Week Ahead: ‘Last Yorkshire miner in Parliament’ ready for farewell as Parliament dissolves

Kevin Barron MP pictured outside his office at Dinnington..8th February 2019.Picture by Simon Hulme
Kevin Barron MP pictured outside his office at Dinnington..8th February 2019.Picture by Simon Hulme
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More than 50 MPs - including Yorkshire’s long-serving Kevin Barron - will be leaving frontline politics as Parliament is dissolved. Chris Burn looks at the Week Ahead.

ELECTION BATTLE BEGINS
The contest to run the country - and determine the fate of Brexit - will get under way in earnest this week as Parliament is dissolved at one minute past midnight on Wednesday morning ahead of the general election on December 12.

Expect plenty of visits to Yorkshire in the coming weeks from the likes of Boris Johnson, Jeremy Corbyn and Nigel Farage with the region due to be a key election battleground.

Whatever the result of the poll there will definitely be a changing of the guard at Westminster with more than 50 current MPs - including some of Westminster’s most well-known names such as Ken Clarke, Sir Vince Cable and Amber Rudd - stepping down. Labour MP for Rother Valley Kevin Barron is among the long-serving politicians going after representing the South Yorkshire constituency since 1983.

Speaking in July when he announced his intention to resign at the next election, he said: “I am pretty sure that I will be the last Yorkshire miner as an MP, although politics can at times be challenging it is the greatest way of giving a voice to the voiceless.”

Before those leaving the Commons have their final day on Tuesday - and their colleagues fighting for re-election head back to their constituencies to begin campaigning - MPs will have the task of electing a new Speaker today to replace John Bercow through a secret ballot.

The nine candidates include Doncaster Central MP Dame Rosie Winterton.

TIME OF REFLECTION

The nation will fall silent this weekend on Remembrance Sunday. Services will take place up and down the country, led by the annual ceremony at The Cenotaph in London that will involve royalty, senior politicians and thousands of military veterans.

The Royal British Legation will also be hosting its annual Festival of Remembrance event at the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday, which this year will be marking the 75th anniversaries of the great battles of 1944, as well as the 100th anniversary of GCHQ and the role of the secret services in protecting the country.

Another historic anniversary will be marked on Saturday with the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. A week of celebrations is planned in the German city, with Berlin being transformed into what organisers are describing as “a unique open-air exhibition and event venue”.

FIREWORK FRENZY

Bonfire Night falls on Tuesday, with hundreds of thousands of people expected to attend firework displays big and small across Yorkshire.

There will be official events running into the weekend as well - but pet owners will be among those hoping that people’s home displays are kept to a minimum. Sainsbury’s has won plenty of friends this year by becoming the first major supermarket to stop selling fireworks.

It comes after a petition to ban the public sale of fireworks to protect animals, children and people with a phobia was signed by more than 300,000 people last year.
CAR SALES

The latest set of new car sales will be published on Tuesday morning by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. The industry has been struggling recently, with production down and British carmakers spending £500m on no-deal Brexit measures.
CLINTONS COME TO TOWN

Hillary Clinton will be joined by her daughter Chelsea in London at the weekend as the former Presidential candidate and First Lady launches her new book.

She will be promoting The Book of Gutsy Women: Favourite Stories of Courage and Resilience with a public appearance on Sunday night at the Royal Festival Hall in London.