Adam Afriyie
MP for Windsor
Lifting the grammar school ban is a boost for social mobility

From Disraeli’s ‘One Nation’ Conservatism in the 19th century through to Harold Macmillan’s post-war housebuilding programme and Margaret Thatcher’s revival of the economy in the 20th century, the Conservative Party has a strong tradition of enabling social mobility.

People might say that I came from a classically disadvantaged background, like so many others, having been brought up by my mother in social housing in South London. Yet I was one of the few fortunate enough to get a good education and make my way in life. This should not be a one-off story; it should be commonplace. The circumstances of a child’s birth should not determine where they end up in life.

So I’m delighted that greater social mobility is the driving mission of this Conservative Government.

The ability to make your way in life is intrinsically linked to the education you receive.

While we are fortunate to live in an area with some of the best schools in the country – from academies like Charters, to free schools like Holyport College and Forest Bridge – the picture is not consistent across the country.

Conservative education reforms have shown promising results over the last six years. The creation of free schools and academies, and the modernisation of the curriculum are raising standards across the board. But there is more to do.

Windsor MP welcomes Government progress on mental health funding

The Windsor MP welcomes the Government’s “revolution” in mental health care as part of a package of new funding and reforms aimed at improving treatment and removing the stigma attached to mental health issues.

The new targeted programs include embedding mental health services in every hospital emergency department, creating 24 hour round-the-clock community care as an alternative to hospitalisation and the provision of extra mental health care for expectant mothers and anorexic teenagers.

This follows a speech last month in which the Prime Minister called for a “more mature” conversation about mental health and for people to be less embarrassed or fearful to talk to others about mental illnesses and to seek help.

 

Adam Afriyie, Windsor’s MP, commented:

“This is a fantastic start to the year and a great example of how Conservatives are not only protecting support for people facing mental health challenges but actually boosting it

“You wouldn’t expect to be turned away from the NHS if you had a broken arm and I believe we should adopt the same approach for the millions of people who will experience a mental illness during their lifetime

Windsor MP welcomes “massive” improvement in state schools

A new report released by the Good Schools Guide has revealed that the performance of state schools has increased “massively” over the last three decades.

The proportion of state schools in the top 1,200 list has increased from 48 in 1986 to 300 in 2016 – a sixfold increase in thirty years.

Lord Lucas, who edits the advisory guide, has said that he expects many independent schools to either turn into government free schools or close altogether due to the strong quality of local state schools.

The MP for the Windsor constituency, Adam Afriyie welcomed the figures:

“As someone who got into politics in the first place to improve social mobility this is simply fantastic news. Improving state schools is the silver bullet to solving the issue of social mobility in this country.

“It confirms that free schools are helping to lift standards across the spectrum.

Widespread confidence in the Conservatives

A new poll by the Edelman Trust shows a solid vote of confidence in this Conservative government and a recognition of how divided left-leaning Labour has become.

Just 18% trust Jeremy Corbyn to do what is right, compared to 33% who felt the same way about Miliband in 2014. Moreover, 40% of the public trust David Cameron to do the right thing, up from 33% in 2014.

This builds on a YouGov poll from just before the New Year that showed that people recognise that the Conservatives are the only party that can be trusted with the economy. 41% said that they trusted the Conservative Party the most to handle the economy, with Labour on a distant 18%. This 23% lead is higher than any lead we had in the last Parliament. Even in Scotland the Conservative Party are recognised as being the best party to handle the economy. Let’s hope that this translates into votes at the Holyrood elections later this year.

These figures are an encouraging sign that people are recognising the good work that Conservatives are doing in cutting Labour’s overspending, reducing the deficit, lowering unemployment and reforming welfare and education. Given the fantastic employment figures that we have seen in the past few years it’s also unsurprising that the same poll shows that the Conservatives are recognised as being the best party to deal with unemployment.

The poll also shows that the public sees Labour as swinging hard to the left. David Cameron is perceived as a moderate, centre-right politician, whereas Corbyn is registered as being nearly twice as far from the political centre, or indeed the Labour Party!

Irrespective of public perceptions, there remains more work to be done in government. So let’s continue the important work of mending the economy to reward this trust and show that only the Conservatives can deliver strong growth, a budget surplus and excellent public services.

 

Windsor MP welcomes another fall in unemployment

The new figures show that in the constituency of Windsor, there are now only 425 claimants of unemployment benefit.

This represents a rate of 0.8% of the Windsor population, placing Windsor in the top 10% best performing constituencies.

Nationally, the employment rate has broken the previous record high set last month, with an employment rate of 73.9%. Inflation is 0.1%, far below wage growth of 2.4%.

The MP for the Windsor constituency, Adam Afriyie welcomed the figures:

“I’m just over the moon. This is an early Christmas present for everyone who’s got a job because work is the best route to financial security. What’s best of all is that only 35 young people are now unemployed with youth employment having dropped by half since this time last year.

“It is at times like this that I am reminded why I joined the Conservative Party: to give people jobs, incomes and a way to improve life for themselves and their familes.