Every month the Stray Ferret tries to find out what our local MPs have been up to in their constituencies and in the House of Commons.
By the end of March, we’d partially emerged from lockdown and more than 80,000 people had been vaccinated in the district.
We asked the district’s Conservative MPs- Harrogate & Knaresborough’s Andrew Jones, Ripon’s Julian Smith, and Selby and Ainsty’s Nigel Adams if they would like to highlight anything in particular that they have been doing this month, but we did not receive a response from any of them.
Here is what we know after analysing their online presence.
In Harrogate and Knaresborough, here is what we found on Mr Jones:
- Mr Jones didn’t post any updates on his official website but four stories about his activity appeared on his local “news” website, Community News. These included a tribute to former HBC council leader Geoff Webber who passed away.
- The Harrogate and Knaresborough MP defended a crime bill that gives police new powers to deal with protests. He said: “It is possible to protest without impacting others so what we need to strike therefore is that balance and that is what the bill does.”.
- In the Commons, he praised news that the Treasury will base a National Infrastructure Bank in Leeds. He said: “It is great news for the city and will bolster its established financial services and legal hubs.”
- On March 23, Mr Jones gave an update on the vaccine rollout on Community News. He wrote that in the North Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group Area, 215,522 people have had their first dose of the vaccine.
- Mr Jones voted against a Lords amendment to the Fire Safety Bill to give more protections to leaseholders and tenants in England from footing the bill for fire safety work on buildings.
- At PMQs on March 24, the MP urged the Prime Minister to support Harrogate Town’s bid to rearrange the date of its trip to Wembley so fans can attend. He even told a Harrogate Town supporter that he’d be on the train to Wembley with the fans if date is changed.
In Ripon, here is what we found on Mr Smith:
- On March 1, the MP posted on his website to say he has spoken with North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, Julia Mulligan, about reports of crime and anti-social behavior in Ripon. He did not give any further details on what was discussed.
- Like Mr Jones, Mr Smith also voted against the Fire Safety Bill amendment.
- The MP for Ripon has not spoken in the House of Commons since February 10.
- 5 of his 7 tweets in March were related to Northern Ireland.
- Mr Smith attended a virtual meeting of the Skipton and Ripon Area Constituency Committee. The MP praised the local effort in getting people vaccinated.
- Writing on his website about the challenges facing farmers in his constituency due to Brexit and covid, Mr Smith wrote: “I will continue to represent farmers in Parliament and do everything possible to help.”
- Last week, he introduced the charity PeerTalk‘s virtual morning ‘Let’s Have a Chat’ event which focused on mental health.
In rural south Harrogate, he is what we found on Mr Adams:
- At a HBC planning committee on March 9, it was revealed Mr Adams personally wrote to committee members with his concerns about an 80-home development in Green Hammerton.
- The Minister for Asia criticised a military crackdown on protestors in Myanmar that saw scores of civilians killed. He tweeted: “There’s no justification for such cowardly acts which bring more shame on the #Myanmar regime & its leaders. Those responsible must be held to account.”
- On March 26 he summoned the Chargé d’Affaires from the Chinese Embassy to the Foreign Office following Beijing’s decision to impose sanctions on British politicians and individuals who have highlighted human rights abuses against the Uighur Muslim minority group.
- Mr Adams paid tribute to former Leeds United striker Peter Lorimer who died aged 74. He tweeted: “So sad. Another of the LUFC greats gone. 238 goals and some absolute belters amongst them. Great memories.”