Saj Reports Back
North West England
October 2009 Edition
Dear Colleagues and Friends,
It seems only five minutes since I was reporting September’s activities to you; time really has flown by! October was a really exciting month for the North West with the Conservative Party conference taking place in Manchester. I have put together some highlights for you from Brussels, Strasbourg and my constituency.
Conservative Muslim Forum North West Eid Party, Manchester – Sunday 4th October 2009
We celebrated Eid-ul-Fitr at the end of September. In advance of this year’s conference, the North West branch of the Conservative Muslim Forum organised an evening dinner. The event was truly representative of the broadening appeal that the Conservative Party has. The Chairman of the North West CMF, Raja Idrees and his team worked tremendously hard to make the event a success and we were particularly pleased that Alistair Burt MP, Assistant Chief Whip and Deputy Party Chairman agreed to be the chief guest and delivered a first rate speech showing the vision of the modern Conservative Party.
Conservative Party Conference, Manchester
Monday 5th October
Meeting with Linda Lee, Vice President of the Law Society
As a solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales and a former member of the Law Society Equal Opportunities Committee, I met with Linda Lee, the Vice President of the Law Society to discuss an array of issues. During the last parliamentary term, I was the Conservative Spokesperson on legal affairs and sat on the legal affairs committee. We discussed my membership on the new committees and what the current parliamentary term will bring.
North West Conservative Reception
The North West Conservative reception was, as always, an energised event. Many of my colleagues in the North West; Councillors, activists, PPCs, MPs, fellow MEPs and party members showed drive and determination in the run up to the forthcoming General Election that is due to take place in 2010. The North West is a key battleground and the Conservatives in this region are prepared and ready to deliver for Britain.
Pakistani High Commission Reception
I am the founding chairperson of the European Parliament Friends of Pakistan Group and since the launch of the Conservative Friends of Pakistan Group last year; the Conservative Party has really displayed its commitment to the furtherance of UK relations with Pakistan.
Tuesday 6th October
European Energy Security: Conflict in the South Caucasus
The House Magazine and ePolitix.com along with The European Azerbaijan Society hosted a lunchtime debate centring on European Energy Security and the conflict in the South Caucasus. I am extremely interested in European energy security and believe that the future of Europe depends on our ability to gain security in this domain. Also speaking at the event was H. E. Ambassador Fakhraddin Gurbnov - UK Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan, James Nixey – Research Fellow to the Russia and Eurasia programme at Chatham House, Mark Pritchard MP and Penny Mordaunt, Conservative PPC for Portsmouth North. This was an extremely interesting topic and was a pleasure to be involved in.
North West Team Leadership Reception
Paul Lee, Chairman of The North West Business Leadership Team hosted a drinks reception at Addleshaw Goddard's Manchester offices. The Shadow Chancellor made it clear what action the Conservative Party would take to revive the British economy. Mark Prisk MP and Stephen Hammond MP outlined their commitments to assist in rebuilding the economic potential of the North West and especially in the manufacturing, exporting and transport sectors.
Conservative Muslim Forum Fringe meeting – ‘Winning Muslim Votes’
The guest speaker was Caroline Spelman MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. She reiterated that fact that the Conservative Party is an inclusive Party. She emphasised that fact that ethnic minorities as well as women have the opportunity to be actively involved in the Party and be considered for Parliamentary candidacy and achieve success in the Conservative Party. PPCs around my constituency attended, including Andrew Stephenson, PPC for Pendle and Ben Jeffries, PPC for Cheadle who showed how they have taken action to reach out to the Muslim communities with help from the Conservative Muslim Forum.
Wednesday 7th October
Corporate day MEP Panel
Conservative Business Relations organised a Corporate Day where I took part in an MEP Panel session which was chaired by Malcolm Harbour MEP. Also participating were my colleagues Malcolm Harbour MEP, Kay Swinburne MEP, Martin Callanan MEP, Vicky Ford and Robert Sturdy MEP. We all serve on different committees including Internal Market and Consumer Affairs, Civil Liberties Justice and Home Affairs, Economic and Monetary Affairs, Environment, International Trade and Industry, Research and Energy. This was thoroughly enjoyable and I was very pleased to share a platform with such hard working colleagues.
Meeting with Local Government Association Representatives, Wednesday 14th October, Brussels
As the Vice Chairman of the Local Government Association UK, I met with representatives Cllr Peter Goldsworthy who sits on the Improvement Board at the Local Government Association and also Rachel Palma, who is a Policy & Public Affairs Officer at the Local Government Association.
British Chambers of Commerce Meeting, Wednesday 14th October, Brussels
Representatives from the British Chambers of Commerce, a network of 54 chambers representing over 100,000 UK businesses hosted a recepion in order to discuss working together over the next five years. The event took place in order for the British Chambers of Commerce to set out why they believe that the European Parliament plays a vital role in determining the environment in which businesses operate, and hopefully grow and create jobs. During the meeting, we discussed ways to develop a deeper and more consistent dialogue between the British business community and UK MEPs.
Campaigning in Leyland, Thursday 15th October
A by-election in the Leyland St Mary’s ward of South Ribble meant it was time to get out campaigning and canvassing again! Our candidate, Phil Hamman moved to Lancashire 40 years ago and to Leyland 30 years ago. Phil knows only too well what the area needs. After having gained almost 75% of the vote, it is clear that the Conservative Party is the party for Leyland St Mary’s constituents. Congratulations Phil!
Meeting with Chemtura, Friday 16th October, Trafford
Chemtura is a firm involved in research, manufacturing, sales and administrative facilities in every major market of the world. I met with Mr Kannah, Advocacy Manager for Chemtura in order to discuss a European Directive regarding the restriction of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment. It was interesting and insightful to listen to the concerns of the firm. I also enjoyed a tour around their site which is located in Trafford Park, Manchester.
Speech during the debate in Parliament following the Council and Commission Statements on the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit, Tuesday 20th October, Strasbourg:
"Mr President, it is critical for an international consensus to be reached on tackling climate change and global warming. The Copenhagen summit provides us with an opportunity. But let us think for a moment of the problems facing this summit. The US, the world’s biggest economy, has failed to agree to specific greenhouse gas emission reductions for 2020, and many other developed industrialised nations are uncertain as to whether the ambitious actions required are possible.
"Let us be clear: we really have no choice. The EU, in setting ambitious targets for 2020 and 2050, has acted courageously and must now urge others to do the same. We cannot meet our targets without cooperation from other states. The establishment of an effective global carbon market is crucial, as is international consensus if we are to avoid the risk of protectionist measures relating to CO2 emissions within the EU. At Copenhagen we must encourage courageous leadership from the national governments of large industrialised nations. Although individual states in the US have begun to tackle climate change, there is a woeful lack of leadership from the Federal Government. We need the US and emerging economies such as India and China, to form a partnership with us for the future of our planet.
"We can encourage developing nations to follow a different, less environmentally damaging path of industrialisation. They still have time to take a fresh approach that will be less environmentally damaging, and we must help them in the planning and building of the infrastructure which will achieve this."
I hope you enjoyed reading the highlights of October. Should you have any questions or comments, I would be delighted to hear 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