On 1 October 2014, Lord Risby and John Whittingdale took part in the ‘Ukraine and Europe: Peace and Development’ roundtable organised in Vienna by the German-Ukraine Forum.

They joined more than 150 other influential politicians and experts from Germany, Austria, Ukraine, the UK and France in discussing the ways of resolving the current crisis in Ukraine. Chairman of the British Ukrainian Society, Lord Risby, moderated a panel discussion which also included the BUS Director John Whittingdale as a panel speaker.

Lord Risby noted that, despite many difficulties which lie ahead for Ukraine in the next few weeks, the upcoming elections will be a watershed in the life of the country. “With a new Parliament, the European track, and the other things that will flow from it, I hope and believe this will be a new beginning.”

With the continuing military conflict in the East of Ukraine, Mr Whittingdale began with expressing his admiration for the courage of the people of Ukraine and his complete support against absolutely unacceptable aggression.

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John Whittingdale MP attended the SET for Britain event in the House of Commons to meet Dr Zoe Barker, one of the finalists who lives in Maldon. SET for Britain is the major scientific competition and exhibition in Parliament to highlight the work of Britain’s Early-Stage Researchers in Science, Engineering, Technology and Mathematical Sciences.

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John Whittingdale’s support for pubs has been recognised as he received a new “Beer Champion” award in Parliament. The special award is a joint initiative from the British Beer & Pub Association, the Campaign for Real Ale, and the Society of Independent Brewers and recognises John’s role in supporting the brewing industry and pubs, and his successful campaigning for an end to the Beer Duty Escalator and a cut in Beer Duty which was announced by the Chancellor in last year’s Budget.

John Whittingdale said: “Pubs play a vital role in local communities and need support. In the Maldon constituency, we have 90 Pubs and four breweries, directly providing over 1,000 jobs. After successive tax increases totalling 42 per cent over 4 years, I am delighted that the Chancellor listened to our concerns and cut the duty on Beer. This will provide a real boost to local pubs and I am proud to be recognised as a Parliamentary Beer Champion”

John is pictured receiving his certificate with Keith Bott of the Society of Independent Brewers, Brigid Simmonds of the British Beer and Pub Association and Colin Valentine of the Campaign for Real Ale.

Marking Holocaust Memorial Day this week, John Whittingdale signed the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Book of Commitment in the House of Commons, honouring those who died during the Holocaust as well as honouring the extraordinary Holocaust survivors who work tirelessly to educate young people about what they endured.

Monday 27th January will mark the 69th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration and death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, the site of the largest mass murder in history.

In the weeks leading up to and after Holocaust Memorial Day, thousands of commemorative events will be arranged by schools, faith groups and community organisations across the country, remembering all the victims of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides.

John Whittingdale said: “Holocaust Memorial Day marks the anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration and death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau – and is an important opportunity to remember the victims and survivors of the Holocaust. I encourage all constituents to mark the day and to join members of my community in the fight against prejudice and intolerance.”

Karen Pollock MBE, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said: “We are proud that John Whittingdale is supporting Holocaust Memorial Day. It is vitally important that we both continue to remember and learn from the appalling events of the Holocaust – as well as ensuring that we continue to challenge antisemitism and all forms of bigotry.”

On Tuesday 10th December, John Whittingdale MP attended an event in Westminster organised by Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, to raise awareness of its annual Christmas campaign.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The event, hosted by Neil Parish MP, celebrated the 35th anniversary of the iconic Dogs Trust slogan; “A Dog is for Life, Not Just for Christmas”. The phrase was coined in 1978 by the charity’s CEO, Clarissa Baldwin OBE, in a bid to highlight the issue of dogs being given as Christmas gifts, and indeed all year round, and later abandoned when the novelty wears off.

MPs were given the opportunity to take a festive Dogs Trust sleigh ride and meet a large number of furry friends. These pooches, however, were all stuffed toys – the only suitable kind of dog to give as a gift! Attendees also learned more about the charity’s annual campaign, which encourages people to pause and think carefully before taking on a dog, especially during the festive season.

John said: “I am delighted to support Dogs Trust and help the charity mark the 35th anniversary of its famous slogan, which is as important now as it ever has been. A dog is a lifetime commitment and should never be bought on impulse as if it were a new television or a pair of shoes. This message is particularly poignant during the festive season, when people are buying all sorts of gifts on a whim without necessarily considering the consequences. I would urge anyone thinking of buying a dog or puppy as a Christmas present to ‘paws’ before doing so, and remember that A Dog is for Life, Not Just for Christmas.”

Clarissa Baldwin OBE, Dogs Trust CEO said: “We are delighted that so many MPs are supporting us once again in raising awareness for our annual Christmas campaign. Although our iconic slogan is known all over the world, we still see dogs and puppies all too frequently purchased as inappropriate Christmas gifts. It is clear that our message is as poignant now as it was in 1978, which is why it so encouraging to see MPs get behind our message that a dog really is for life”.

Every year since 1978, Dogs Trust has campaigned to highlight the problems surrounding dogs being given as gifts at Christmas and all year round. The charity aims to curb this problem by educating people about responsible dog ownership and about the potential risks of buying pets on an impulse, be it in pet shops, directly through breeders, or online.

Dogs Trust is the UK’s largest dog welfare charity and cares for over 16,000 abandoned and unwanted dogs a year through its nationwide network of 18 rehoming centres. For more information about Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, visit www.dogstrust.org.uk.

Dogs Trust is due to open its Essex rehoming centre in Wickford in Spring 2014.