Mel writes regularly for the Mid Devon Advertiser, Dawlish Gazette, Crediton Gazette, Crediton Courier, Okehampton Times, Herald Express and Express and Echo. Some of his articles appear below:-

Latest Articles

  • Mid Devon Advertiser
    13 Oct 2017

    I attended our party conference this year. I think it is fair to say that it did not go entirely to plan. The Prime Minister’s speech will not be forgotten any time soon – interrupted as it was by a prankster and falling letters from the slogan behind all accompanied by a serious case of laryngitis and prolonged coughing. An hour long address under these circumstances was quite an ordeal but th.... Read more...

  • Mid Devon Advertiser
    29 Sep 2017

    Last week I attended a dinner in Tedburn St Mary with Liam Fox (International Trade Secretary) as guest speaker. Over 100 turned out to listen to where we are headed with Brexit and what the opportunities are for new trade deals. There will clearly be challenges ahead but Liam gave us confidence that future trade was in safe hands. I also held a number of meetings including with Teignbridge Cit.... Read more...

  • Mid Devon Advertiser
    22 Sep 2017

    One of my key responsibilities as Financial Secretary to the Treasury is HMRC, which covers both the collection of taxes but also Customs and Excise. So it has fallen to me to take the forthcoming Customs Bill through Parliament. The bill will set out the framework legislation that ensures that we are ready for our new customs arrangements when we exit the EU. The preference must be for a trans.... Read more...

  • Mid Devon Advertiser
    15 Sep 2017

    Last week saw my first outing as the Financial Secretary to the Treasury at the despatch box in the Commons in a formal debate. This was to open and close the debate on the Finance Bill Resolutions – resolutions need to be agreed to permit the raising of taxes or charges within the bill. The Finance Bill is substantially about tax changes and so there were a large number of resolutions to cover.... Read more...

  • Mid Devon Advertiser
    25 Aug 2017

    Last week, as a family, we had a great time at the Chagford Show. This is now in its 117th successful year. I particularly love it because it is of a manageable size and the setting is especially picturesque. I was delighted to be joined by Michael Gove - Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs - who I had persuaded to come along so that he could learn more about the loca.... Read more...

  • Mid Devon Advertiser
    18 Aug 2017

    There are a number of places across the globe that have embraced a certain form of socialism – the kind that has its roots in Marxist theory, scares off wealth makers through expropriation and excessive taxation - impoverishes rather than enriches and has a disappointing habit of embracing a one party state. Amongst them would be Cuba and more recently, Venezuela. These places have about them a.... Read more...

  • Mid Devon Advertiser
    28 Jul 2017

    Last week like all other weeks was busy. Along with appearing before a committee to discuss (and to be tested and probed) on the forthcoming Customs Bill which I will be taking through the Commons in the Autumn I also had my first turn at the Despatch Box in the Commons during Treasury Questions. These sessions are always highly charged and are when ministers are held to account in front of the.... Read more...

  • Mid Devon Advertiser
    21 Jul 2017

    Last week I was out and about right across our vast constituency. I spent valuable time door to door in Ashburton listening to thoughts and concerns. Points raised covered a wide spectrum from Health to Education to Terrorism. A number of local issues were raised which I passed onto local Councillor Charlie Dennis who was out with me. At Okehampton Hospital I held a key meeting with CCG and RD&.... Read more...

  • Mid Devon Advertiser
    14 Jul 2017

    As a Treasury minister my diary is constantly under pressure. Much of my time is spent learning – and there is much to learn. I have ministerial strategic oversight of our tax system including direct and indirect business and personal taxation and indirect taxes such as VAT. I look after our customs policy and I am responsible for HMRC (the tax man), an organisation that employs around 60,000 p.... Read more...

  • Mid Devon Advertiser
    07 Jul 2017

    Farming has been on my mind a lot lately. Not least because in my new ministerial role I have a key responsibility for our customs policy. As we leave the EU I am determined that we maintain the ability of our farmers to have as smooth an access to European markets as possible – the EU is the final destination for around 60% of our farming exports and critical to the health of our agricultural .... Read more...

  • Mid Devon Advertiser
    30 Jun 2017

    Last week we had the Queen’s Speech. Part tradition, part practical, it set out the government’s programme for the next session. Parliamentary sessions usually last a year and so there are typically 5 per Parliament. At the end of each session all legislation that has not passed at that point lapses and it is the legislation in the Queen’s Speech that is then taken forward. This time the speech.... Read more...

  • Mid Devon Advertiser
    23 Jun 2017

    The General Election result came as a surprise for most. In Central Devon I was delighted to be returned with a further increased share of the vote and a majority of 15,680 on a record turnout. But the result overall was a loss of the Government’s majority and so returning to Westminster was not on the basis I had hoped. I will, of course, always continue to fight tirelessly on the issues that .... Read more...