Welcome to my monthly e-Bulletin for February

The new year began in good cheer and Parliament has reconvened following our winter recess... and there is much to do! From battling Mayor Khan's unaffordable U.L.E.Z. expansion, to restoring public confidence in the Exchequer; tackling illegal migration and exploiting the benefits of Brexit through channels like the Commonwealth of Nations, there are plenty of opportunities to seize going forward. 

This month will regrettably mark a year since Russia's ruthless invasion of Ukraine and the tearing up of peace in Europe. I think I can speak for us all in hoping that a peaceful solution to this conflict is achieved this year so that both Ukrainians and Russians can coexist together in harmony. 

As always, I am happy to speak to my constituents directly on whatever local or national issues are important to them over the coming weeks.

So, if you want to get in touch, please e-mail me and further contact details are available below.

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With my very best wishes,

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The Russian Invasion of Ukraine: One Year On.

It has been one year since Russia launched its ruthless invasion of Ukraine. As a Briton, and therefore someone who values peace, freedom, and prosperity, I cannot help but feel a sense of dismay at the ongoing conflict and the human suffering it has caused.

The annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014 was a clear breach of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and the subsequent invasion of Ukraine a year ago has only exacerbated the situation. The fighting has resulted in thousands of deaths and the displacement of over a million people.

The international community, including the United Kingdom, has condemned Russia's actions, and imposed economic sanctions in an effort to pressure the country to withdraw its troops and respect Ukraine's sovereignty. 

It is clear that the situation in Ukraine is complex and that there is no easy solution. However, it is imperative that all parties involved work towards a peaceful resolution that respects Ukraine's right to self-determination and territorial integrity.

The ongoing conflict serves as a stark reminder of the need for strong diplomatic efforts to resolve disputes and the importance of international law in maintaining peace and security. As a member of the international community, but also a country with recognised soft power in diplomacy, the United Kingdom must continue to play a leading role in pushing for a peaceful resolution to the crisis in Ukraine.

In the meantime, we must also remember the human cost of this conflict and do all we can to support the people of Ukraine as they endure this difficult time.

Havering’s Response To ULEZ

Last week, Havering Council failed to condemn Mayor Khan’s crushing ULEZ expansion to our area – which will cost hard-working residents’ £12.50 a day, every day, just to travel around Romford. I am disappointed that Havering will not be joining the four other Conservative-led Councils in refusing to cooperate with Mayor Khan’s latest cash-grabbing scheme.

However, as Labour forms a leading part of the Administration in Havering, it seems that they do not want to go against their own Labour-affiliated Mayor, despite the overwhelming opposition that exists in Havering against ULEZ.
I set out in the Romford Recorder last month how Mayor Khan’s ULEZ scheme represents the worst assault on motorists we’ve ever seen. The London Mayor is determined to price working people off the roads and has ignored their overwhelming objections, giving them no choice, time, or opportunity to avoid a ruinous bill.

Consequently, from August this year as many as 200,000 older, non-compliant cars will be subject to Mayor Khan’s car tax. In Romford, unlike inner-London areas like Camden or Islington, many residents’ do not live in close proximity to tubes or trams. It is therefore immoral and unfair to impost this tax, especially during an energy crisis and rising inflation.

Havering Council should not be toothless in their dealings with the Labour Mayor of London. I call on the Council to join other Conservative-led Boroughs in refusing to cooperate with Mayor Khan’s car tax which will do so much harm to the lives of people in Romford and throughout our borough.

Andrew Rosindell M.P. and Keith Prince A.M. (Assembly Member for Havering and Redbridge & Councillor for Squirrels Heath Ward), with local volunteers campaigning against the U.L.E.Z.!

Holocaust Memorial Day

Holocaust Memorial Day is a day where we remember the victims of the Holocaust, during the systematic extermination of six million Jews by the Nazi regime at the height of the Second World War. It is a day to honour the memory of those who suffered and died, and to pledge to never forget the atrocities committed during this dark chapter in history.

The significance of Holocaust Memorial Day cannot be overstated. It serves as a reminder of the dangers of hate and prejudice and the importance of understanding and acceptance. It is a call to action to actively work towards a world where such atrocities can never happen again.

The Holocaust was one of the most horrific events in human history, characterised by the systematic persecution, dehumanisation, and murder of millions of innocent people. The scale of the atrocities committed is almost incomprehensible, and the impact on the victims and their families is incalculable.

I spent the day listening to Jewish voices, of all ages and backgrounds, in the constituency. I began the day in Coronation Gardens, where a delegation of local representatives paid tribute to the victims of genocide throughout past. We were humbled by a service led by Rabbi Lee Sunderland. I was particularly moved by the terrifying stories of Harry and Moritz who had escaped Vienna following Hitler's brutal occupation of Austria.  

We must remember that the day also serves as a reminder of the ongoing issue of genocide and mass atrocities happening around the world, and the need to stand in solidarity with the victims and survivors of these atrocities. It is a call to remember the past and to pledge to work towards a better future.

Our Commonwealth partners in Nigeria are suffering from this exact issue. Christians from across the country are being hunted down by radical, Islamic extremist organisations whose express aim is to enforce Sharia Law from the Malian border to the Atlantic. Britain must rally around Nigeria and call this out for what it really is - a genocide. 

Andrew Rosindell M.P. pictured with two constituents from Collier Row holding up a framed portrait of Her late Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, which was featured on the front of Andrew's Christmas card.

Plans for the Coronation of Their Majesties, King Charles III, and Queen Camilla

Buckingham Palace have announced their plans for the Coronation weekend in the May of this year. 

The Coronation of His Majesty The King and Her Majesty The Queen, as has been tradition since the crowning of King William the Conqueror, will take place at Westminster Abbey on Saturday 6th May, 2023. This traditionally British service will be performed by the Primate of England, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and will largely explore the King's role in society today and look towards the future. Of course, there will be much pageantry, pomp, and ceremony! 

Just like last year during Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee, there will be opportunities for members of the public to unite as one in celebration of this momentous occasion. There will be a Coronation Concert broadcast at Windsor Castle by the BBC, with thousands of tickets available by ballot. 

During that very same Sunday, Britons from across the United Kingdom are invited to get together and celebrate in the traditional manner - through street parties. I am very much looking forward to what Romford has to offer! 

The following Monday, we have all been invited to participate in The Big Help Out, which is an opportunity to volunteer to support our local charities and services. What an opportunity to come together as a country to celebrate the Coronation of our King, in shared brotherhood with our Commonwealth friends and family. 

Over the last month, Andrew Rosindell M.P. has met with several individuals across the constituency and Greater London in order to gauge public opinion and to represent the people of Romford wherever the voice is needed to be heard.

Photo 1 – Andrew visits Lambeth Palace for a parliamentary service of Candlemas. 

Photo 2 – Coronation Gardens in preparation for Holocaust Memorial Day.

Photo 3 – Andrew visits Bower House in Havering-atte-Borough - further proof that ours is certainly a town and country borough!

Photo 4 – (From left to right) Cllr. Keith Prince A.M., Cllr. Christine Vickery, Andrew Rosindell M.P., Cllr. Viddy Persaud, and Cllr. Timothy Ryan at the Coronation Gardens on Holocaust Sunday.

Calls on the Chancellor to scrap the Insurance Premium Tax on Healthcare 

Given the unprecedented crisis we are seeing within our National Health Service, in the fallout of the COVID-19 Pandemic and the crippling measures that this nation employed, I have called upon the Chancellor of the Exchequer, The Rt. Hon. Jeremy Hunt M.P., to scrap, or temporarily suspend the Insurance Premium Tax on Healthcare. 

It is not in the interests of the country, the Government, or the NHS, to tax a mechanism which has the sole purpose of facilitating the acquisition of private health care when we are facing GP backlogs and surgery waiting lists that have never been seen in the United Kingdom before. 

The NHS needs as much assistance as possible in relieving it of some of the burden it currently endures - so those who can afford private healthcare should not expect any hurdles from the Government and all should be provided every incentive to do so. 

Of course, tax-cuts are key to my political beliefs and the economic pressures currently being inflicted on the Exchequer have disabled much of what is actionable, but I sincerely believe that this would make for sound and judicious policymaking. 

You can read my letter to the Chancellor here

Westminster & The Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill

Earlier in the month, the Government used their Section 35 powers to reject the Scottish Parliament’s Gender Recognition Reform Bill. I fully support the Government in using these powers – which both respects devolution but, crucially, helps safeguard the rights of women and girls across the remainder of the United Kingdom.

The Government’s legal basis has been very clear. In paragraph 27 of the Government’s written statement, it confirms that the Bill does not create ‘sufficient safeguards’ which could see ‘fraudulent and/or malign applications’ to transition which could have severe implications for safeguarding. 

Reducing the age limit to 16 to allow children to transition genders is simply too low. The human brain does not fully develop until one is in their mid-twenties. It would defy all logic to allow children as young as 16 to make a permanent and life-changing decision when they are deemed not mature enough to drive cars or drink alcohol at the same age. 

I was moved by the bravery of Labour’s MP Rosie Duffield who spoke last week very powerfully about the importance of preserving single-sex spaces – despite damning criticism from many of those in her own Party. 

We must not let political correctness obscure the most obvious facts of life; people cannot change their biological sex any more than they can change their age or their place of birth. These biological markers are obviously relevant; men and women do have clear physical differences. I therefore fully support the Government in their use of powers to block a damaging new law which would have serious implications for everyone.

Ambulance Handover Delays

It came to my attention, earlier this month, that the Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (B.H.R.U.T.), centred at Queen's Hospital in Romford, was experiencing the worst ambulance handover delays in the country. This is completely unacceptable. 

An ambulance is a lifeline and by extension, the NHS is a safety net. We rely on these services when an emergency arises, and it should not even be a possibility that our handover from ambulance to emergency department is delayed or encumbered by a backlog. 

18,537 hours were lost due to continuing ambulance handover delays across Greater London - this amounts to 378 hours lost per day. Emergency waiting times, according to Queen's Hospital, have risen up to 15 hours. The gravity of this situation is such that I am without words to qualify it. I have contacted the Health Secretary, The Rt. Hon. Steve Barclay M.P., calling on his Department to explore all avenues to see that this priority is not neglected. 

The NHS is the largest employer in Europe and the Government are pouring record levels of funding into it, yet something is going wrong. It is paramount that NHS management is reviewed regularly and, if it is in the national interest, a restructuring of this national institution must take place. We need a health service that is capable of providing for Britons, not being a constant source of stress and anxiety. 

My letter to the Health Secretary can be read here

Royal Mail Reminder to "Use Up or Swap Out" Non-Barcoded Definitive Stamps

The Royal Mail are phasing out their old, non-barcoded definitive stamps which means that Customers have until 31st July 2023 to use up their old non-barcoded definitive stamps, at which they will be rendered invalid. 

Even after the six-month grace period, I have been reassured that we will be able to swap non-barcoded definitive stamps for barcoded stamps through the Royal Mail's simple and free Stamp Swap Out scheme which has no end date, as of yet. 

Check your wallets and purses for the outdated stamps before the end of July so you can utilise them going forward. 

For more information, follow this link.

I was honoured to meet with His Grace, Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Justin Welby, Primate of all England. This was following a sublime service of Candlemas, for parliamentarians, at Lambeth Palace, the Archbishop's official residence. 

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