Mike Weatherley MP – Farewell Message

This website was established while I was a Member of Parliament. As Parliament has been dissolved, there are no Members of Parliament until after the Election on 7th May 2015.

 

 

I wanted to send out a short message thanking everyone for their support during my time as the Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade. It has been a tremendous honour undertaking this important role. I thought that this might be an appropriate moment to reflect on what we have done over the past five years.

This list is no way near exhaustive, but is an interesting highlight of what my team and I – with the fantastic help of residents – have achieved.

Once again, thanks to everyone for all your support during my time as your Member of Parliament.

Here is the list of what I have done, in no particular order:

  • Called for the harmonisation of online and offline penalties for crime within my Follow the Money Report in April 2014 – a call backed within the IPO’s Penalty Fair
  • Secured Amendment to the Consumer Rights Bill addressing secondary ticketing – the result of years of campaigning through the All Party Parliamentary Group on Secondary Ticketing which I co-founded and co-chaired (with Labour MP Sharon Hodgson).
  • Secured Adjournment Debate on Oesophageal Cancer to highlight the need for earlier and more efficient diagnosis and funds for quicker diagnostic procedures.
  • Supported the Government resulting in an over 50% drop in number of unemployment claimants in Hove and Portslade since coming to office in 2010.
  • Campaigned in support of Trading Standards’ work in tackling IP Crime.
  • Lobbied the Chancellor, George Osborne, for tax breaks for small and medium-sized live music venues.
  • Was appointed Parliamentary Patron of English Votes for English Laws campaign.
  • Was appointed the first ever Intellectual Property Rights Advisor to the Prime Minister.
  • Published four reports – all well received internationally and used as reference documents – following appointment as first ever Intellectual Property Rights Advisor to the Prime Minister:
    a) Search Engines and Piracy (May 2014).
    b) Follow the Money (June 2014).
    c) Copyright, Education and Awareness (October 2014)
    d) Safe Harbour Provisions & Online Service Providers (March 2015 – after stepping-down as Adviser).
  • Campaigned for a 50m swimming pool in Hove, backed by petition with well over 2,000 signatures.
  • Supported the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (formed in September 2013) and successfully lobbied the Home Secretary, Prime Minister and Intellectual Property Office to secure an additional £3m funding (securing the unit’s future until 2017) which was announced in October 2014.
  • Championed Copyright legislation, which came into force in October 2014 (through the Intellectual Property Act 2014) to allow for digital copies of content for personal use.
  • Served as Co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Music Education, which successfully backed a campaign to secure £75m of funding for music education to 2020.
  • Supported Gay Marriage legislation, marched in the annual Brighton Gay Pride, presented an award at the Golden Handbag awards (June 2013), and sponsored an EDM to end homophobic chanting at football matches.
  • Hosted ground-breaking concert with Slash, Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators playing an amazing set in Parliament in May 2014.
  • Chaired the All Party Parliamentary Group on ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) and worked with 10 embassies, the ASEAN department within BIS and the EU to support bilateral trade relationships, particularly ahead of greater ASEAN integration in 2015.
  • Raised concerns over taxi deregulation in protection of Brighton & Hove consumers and licensed taxi drivers through facilitating Ministerial meetings with local Taxi driver association representatives.
  • Founded the All Party Parliamentary Group on Retail & Business Crime calling for:
  • Helped secure part of a £50m package of funding for superfast broadband for 3,000 small businesses in Brighton & Hove.
  • Brought the Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP to Hove to meet small business owners locally, and many other Ministers over the five years.
  • Supported local small business by Chairing the All Party Parliamentary Group on Small Shops and running the annual Parliamentary Best Small Shops’ Competition – one of Parliament’s largest competitions.
  • Received the Independent Retailers’ Fellowship Award in recognition for ongoing support for small and independent business.
  • Received the Parliamentary Beer Champion award in January 2014 for being instrumental in securing a cut in beer duty.
  • Hosted Charity Auction Smile Britannia in December 2013 which raised £82,000 for charity and included the auction of a Banksy piece.
  • Hosted Fat Boy Slim playing a ground-breaking DJ set on the House of Commons Terrace as part of the House the House music initiative.
  • Successfully campaigned for the Postponement of the Badger Cull, with support from Queen guitarist, Brian May and Bill Oddie.
  • Served on the Justice Select Committee and the Administration Committee.
  • Was named by the Times as instrumental in supporting calls for an EU Referendum which resulted in the Prime Minister committing to a 2017 Referendum.
  • Successfully campaigned to make squatting in residential properties illegal in 2012 through the Legal Aid, Sentencing & Punishment of Offenders Act and called for an extension of this to protect commercial buildings. The legislation is referred to by campaigners and on Wikipedia as “Weatherley’s Law”.
  • Secured £250,000 funding from Government for the No Second Night Out initiative for Brighton & Hove, raised money for homeless charity Off the Fence, and supported Emmaus on a number of occasions.
  • Supported an increase in the personal allowances for those on low and medium incomes.
  • Supported devolution of powers from central to local government through the Sustainable Communities Act.
  • Founded Parliament’s largest competitions, Rock the House and Film the House, in support of protecting and promoting British Intellectual Property Rights and the creative industries in 2010. The competitions are backed by Orange Amplification, Google, 21st Century Fox, Lionsgate, XFM, Team Rock, PRS for Music and the BPI, the MPAA, Odeon Cinemas and others, and counts Alice Cooper, All Time Low, Bullet for My Valentine, Rick Wakeman, Whitesnake’s Bernie Marsden, Lord Puttnam, Queen’s Brian May among its many Patrons and supporters.
  • Was appointed an Ambassador for Music for All, Attitude is Everything and the Noise Abatement Society.
  • Called successfully for the granting of a 12A rating from the British Board of Film Classification’s to the Hunger Games in March 2012 by acting as an advisory intermediary. The rating allowed the hugely popular trilogy’s film adaption to be seen by thousands of young adults who would have otherwise been excluded had it been given a higher rating.
  • Supported Government allocation of funds from the National Lottery to the UK Film Industry and backed invaluable tax breaks to film-makers which have seen a huge boost in the UK’s film economy.
  • Led opposition to EU Directives which would have seen motorbike riders forced to wear fluorescent clothing and ditch their customised bikes. The protest ride to Brussels included Danny John-Jules (AKA Cat from Red Dwarf).
  • Organised and hosted debate at Hove Town Hall Are Drug Deaths Avoidable? in September 2011 with DrugScope, Sussex Police and many others.
  • Was recognised by the music press as a huge music advocate and featured in articles in Metal Hammer; Classic Rock Magazine, Prog Magazine and the Rush Fanzine for the release of Clockwork Angels.
  • Successfully lobbied Brighton & Hove City Council for the creation of the Connaught School in Hove in 2010.
  • Successfully lobbied Government Ministers in support of the creation of the Brighton Bilingual School.
  • Was one of a group of MPs pledging to not vote for any changes to the Fox Hunting ban, resulting in ‘no change’ for this Parliament
  • Was named ‘MP of the Month’ by Total Politics magazine November 2012 and runner-up twice.
  • Campaigned against Nuclear Power – alas not successfully!
  • Served on the following (and many other) APPGs: British-Danish; Biomass; Bovine Tuberculosis; Film Industry Group; HIV and AIDS; Intellectual Property Group; Leisure Group; Music Education; Music; Performers’ Alliance; School Food; Ticket Abuse; Video Games; Youth Unemployment; Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).
  • Received an ‘above average’ rating for Written parliamentary Questions and ‘above average’ for vote attendances.

Finally, a few quotes:

  • The Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport: “Mike has been a passionate and powerful advocate for intellectual property and I would like to play tribute to the role he has played as the Prime Minister’s IP adviser. He has made a whole series of thoughtful recommendations which we have has either already acted upon, or are actively considering. I’d like to thank him for all he has done.”
  • Baroness Neville-Rolfe, Minister for Intellectual Property: “Mike has made a major contribution to the IP agenda over the past year which I, and the IPO, have greatly valued. He has linked the creative industries to Government and promoted a series of imaginative and ground-breaking initiatives. Mike leaves a valuable legacy which will help shape our work for the future.”
  • Carina Bailey, Trading Standards Review: “Mike Weatherley…has risen to become the man who has shaped the course of history for intellectual property (IP) rights in the UK – and beyond. Appointed in 2013 as the first IP adviser to the Prime Minister in parliamentary history, he has written three solid reports on IP rights – with a fourth on the way. These are already influencing policy in such far flung places as Hong Kong and the US, and they inform the debate into how creators’ works are protected in the UK.”
  • Ben Duckworth, Editor – Total Politics: “Mike Weatherley is an immensely popular MP with his backbench colleagues, and there was a deluge of emails supporting him for this issue’s MP of the Month.”
  • The Rt Hon David Cameron MP, Prime Minister: “Your “Copyright Education and Awareness” paper is an excellent report, which highlights the key issues we must tackle to raise the understanding of copyright amongst future generations. I am grateful to you for all the work you have done during your tenure as my Special Advisor on Intellectual Property.”

Mike Calls on ISPs to Stop Hiding Behind EU Directive and Assist More in Fight Against Piracy

Mike Weatherley, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade, and former Intellectual Property Adviser to the Prime Minister, has today published a discussion paper on an EU directive which looks at safe harbour provisions – allowing providers of certain online services in certain circumstances to be exempt from liability for illegal activity which takes place on their service – in the UK and the rest of the EU.

The discussion paper, entitled ‘Safe Harbour Provisions and Online Service Providers’, looks at the background of safe harbour provisions, their perception from various sectors and whether or not the provisions are working for online service providers, rights holders and the individual consumer alike. The relevant Directive is 2000/31/ED. To read the discussion paper in full, click here.

As the Intellectual Property Adviser to the Prime Minister, Mike authored three key IP reports, Search Engines and Piracy, Follow the Money, Education and IP Awareness.

Commenting, Mike said: “As the former Intellectual Property Adviser to the Prime Minister, I felt that it was important to continue to highlight the issues that have grave consequences for our fantastic creative industries.”

Mike added: “The creative industries are huge contributors to our economy so it vital, in order to protect them, that the regulations which were set out in 2000, are updated. The broad scope of the directive results in rights holders losing out to pirates on an industrial scale.”

Mike Campaign for Harmonisation of Online/Offline Criminal Penalties Successful

Mike Weatherley, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade, and former Intellectual Property Adviser to the Prime Minister, is delighted that his campaign for penalties for crime committed online to be recognised as the same as offline crime has been successful, as the findings of a Government-backed, evidenced-based review of the disparity between physical and online crimes are published.

Mike has been consistently highlighting the importance for physical and online offences to be harmonised (He called for this in Parliament on 12th March 2014 and in his report, Follow the Money: Financial Options To Assist In The Battle Against Online Piracy, available here.), as he believes that the current disparity helps facilitate the view that breaking the law when it relates to an online item is not as serious.

While a review may mean reducing the penalties for physical offences, Mike believes that a reasoned balance should be struck and the penalties the same for both types of crime.

The newly published report, entitled Penalty Fair? – was commissioned by the Intellectual Property Office in order to provide an evidence-based view on whether the criminal sanctions for copyright infringement available under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (CDPA 1988) are currently proportionate and correct, or whether they should be amended. To read the report in full, click here.

Commenting, Mike said: “I am extremely delighted that my campaign to have this legalisation addressed has been successful. It is encouraging that evidence shows the need for legislation to change in order to harmonise penalties for physical and online offences. I want to thank my colleague the Rt Hon David Willets and his team for their work on this issue and trust that the IPO will see the necessary changes through in the next Parliament.”

Mike added: “Bringing about this change has required significant pressure on Government, but I am pleased that this report once again entrenches the fact that the UK is leading the way on IP enforcement. I hope that the Government after the next election will ensure that the recommendations in the report are adopted and that overdue changes in legislation are on the horizon. Additionally, I believe that the introduction of an IP Director General would hugely benefit the UK and be an important figure for international IP collaboration.”

In a letter to Mike, Baroness Neville-Rolfe, Minister for Intellectual Property, said: “I am writing to update you on the study commissioned by the Intellectual Property Officer into criminal sanctions available for online copyright offences. I know that you have taken a keen interest in this matter and that you have pressed for action to be taken to address what you felt was an anomaly in the level of penalties available for online copyright offences.

“Given the uncertainty surrounding the potential impact brought by the increase to custodial sentences, the Government agreed to commission an independent review of the issue. In assessing the need to amend legislation, researchers have since analysed a range of a conviction data, consulted with a range of stake holders, and considered the impact of recent interventions in this area.

“The report points towards there being some logic to increasing custodial sentences for serious online copyright offences. However it does emphasise the need for appropriate safeguards to endure ordinary members of the public, whose copying is not motivated by criminal intent, are not inadvertently caught by any amended provision.”

Mike Praises Local Children’s Book Shop

Small Shop Awards

Mike Weatherley, Conservative Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade, has praised local children’s book shop, The Book Nook, based in First Avenue in Hove, after it was shortlisted for the Best Small Shops Award, a UK-wide competition held in Parliament.

Mike recently attended a reception in the House of Commons for the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Small Shops with Julie Ward, Co-owner of the local institution. For more information on The Book Nook, which offers books for all ages from birth to teenage fiction, visit www.booknookuk.com.

Commenting, Mike said: “I was absolutely delighted that the fantastic Book Nook was shortlisted for this prestigious award. Their nomination is well-deserved. The Book Nook is an incredible shop in the heart of Hove and so I would encourage parents to pop along with their children to see the wonderful collection of books that are available.”

Julie Ward, Co-owner of The Book Nook, added: “We are very proud to be shortlisted and be one of the top 20 small shops in the country. We would like to thank all of our customers for their support as they helped make this possible.”

Photo caption: Mike is pictured with Julie Ward and her mother, Muriel Ward.

Mike Welcomes New Government Amendment on Secondary Ticketing

Mike Weatherley, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade, and co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Secondary Ticketing, has been campaigning hard against excessive ‘ticket touting’ and welcomed the new position on Secondary Ticketing as the Government publishes its new amendment to the Consumer Rights Bill.

Mike, former Intellectual Property Adviser to the Prime Minister, has consistently advocated that those putting on an event should have their wishes respected if they want an entry price to be capped. Live music and other live events are a vital contributors to the economy and the cultural well-being of society. Mike has on many occasions made the case that the current ticketing arrangements do not operate in the interests of fans or organisers, and that legislation was required to protect our vibrant live cultural economy to the benefit of us all.

The amendment, once enacted, will:

  • Provide greater transparency for fans, with the following details required to be provided by resellers: Seat number or standing information, if any restrictions apply (Student price or under 18), face value.
  • Compel the Secretary of State to review measures relating to Secondary Ticketing in 12 months and report to Parliament.
  • Put a duty on ticket resellers to report criminal activity.

Commenting, Mike said: “This has been a long standing campaign by the APPG to get some overdue changes in place. The free market system has broken down due to the introduction of ‘bots’ and other factors, enabling, on occasions, obscene profiteering for intermediaries against the interest of fans and the wishes of those putting on the event. I am pleased that the Government has recognised the importance of regulation with regard to Secondary Ticketing, which will be to the benefit of us all.”

Mike added: “While the new amendment does not cover every change that we had hoped for, it is an important step in the right direction. I believe that the report on this issue, that will now become mandatory and be delivered to Parliament in the next 12 months, is important and look forward to seeing if further changes need to made in the future.”

Mike Secures Adjournment Debate on Cancer

Mike Weatherley, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade, and cancer survivor, has secured an adjournment debate on oesophageal cancer which will take place on Monday 23rd February.

In the debate Mike will describe his personal fight against cancer and suggests 7 improvement steps for the NHS. The two principle outcomes that Mike is hoping to achieve are:

  • Increased awareness of oesophageal cancer
  • A commitment to additional resources, chiefly in order to fund a quicker, more efficient diagnostic procedure.

Mike, who was first elected to Parliament in 2010, was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer in 2012 and underwent surgery to have his entire oesophagus (and part of his stomach) removed. Following months of intense treatment after the operation, Mike’s cancer went into full remission (tests and scans thankfully showing no current signs of remaining disease).

Commenting, Mike said: “My father said to me that being born in the UK is like winning the lottery of life. He was completely right and I am alive today because of our wonderful NHS. I wanted to have this debate in Parliament to highlight the devastating impact that oesophageal cancer has on people across the country, but also to demonstrate as living proof that the healthcare in this country is worth every penny.”

Mike added: “While the NHS does a fantastic job treating cancer patients, more can be done to improve the services that are available. I have seven improvements that I am recommending to the Department for Health.”

Another Fall in Unemployment Welcomed by Mike

Mike Weatherley, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade, has once again welcomed another fall in unemployment locally and reiterated that the Government’s economic recovery remains strong.

 

The Office for National Statistics has confirmed that the number of unemployed claimants in Hove and Portslade in January 2015 was 1,249. This figure is 438 lower than that of January 2014. Overall, the jobless total is down by a massive 50% since the Conservative-led government came to power in 2010. The latest figures represent a rate of 2.3% of the economically active population aged 16 to 64.

Commenting, Mike said: “I am absolutely delighted that we have seen yet another drop in unemployment nationally and that there has been a huge fall in unemployment locally. These figures highlight how the Government’s economic plans are making a significant difference and getting people back into work.”

 

Cllr Graham Cox, the Conservative Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Hove and Portslade, added: “The fact that unemployment has continued to drop in Hove and Portslade is excellent news. It is really encouraging that 1.85 million more people are now in work since the last General Election and that youth unemployment is down by almost 200,000 since 2010.”

International Student Contribution Recognised by Mike

Mike Weatherley, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade, is backing a Parliamentary Motion which recognises the significant contribution made by International Students studying in the UK and calls for university students to be removed from any target to reduce net migration.

Early Day Motion 739 (International Students and Net Migration Targets) highlights the importance of students who study in the UK, both to our society and economy. Mike believes that in any drive to reduce net migration, it should not be an unintended consequence that student numbers are restricted as a result of certain targets.

Commenting, Mike said: “Our city is a huge beneficiary of international students who choose to come and study in our country. It is of course important to have a sensible immigration policy, which is why I hope that the Government will exclude university students from any drive to reduce net migration.”

Commenting, Cllr Graham Cox, Conservative Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Hove and Portslade, added: “Hove and Portslade are very welcoming to international students and it would be a great loss to residents, and the students, if numbers were affected in order to meet targets for reducing net migration.”

Mike reiterates position that ‘Trading Standards Are Key to Tackling IP Crime’

Mike Weatherley, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade, and former Intellectual Property Adviser to the Prime Minister, has reiterated his support for Trading Standards in a profile of his work in the Trading Standards Review magazine.

To read the article in Trading Standards Review, click here.

Mike is a strong backer of Trading Standards and last year signed Early Day Motion (EDM) 1290 which called on greater collaboration between the Government and local authorities and highlights the work that Trading Standards undertakes across the country in order to protect consumers.

In his role as the Intellectual Property Adviser to the Prime Minister, Mike met with numerous Trading Standards officials from across the country to discuss the work that they do to combat IP crime. Trading Standards officers work closely with local police forces as well as the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) and the national Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU).

Commenting, Mike said: “The work undertaken by Trading Standards across the country is a hugely valuable resource to consumers and helps protect our vital creative industries. I hope in the future the Government will prioritise Trading Standards funding as I believe it is necessary and will have a wide benefit for society.”

Mike added: “Trading Standards do a fantastic job protecting consumers from a whole host of illegal activity and are key to tackling IP crime. While providing Trading Standards services has a cost, they provide a valuable service to society and, in the long term, will help boost our economy through increased use of legitimate services.”

Mike Supports Plans for New Holy Trinity Church Surgery

Mike Weatherley, Conservative Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade, has written to Brighton & Hove City Council to highlight his support for the plans for a new medical centre at Holy Trinity Church.

The new surgery, which will be home to both the Sackville Medical Centre and Central Hove Surgery, is proposed for the empty Holy Trinity Church on Blatchington Road. The new combined practice will offer patients excellent new facilities in the heart of Hove.

Holy Trinity Church was completed in 1861 and has received Grade II listed status in 1992. The church finally closed in 2007 and faced an uncertain future until the new medical centre was proposed.

In his letter to Brighton & Hove City Council, Mike said: “The Sackville Medical Centre and Central Hove Surgery have been looking to find suitable accommodation for over eight years, having very much outgrown their current facilities.

“Holy Trinity is the only site that is both affordable and big enough and has been vacant for years but now will have a new role in the heart of the local community. Its location is in the centre of the patient population and conveniently placed for public transport at the same time as providing improved access and facilities for patients.

“Crucially, the proposed plans allow for the development of much-needed new and improved primary care services for Hove which are restricted by the present location’s of respective medical practices.”

Commenting, Mike said: “I was delighted to be able to support the planning application for a new medical centre at Holy Trinity Church. I know that staff from both the Sackville Medical Centre and Central Hove Surgery have been working hard to make sure that patients get new up-to-date facilities that they deserve and so I hope that this application to Brighton & Hove City Council is successful.”