Celebrating Conservative success
Debate on European Union membership is next issue
I am delighted that following the General Election the Conservatives, under David Cameron's strong leadership at home and abroad, have 331 seats in Parliament - five more than needed for an absolute Commons majority - our first such clear cut victory, enabling our party to govern independently, since 1992.
In London, Labour’s campaign failed to live up to its polling expectations winning just four of the nine Tory seats it strongly targeted. The Liberal Democrats meanwhile were decimated, retaining just one MP in the capital. The Conservatives have 27. It is with great sadness we say goodbye to excellent London Tory politicians Nick de Bois in Enfield North, Mary McLeod in Brentford & Isleworth, Angie Bray in Ealing Central & Acton, and Lee Scott in Ilford North - all great constituency MPs who worked very hard for their constituents and country. We welcome as new London MPs: Paul Scully in Sutton and Cheam, Dr Tania Mathias in Twickenham, and James Berry in Kingston who magnificently won their seats from senior Lib Dem incumbents. I look forward to working with them over the coming years.
During the General Election campaign I visited every one of the ten 40/40 seats in London – the 40 marginal seats to be held and 40 target seats to be won nationally for the Conservatives to form a majority government – in addition to a number of other seats not on that list.
Prime Minister David Cameron, now safely back in Downing Street, has promised to lead a government for "one nation" and make "Great Britain greater". Rival leaders Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage have all resigned after election disappointment. Our economic recovery plan will be continued to generate growth and reduce national debt without unnecessary tax rises.
The Conservatives will now need to reach out to all parts of the UK and bring the country together in the wake of the Scottish National Party’s election landslide in Scotland - where it won 56 of the 59 seats. Granting Scotland the agreed devolutionary powers will be a priority as part of a constitutional settlement.
After a welcome respite from campaigning, London Conservatives must also look ahead regionally to next year’s Greater London Assembly and Mayoral elections after selecting the right candidates. Nationally we must focus on delivering the promised IN/OUT referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union in 2017.
In that debate on Europe the Conservative Prime Minister will argue we need renewed consent by the people for a fresh settlement with the EU following a renegotiated package. I am confident David Cameron knows what his priorities and red lines are and will secure beneficial agreements from the 27 other member state governments who will be very keen to keep the UK in the EU. I look forward after 16 years representing London as your Conservative MEP to supporting our government in this quest in the European Parliament and campaigning in London during the 2017 "Brexit "Referendum to make the case why our continued membership of the EU after a renegotiated package is in our national interest.
Remembering the Armenian Genocide
Delivering a speech at Southwark Cathedral before dignitaries and community leaders to mark the occasion and join in solidarity with the Armenian community of the UK.
I am a proud patron of the Armenian Genocide Centenary Commemoration Committee UK and one of Armenia’s staunchest friends in the European Parliament. I was privileged earlier that week to co-author the Joint Resolution of the European Parliament calling for recognition by Turkey and all EU member states of the Armenian Genocide which enjoyed overwhelming support across the House.
I was also pleased to read an editorial in the Financial Times which unequivocally stated the 1915 massacres constituted a ‘genocide’ in modern parlance. This is hugely important in the light of the Pope’s recent statement using the term ‘Armenian Genocide’.
Historically the Armenians were always amongst the most progressive people of the region. The scores of monuments that survive to date, in the form of beautifully carved churches in southeastern Turkey, are a testament of its glorious past and culture.
It is believed the systematic massacres of Armenians, Assyrian Christians and Pontic Greeks inspired Hitler and the Nazis to execute their evil Holocaust plans for the Jews during World War II.
Debating on France 24, international news and current affairs television channel, examining prospects for the UK General Election with Labour and UKIP politicians.
Compassion in World Farming
I am supporting Compassion in World Farming's campaign to reduce and eventually stop the export of live farm animals from the EU to countries outside the EU, where they too often face brutal slaughter conditions and en route very unpleasant long distance travel arrangements deprived of breaks or adequate hydration and feeding.
Addressing TTIP and NHS
Speaking in London at a seminar hosted by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) on the proposed EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The panel also included Labour and Green MEPs, and the RCN's executive director of nursing. Conservatives support TTIP which will prove hugely beneficial to the UK's economy.
Captured Ukranian pilot
With fellow MEPs during the visit to the European Parliament of Vira Savchenko, sister of the captured Ukrainian pilot, Nadiya Savchenko. Nadiya was captured by Russian backed separatists in Ukraine last year and later transferred to Russia. Despite courageously enduring an 83 day hunger strike, which she was forced to cease following medical advice, Nadiya continues to be detained.
Scully wins in Sutton & Cheam
With Paul Scully during the campaign who has now been elected to represent Sutton & Cheam.
At an event promoting the European Reference Networks, which are aimed at improving the cooperation between EU Member States in the field of diagnoses, treatment and research of rare cancers.
Attending a Conservative Friends of Cyprus election launch event in my capacity as Vice Chairman together with Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and North London Conservative Parliamentary candidates.
Visiting the £14.8 billion Crossrail project at Paddington station, Europe’s largest construction project, work on which started in May 2009. Over 10,000 people are working directly on Crossrail at over 40 sites - with tens of thousands more jobs to be created during the coming years in the supply chain, including more than 400 apprenticeships.
Speaking at school
Addressing the JS Mill society of the Latymer Upper School in Hammersmith, London, discussing my role as an MEP. I covered issues including the major current EU foreign policy debates such as the crisis in Ukraine, and answered wide ranging questions from students on matters such as CAP reform and the benefits of the UK's EU membership.
Common Security & Defence Policy
With Rear Admiral Jürgen Ehle, Chairman of the EU Military Committee Working Group, following a conference on Common Security and Defence Policy operations for combatting piracy in the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Guinea, and UK seconded diplomat Patricia Davies, International Relations Office for West Africa and the Gulf of Guinea and Security at the European External Action Service.
Downing Street visit
Visiting No 10 with Conservative MEP David Campbell Bannerman to be briefed by the PM ahead of the election.
Meeting with PM in Number 10
The 'family photo' taken on a visit to 10 Downing Street where the Prime Minister briefed Conservative MEPs about his strategy for the General Election (which proved to be very successful subsequently).
Tania wins in Twickenham
During the campaign with Tania Mathias, now Member of Parliament for Twickenham.
Opposing mansion tax
In Westminster North during the General Election campaign, gathering signatures for a petition opposing Labour’s proposed ‘Mansion Tax’.
Being interviewed on Share Radio, a brand new radio station broadcasting in the Greater London area. I am always pleased to support London businesses and was able to provide listeners with a perspective on European politics and an insight into my role in foreign affairs.
Attending the annual European Parliament Holocaust Memorial service to remember and honour the millions tragically killed during the Holocaust.
With fellow rapporteurs at a joint press conference following the Parliament's vote in favour of resolutions regarding the progress of Western Balkan countries in their bid to join the European Union. I am for a second time the Standing Rapporteur for Montenegro and am pleased that my report has been adopted with an overwhelming majority in the Parliament.
On site at the Francis Crick Institute, a £750 million medical research institute under construction that will house interdisciplinary teams of 'wet' and 'dry' scientists side-by-side. Wet science refers to bench work in science, involving buffers, enzymes, culture media and other waterlogged reagents. Dry science refers to computational and mathematical work. The Crick comprises one million square feet including basements stretching down four stories that total 30% of its floorspace. It will be amongst the biggest research centres in Europe.