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Julian Sturdy - Strong Voice for York Outer

Julian Sturdy

Conservative Party Candidate for York Outer
Any reference to Julian Sturdy being a Member of Parliament on this website predates the dissolution of Parliament and the 2024 General Election campaign

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York Press column: All action ahead of Easter

York Press column: All action ahead of Easter

It has been a jam-packed couple of weeks since my last column where I had an opportunity to reflect on the Chancellor’s Budget. I want to begin by highlighting the fantastic news that inflation has dropped to 3.4 per cent – the lowest in two and a half years. When the Prime Minister came to

Julian works with Parkinson’s UK

This week in Parliament, Julian had a really positive meeting with Laura from Parkinson’s...

Julian meets with Minister to discuss Renters (Reform) Bill

Alongside Andy Simpson of York Residential Lettings Association, Julian met with Jacob Young MP...

Julian supports Dogs Trust plea to end puppy smuggling

Julian has pledged his support on the issue of puppy smuggling today at a...

York Press column: Britain has always been a world leader

November 22, 2023

Throughout history, the United Kingdom has been at the forefront of global change. We help lead the fight against the evil scourge of slavery, we were among the first countries in Europe to grant female suffrage, and, more recently, we have led developed nations in cutting carbon emissions culminating in nearly two hundred countries signing the Glasgow Climate Pact at COP 26.

The age of British leadership is far from behind us and I believe the United Kingdom must now take up the mantle of spearheading the battle against what will be the biggest health challenge of the twenty-first century – antimicrobial resistance.  

The issue of antimicrobial resistance has perhaps never been so pressing. It is thought that antimicrobial resistance could contribute to 24 million more people being forced into extreme poverty by 2030 and cause 10 million deaths annually by 2050. To counter these worrisome projections, significant time, investment and global cooperation is needed. 

This week, the Government published a White Paper on International Development which focussed on how we end extreme poverty in an increasingly contested world. Domestically, the United Kingdom excels at preparing and mitigating against the threat of antimicrobial resistance but, like climate change, this is not an issue we can tackle alone and we must help those in developing countries who are most at risk. 

The impact of COVID-19, climate change, conflict, and migration show how events that begin overseas affect us at home. We can not pretend to be immune or absolve ourselves of responsibility. The United Kingdom is uniquely placed to help address these challenges at source, using our science and technology expertise, our position as a global financial centre and our extensive diplomatic network. 

The White Paper does not hold punches and the assessment of the global situation makes stark reading. The development gains of recent decades are now under threat of reversal. The impacts of climate change and nature loss are being felt by everyone, everywhere. Conflict state fragility and instability are on the rise and holding back development. Humanitarian needs are at their highest since 1945. 

While worrisome, the content of the White Paper fills me with hope as it is ambitious and outward looking in our role on the world stage. We can build upon existing transformational progress and renew our commitment to developing nations.  

New investments of £210 million will help tackle antimicrobial resistance, including for innovation and product development through the Global Antimicrobial Resistance Innovation Fund and for laboratory and surveillance strengthening through the Fleming Fund. 

The UK’s Global Antimicrobial Innovation Fund (GAMRIF) focusses on antimicrobial solutions for low- and middle-income countries. GAMRIF is tackling drug-resistant gonorrhoea by: funding point of care tests; developing vaccines and new, more effective antibiotics. We will progress these products to market, driving affordable and equitable access, to bring about real change in people’s lives. 

It is not just through research and development that we will tackle antimicrobial resistance. The White Paper acknowledges that we must use all our levers, including diplomacy. Next year, the United Nations General Assembly will hold High Level Meetings on Antimicrobial Resistance which will hopefully set an international consensus on how we tackle the threat at all levels.  

Ahead of these meetings, I am hosting a reception in Parliament with ambassadors of key nations to brief them on the importance of this once in a generation opportunity to tackle antimicrobial resistance. The United Kingdom can lead the fight but we cannot do it alone.  

This week marks World Antimicrobial Resistance Awareness Week. Hopefully, with this column I hope I have done a little bit to spread awareness of the threat we face.  

The theme of this year’s awareness week is ‘preventing antimicrobial resistance together’. A message that cannot be stressed enough. We need global buy in to face global challenges and the United Kingdom must play a leading role in ensuring we all act sooner rather than later.