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David Johnston MP - Newsletter, March 2021

on Mon, 01/03/2021 - 4:07pm

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

If you haven’t done so yet, please consider completing my Grove Station survey by 12pm on 1st March – it takes just a couple of minutes and is designed to show the Government there is local support for my campaign to reopen it.

I am very pleased the Government has published the Roadmap for the removal of all restrictions by 21st June as long as we keep making progress with infection rates and the vaccine roll-out.

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

Best wishes, 


In the House of Commons

Parliament was sitting for 3 of the 4 weeks this month and I gave speeches on Harwell’s contribution to the space industry (did you know the space cluster there has the largest number of space organisations within walking distance of one another anywhere in the world?) and on supporting our armed forces. This week I was set to give a speech about the return of schools but the debate timed out at the 25th speaker and I was number 31!

In questions, I raised the lack of financial support from some universities for their students, why Uber and similar companies should obey the Supreme Court ruling and requested that the Civil Service start publishing the data on the social backgrounds of the people they hire after media reports they had stopped. For anyone interested, the House of Commons library produces a word cloud of the 100 words each MP has used most in their speeches – above is mine.

In Parliament

On the Education Committee, we held a session on funding for schools, an accountability hearing with the Minister for Schools and the Minister for Children and Families, and a pre-appointment hearing with the Government’s choice to chair the Office for Students.

I became a CEN Champion for nature-based solutions to climate change, a new campaigning role to try and secure improvements ranging from stopping the sale of peat for use in horticulture to better protecting our marine habitats.

I chaired a Westminster Legal Policy Forum on the next steps for tackling domestic abuse as well as a meeting with parliamentary colleagues interested in supporting the AEAT Pension Campaign for full restoration of their pensions, an issue which affects a significant proportion of constituents.

In the constituency

I have continued to volunteer at vaccination centres where I can, including at Mably Way and at Didcot Civic Hall. I also dropped by the new testing centre that has been opened at the Beacon in Wantage.

I visited Charlton and Millbrook primary schools, both of which have been doing a great job to keep teaching the children of key workers and have exciting plans for the future.

I also dropped by the Grocer Chef in Ardington – it was great to meet Keith, Maria and Sarah and I can recommend the soup.

Like everyone else however, most of my time is spent on Zoom. I have continued to hold surgery appointments this way, have been interviewed by students at Didcot Girls School for a campaign they are running regarding making the internet safer and have also attended meetings of Steventon and Blewbury Parish Councils.

I am sorry to report there has so far been no Jackie Weaver-style excitement but if you are involved in a Parish Council and would like me to attend a meeting to raise issues with me, do get in touch.

In the media

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