Adam Afriyie
MP for Windsor
Lifting the grammar school ban is a boost for social mobility

From Disraeli’s ‘One Nation’ Conservatism in the 19th century through to Harold Macmillan’s post-war housebuilding programme and Margaret Thatcher’s revival of the economy in the 20th century, the Conservative Party has a strong tradition of enabling social mobility.

People might say that I came from a classically disadvantaged background, like so many others, having been brought up by my mother in social housing in South London. Yet I was one of the few fortunate enough to get a good education and make my way in life. This should not be a one-off story; it should be commonplace. The circumstances of a child’s birth should not determine where they end up in life.

So I’m delighted that greater social mobility is the driving mission of this Conservative Government.

The ability to make your way in life is intrinsically linked to the education you receive.

While we are fortunate to live in an area with some of the best schools in the country – from academies like Charters, to free schools like Holyport College and Forest Bridge – the picture is not consistent across the country.

Conservative education reforms have shown promising results over the last six years. The creation of free schools and academies, and the modernisation of the curriculum are raising standards across the board. But there is more to do.

Windsor MP welcomes CAA’s call for a ‘rethink’

Andrew Haines, Chief Executive of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), has called for a ‘complete rethink’ of the airspace patterns before either Heathrow or Gatwick is given permission for a new runway.

He has warned that unless air flight patterns are modernised the expanded airport may be unable to use any of this additional capacity due to lack of airspace.

Mr Haines compared the situation of expanding an airport without redesigning airspace to ‘building a brand new car park and forgetting to build the access road to it’.


The MP for the Windsor constituency, Adam Afriyie welcomed the announcement:

“Most sensible people realise that a third runway at Heathrow is nonsensical because it is already the most expensive airport in Europe, in breach of pollution regulations, requires billions of taxpayer subsidy and could only operate at half capacity. We now discover that it is not guaranteed that Heathrow could use any additional airspace capacity a third runway might create.

Adam’s Parliamentary Questions reveal Heathrow plans

I have been fighting non-stop against the calamitous proposals for a third runway, and the steady rise in aircraft noise from our neighbour Heathrow Airport Ltd, since I became an MP in 2005.

Over the past 11 years we’ve won some big battles. Ruling out expansion in 2010. Forcing restrictions on night flights. Bringing an end to invasive flight path trials. And so on.

The Government is expected to reach a final decision on airport expansion later this year and, while aircraft noise remains a real issue for all of us, this is the most important fight of all.

The colossal weight of evidence against Heathrow has been presented again and again.

Heathrow will not bring value for money, will not meet legally-binding environmental targets and will not cater to our long-term aviation capacity needs, and is thus not in our national interest.

Opposing Heathrow is not NIMBYism, it is a decision that will have a national impact.

In response to a recent Parliamentary Question I asked (44201) the Government confirmed that they will consider overall plans to improve air quality and its legal commitments before making a decision.

Given that Heathrow is already in breach of its legal commitments with two runways, the idea that it can reduce NO2 emissions in the local area whilst expanding its air capacity by 50% is clearly a nonsense.

If releasing the additional capacity from an additional runway is made dependent on meeting binding, real world air quality milestones, then we may soon find that an expansion at Heathrow won’t release any new capacity at all.

This alone means that expanding Heathrow would be questionable if it was the only choice. Combined with the fact that there are many clearly more cost-effective alternatives that are less damaging to local communities, it ought to be bottom of our list.

You have my commitment that I will continue to fight tooth and nail for the best deal for my constituents regardless of what decision is taken.

I am delighted that, in response to a further Parliamentary Question (44199), the Government has confirmed that they are considering a strong package of measures to mitigate the impact of runway expansion on communities.

This builds on a recommendation by the Environmental Audit Committee last year that, regardless of whether a third runaway is granted to them, a Community Engagement Board must be created to restore trust between Heathrow and the local communities that it blights.

Whilst it will come to a relief to residents that the Government is considering how to help  local communities deal with the costs of runway expansion – and the effects of noise pollution – this yet again demonstrates how cost ineffective expanding Heathrow is compared to Gatwick.

Heathrow’s noise pollution already affects 7 times more people than any other UK airport. Expanding Heathrow will affect 837,000 more people, expanding Gatwick will affect 37,000. Heathrow is permanently stymied by its archaic location from a time before mass air travel.

With our withdrawal from the EU it is more important now than ever before to demonstrate that Britain is open for business and increasing our long term air capacity must be integral to that aim. But it is more important to make the right decision that to make a hasty one.

I would urge the Government to make the right choice and back expansion at Gatwick.

Britain will be stronger, safer and better off outside the EU

As an ardent campaigner for an EU referendum I am immensely proud that a Conservative Government has given people the opportunity to have their say on 23rd June.

People have been wrongly led to believe that remaining in the EU means that things will remain the same. They will not. ‘Status quo’ is not on the ballot paper.

The EU is planning a vast swathe of changes in the coming months and years.  What we are actually voting on is whether we want the EU to decide what changes to make for us or do we want to make decisions for ourselves.

I believe that we will be better off out of the EU with the power to make decisions for ourselves. For most voters, this is lifetime once in a generation opportunity to choose our direction of travel: towards ever greater union, as a province of a country called ‘Europe’ or a return to a self-governing and sovereign country, standing tall in the world.

Remaining a member of the EU is like standing on an accelerating escalator towards a single, federalised nation state. Europe will gain increasing control of our borders and immigration, our courts, our taxation system.

The Prime Minister was absolutely right to try to renegotiate our terms and he fought hard to do so but the other 27 member states refused to move even a millimetre on the fundamental issues that the British people are concerned with. Any residual attachment to the idea that plucky Britain could single-handedly influence the sclerotic European Union should have gone out of the window there and then.

Windsor MP welcomes Team Margot campaign to boost stem cell donors

Adam Afriyie MPI recently attended a Parliamentary event hosted by Team Margot. The campaign is named after Margot Martini, who sparked a worldwide campaign to find more stem cell donors after falling victim to a rare and aggressive form of leukaemia.

Team Margot is a charity set up to campaign to raise awareness of the lack of stem cell and bone marrow donors. 37,000 people worldwide need a bone marrow transplant, but unfortunately only half of those seeking a donor will ever find one. The odds are even lower for ethnic minority or mixed race patients: 21%.

Team Margot have been calling on the Government to bolster efforts, both in the UK and overseas, to increase the number of people signed up to registers and, in the three quarters of the countries in the world where a register doesn’t exist, help those countries set one up or to create a global ‘virtual’ register.


Adam Afriyie, the MP for Windsor, has said:

“Considering that blood cancer is in the top 10 most common causes of cancer death in the UK it is shocking that just 1.7% of the UK are signed up to the national registry. I wish Team Margot the best of luck in increasing this to their target of doubling this figure to 4%.