Keep Abreast of What’s Happening in Parliament

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The Parliamentary Information Office of the Parliamentary Yearbook announces the launch of a brand new service. This service will bring all the parliamentary news, international, national and local, to desktop, tablet or phone briefly and in easily digestible form.

Virtually everything in business, domestic and social life is influenced by, if not governed by, the actions of the elected representatives in Parliament. Yet it is frequently only the more contentious or “newsy” items that are covered in the popular media ... items that, more often than not, don’t even affect the “man in the street”.

The staff of the information office already research current political, business and social issues affecting the UK and EU that may be of interest to a wide audience for inclusion in reports and features within the year book. As an important part of their role, they follow events in Parliament on a daily basis. Not simply the happenings in Westminster but in the devolved Parliaments in Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh plus the all important events in Strasbourg and Brussels.

Now a daily bulletin of debates and developments in government policies will be posted on the Parliamentary Information Office Online website … an exceptionally useful summary for those who do not have the time or perhaps the inclination to trawl through Hansard or government reports.

A couple of examples are shown below:

Urgent question on Romanian and Bulgarian benefits:
The Rt Hon Frank Field MP (Lab) asked an urgent question of the Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, about the actions being taken by the Government from 1st January 2014 to restrict welfare to visitors from Romania and Bulgaria. Mr Duncan Smith responded by saying that the government were attempting to change the rules covering these new entrants and that he would be meeting with German Ministers and others in the EU to ensure that the problem can be dealt with.

Blood, Organ and Bone Marrow Donation:
Seema Malhotra MP (Lab/Co-op)applied for leave to introduce a Bill aiming to address the continued shortfall in blood, organ and bone marrow donations by introducing ‘myth busting’ education in schools to give 16 to 18 year olds the facts about bone marrow, blood and organ donation. The Bill was duly presented and read for the first time. A second reading is scheduled for 26th April 2013.

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Brian O'Connor
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