Barry in Parliament
Barry has been Member of Parliament for Brent North since May 1997. He has made a huge impact in Parliament in a number of areas and has championed changes to laws which have adversely affected his constituents. Barry is one of Westminster’s hardest-working politicians and has always completely thrown himself into every issue and position he has been afforded.
The range of positions within Government departments that Barry has held has given him a diverse set of interests. He has worked across Whitehall in the Home Office, the Northern Ireland Office, the Department of Trade and Industry, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
In April 2011, the Leader of the Opposition, Ed Miliband, appointed Barry as his Special Envoy for Climate Change & the Environment.
Climate Change and the Environment
Barry has always been concerned about climate change and this was reinforced when he became the first Minister for Biodiversity. He created a Coastal Access Zone where people can swim, rock climb, walk and pond dip with uninterrupted views of the UK’s magnificent coastline. As the Prime Minister's Special Envoy for Forestry he campaigned hard for the introduction of tighter regulation on logging both at UK and European level.
Barry is Vice President of the Global Legislators Organisation (GLOBE International). As Chair of GLOBE's International Commission on Land Use Change and Ecosystems Barry regularly attends international summits on climate change, energy efficiency and the protection of the environment.
In 2010 Barry was elected member of the the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee and, in early 2011 he was also elected member of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee in the House of Commons.
UK - India relations
Barry has been at the forefront of issues regardingIndiathroughout his time as an MP. As of 2011, Barry chairs both Labour Friends of India (which he contributed to establish in 1999) and the APPG UK-India Trade & Investment. Barry regularly visits India where he addressed Vibrant Gujarat Summit in 2009.
Economy and Growth
Barry’s past experience in the City ofLondon running his own company has given a solid foundation on the issues surrounding the economy. He pressed the Treasury to include the UK’s natural resources in its financial assets as the Treasury would not be able to ‘bail out’ shattered natural ecosystems as they have the banks. Other countries have developed accounts for their natural resources and Barry put pressure on the Government to do the same in the UK.
Barry campaigned for a Parliamentary Bill to introduce legislation to regulate the use of fireworks. The Control of Fireworks Act deals with all the problems associated with misuse of fireworks - from disruption of sleep to anti-social behaviour and cruelty to animals. The regulations prohibit the possession of fireworks by those under 18 years old and a curfew has been set up from 11 pm until 7 am although an exemption will allow the use of fireworks in organised public displays within these times.
Barry has been very committed to leasehold reform the entire time he has been an MP. He has tirelessly campaigned for change to protect leasehold tenants. He forced through the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act to bring about justice for tenants. Thirty one Bills to reform leasehold had been introduced since 1884. Barry’s was one of the only three ever to become law.
Barry has always felt it was important to publish his expenses for public scrutiny long before the expenses scandal of 2009 hit. He was one of the few MPs that published what he claimed on his website every year before the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) was established.
IPSA has now introduced more transparent rules for all MPs, you can visit their website by clicking here.