Crispin is a proactive constituency MP. Every issue that is brought to his attention, whether it be an individual's personal problem or a national issue, he always strives to give his constituents the time and attention their cases warrant. He also engages with local services that require his support, as well as visiting local schools and other organisations that seek his intervention or ask him to speak at events.
Crispin works hard for the interests of local rail users, battling for fair fares, and for service improvements after the London Bridge investment in 2018. He has successfully influenced the Department for Transport into redressing the local fares anomaly known as the Redhill Hump and is a keen supporter of a more simplified and transparent rail ticket pricing system in the South East, as well as improvements in the current rail operator franchise system including the Oster card extension.
One of Crispin’s key priorities for Reigate is the protection of the Greenbelt. Crispin pledged this when he was first selected to fight the seat in 1997 and it remains his principa l objective. As co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for London’s Green Belt, with renowned architect Lord Richard Rogers, Crispin has been driving the argument for improved protection of the Green Belt for recreational, environmental, agricultural and public health benefits. The APPG challenges the implementation of the current National Planning Policy Framework and is seeking clarity in it to reduce the pressure on local authorities in the Green Belt from developers and the planning inspectorate to meet unrealistic housing targets.
Crispin also successfully led the Gatwick Coordination Group of MPs, councillors and campaign groups to make the case that Heathrow is a better site for an extra runway than Gatwick. He remains engaged on Gatwick’s current expansion plans and takes an active interest in developments in airspace design, especially where these affect residents who are subjected to either incessant or new aircraft noise nuisance.
Crispin in Parliament
Crispin was elected in 1997 and has a diverse Parliamentary career serving on the Defence and Environment Select Committees between 2001 – 10 and holding several opposition front bench roles. From May 2010 until September 2012, Crispin was Minister responsible for Prisons, Probation and Youth Justice and he has continued to advocate for a better understanding of criminal justice.
Policies that were of particular personal interest included the introduction of payment by results, restorative justice and work in prisons. Other significant criminal justice achievements included the abolition of the indeterminate sentence for public protection and the criminalisation of squatting in residential property. Crispin also has a long-standing interest in foreign affairs and was elected Chairman of the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee from June 2015 to May 2017. During this time, the Committee produced multiple well-received reports including those on airstrikes in Syria, the UK's intervention in Libya, Political Islam, the Brexit process, human rights, and relations with Russia and Turkey. He is currently Vice Chair of the Conservative Middle East Council having made it a professionally administered organisation during his Chairmanship 2007 – 2008.
From his experience as Prisons Minister and as Foreign Affairs Committee Chair, Crispin has seen first-hand the failure of the half-century “War on Drugs” both at home and abroad. Crispin firmly believes that an evidence-based discussion on global and UK drug policy is long overdue and critical to reduce the great harm to society that drugs cause. He has therefore become co-chair of the APPG on Drug Policy Reform where he advocates for an evidence-based approach towards drug policy and a reassessment of the costs and benefits of the current prohibitionist approach. He is also chair of the Conservative Drug Policy Reform Group which campaigns for Policy change on the centre-right.
Crispin’s personal life story has taught him a deep personal understanding of the difficult challenges LGBT+ people face both at home and abroad. He is secretary of the APPG on Global LGBT Rights and believes Britain should show leadership to help the millions of LGBT+ people where they face criminalisation. Especially as Britain has a particular responsibility for many Commonwealth countries' laws as they have been inherited from Britain’s colonial past. Crispin is also co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Humanist Group.
Crispin is a frequently sought after commentator as he has gained respect outside Parliament for his independence of judgement in taking on hard truths. Not just on Humanist, LGBT+ issues and Drug Policy Reform but also on leaving the European Union where Crispin has been actively engaging in finding an alternative way forward and proposing solutions for problems facing the UK, suggesting directions for the country to better promote British Values and Britain’s role in the world.
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