Saj Reports Back
North West England
January 2009 Edition
Dear Colleagues and Friends,
I was delighted to have spent Christmas and New Year with my family. For those of you who I haven't seen already, I'd like to take this opportunity to wish you a very happy new year...
The aftermath of the Mumbai attacks left me looking forward, more than ever, to starting 2009. I would like to express my thanks to those who kindly sent their good wishes to me through that difficult time.
This year, I am really looking forward to getting on with my new role as a party whip and I have already been incredibly busy during January. I've brought together a collection of highlights to update you all with the work I have been involved in both here in the UK and of course in the European Parliament.
Saj in the North West
An Audience with David Cameron Bolton 5th January 2009
To kick start and welcome in 2009, I hosted an event at the Bolton Wanderers Reebok stadium. What a fantastic turn out we had with over 1300 guests to welcome David who clearly demonstrated his commitment to the people of the North West.. Also speaking at the event was Timothy Kirkhope MEP, Leader of the Conservatives in the European Parliament and my North West colleague Sir Robert Atkins MEP.
"This event represents a real turning point for the party in the North West. David Cameron's commitment to the all our people and communities in the North West is clear. We can really build from here to encourage people with Conservative values to vote Conservative. For some,this is the first time they really feel they can relate to and vote for our Party"
Sue Gillet, Regional Director.
I was absolutely thrilled to welcome so many from the North West ’s ethnically diverse and dynamic region. The turnout truly represented the appeal of today’s Conservative Party under David Cameron.
Mayor throws open the Town Hall doors January 8th 2009 and January 18th 2009
I was delighted to get across to Crewe when Cllr Brian Silvester as Mayor opened the Town Hall to the public. It is essential we continue to build on our victory and that Edward Timpson MP really cements our position there - he is doing a great job and has opened offices in Crewe.
My wife Zahida, son Bilal and daughter Rabia then joined me on a second visit to Crewe to campaign along with Edward Timpson MP at a very successful event where the Mayor presided and many of our councillor colleagues were present also.
Out and about with William Hague 16th January 2009
Sajjad with Nerissa Warner-O'Neill, our PPC for Preston
It was great to be able to get out campaigning with William Hague to Chorley in Lancashire and also to Preston. A campaign day had been organised for local associations by the Conservatives in the North West Region.
We met with local businesses to discuss the Conservative plan for economic change. William Hague and Alan Cullens, our PPC for Chorley, presented the ‘Get Britain Working’ proposals to help our economy sustain jobs through the recession. We talked with many local businesses about their concerns. During the campaign day, we discussed our policies with local businesses. Our discussions centred on easing the pressure on local businesses through National Loan Guarantee Scheme, schemes to assist them with VAT, cutting corporation and payroll taxes and ofcourse, our proposals to tackle unemployment.
Ribble Valley Conservatives' Annual Dinner January 23rd 2009
I was delighted when my local Association Chair, Ken Hinde, Ribble Valley Conservatives, invited me to speak at our Annual Dinner at Clitheroe Golf Club. With a strong council group, a really first rate MP in Nigel Evans and my local connection, we really do have every tier of representation covered here! The whole evening was a real success and allowed everyone to remember the Association President, Keith Newmark, who had sadly passed away the same day..
The horrific events that have unfolded in the Gaza strip have devastated the whole world. I was absolutely horrified by the violence and extremely distressed by the disproportionate use of force that Israel used in the Gaza Strip and the use of white phosphorous on civilians.
To see the speech I made in Parliament and other representations, please click here.
European Candidates Trip 20th and 21st January 2009
Our new party chairman, Eric Pickles MP lead briefings to the Conservative candidates for this June's European elections.The candidates’ visit to the European Parliament included policy briefings, press briefings, receptions and a dinner. I hope to get across to London more over the coming months to contribute to our election planning.
Journalists' Trip to Brussels 27th to 28th January 2009
I invited a group of north west journalists to visit the European Institutions this month. The group took a tour of Brussels , a tour of the parliament, received press briefings from the Conservative Group in the European Parliament and the European Commission. The trip was a huge success and I only hope that this allows European affairs a little more coverage in the media. The journalists rceveived a real insight into the workings of the European Institutions and were captured by it all!
EU-India Free Trade Report
This month, I presented my EU-India Free Trade Agreement Report to the International Trade Committee of the European Parliament. The report examines trade in goods and services, investment, public procurement, trade and competition, intellectual, industrial and commercial policy, trade and sustainable development and human rights, amongst other things. Rightly the key focus of my report is on trade related issues but I wanted to ensure that focus remained very strongly on the human rights situation in India also. Once finalised, the Free Trade Agreement will mean real investment and new jobs for people in Britain.
Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka visits Brussels 28th January 2009
Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama addressed MEPs about the ongoing military operations and political settlement, international reactions to military action, human rights, GSP schemes and much more. He called on the European Union to adjust to the new ground reality in Sri Lanka and continue its support as a collective entity.
Once a month, as I am sure you all know too well, MEPs have to go on a travelling circus to Strasbourg. I agree that we should STOP this tremendous waste of tax payers money.. Please sign the ONE SEAT CAMPAIGN petition by sending us your name, address and contact number to the address below, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org - encourage other to do the same - the more signatures we get, the more likely we are to stop it.
To win a box of Brussels finest Beligian Chocolates, please send your entries, along with your name, address and contact number to the address below, or email email@example.com
I look forward to hearing from you!!
Sajjad Karim MEP - Putting The North West First
Contact Team Karim:
Sajjad Karim MEP
442-444 Barlow Moor Road
Tel: 01618617571 Fax: 01618607582