written letters from a group of children at Lambrook School who are taking part in a fantastic programme called Campaign Kids.

Campaign Kids, founded by Amelia Sinclair, aims to further children’s education beyond the national curriculum by teaching them kindness and charity, and to learn to look after others in need. It seeks to combine the three main elements of giving – Fundraising, Raising Awareness and Campaigning – into one programme which will support, encourage and help children to learn about the things that they care about.

The letters truly made me smile because they reminded me how strong-minded and strong-willed children are. Their enthusiasm and passion really shone through their words and I am proud that they have chosen a number of really great charities and good causes. These include The Children’s Trust; Great Ormond Street; the Children’s Chronic Arthritis Association; Amigos; the British Council for the Prevention of Blindness (BCPB); the Teenage Wilderness Trust; Rainforest Concern; International Animal Rescue; WWF; Pine Ridge Dog Sanctuary; the Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group; the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS); the Make a Wish Foundation; the Scottish Wildlife Trust; Gearing up 4 Gorillas; and shelters for unhealthy and homeless dogs.

I’m delighted that Campaign Kids is giving these children the chance to show others what they are passionate about, and teaching them that individually, and in a group, they can make a huge difference.

Their parents should be proud! Keep up the good work!

800 Years on: Magna Carta remains a proud Windsor legacy

Magna CartaOn a summer’s day in June 1215, after days of negotiation, the royal imprimatur was applied to a document that would underpin the history of democratic evolution across the globe.

It was sealed in at Ankerwycke which is today part of the Windsor constituency and took the form of a typically British document, the result of compromise and competing demands, free from hasty radicalism but which nevertheless formed the foundations of the free society we live in to this day.

The rule of law, trial by a jury of peers, a limit on executive power and protection from imprisonment without trial were all first laid down on that day in 1215. And these guarantees were not easily won.

MPs have mental health challenges too

Alzheimer's Society compressed

The timing of Mental Health Awareness Week 2015 could not be better.  MPs have just been returned to Parliament and are busy getting stressed, learning the ropes, and considering what they will focus on for the next five years. Now more than ever, we need to double down on our efforts to improve our attitude towards mental health.

For many years, mental health was barely discussed in public. Yet every one of us will have witnessed the impact of mental illness whether directly, or indirectly through friends, family or colleagues. Whichever way you cut it, millions of our fellow citizens have to cope with a mental health challenge, and that includes MPs.

Mental health has always had a huge impact on people’s ability to lead happy and fulfilling lives, as well as on our businesses, schools, and public services. When I was first elected to Parliament in 2005 my first publication was in a book called The Forgotten. My chapter was about mental health and I suggested ways to tackle stigma and improve the situation. We have certainly moved on a long way over the last decade, but there is still some way to go.

The leaders’ debate showed that only the Conservatives have a credible plan

Deficit cut by half GE2015As the election campaign kicked off, it was fascinating to watch the seven main party leaders set out their positions in the leaders’ debates. For those of us living in England, it demonstrated a clear choice between the coherent economic competence of the Conservatives on the one hand, and the chaos of the other parties.

It was clear throughout that Conservatives have a plan to get rid of the deficit, by bearing down on departmental spending and further reducing welfare, so that work really pays.

Yes, we are still spending more than we can afford as a country, but thanks to tough decisions taken by Conservatives in Government, the deficit has been cut by half in percentage terms in this parliament, and will be eliminated in the next. Conservatives believe it’s morally wrong to leave huge debts behind for our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren to pay off.