Bassetlaw MP sees return to Parliament as another step towards getting back to normal

This week, MPs returned to Parliament following the summer recess and while I’m normally the first person to moan about the London Underground, it was actually nice to see people using it more widely and going back to their places of work.

By Brendan Clarke-Smith
Thursday, 3rd September 2020, 7:00 am
Updated Thursday, 3rd September 2020, 5:30 pm

Hopefully we will all be able to return to normality sooner rather than later.

Disappointingly, Extinction Rebellion had organised a protest in Westminster.

It was annoying enough to see the huge police presence that was required to deal with it, but even more frustrating to see people who clearly didn’t need to be at work, but seemed intent on preventing other people from getting to work.

Brendan Clarke-Smith, MP for Bassetlaw. Photo: London Portrait Photographer-DAV

On a more positive note, I had the pleasure of getting to speak to former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Tony has a great deal of experience of negotiating free trade deals and it was also encouraging to hear how positively he views the relationship between Australia and the UK.

Additional to this I also asked the health secretary Matt Hancock about the exciting development of coronavirus tests which can produce results in only 90 minutes.

I asked that these be rolled out as soon as possible and that we pay particular attention to using them in our care homes.

Brendan Clarke-Smith and his fellow MPs returned to Westminster this week for the new Parliamentary session

Mr Hancock assured me in the House of Commons that he was doing his best to make this happen.

As part of the government’s plan for jobs, a new £2 billion Kickstart Scheme will create thousands of new, fully subsidised jobs for young people across the country.

The six-month placements are open to those aged 16 to 24 who are claiming universal credit and at risk of long term unemployment.

They will be available across a range of different sectors in England, Scotland and Wales.

The first placements are likely to be available from November.

There will also be extra funding to support young people to build their experience and help them move into sustained employment after they have completed their Kickstart-funded job.

Employers will receive 100 per cent funding of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum auto-enrollment pension contributions.

Brendan Clarke-Smith is MP for Bassetlaw.