Monthly newsletter Edition 12 Sir Robert reports:- Page 2
I visited a famous "sticky bun" factory last month - Mellors of Southport - to present them with the Confectionery Industry's Quality Achievement Award. Everyone at this historic and first-rate company deserves congratulations.
I had the privilege of meeting an astonishingly brave young man last month, in the person of James Mawdsley, who campaigned passionately for democracy in Burma and who was tortured and imprisoned for his beliefs and activities. You may remember that he was released last year and he was in Brussels to continue his campaign at a safer distance. James comes from, and lives in, Ormskirk and is currently writing a book about his experiences. I am persuaded by his objectives and have already met members of the Burmese Government-in-exile, who won the last election and were usurped by the present vicious dictatorship. As a member of the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs & Human Rights Committee, I intend to raise the position of Burma at every opportunity. It may surprise and please you to learn that James is a Conservative and attributes his involvement in Burma to his Tory commitment to freedom and democracy. He wants to help us during the General Election and, eventually, have a crack at Parliament himself.
A House of Lords Select Committee visited Brussels last week, in pursuit of an Inquiry into Aviation & Air Traffic Delays. You may recall that I steered a Report on this very subject through the Parliament last year and I was, therefore, honoured to be invited to give evidence to their Lordships. However, it was daunting enough to be interrogated as a Minister, with all those officials to help me, but on one's own with no back-up got the Atkins brain working overtime!
Two important elections are imminent - unless Foot & Mouth intervenes - and I am doing whatever I can to assist PPC's, County Council Candidates, Association Chairmen and Party Agents in the forthcoming campaigns. I understand the difficulties of being a Candidate (8 General and 4 Council Elections) and that experience may be useful to some during the hectic three or four weeks of a campaign!
Recent visits have included Preston, Chester, Lancaster & Wyre, Southport, *Altrincham & Sale, Bury North, *Fylde, Blackpool North & Fleetwood, Warrington South and Harrogate (Party Convention). (* Pictured)