Mark Jenkinson

  1. Cumbrian MPs sign letter to PM urging Covid-19 'roadmap'

    Three Cumbrian MPs are among more than 50 backbench Conservatives who have signed a letter to the Prime Minister urging him to draw up a "roadmap" out of coronavirus restrictions in northern England.

    Parliament

    The three, John Stevenson, the MP for Carlisle, Mark Jenkinson for Workington and Barrow and Furness member Simon Fell, are part of the Northern Research Group, which represents many of the Midland and Northern seats the Conservatives won at the last election.

    The letter warns the measures taken to deal with Covid-19 "threaten to send the North into reverse" and asks Boris Johnson to speed up planned investments there.

  2. MPs differ over 'treaty-breaking' Commons vote

    All bar one of Cumbria's Conservative MPs voted in favour of the government's Internal Market Bill last night.

    The bill includes clauses which ministers have admitted could break international law, because they would override the withdrawal act treaty if they were ever put into effect.

    Mark Jenkinson and Tim Farron

    The only Cumbrian MP to vote against the bill was the Liberal Democrat MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale Tim Farron (right).

    But ministers say the provisions are insurance in case no proper trade deal can be agreed, and Workington MP Mark Jenkinson, says he believes they will never be needed.

    Quote Message: The will is there from our side, I think it's there from the EU side, it is possible and I would just encourage them to get it done and stop all the posturing."
    Quote Message: If we want to have any place around the top table, we want not to be hypocrites, and we want to be proud of our country, then this bill has got to fall."
  3. MP says commuter train cancellation 'makes no sense'

    A Cumbrian MP says it doesn't make sense to cut a commuter train service into Carlisle from West Cumbria.

    At the moment, a Northern Rail service arrives in the city at 08:30, allowing passengers to get to work or college for 09:00.

    But from next week, the service is being cut leaving one an hour earlier, or one later.

    The company is blaming the impact of the pandemic, but the Conservative MP for Workington, Mark Jenkinson, says this isn't a good enough reason.

    Mark Jenkinson
    Quote Message: I fully understand that companies are under significant pressure, backlogs and things, but this particular service, this one service of them all, seems the most nonsensical they could have chosen."
  4. Three county MPs join new Tory 'levelling up' group

    Three Cumbrian Conservative MPs, John Stevenson, Mark Jenkinson and Simon Fell are in a new Parliamentary group that wants to press the urgency of "levelling up" people living in the poorer parts of England.

    The group, which calls itself "Onward", says that of the bottom quarter of seats in Great Britain with the lowest earnings, more are now held by the Conservatives than Labour.

    The group says it is not only talking about the traditional deprived urban areas: "In rural areas defined by the ONS as “sparse”, people’s income levels are 17-18% lower, and are lower even after controlling for people’s age and qualifications."

    John Stevenson, Mark Jenkinson, Simon Fell
  5. Eagles could attract more visitors to coast, says MP

    Bob Cooper

    Political reporter, BBC Cumbria

    Britain's largest bird of prey, the white-tailed eagle, could attract tourists to lesser known parts of Cumbria, according to one of the county's MPs.

    Mark Jenkinson, the Conservative MP for Workington, wants the birds to be reintroduced to the Solway Coast, where only an occasional passing specimen has been seen in 200 years.

    White tailed eagle

    The MP says they would be a major tourist attraction, but reintroduction schemes can be controversial with farmers, because white-tailed eagles sometimes prey on lambs.

    Quote Message: It would be fantastic, we see what the ospreys do, bring people from across the country to Bassenthwaite and Whinlatter, and to see something like a white tailed eagle, with a 2m-plus wingspan, soaring across these bogs would just be phenomenal." from Mark Jenkinson
    Mark Jenkinson
    Quote Message: Certainly free-range poultry farmers I don't think would be too excited about having a sea eagle in the vicinity, and at lambing time there would be some significant challenges." from Alistair Mackintosh National Farmers' union delegate for Cumbria
    Alistair MackintoshNational Farmers' union delegate for Cumbria
  6. MPs call for more help for 12,000 who missed Covid grants

    About 12,000 workers in Cumbria haven't been able to work during lockdown, but have also not been eligible for any of the government's support packages.

    Four Cumbrian MPs are backing a national campaign to press the government for a new scheme to help them.

    One of the four, Mark Jenkinson (pictured), the Conservative MP for Workington, acknowledged that some people had fallen through the cracks.

    Mark Jenkinson
    Quote Message: It does seem deeply unfair that people can fall through the cracks like this but that was the reason for the discretionary scheme given to councils and certainly in Allerdale the only people that should have missed out are those with property costs of less than £2,000 a year." from Mark Jenkinson
    Mark Jenkinson

    The other Cumbrian MPs who say the government should do more are the two Conservatives, Neil Hudson and Simon Fell, and the Liberal Democrat, Tim Farron.

  7. Cumbrian MPs welcome VAT cut, but Farron calls for more

    There's been a welcome in Cumbria to an announcement than VAT for restaurants, takeaway food shops, pubs, hotels and visitor attractions will be cut from 20% to 5% until January to try to help the hospitality and tourism sectors recover from the Covid-19 crisis.

    The chancellor, Rishi Sunak, also said that under his plan, the taxpayer will also foot up to £10 per head of some restaurant bills during August, as part of the same package.

    View more on twitter

    The Westmorland and Lonsdale Lib Dem MP Tim Farron said: “These proposals, particularly the big cut in VAT, are really welcome, and show that the Chancellor has been listening to our case for further support for one of the hardest hit sectors."

    But he added that extended grants would also be needed to help businesses survive the winter.

    “It was also disappointing to see nothing in this statement for all those people, such as recently self-employed people and directors of small limited companies, who have missed out on any Government support during this crisis," he said.

    View more on twitter
  8. MP: Ministers recognise importance of tourism industry

    The government is well aware of the importance of the tourism industry to Cumbria's economy, according to one of the county's conservative MPs.

    The sector employs 65,000 people, with many more in in the supply chains, and there are fears that businesses that don't make much money this summer will not survive the coming winter without a package of support.

    A virtual meeting was held yesterday involving local politicians and business leaders, and ministers from various government departments.

    Mark Jenkinson, the Conservative MP for Workington says all the way through, government support schemes have been aimed at tourism businesses and similar enterprises.

    Mark Jenkinson
    Quote Message: We saw that very first grant scheme was heavily biased toward retail hospitality and leisure, the business rates suspension was for hospitality and leisure, the discretionary grant scheme was brought in with a heavy bias towards businesses that have property costs, small B&Bs for example."
  9. Three of Cumbria's Tory MPs say Cummings should stay

    Three out of five of Cumbria's Conservative MPs have come out in support of the Prime Minister's embattled chief advisor, Dominic Cummings, over his controversial travel to Durham during the lockdown.

    Dominic Cummings

    Yesterday Mr Cummings gave a lengthy explanation, saying he believed the journey qualified as a reasonable way to ensure childcare was available for his young son when he and his wife, Mary Wakefield were suffering symptoms of Covid-19.

    Across the county, MPs such as Mark Jenkinson in Workington, Trudy Harrison in Copeland, and Simon Fell in Barrow and Furness, say this should be accepted, even if not defended.

    View more on twitter

    But Carlisle's John Stevenson says he believes Mr Cummings actions, even if justified, have undermined the government's policy.

    Quote Message: He has helped set the message, he in many respects has to be seen to be doing the right thing, I understand his importance to the Prime Minister and to the government, but sadly on balance I just felt that in these circumstances his position will have consequences for the government's message." from John Stevenson
    John Stevenson
    Quote Message: Dominic understood the rules more than many and he also understood the exceptional circumstances which afforded in his judgement, the justification for travel." from Trudy Harrison
    Trudy Harrison
  10. Concerns bed factory closure could just be the start

    Workington's MP says he's worried that plans to close the Sealy Beds factory could be just the start of more job losses in the area.

    The Conservative, Mark Jenkinson was speaking after plans were announced to close the factory in Aspatria with the loss of 267 jobs.

    Mark Jenkinson

    Sealy said the profitability of the plant had declined for a number of years, and the impact of the coronavirus outbreak had made the situation worse.

    Quote Message: The uncertainty of the future doesn't help, my concern is that this doesn't stop with Sealy, so we need to do what we can to prevent that." from Mark Jenkinson
    Mark Jenkinson
    Quote Message: I've also written to Alok Sharma the secretary of state (for business) today to ask them to intervene at the earliest opportunity should it look like the site is going to close."
  11. Farron 'disappointed' as Cumbrian Tories meet without him

    The Conservative MPs who hold five of the six constituencies in Cumbria have said they will now meet regularly "to discuss matters that affect the whole of Cumbria."

    Cumbria's Conservative MPs

    In a statement this morning the group said: "Topics and projects in previous parliaments that Cumbrian MPs have worked together on have included transport and infrastructure, tourism and local government."

    Trudy Harrison, the Copeland MP, said: "It is great to be working with colleagues who share a common ambition for Cumbria, working together without the divisions of politics ensures the focus is on progress.”

    Tim Farron, the Liberal Democrat MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, said he was disappointed not to be involved.

    My view has always been that the best way to get stuff done for local people is to put party politics aside and work cross-party," he said.