Category Archives: Victoria in Parliament

Victoria is appointed to Justice Select Committee

New MP for North Oxfordshire, Victoria Prentis, has been appointed to the Justice Select Committee.

Victoria said: “I am delighted to have been chosen to sit on the Justice Select Committee. During the last Parliament, the Committee examined a diverse range of issues from sentencing guidelines to the role of the probation service.I look forward to our first meeting and getting to work.”

Further information about the committee can be found here.

Victoria sets out her position on Tuesday’s High Speed Rail motion

Victoria made some enquiries ahead of the HS2 debate on Tuesday 23rd June in the House of Commons.

The motion related to the following amendments which are relevant to her constituency:

  1. Additional land for the temporary diversion of Featherbed Lane and relocation of Featherbed Lane overbridge satellite compound
  2. Realignment of Footpath 303/7
  3. Additional land for the reconfiguration of environmental mitigation at Mossycorner Spinney
  4. Additional land for the widening of bridleways CHW/24/1 and 225/4
  5. Additional land for the reconfiguration of wetland habitat at Moat Farm, Godington

Victoria said:

“These are clearly improvements which have been made following requests by petitioners. In the end, there wasn’t a vote this afternoon; I can assure my constituents that my views on the HS2 project as a whole remain the same.”

My first fortnight as MP for North Oxfordshire

VP Swearing In (1)In the run up to polling day, days merge into one. The team is working hard, and not sleeping enough. Everyone was speaking to as many voters as they could in our area, and going to help in other neighbouring constituencies.

Thursday 7 May was a very long day. At 7am my daughters came to watch me vote for myself in our village hall. That was the first of many polling stations I visited throughout the day (though in the others I was merely thanking the staff)! The rest of the day was spent chasing ‘pledges’ and enjoying lunch in the Old Reindeer Inn in Banbury. As polling closed, we gathered in Spiceball for the count. Over 100 staff were there; some counting and others checking for accuracy. The whole operation was ably led by the Deputy Returning Officer, and his senior team.

It was a long night, with our team, and those of the other parties, sharing in triumphs and disasters around the UK, while drinking coffee in the leisure centre café. Eventually, soon after 7am on Friday morning, we got our results. Sir Tony came to cheer me on as I made my acceptance speech. I then had to do endless press interviews; during one of which my daughters rang up from the school bus as they had heard that I had been elected. There seemed to be a party going on. We then spent the afternoon and evening counting the local election votes. I’m so proud of our results; we increased the Conservative majority and successfully defended all of our council seats. We came very close in some wards, building strong foundations to work from in the future. When we eventually got home we found there was no food in the house, so the four of us went to the Red Lion in Stratton Audley, where the chicken curry was just what I needed.

The weekend was spent thanking the team, our village and our friends. We hosted the annual May Day as usual in bright sunshine on the Sunday afternoon. The Brackley Morris led the procession from the church to the apple orchards, and we drank last year’s cider and ate enormous quantities of cake while watching the May Queen and her attendants.

On the Monday I had to be in Westminster at 8.30am, so I caught my usual train from Bicester North. Thankfully Parliamentary staff were very patient with us, as we received passes and passwords in abundance. Induction sessions were run by the House, but more useful were those run by the Conservative party. These were dominated by the Whips, who like to portray a caring and helpful image these days, and made it quite clear that our presence would be required in Westminster a great deal! The first couple of weeks are difficult in that offices and computers are not in place to deal with the enormous postbag, so meetings took place in a bench in Central Lobby or a café. When I get settled I am hoping to commute home most nights, but for the first week I spent three nights in London. When I got home I was delighted to find that my husband and children had learnt how to use the washing machine, and even cooked beef stew.

I took my seat on the green benches for the first time the following Monday, when we elected the Speaker. This was really the first time I had seen any of the old-timers, or faced the serried ranks of the SNP. As we weren’t sitting, I was able to squeeze in a Constituency day on the Tuesday, which including an outing to watch Fritwell School perform a suitably violent but very musical version of David and Goliath. On the Wednesday, after coffee at 10 Downing Street, I went to stand in line to take the oath. Every MP must do this at the start of a new Parliament, or they have to vacate their seat. The MP in front of me took his oath in Gaelic.

I’m now looking forward to getting stuck in to both local and national issues. It is a great honour to be able to represent the people of North Oxfordshire in Parliament.

Victoria is sworn in to the House of Commons

VP Swearing In (1)

On Wednesday 20th May, Victoria took to the floor of the Commons to be sworn in.

All Members of Parliament, regardless of whether they have served in a previous Parliament, must take an oath or affirmation before they are allowed to speak in a debate or participate in a vote. In fact, if a Member does not take their oath but subsequently sits in a debate or votes they can be fined £500 and they have to vacate their seat!

The full wording of the Oath is as follows:

“I swear by Almighty God that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, her heirs and successors, according to law. So help me God.”

Swearing in takes place over a number of days following the Speaker’s Election which took place on Monday. The next time Victoria will take to the green benches will be next Wednesday 27 May after the State Opening of Parliament. It is anticipated that Victoria will make her maiden speech some time during the week beginning 1st June.

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