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Daniel Zeichner MP's Taxi Safety Bill was filibustered by a backbench Conservative MP in the Commons today, preventing it from progressing through Parliament. Parliamentary convention dictates that if there are MPs still speaking on a Private Member's Bill as the session finishes, the Bill cannot be put to a vote. 

Mr Zeichner says: "i'm disappointed, as a I know many other people will be, that once again a sensible Bill - mine included very reasonable measures to improve safety standards in the taxi trade - has been talked out. In my view, this reinforces the need to update and reform Private Member's Bill process."

I will continue to campaign for improve safeguards in the sector, and I am encouraged that there is cross-Party support for them. I am grateful to Labour's Shadow Transport Team and the Government for their support too - I hope that either this Government or the next Labour Government will bring forward similar measures as soon as possible.@

Mr Zeichner's Bill will return to the House of Commons on Friday October 26th. 

Cambridge MP's Taxi Safety Bill talked out of Parliament

Daniel Zeichner MP's Taxi Safety Bill was filibustered by a backbench Conservative MP in the Commons today, preventing it from progressing through Parliament. Parliamentary convention dictates that if there are...

Daniel Zeichner MP is gearing up for tomorrow's debate on his Taxi Safety Bill as it returns to the House of Commons for is Second Reading tomorrow. The Bill will create new laws to improve safety for passengers of taxis and private hire vehicles. The Private Member's Bill is supported by trade unions, campaign groups, Labour's Shadow Transport team and the Government.

The Bill, entitled the "Licensing of Taxis and PHVs (Safeguarding and Road Safety) Bill," will mandate councils to record license refusals, revocations and suspensions on a central register, which other councils can then check. It also strengthens enforcement powers and will improve council's abilities to work together. 

Daniel says: "I'm excited to debate my Bill, and really hope that it is supported by MPs from all sides. It will give councils powers that they have been requesting to improve licensing and enforcement, and will increase passenger safety. The taxi and private hire sector is a proud table, and this will not only work to maintain high standards, but will also increase public trust."

"I've worked with unions, licensing authorities, charities, campaign groups and many members of the trade to get this right - there is widespread support for these measures to improve standards and safety in the sector."

"Many vulnerable people rely on taxis and private hires - the legislation needs to protect them. Taxi and private hire vehicle regulation is fragmented and out of date, and needs a major overhaul. Until then, this Bill will keep those who use taxis and private hire vehicles safer."

The Bill is supported by the Local Government Association, who have commissioned the database that will be put on a statutory footing by the Bill.

Cllr Simon Blackburn, Deputy Chair of the LGA's Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said: "Councils have long argued that there is a need for the existing outdated taxi laws to be updated, with the legislation governing aspects of taxis and private hire vehicles pre-dating the invention of motor cars."

"In recent years, we've seen a number of child sexual exploitation cases that have involved some taxi and PHV holders abusing the trust that has been placed in them, so there are strong safeguarding reasons for taking action to strengthen the current legislation. 

"The LGA has led the way in trying to improve safety on this crucial issue, commissioning a database that will enable authorities to share information that stops rogue drivers abusing the system by applying for licenses in different areas if they have been refused or revoked somewhere else.

"We are encouraged that our initiative is being supported by this Bill and the Government. This Bill should act as an essential first step towards updating the current patchwork of out-of-date taxi legislation, and we're keen to see further progress towards doing so."

The Bill is also supported by the industry. 

Lisa Buger, Addison Lee's Chief Operating Officer, said: "Addison Lee are pleased to support Mr Zeichner's proposals. This database will help ensure licensing authorities share knowledge and information, which will help to raise standards in the taxi and private hire industries, improving safety for passengers across the country."

Matteo De Renzi, CEO of Gett UK, the UK's Black Cab App, says:

"Any initiative that contributes to raising standards in this sector should be welcomed and supported. As the largest on-demand app for black taxis, Gett's overarching priority is to ensure the safety of its passengers across the UK. As a business, we are defined by the quality of our drivers as they represent us as a company to our customers. We are therefore fully supportive of any steps taken to improve higher driving safety standards across the UK, something which this bill goes some way to achieve. We congratulate Daniel on putting this important issue on the national agenda and look forward to working with him and the Government as the bill progresses through Parliament."

Cambridge MP brings Taxi Safety Bill to the Commons tomorrow

Daniel Zeichner MP is gearing up for tomorrow's debate on his Taxi Safety Bill as it returns to the House of Commons for is Second Reading tomorrow. The Bill will...

Daniel Zeichner, MP for Cambridge, told the Commons at Prime Minister's Questions today that the Prime Minister has turned her back on billions of pounds that could have been used for schools and hospitals. He raised the issue of the money lost from international student numbers as the Prime Minister had made the UK a less attractive destination. Hitting out at Theresa May's policies, both as Home Secretary and Prime Minister, he said: 

"Recent research shows that international students are worth a staggering £20 billion to our economy - that research commissioned by Nick Hillman, the Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Cambridge in 2010 and former adviser to Lord Willetts."

"Yet the steady rise in students coming here was halted by the policies introduced by the Prime Minister, who made the UK a much less attractive destination. Would the Secretary of State agree that it was more than a touch careless of the Prime Minister to mislay billions of pounds that could have transformer our schools and hospitals?"

The research was published recently in a report by the Higher Education Policy Institute which shows that international students have a net impact of more than £20 billion for the UK economy. 

David Lidington MP, the First Secretary who stood in for the Prime Minister today while she was away in China, replied: "What the facts say is that we are the second most popular destination in the world for students, and university visa applications are up by nearly one fifth since 2010, so I would argue that contrary to what he alleges, we are doing a good job at attracting international students."

Daniel Zeichner says: "It's shocking that the First Secretary is unaware of the huge amounts of money being squandered by the government. His completely unsubstantiated claim contradicts the evidence that the report shows: that from 2001 - 2010, numbers of international students in the UK grew steadily, along with the economic benefits that this brings. From 2010 onwards, the number of international students flat-lined. When the Tory Mayor for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, James Palmer, signs a letter to the Prime Minister calling for a more sensible system, it's clear that her policies are unpopular even on her own side."

"This research shows the huge benefit that we get from international students, in concrete figures - let alone the community benefit we gain from having a diverse society. It proves again that the Prime Minister's insistence on including international students in their immigration figures and targets is a nonsense. Cambridge's residents each gain £1460 from international students in our constituency - Theresa May needs to stop her ideological scape-goating of our international student community."

"This research underlines the Tories' failure to implement a sensible immigration system. It shows that their policies have deterred international students coming to the UK - at great cost to us all."

Cambridge MP condemns Theresa May's policies on international students at PMQs

Daniel Zeichner, MP for Cambridge, told the Commons at Prime Minister's Questions today that the Prime Minister has turned her back on billions of pounds that could have been used...

Daniel Zeichner, Member of Parliament for Cambridge, has again today raised the case of murdered Italian PhD student, Giulio Regeni, during Business questions in the House of Commons to the Leader of the House, Andrea Leadsom MP. 

Giulio Regeni was a Cambridge University PhD student that had travelled to Egypt to undertake research in Cairo. On the evening of January 25th 2016, Giulio went missing and his dead body was later discovered on the side of a highway on the 3rd February, with evidence that he had been brutally tortured.

During this morning's session Mr Zeichner said: "Two years ago today, on January 25th 2016, University of Cambridge PhD researcher Giulio Regeni went missing in Cairo; his brutally battered body was recovered a week later. The crime sparked international outrage, and calls into question very basic academic freedoms."

He went onto ask: "Can we have a statement from the minister on what the Government is doing to mark the event and also what pressure is being exerted on the Egyptian Government to find the truth about what happened to Giulio?"

Daniel Zeichner has long supported the Truth for Giulio Regeni campaign that Amnesty International spearheaded shortly after his  body was discovered, travelling to Brussels in 2015 to met Giulio's parents. Tonight Mr Zeichner will join others from Cambridge University and the city for a vigil to commemorate Giulio's disappearance. A moment of silence will be acknowledged at 7:41pm to mark the last communication Giulio had before his disappearance. 

Investigations by the Italian authorities continue however it is still not clear why Giulio Regeni was tortured and murdered, or who committed this, although it is widely believed to be the work of Egyptian state forces. 

Cambridge MP raises Giulio Regeni murder in the House of Commons on the two year anniversary of his disappearance

Daniel Zeichner, Member of Parliament for Cambridge, has again today raised the case of murdered Italian PhD student, Giulio Regeni, during Business questions in the House of Commons to the...

New laws to improve safety for passengers of taxis and private hire vehicles will be presented to Parliament next week by Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner. He has been working with campaign groups, trade unions and the Government on a Private Member's Bill for the last six months which is published today (25th January) ahead of its Second Reading in the House of Commons next Friday 2nd February. 

The Bill, entitled the "Licensing of Taxis and PHVs (Safeguarding and Road Safety) Bill," will require licensing authorities to record license refusals, revocations and suspensions on a national database. Licensing authorities will have to check this register, and have due regard to any previous decisions recorded, before awarding licenses to drivers in their authority. This would stop those who are "gaming the system:" if refused in one authority, they can currently just go to another Council and get a license there. Notorious examples include drivers losing their license in Southend, then reappearing on the same streets having been licensed elsewhere, sparking a national outcry. 

The bill also allows local authority enforcement teams to report instances of wrongdoing by taxi and PHV drivers from other areas, which cause them concern, to the authority in which the offender is licensed. The original licensing authority must then have regard to this report, and respond. This will end the situation where local enforcement officers are powerless to deal with drivers licensed elsewhere in the country. 

Mr Zeichner says: "This Bill will give councils powers they have been requesting to improve licensing and enforcement, and will increase passenger safety. The taxi and private hire sector is a proud trade, and this will not only work to maintain high standards, but will also increase public trust."

Daniel Zeichner MP's Taxi Safety Bill is published ahead of its return to Parliament next week

New laws to improve safety for passengers of taxis and private hire vehicles will be presented to Parliament next week by Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner. He has been working with...

Daniel Zeichner, MP for Cambridge, has criticised the Government for slamming the door on doctors needed by local hospitals and highly-skilled researchers needed by universities. The Home Office's Tier 2 cap restricts the number of visas it awards each month. This tier 2 visa is offered to skilled workers who are from nations outside the EU. 

The cap was reached in both December 2017 and January 2018, causing skilled workers to have their immigration and visa applications rejected. 

Mr Zeichner says: "Anyone coming to the country under a Tier 2 visa is clearly of the so-called "brightest and best" that the Government claim they want to attract to the UK. This cap serves no purpose other than to make the government look like they're tough on immigration - when in reality they are being tough on patients."

"If doctors with jobs at Addenbrookes are having their visas rejected, and scientists and engineers from excellent world-leading institutions are being excluded, this shows what a shambles our immigration system is. There is no upside to this cap; it is a further example of outstanding idiocy straight from Downing Street, and is damaging to both patient health and the wider UK economy."

Dr Sarah Main, Director of the Campaign for Science and Engineering, says:

“The Tier 2 cap is absurd. It causes the UK to reject the brightest and best the Government says it wants to attract. Skilled people who companies here have specifically recruited are turned down due to an arbitrary monthly limit. The rejections we've seen in the last two months waste companies’ time and leave business and service needs unmet, further damaging productivity. Such policies knock business confidence in the visa system and tarnish the UK's reputation as a place for highly skilled individuals to work and contribute. The cap should be abolished“

Cambridge MP accuses Government's immigration strategy of 'astonishing idiocy' over visa cap for doctors and scientists

Daniel Zeichner, MP for Cambridge, has criticised the Government for slamming the door on doctors needed by local hospitals and highly-skilled researchers needed by universities. The Home Office's Tier 2...

Daniel Zeichner, MP for Cambridge, clashed with newly appointed Justice Minister and neighbouring MP Lucy Frazer MP in the Commons today over her plans to close Cambridge Magistrates' Court. 

The Cambridgeshire MPs went to head to head in the Commons at Justice Questions. Daniel Zeichner congratulated her on her appointment but then urged Lucy Frazer to withdraw plans to close the court - in reply, she said she would listen to submissions to the consultation. 

Mr Zeichner says: "Justice should be local and accessible - it is the most vulnerable who will lose out the most from the court being closed as they will have to bear the extra cost of travelling further to seek justice." 

"I take limited comfort from her comments that in a previous round of cuts, they reconsidered on a number of prospective Court closures - i hope they will swiftly reach the same conclusion and leave Cambridge's Magistrates' Court to continue their work."

Neighbouring MPs clash in the Commons over Cambridge Magistrates' Court

Daniel Zeichner, MP for Cambridge, clashed with newly appointed Justice Minister and neighbouring MP Lucy Frazer MP in the Commons today over her plans to close Cambridge Magistrates' Court.  The...

Daniel Zeichner, MP for Cambridge, has responded angrily to plans by Justice Minister Lucy Frazer (MP for South East Cambridgeshire) to close Cambridge Magistrates' Court.

The minister yesterday announced a 10-week consultation into the future of the court. 

Mr Zeichner says: "Justice should be local. We are an important city and a growing city. There will always be a need for courts and those courts must be accessible for all those that need them." 

"I think there will be a strong reaction to these proposals from the residents of Cambridge and I trust that the minister will listen closely."

Daniel Zeichner MP slams proposals to close Cambridge Magistrates' Court

Daniel Zeichner, MP for Cambridge, has responded angrily to plans by Justice Minister Lucy Frazer (MP for South East Cambridgeshire) to close Cambridge Magistrates' Court. The minister yesterday announced a...

Daniel Zeichner, MP for Cambridge, has welcomed a letter in the Financial Times signed by Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, and Cambridgeshire Mayor James Palmer citing the positive impact that international students have on the UK economy. But he has slammed Theresa May for her policy that has cost every adult in Cambridge almost £1500 each. 

This is based on recently published research by the Higher Education Policy Institute, which shows that international students have a net impact of more than £20 billion for the UK economy. The mayors' letter also calls for an immigration system which "acknowledges the vital contribution international students make to regional jobs and growth."

Daniel Zeichner says "this research shows the huge benefit that we get from international students, in concrete figures - let alone the community benefit we gain from having a diverse society. It proves again that the Prime Minister's insistence on including international students in their immigration figures and targets is a nonsense. Cambridge's residents each gain £1460 from international students in our constituency - Theresa May needs to stop her ideological scape-goating of our international community."

The report shows that from 2001 - 2010,  numbers of international students in the UK grew steadily, along with the economic benefit that this brings. From 2010 onwards, the number of international students flat-lined. 

Mr Zeichner says: "This research underlines the Tories' failure to implement a sensible immigration system. It shows that their policies have deterred international students coming to the UK - at great cost to us all."

Cambridge MP says "we want you!" to international students and brands Tory immigration targets '"a nonsense"

Daniel Zeichner, MP for Cambridge, has welcomed a letter in the Financial Times signed by Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, and Cambridgeshire Mayor James Palmer citing the positive impact that...

Daniel Zeichner, MP for Cambridge, will tomorrow be welcoming, and joining, the Committee on Exiting the European Union in Cambridge to hear from key industries as to what the impact of Brexit will be on research and innovation. During the day, the Committee will meet with Cancer Research UK, at its Cambridge University headquarters, as well as visit the Laboratory of Molecular Biology. 

Tomorrow's visit is one of many to take place across the country as the Committee seeks to fulfil their investigation as to what the impact of Brexit will be on the UK. The Committee will be visiting all the regions and nations of the UK to get a greater insight and understanding of how the country views Brexit, and what a future relationship should look like. 

Daniel says, "I am extremely pleased that the Brexit Committee has felt that it is vital to visit Cambridge to understand what the impact of the UK leaving the EU will be for the city, and wider region. Of course, Brexit is an incredibly important issue for the city because we see a great number of benefits from our membership of the EU."

"Take pharma for instance; protecting the industry through Brexit isn't just vital for Cambridge, or to the East of England, where there were reportedly 34,000 life science jobs in 2015, and likely more since the AstraZeneca move, but for the whole UK economy. In 2015, the UK life sciences sector contributed an estimated £30.4 billion to the UK economy according to PwC, and supported nearly half a million jobs. These are at risk in the event of a hard Brexit as medicines need to be regulated and licensed across Europe."

"I have no doubt that the Committee will agree that ensuring our medical research institutes, life science industries and tech companies have continued access to EU funding, talent and collaboration is critical for the wider UK economy."

"Week in and week out, I meet with companies and institutions across this city that tell me Brexit is one of the biggest challenges they face. Much of the research and innovation that comes out of this city is dependent on EU researchers coming here to work, collaboration with other institutes across Europe, and of course funding from the EU. I will be sure to echo those concerns to the Committee members for their consideration during the process."

"Cambridge voted to remain in the European Union, by 74%, in June 2016 and many industries in the city have spoken out about the benefits they gain from the UK being a member of the EU."

 

Daniel Zeichner MP welcomes the Brexit Select Committee to Cambridge to discuss impact of Brexit on research and innovation

Daniel Zeichner, MP for Cambridge, will tomorrow be welcoming, and joining, the Committee on Exiting the European Union in Cambridge to hear from key industries as to what the impact...

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