News en MP's column The situation in Westminster may seem to be in flux due to GardenGatheringGate. The Prime Minister has a particular problem facing him even if he is absolved of any responsibility. MPs up and down the country were engaged in answering questions and queries from constituents about the interpretation… Thu, 20 Jan 2022 12:00:00 +0000 Government confirms Cornwall Council has discretion over Omicron grants Derek has asked a parliamentary question to confirm that Cornwall Council has discretion in how it pays out grants to the leisure and hospitality industry. The government recently announced that it is introducing a new grant scheme to support businesses that are experiencing difficulties because… Tue, 18 Jan 2022 12:00:00 +0000 Government closes Second Homes loophole Derek Thomas MP has welcomed changes to the tax law which will target people who avoid paying their fair share of Council Tax. Currently, owners of second homes in England can avoid paying council tax and access small business rates relief by simply declaring an intention to let the property out to… Fri, 14 Jan 2022 12:00:00 +0000 MP's column By now Boris may have used Prime Minister’s Questions to settle the issue regarding the May 2020 gathering at No 10. The most uncomfortable part of 2020 for me was supporting the most difficult and previously unimaginable impositions on people's lives in order to manage the spread of a dangerous… Thu, 13 Jan 2022 12:00:00 +0000 MP's column Rather than support businesses across Cornwall and on Scilly I see that Cllr Andrew George has once again seized on the opportunity of using this horrible pandemic for some political point scoring. And he is deliberately misleading his followers or has not taken five minutes to read the Government… Thu, 06 Jan 2022 12:00:00 +0000 Derek supports increased funding for Cornwall's most vulnerable Derek has welcomed the £4.5 million of additional support that the government is giving to the most vulnerable families in Cornwall. The government’s £500 million Household Support Fund was introduced in September to support vulnerable families during the winter.  With more people in work and the… Wed, 22 Dec 2021 12:00:00 +0000 Derek backs farmers Derek has spoken up for a National Food Strategy, which will ensure nutritious, locally-grown food for everyone in the United Kingdom.  Improving the nation’s diet will be a partnership between producers and consumers, and Derek spoke about Cornwall’s food producers and farmers. The National Food… Tue, 21 Dec 2021 12:00:00 +0000 MP's column In the real world I was privileged to visit PK Porthcurno, the Cable and Wireless Museum and visitors centre, to mark Dark Skies designation for much of West Penwith. The designation itself recognises that the area is dark enough but we can improve the situation by reducing unnecessary or poorly… Thu, 16 Dec 2021 12:00:00 +0000 Success for Derek's campaign for daffodils Derek Thomas’ campaign for the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme to be extended has succeeded.  As a result of Derek’s pressure alongside his Cornish colleagues, the government has agreed to extend visas to seasonal workers on Britain’s crops, including Cornwall’s daffodil industry, although… Tue, 14 Dec 2021 12:00:00 +0000 Derek votes against Covid restrictions Derek Thomas has spoken out against the new Covid restrictions introduced by the Government, and voted against the introduction of vaccine passports and compulsory vaccinations. In the House of Commons yesterday, MPs debated new restrictions proposed by the Government, including the introduction of… Tue, 14 Dec 2021 12:00:00 +0000