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Mike was elected Dudley South’s Member of Parliament at the last General Election in May 2015.
"Mike has organised two Jobs Fairs to help local people to find work, an Apprenticeship & Skills Fair to help young people to understand the range of careers available - and the alternatives to university - and jointly held a Disability Confident event with the Department of Work & Pensions to encourage local businesses to employ people with physical and learning disabilities."
Since being elected, Mike’s top priority has been supporting job creation, improving skills locally and attracting investment to our area. He has organised two Jobs Fairs to help local people to find work, an Apprenticeship & Skills Fair to help young people to understand the range of careers available - and the alternatives to university - and jointly held a Disability Confident event with the Department of Work & Pensions to encourage local businesses to employ people with physical and learning disabilities.
Earlier this year Mike was very fortunate to survive after becoming seriously ill with sepsis. Although he was placed into a medically-induced coma on life support and given just a ten per cent chance of surviving, Mike's life was saved thanks to the excellent care and treatment provided by doctors and nurses at Russells Hall Hospital. Mike has used his experience to help raise awareness of sepsis – a condition that kills 44,000 people in Britain each year – working with the UK Sepsis Trust and raising the issue at Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons.
Unusually for a new MP, Mike has already been able to get a new law passed – the first local MP to table a successful Private Members Bill since 1980. His Riot Compensation Act means that West Midlands Police will no longer face unlimited costs if there are ever serious riots in the future, whilst protecting local residents and small businesses who suffer losses. The previous law was so old that it didn’t even allow for motor vehicles – cars will now be covered!
Mike and his family moved to Dudley Borough shortly after he was born and Dudley has been home ever since Mike is the son of a retired West Midlands Police Constable and, at the time that he was born, his mother ran a local authority children's home in Birmingham.
A local man, Mike went to local state schools lives in the Borough with his wife and their two young children. Mike's wife is a primary school teacher who has recently returned to the classroom.
After training as a barrister, Mike worked for seven years in the European Parliament, focussing on European internal market policy – which persuaded him that Britain would be better off out of the European Union. He later worked for a small sustainable energy firm near Dorridge and was a Dudley councillor.
Before being elected to Parliament, Mike served for five years as a governor at a special school in Dudley and as a voluntary director at a Trust that ran two special schools. Mike continues to take a particular interest in special needs education and learning difficulties. Mike also served as a (voluntary) member of the West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust.
Mike was first elected as Dudley South's Member of Parliament in May 2015.
In those two years, Mike has been one of the most active MPs. The independent TheyWorkForYou website says that he has made 183 speeches, interventions and questions in the House of Commons – one of the highest figures for a new Member of Parliament.
As well as taking his own Act of Parliament through the House of Commons, Mike has also co-sponsored other Bills, including proposals to give bereavement leave to grieving parents, to put defibrillators into schools and to introduce an “opt-out” system for organ donations. The proposal for bereavement leave for parents has now been taken up by Theresa May and is included in the Conservative Party manifesto for this election. A Conservative government will introduce this important change, giving parents a little time and space as they grieve for their child.
Mike has taken on roles in a number of All-Party Parliamentary Groups on issues where he takes a particular interest. These include chairing the group on road passenger transport and being an officer on groups covering learning disabilities, the West Midlands economy, local economic growth, urban transport, education governance, global education for all, the furniture industry and beer & brewing.
Mike serves on the House of Commons EU Scrutiny Committee, looking at new proposals for laws, budgets and trade agreements coming out of Brussels – an important role as we prepare for Brexit.