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David Johnston MP - Newsletter, April 2021

on Wed, 31/03/2021 - 4:09pm

I hope you, your friends and your family continue to be safe and well.

Thank you to everyone who completed my Grove Station survey – 2,620 of you within 2 weeks (results below).

I am glad we have begun easing restrictions this week, with non-essential retail able to reopen from the 12th April. If there is somewhere that you think would be good for me to visit once it has reopened, then do let me know. But not before I get a haircut, as my hair is a complete mess!

As ever, if I can help you with anything then do contact me via [email protected]

Best wishes, 


In the House of Commons

I spoke in favour of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, focussing on the measures to combat unauthorised traveller camps that many of you have written to me about since I became an MP. I also spoke in favour of the Government’s Advanced Research and Invention Agency Bill, which invests £800 million to create a UK version of the U.S. DARPA.

In questions, I highlighted Johnson Matthey’s new flagship site at Milton Park, which will develop and test the next generation of batteries for electric vehicles; spoke about the importance of teaching boys what is and is not acceptable to prevent violence against women; and highlighted local organisations such as Didcot Railway Centre and Oxford Philharmonic in a question to Oliver Dowden.

In Parliament

On the Education Committee, we held sessions with the Schools Minister, Nick Gibb, and Ofqual on the exam proposals for 2021; continued our inquiry into home education; and had a session on children’s mental health with charities and the Government’s youth mental health ambassador, Dr Alex George.

I became a member of the Backbench Business Committee, which allocates time to backbenchers to hold debates in parliament on topics of their choice. I met with Rishi Sunak to talk about how to help young people’s job prospects and took part in the BBC’s Politics Live for the first time (link below). NB: to my surprise, the panellists can’t see each other during the programme, you look at a black screen the whole way through!

In the constituency

I was delighted with the results of my Grove Station survey: 98% of people respondents supported it being reopened! Over 90% said they would prefer it to a new bus service and 89% said they would use their car less if it reopened. We have stiff competition as there are 85 different bids to Government for stations or lines to reopen, but I will keep bashing away until we eventually succeed.

I visited Aureus School in Didcot and Savages in Blewbury – one relatively new institution and one that still has 3 generations of the same family working for it! I held an online Q and A with pupils at St Blaise School in Milton and attended a meeting of East Hendred Parish Council.

I know that many of you continue to have problems with Royal Mail and I have been applying regularly for a debate in parliament about the service we have been seeing. Unfortunately, it is a ballot and I can only enter every fortnight but I will keep doing so.

In the media

My appearance on Politics Live can be watched <here>.

My fortnightly columns for the Herald can also be read <here>.