The Campaign against Human Trafficking

In Summer 2009 I was asked to help Anthony Steen MP. My job was to help him and his under-pressure team to maximise the work he was doing fighting Human Trafficking.

Anthony was the driving force, Founder and Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group against Human Trafficking – which he established in 1996. I worked with him to raise the profile and understanding of the extent and scale of Human Trafficking – now the second most lucrative criminal activity in the world.

Concrete highlights, activities and achievements include:-

  • A front page and page 4 Sunday Times spread on Child Trafficking – August 2009
  • Establishment and maintenance of the APPG website
  • The 2010 Inter Parliamentary Union conference on Human Trafficking held in the UK Parliament and attended by over 80 MPs from 20 EU parliaments
  • Planning, preparation and scripting for the Exhibition on Human Trafficking in the House of Commons opened by then Home Secretary Rt Hon Alan Johnson MP, together with now Foreign Secretary Rt Hon William Hague MP – February 2010
  • Preparing speeches for the second reading of Anthony Steen’s Anti-Slavery Day Private Members Bill and helping him with its passage through all of its stages through both houses. The piloting of this Private Members Bill through all its stages in both houses and its receiving Royal Assent was managed within a 10 week time slot. The Anti-Slavery Day Act now provides for an annual National Anti-Slavery (awareness) Day. 
  • Initial annual meeting of EU Ambassadors’ at the Bulgarian Embassy, London, to discuss ways in which national parliaments in their own countries could better coordinate their efforts against Human Trafficking – July 2010.

Damian Green MP, then Shadow Home Office Minister for Immigration, now Immigration Minister, said of Anthony Steen’s work in January 2010 in the House of Commons:

“Many kind things have rightly been said about my hon. Friend the Member for Totnes (Mr. Steen). All I would add is that what he has done is an absolute model of how one can use an all-party group to shift public policy forward an inch or two. I speak as someone who is sceptical of the proliferation of all-party groups in the past few years. One’s faith in the system is almost restored by what my hon. Friend and others from all parties have done.”

Anthony Steen MP: “In the last year Peter has helped me raise the national profile of the evils of Human Trafficking and has put in considerable time and effort – including working with me on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day – to ensure the campaign kept its momentum. His experience and skills have been invaluable to me.”

In 2011 I conceived, set up and managed the Inaugural Human Trafficking Media Awards ceremony, hosted in the UK Parliament and aimed at celebrating and applauding the media for their important work in this ongoing campaign.

Hi Peter
Thank you again for your help in getting me through the Parliamentary Assessment Board and getting selected for a seat first time of asking. So many potential candidates have to tear around the country repeating that process before perhaps securing a winnable seat. I know that I would not have done anywhere near so well if it wasn’t for you.

Years ago I was told that like when taking medication, it was better to respond than to react. Building up an armoury of stories and responses helped me do just that, responding in a way that allowed me to answer the unasked questions as well rather than simply batting back the original question. The key lesson for me was to have succinct responses that go beyond simple platitudes.

The simple question “Why do you want to be an MP?” has started a process across my borough of ensuring that our local council candidates each have a positive vision to share rather than simply to beat the other guy. The former leads to the latter but follows a different, more productive path.

You certainly put me through my paces but by the time of the interviews I felt ready for pretty much anything.


I look forward to seeing you soon.

Paul Scully. Conservative PPC Sutton and Cheam

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