News from Bob Blackman MP

Since my last edition, I have continued my programme of street surgeries all around the constituency and I have been doing my part as your representative in Westminster

Here are a few of the events and engagements I have taken part in recently:

I accompanied the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, to the Grand Opening of the new Eggfree Cake Box shop in Streatfield Road. A large crowd came along to take photos and celebrate the opening of the branch, which is the 45th branch to open in the UK and which represents one of many small businesses setting up locally.
Breast Cancer Care and The FA have together launched a breast awareness roadshow, which will tour 38 locations in England, to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of breast cancer and I was pleased to attend their reception in Parliament to support the scheme.
Each year, I run a 1-2 week work experience programme to give young people who are interested in politics a chance to experience all aspects of being a Member of Parliament. This year's group were given a crash course in local campaigning, met a number of local Councillors, were introduced to Mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith and had a visit
to the Houses of Parliament to get some first hand insight into the workings of our legislature. At the end, each participant received a certificate and had lunch on the famous Terrace. If you're from Harrow and would like to be considered for my 2016 summer programme, please send your CV with some information on why you wish to take part to
I was happy to donate a bottle of whiskey, signed by the Prime Minister, David Cameron, to Harrow Association of Disabled People (HAD) for auction at a Fundraising curry evening hosted by the Mayor as an important local charity providing vital support and information people living with disabilities.
I hosted a seminar on “Rethinking the Welfare State” organised by Vichar Manthan, an organisation set up to provide a platform for thinkers from the Hindu community to discuss ways to build a better society. We discussed state vs individual in ensuring a better economic climate within the Hindu perspective and teachings from the vedas.
wear it pink 2015
I took part in the annual 'wear it pink' awareness drive for Breast Cancer Now’s flagship fundraiser which will be taking place on Friday 23rd October this year. wear it pink calls on supporters across the country to ditch the day-to-day colours and pull on some pink to raise money for Breast Cancer Now’s life-saving breast cancer research. Now in its 14th year, wear it pink raises over £2 million each year for world-class research into breast cancer. Every year in the UK around 50,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer, and sadly nearly 12,000 women still lose their lives to the disease, so there has never been a more important time to show support for this vital cause.
As part of my role as Chairman of the APPG British Hindus, I held an extremely well received Raksha Bandhan celebration in Parliament. The event was attended by numerous MPs, including Virendra Sharma, Shailesh Vara and Gavin Barwell, and also the Deputy High Commissioner of India, Dr Virander Paul.
Raksha Bandhan is a Hindu festival which is typically a celebration of a protective brother-sister relationship, although it also celebrates bonds between those who are not related. Sisters will tie a rakhi (sacred thread) on the brother's wrist as a symbol of respect and to emphasise a protective relationship, and this tradition was repeated with attending Members receiving a number of colourful wrist ties.
Photos by Amit Patel, Count Photography
I had a productive meeting with representatives from the Muslim Forum of Middlesex on the growing refugee crisis and its impact, issues faced by Muslims locally and in the media and also discussed The Salaam Centre, a pioneering, innovative and unique community centre being built in Harrow, which will be open to those of all faiths and none as a hollistic local hub.
I attended the launch of 'Diwali on Trafalgar Square', held at the New Scotland Yard premises, at which it was announced that the largest Diwali festival in the UK will be held on 11th October in central London. The celebration is being organised by the Mayor of London with the Diwali in London (DIL) committee as the organising partner. The DIL Committee currently comprises of 14 different organisations working together in harmony and this year the event will focus on the legacies of valour, unity and sacrifice in pursuit of peace and freedom. The event will specifically commemorate the role people from the Indian sub-continent played in World War One.
I was honoured to attend the Borough’s traditional Battle of Britain Thanksgiving Service once again this year, for a special 75th Anniversary event commemorating the victory of the Battle of Britain. The service was supported by Members of Harrow Council, the Representative Deputy Lieutenant, senior RAF personnel, Cadet Units and ex-Service Organisations.
I was delighted to present the prestigious Young Chef India Schools 2015 Award to 17 year old Vedika Kariwala from Ahemedabad at an awards ceremony held at the University of West London. She received a glittering trophy along with a cash prize of INR 500,000 and a scholarship to study at the IIHM.
Photo by Abdullah Ahmed/IIHM
On the 13th November, the Youth Parliament will come together for a debate at the annual UKYP House of Commons. This is an excellent experience for young politically engaged people to ask the questions important to them I would encourage everyone to take part in their Make Your Mark consultation, which is being coordinated locally by Harrow's representative, Zak Wagman MYP (pictured right).

You can read some of my most recent contributions in Parliament below:

Question to Church Commissioners: Use of Church Buildings
What is the Church of England doing in ethnically diverse areas, where large numbers of people are not of the Anglican faith, to open up the buildings so that they are used regularly by the whole community, rather than just by those of that faith?

Question in Justice Orals - Northern Ireland: Political Situation
The Executive appear to be suspended in regard to meetings, but the budget and the Stormont House agreement need to be implemented. If the talks are unsuccessful, at what stage would my right hon. Friend come back with further legislation in this place to implement that budget and the legislation that is required?

Topical Question in Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Orals
Over the summer, we have all been depressed by the refugee crisis across north Africa and the middle east. What consideration has my right hon. Friend given, along with her EU counterparts, to using surplus food stocks, or possibly even increasing food production, to feed those who are starving having fled violence?
Read more online, here.



Tickets are still available for the Diwali Celebration Dinner and Fundraiser which is being hosted by the Bob Blackman Business Club, with Boris Johnson and Zac Goldsmith attending as guest speakers. The cost is £60 for an individual ticket, or £500 for a table of 10, and this covers a three course meal, all drinks and the entertainment as well.

As indicated below, to make a booking please call either Premier Banqueting on 07854 674617 or Mina Parmar on 07764 681987. For enquiries related to membership of the Bob Blackman Business Club, email

If you have any issues or concerns which you feel I could help you with, please don't hesitate to get in touch using the contact details below:
Please remember to include your full name and address, even if you've written to Bob before!

To discuss a case, report an issue or make a surgery appointment, please contact Bob's office in Harrow, on 020 8421 3323
For diary, media or tour enquiries, please contact Bob's office in Westminster, on 020 7219 7082

Write to:
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
209 Headstone Lane, Harrow, HA2 6ND

Copyright © 2015 Bob Blackman, all rights reserved.