Home

Recent Activity

I appreciate there is a growing global divestment movement, with various individuals and organisations pledging to divest from the fossil fuels that are causing climate change. I note that globally, institutions with an approximate value of $5.4 trillion have committed to reduce their exposure to high-carbon investments, which risk becoming obsolete as the world transitions to a low-carbon economy.

I agree that this is an important issue. While the risks that climate change poses to our financial systems are clearer than ever, these systems are only just beginning to focus on that threat. I note that the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), which was set up by the international Financial Stability Board, has recently called on companies to include in their financial reports a discussion of the impact of climate change on their businesses. I believe financial institutions must respond responsibly to the TCFD's recommendations. Stock exchanges and regulators should commit to proper reporting and transparency on climate change as part of their disclosure procedures.

Regarding the Parliamentary Contributory Pension Fund (PCPF) specifically, the fund is administered by a board of trustees which has a duty to make investment decisions in the best long-term interests of the fund's members. During the last Parliament, the trustees stated that they had received legal advice that excluding a sector would be incompatible with their legal and fiduciary duties of investment. However, the Trustees have now accepted that climate change may present a financial risk to the fund's investments. I note that in 2015 guidance from the Pensions Regulator clarified that trustees should take account of environmental factors where they may be financially material, while in December a legal opinion from two leading UK barristers concluded that pension fund trustees who fail to consider climate risk could be exposing themselves to legal challenge.

I hope that the PCPF Trustees will take account of these developments. I can assure constituents that I will continue to monitor this issue and support a low-carbon economy in the UK.

 

Parliamentary Pension Fund

I appreciate there is a growing global divestment movement, with various individuals and organisations pledging to divest from the fossil fuels that are causing climate change. I note that globally,...

I believe we have a moral duty to treat animals in a humane and compassionate way and that national governments must work together to fight animal cruelty.

The last Labour Government had a strong record on animal welfare at home, for example by introducing the Animal Welfare Act 2006, and on international animal welfare; including the introduction of the EU trade ban on seal products and banning the use of great apes in animal experiments. The previous Labour Government also established the National Wildlife Crime Unit, which assists with the enforcement of wildlife law. At the last general election, I stood on a manifesto that included a commitment to build on this strong record on animal welfare and prior to the election, Labour colleagues committed to again lead the fight against global animal cruelty.

The international rules for the import and export of hunting trophies are established under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. A hunting trophy of an endangered species can only be exported if the exporting country is satisfied that the hunt was both legal and sustainable.

The UK Government announced in November 2015 that it would ban lion trophy imports within the next two years unless there are improvements in the way hunting takes place in certain countries. The Government has also moved to take Benin and Ethiopia off the list of countries from which the UK is prepared to import lion trophies, and has said it has plans to move against Zambia and Mozambique.

I support the calls for a complete ban on the importation of any lion product, including sport hunting trophies, into the UK and I hope the Government will listen to the concerns that have been raised by organisations such as IFAW and take urgent action to support lion conservation around the world.

Mike shares views on imports of hunting trophies into the UK

I believe we have a moral duty to treat animals in a humane and compassionate way and that national governments must work together to fight animal cruelty.

I share my constituents concerns about Mr Tsege's imprisonment, particularly given that he has been detained for over two years with no legal process or access to a lawyer, and that he was sentenced to death in absentia. 

I oppose the death penalty in all circumstances, and I have been deeply concerned by reports of Mr Tsege's welfare.

I am a member of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee and we took up the case of Mr Tsege in our 2016 Human Rights Report which you can view here: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201617/cmselect/cmfaff/545/54504.htm

It was encouraging to learn earlier this year that the Prime Minister of Ethiopia had given an assurance that Mr Tsege would be allowed access to independent legal advice. Disappointingly, however, I understand that Mr Tsege is still being denied this.

I believe it is completely unacceptable that a British citizen should be treated in the way that Mr Tsege has. The Opposition has pressed the Government on Mr Tsege's case regularly. However, the Government has so far refused to demand Mr Tsege's release.

Mr Tsege's continuing detention was debated in Parliament on 20 December 2016 and this was an important opportunity to raise further awareness of this case and press the Government on what it is doing to resolve it.

I believe the Government must use its influence and uphold our responsibility to secure Mr Tsege's release and return him home. I hope the Government will use every opportunity to raise his case at the very highest levels in Ethiopia. I will continue to follow any developments closely.

Mike responds to concerns about the detention of Andargachew Tsege in Ethiopia

I share my constituents concerns about Mr Tsege's imprisonment, particularly given that he has been detained for over two years with no legal process or access to a lawyer, and...


View More Activities

The Labour Party will place cookies on your computer to help us make this website better.

Please read this to review the updates about which cookies we use and what information we collect on our site.

To find out more about these cookies, see our privacy notice. Use of this site confirms your acceptance of these cookies.