Oliver Dowden

Hertsmere

Conservative

AQA has taken a unilateral decision to scrap the A-level in Polish from 2018. Are you going to lobby the AQA to reverse their decision? If yes, are there any other actions which you would undertake in order to preserve the Polish A-level?!

Regarding the Polish A-level; this is a decision that has been made by AQA and will not kick in until 2018 and my understanding is that the decision will be subject to further consultation. Conservative Education Ministers have been clear that languages such as Polish,Turkish, Bengali and others are important for future economic growth and employment. British firms will increasingly demand staff who are fluent in such languages as they seek new markets and opportunities.
I appreciate also that there are thousands of children who are either Polish or who have Polish backgrounds who would like the
opportunity to study Polish and I appreciate the strength of feeling there has been within the Polish community regarding
AQA’a decision. If elected as your Member of Parliament I would be more than happy to make representations on your behalf to the Department for Education and to push to ensure that the concerns of the Polish community are fully taken on board by both the Government and the exam board

Poland was the most loyal ally of Britain in the Second World War. Would you support a ban on British media falsely labelling the German concentration and death camps as being “Polish” e.g. Polish ghetto, death camps of Poland, or, Poland’s Auschwitz?

I take on board your point regarding concentration camps being referred to by some sections of the media as “Polish
camps”; I certainly wouldn’t label them as Polish camps and I understand why many Poles feel it insensitive and are
offended as a result. However, though I would always discourage the camps being referred to as “Polish camps”, I am unsure
whether it would be appropriate to legislate on this matter, I am a keen defender press freedoms and would be wary of such a top down approach

Do you support promoting information about the positive contribution of Polish immigrants to the economy of the UK?

‘I fully recongnise the positive contribution made by Poles not just here in Hertsmere but across the country. The vast majority of
Poles I have met over the years have been incredibly hard working and dynamic members of their communities and if I am elected as your Member of Parliament next month I will most definitely be a friend of Poland and the Poles living in the United Kingdom. I am aware of the huge contribution that Poles made during world war two and the invaluable help that was provided by Polish pilots during the Battle of Britain. I am aware also of the suffering experienced by the Polish people both during world world two and in the aftermath when they fell behind the iron curtai

In the event of Brexit, would you support granting an unconditional Indefinite Leave To Remain to the EU citizens who have lived and worked in Britain under the freedom of movement rules?

I prefer not to answer hypothetical questions. I am fully behind the Prime Minister’s ambition to renegotiate the UK’s relationship with the EU and to put the relationship to the British people through a referendum. I hope and believe that enough will be secured by the Prime Minister through renegotiation that the outcome of the referendum would be to support Britain’s continuing membership of the EU

If you were to be elected to the Parliament, would you join and support the activities of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Poland?

I would of course be supportive of attempts to promote the positive contribution that Poles make to the British economy. In terms of your question about me joining the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Poland if elected as your MP, at this particularly point in time I am not your MP and am focused fully on campaigning within the constituency and would prefer to leave questions regarding any parliamentary responsibilities and involvements until after the election. However, I am aware of the Group and that before the dissolution of Parliament is was Chaired by the Conservative, Daniel Kawczynski. I think the Group has a valuable contribution to make and if elected as your Member of Parliament next month joining the Group is certainly something I would consider, however this would have to be weighed against other commitments


Questions were sent out before the elections.