A strong experienced voice for North Wiltshire
I offer long-standing experience and a track record as a successful, hard-working and caring representative of North Wiltshire in Parliament.
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Monday 2 October 2023 Weekly Column

A few days in Washington DC with a leading think-tank whose mission is to enhance the ‘Special Relationship.’ 10 meetings a day for 3 days, so not much time for site seeing, but Capitol Hill, the White House and surrounds really are magnificent. We met quite a number of Senators and members of the House of Representatives, spoke to the World Bank, the State Department (Foreign Office), British Ambassador, business groups, cyber experts, climate and environmental groups, the World Food Programme and a lot of the lobbyists and think tanks huddled round “the Hill”. I even bumped into Bo Derek (remember her?) whose sister is a US Ambassador.

Republicans and Democrats, lobbyists, journalists, diplomatic staff alike are deeply worried about the future of American politics and therefore the world. The Presidential Elections are next year, but the run-up has already started. Both sides are mired in corruption allegations and worse. President Biden is looking very old, and we heard quite ill, which probably will not allow him another 5 years all told. He is currently the sole nominee for the Democrats; Vice-President Harris is widely disliked and seems unlikely to take the top slot, with Gavin Newsum, the Governor of California being tipped as a ‘dark horse’ possibility. President Trump is miles ahead in the Republican stakes, and one recent poll even showed it likely (by 52/48) that he would win the elections if nominated. I personally shudder to think of it.

Meanwhile the President’s Budget which is currently before Congress seemed unlikely to be passed until a last minute 45 day delay package was agreed by the Senate and signed into law by The President. The ‘ins and outs’ are deeply complex, but in essence the House is dominated by the Republicans, the Senate vice-versa and both sides have all kind of axes to grind, resulting in gridlock over defence and social services spending, tax increases and Ukraine. They now have a little breathing space to try to reach a deal and avoid the threatened total closure of the Federal Government, all spending being blocked - with huge consequences for government employees (who get back pay eventually after the crisis, but who have to pay their mortgages in the meanwhile), and worse for contractors and the supply chain whose income is slashed and not repaid. That of course has a real effect on the economy. The deal seems to include a huge cut in support for the war in Ukraine, which Putin will be watching with some glee. The final deal will be worked on further on Monday, but could have real consequences for the US, and therefore the World economy. ‘America sneezes and the World catches a cold.’

It was ironic to come back for a day’s canvassing in South Cerney to hear that the Lib Dems who control Cotswold District Council, and about whose profligate spending we have often warned, have now put out a statement that the Council may go bust within a couple of years unless there are deep and damaging cuts to services. It’s on a different scale, but it’s the same problem. You have to pay your way in this world, and Liberals - in Cirencester and Capitol alike- gain popularity by splashing out other people’s money. Sooner or later reality catches up with them.

Monday 25 September 2023 Latest News

James Gray, Member of Parliament for North Wiltshire has today set out his plans to campaign to save the popular Tolsey Surgery in Sherston. This follows the announcement by Bath and North East Somerset, Wiltshire and Swindon Integrated Care Board that they plan to move the staff and services provided by the surgery to Malmesbury Primary Care Centre.

Writing in his popular weekly column James Gray laid out his plans to save the Surgery:

“I really do feel strongly about

Monday 25 September 2023 Weekly Column

Sometimes there are delicate balances in politics, difficult decisions. Other times important causes are clear and demanding. “Action This Day” as Churchill used to scrawl across important documents.

The NHS have for reasons best known to themselves decided to consider closing the excellent GPs’ surgery in the rural village of Sherston and amalgamate it with 9 miles distant Malmesbury Health Center at an estimated (very probably underestimated) cost of £500,000 or so. The people of

Monday 18 September 2023 Weekly Column

A great friend of mine, who is a very senior minister and is flattering enough to admit to being a regular reader of these Columns, upbraids me for overstating my love for being a backbencher and constituency MP as opposed to having any kind of Ministerial ambition. Perhaps I never did, or possibly at some stage I came to realise that any such misplaced ambition was likely to be thwarted. And anyhow, of the 650 MPs, only a tiny handful become senior ministers like you, John. Most of we

Friday 8 September 2023 Weekly Column

This first week back after the Summer Recess has, as usual for this time of the year, been dominated by “Remaining Stages” of Bills.

In essence legislation is created by a long series of events- running from initial ideas, perhaps proposed by think tanks or the media; very often a ‘Green Paper’ which floats a general idea, a  ‘White Paper’ which lays out the Government’s intention to legislate in detail; then the Bill is drafted; and then finally after what may have been


My latest book 'Wiltshire to Westminster' is now available here.

My latest book 'Full English Brexit' is now available online at jamesgray.org/full-english-brexit

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