Julian Knight's Westminster Diary, 02/08/18

Solihull Observer.

One of the things I have tried to do as a Member of Parliament is stand up for Britain’s millions of motorists. Not only is Solihull a proud car-making town, but things like fuel prices and car taxes impact a huge number of families and businesses alike.

That’s why I have also championed ‘clean diesel’ engines, of the sort manufactured by Jaguar Land Rover in their Lode Lane plant, and lobbied ministers to ensure that this modern, green alternative to petrol wasn’t caught up in the Government’s response to the Volkswagen emissions scandal.

I have also supported the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Fairer Fuel, which brings together MPs from across the House of Commons to push for fairer taxes on drivers.

The latest thing I was working on, before Parliament broke up for recess, was the Civil Liability Bill. This important piece of legislation will help to crack down on the fraudulent whiplash claims which are driving up insurance premiums for law-abiding motorists.

Not only will we introduce fixed tariffs for paying out claims – which will balance the need for fair compensation with the need to control costs – but the Bill will also ban insurance companies from settling whiplash claims without medical evidence. This will discourage frauds and force insurers to investigate these claims properly, rather than settling and passing the cost on to other drivers.

I’m also proud to be supporting the Government in bringing forward the ban on ‘upskirting’, which will finally make this vile and degrading practice a specific crime rather than forcing the police to rely on older, less specific laws.

Finally, many of you may have read over the weekend about the new report into ‘fake news’ by the Commons’ Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS) Select Committee.

New technology is transforming so many areas of modern life and our democracy is no exception, and it’s vital that we keep our democratic safeguards up to date.

As a member of the Committee I’m proud to have played my part in holding social media giants to account – during our hearing with Mike Shroepfer, Facebook’s chief technical officer, my questions about the company’s inadequate privacy protections made headlines around the world.

Originally published in the Solihull Observer, 02/08/18.