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Rutland MP Alicia Kearns says attacks on Israel are ‘heinous crimes’

The horrific terror attack on Israel constituted crimes against humanity, writes Rutland MP Alicia Kearns (Con).

These crimes are so heinous that they violate our understanding of the depths of human depravity. Israel has a legitimate right to self-defence and to defeat Hamas, and we must recognise that how a counter terrorism operation is conducted matters. Israel’s actions as a rule of law nation, and our response as their allies will shape our ability to be a legitimate arbiter in future conflict and have the right to call out abusers such as Russia.

Hamas is a proscribed terrorist organisation, acting in the interests of Iran, and not the people of Palestine. The people of Gaza are not Hamas, and 1.2 million children bear no collective guilt for Hamas’ terror. As the international humanitarian crisis worsens in Gaza, it is vital that we take urgent action to prevent further loss of life.

My thoughts are with all of those who have had loved ones stolen from them, those terrified for their loved ones still held hostage, those worried about loved ones in Gaza, and our Jewish and Palestinian communities who need our support. We must all hope for the violence to end, and for progress on a two-state solution to come forward.

Locally there’s more news to share around investment for our local transport. Since I last reported back about the Government’s Bus Service Improvement Plan funding, the Prime Minister announced £9.6 billion to improve the Midlands transport network.

For Rutland, this will include a share of the £2.2 billion Midlands Local Integrated Transport Settlement, a new fund for Councils to invest in our local transport. On top of this, we will also receive a share of the £2.2 billion Midlands Road Resurfacing Fund to alleviate potholes and ensure smoother journeys for drivers. This unprecedented level of investment is great news for our communities, helping to deliver the robust and reliable infrastructure that we deserve.

In other news, I recently met with the Media Minister, John Whittingdale, to discuss Rutland and Stamford Sound’s bid for an FM licence. Given the rurality of our communities, internet broadcasting is not always effective, and many areas are cut off. I know that many of you are regular listeners of our much-loved community radio station, and I am determined to do everything I can to get them an FM licence so that we can all continue to enjoy their brilliant local news coverage.

Out and about in our communities, it was a joy to meet with Rutland Sailability and Rutland Sailing Club to hear more about the wonderful facilities and extensive training on offer here. Rutland Sailability provides accessible boats and equipment for members of our communities with disabilities, giving them the freedom to sail safely and independently – members range from 7 to 87 years old! We should be very proud to have such an amazing sailing club locally which creates international winners.

Last week it was a pleasure to chat with Oakham School students at their careers fair about what my role as an MP involves and my journey into politics. I hope I’ve inspired a few students to take the leap into Parliament in the future!

Finally, it was great to meet with residents in Braunston and Gunthorpe to understand their priorities and what more I can do to support them. We discussed everything from rural priorities and my campaign against the closure of Oakham Railway Station, to business rates and off-grid heating. I also had lots of important discussions at Uppingham Market on Friday - so thanks to everyone who stopped to speak. I’ll be continuing to make my way around all of our Rutland villages in the coming months, so do stop for a chat if you see me!

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