Westminster News

Jobs, the EU referendum and zip wires - Welsh Questions.

David Cornock, writing for BBC News Online, "The economy was the big issue, with Aberconwy's Guto Bebb highlighting the growth of a company, Zipworld, which is run by his constituent, Sean Taylor , which now employs 220 people (from a standing start four years ago) on a zip wire attraction in north Wales.Mr Bebb was in turn told by the minister Alun Cairns: "Many MPs will appreciate the difficulties that zip wires can offer [it's open season on Boris Johnson in government this week] but I pay tribute to my honourable friend who is a true champion of zip wires". Hold that thought while you read the Hansard report of the exchanges here."

Tampon Tax Fund - Wales.

HM Government announced at Autumn Statement 2015 that it will operate a new £15 million annual fund to support women's charities. This is equivalent to the VAT raised on sanitary products each year. The fund will run over the course of this Parliament, or until the UK can apply a zero rate on sanitary products.Should you wish to nominate any causes for funding, you should do so by Monday 22 February by emailing TamponTax.Fund@HMTreasury.gsi.gov.uk.

Guto Bebb supports Homes for Heroes Foundation launch in Parliament.

Aberconwy MP Guto Bebb has welcomed a new Foundation which has been launched in the Houses of Parliament help tackle housing problems faced by ex-service personnel.The cross party Homes for Heroes Foundation has been launched by former Housing Minster Grant Shapps MP, fellow MP Jake Berry and General Lord Richards, the former Chief of the Defence Staff.

MPs debate the FCA: Seven things you might have missed.

Marion Dakers, writing for The Telegraph, "Mark Garnier, a Conservative who also sits on the Treasury Select Committee, tried to introduce a footballing analogy to defend the FCA. It didn’t go well. "Have we perhaps, on occasion, been guilty of what sports commentators do when a poor goalkeeper successfully saves many, many shots, but, when he lets through one crucial goal, is criticised by everybody for not being up to the job?” he said. "It is also important to consider the successes. The FCA has managed to bring substantial fines for foreign exchange and Libor rigging. It even managed to bring a case through the Serious Fraud Office that sadly resulted in no convictions last week, when six foreign exchangers, who allegedly tried to fiddle the fixings, were acquitted. None the less, to get it to court was quite a success."This led to the Deputy Speaker warning him against mentioning Bolton Wanderers, his ailing team of choice, before Guto Bebb piled in with his own analogy based on Everton’s hapless goalkeeper Tim Howard. "It is not that he made one mistake and allowed one goal to be scored; he has conceded half a dozen such goals this season. It is the same with the regulator.”

City braced for a 'vote of no confidence' in its watchdog the Financial Conduct Authority.

 Alex Hawkes, writing for The Mail on Sunday, "City watchdog the Financial Conduct Authority will face fresh humiliation this week as Parliament debates a vote of no confidence in the organisation.  One MP warned that without a Government whip to support the regulator the vote could go against the FCA and damage the reputation of Britain’s financial services." 

Whistleblowers betrayed by the FCA.

James Hurley writes for The Times online,  “The Financial Conduct Authority has been accused of betraying the confidence of whistleblowers by passing on evidence and sensitive information to the high street banks that were the subject of their complaints."  Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Fair Business Banking, Aberconwy MP Guto Bebb has secured a backbench business debate on the future of the Financial Conduct Authority.  The debate will take place on 1 February 2016.

Barclays, KPMG and the FCA under judicial review.

The Judicial Review into Barclays' IRSA Redress Scheme, which could have consequences for more than 10,000 small and medium sized enterprises, began on Monday, 25 January 2016.  Barclays, along with its compensation reviewer KPMG and the Financial Conduct Authority will be appearing in court as part of the three day hearing.  As the Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Fair Business Banking, Aberconwy MP Guto Bebb has been leading the campaign to highlight the plight of SMEs which have been affected by the mis-selling of inappropriate financial products.