Entries by Darren

MEP congratulates former chess champion for stance against Saudi Arabia’s treatment of women

Local MEP and chess player, Jonathan Arnott, has congratulated Maria Muzychuk, a former women’s world chess champion, for her stance against Saudi Arabia’s treatment of women. His comments come on today’s International Women’s Day – which ironically coincides with a controversial visit to this country by Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, who has been […]

The UK has failed for decades to build enough houses to meet demand

Dear Editor, The UK has failed for decades to build enough houses to meet demand. In the last Budget, the Chancellor announced sufficient funding to deal with the issue – but what I fail to see from this government is a coherent plan to achieve it. Left-wingers do (correctly) speak about the need to protect […]

‘Impossible demands’ raise doubts over Brexit deal

‘Impossible demands’ contained in a draft European Parliament resolution on Brexit has led to a British MEP to question whether the European Parliament really wants to do any kind of deal with the United Kingdom. The resolution comes just a week after the European Commission published a draft EU Withdrawal Treaty which would allow EU […]

Response to Theresa May’s Brexit speech

Whilst Theresa May’s speech did strike some positive notes, overall her approach fails to inspire confidence. It was a more detailed speech than most, and detail demands a careful and nuanced response. Theresa May has taken changes to EU state aid rules off the table. Those same state aid rules prevented meaningful and timely action […]

Response to European Union Draft Withdrawal Agreement

Much has been made politically today about the European Union’s attempted power-grab over Northern Ireland through the Draft Withdrawal Agreement. This is all valid, but in focusing on this so-called ‘dead cat strategy’ it would be easy to miss much of the rest which is contained within the text of the draft Agreement. The biggest […]

Response to Jeremy Corbyn’s speech regarding the customs union

The big question about Jeremy Corbyn’s speech today was whether it will make it easier, or harder, for the UK to negotiate a good deal with the European Union. He’s just answered that question: it’ll be harder. When people voted to leave the European Union, we voted to take back control over our finances, our […]

How can any Councillor look their constituents in the eye and defend Council policies which prioritise investing in a hotel company over providing frontline services for residents

Dear Editor, Last year I was very vocal in my opposition to plans from Stockton-on-Tees Council to invest in a Hilton hotel.   At a time when local residents were been faced with simultaneous Council Tax rises and cuts to key services I felt the the mere idea of investing in a luxury hotel was absurd.  However, […]

The narrative surrounding hospital services in Hartlepool must change

Dear Editor, I welcome the announcement from Alan Foster that maternity services will not be centralised at James Cook University Hospital as had long been feared. The loss of Hartlepool’s A&E services is still a major issue for the area and it is very clear that local people want key medical services to remain at […]