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I hope everyone had a great Pride weekend, I certainly did. There's no doubt that Brighton & Hove Pride is a big party, but it's also so much more than that.

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I remember standing in the crowd watching all those people in the parade wondering if I belonged there. Then when I did join the march some years later it felt like the whole world was watching because it was the first time I'd joined Pride as an out gay man, but of course it wasn't!

So I'm always really aware that in amidst the noice and flamboyance there are also lots of quiet but important stories also.

And the politics too - we were celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the start of Britain's journey towards decriminalisation of homosexuality. But in over 70 countries it still is, and eight still have the death penalty for it. There is much more to do.

If you worked over the weekend, particularly in our public services, thank you so so much. I know it must have been a tough weekend for you but I know everyone in our city and beyond are really grateful.

I'm off for a week now, to France with some friends to catch up on some sleep and relax ahead of the challenges ahead. I'll see you all soon though. Yours, Peter 

Happy Pride!

I hope everyone had a great Pride weekend, I certainly did. There's no doubt that Brighton & Hove Pride is a big party, but it's also so much more than that.

Just before they broke up for summer holidays, I was invited to speak to students at BACA for the very last time as chair of governors. I then handed over to the new chair, James May.

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It was so hard for me - and terribly sad - to hand over. For seven years I've been a small part of the team that included students, leaders, teachers and staff that put in unthinkable about of energy, imagination, and passion to the school. It's now 'Good' in every Ofsted category and has world class sporting, music, vocational as well as academic opportunities. And believe me, the best is yet to come! I simply love the place.

I told students that no-one has more ambition for young people than young people themselves - we as a society have not come close to realising their insight and wisdom yet. But we will. I also got to tell students directly just how proud I am of all them. Students across our city achieve so much and I really hope they know how much our community appreciates their hard work.

Even though I've formally left BACA, students and staff there will have the fiercest of friends in me.

Please consider becoming a school governor, I promise it's the most fascinating, rewarding, and educative experience you can have. All the best, Peter

Farewell to BACA!

Just before they broke up for summer holidays, I was invited to speak to students at BACA for the very last time as chair of governors. I then handed over...

Good news, the Justice Secretary has contacted me about my campaign to outlaw 'sex for rent'. This is where sexual predators, in places like our where there is a housing crisis, offer free accommodation in return for sex. It's disgusting and exploitative of vulnerable people, particularly the young.

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I wrote to the Justice Secretary, David Liddington, and also tracked him down after a vote in the Commons and had an informal conversation about it to update him on what was happening. I have to give credit to him because he listened, was concerned, and this week has been in touch with me for an update.

The Justice Department believes they can apply the Sexual Offences Act of 2003 to this situation. It would carry a 7 year prison sentence for those who exploit people in this way in return for sex.

I'm really pleased about this and also that Sussex Police have said they will start to enforce this and arrest and charge people committing the offence. Potentially vulnerable people will have extra protection as a result of this, it's something we should be proud of.

I now want to see an arrest for this to be tested in the courts. I want to have clarification about which law enforcement agency will lead on detection and prevention (this is a nationwide issue). And finally, I have written to the major websites hosting these adverts to point out to them that they are hosting criminal activity and although they are not breaking the law they have a moral responsibility to stop these adverts being published and to report those to try to post them to the police.

I found out about this from a journalist at BBC South-East Today and I thank Lauren Moss for her brilliant investigative journalism - it's a credit to what good journalism can achieve, and, I hope, an MP that cares too!! Yours, Peter

PS to those who have direct messaged me since the election, I am still catching up on them and promise to respond personally to your messages here as soon as I can, thanks for being patient. As always, if your message is urgent then email is always best

Sex for Rent update

Good news, the Justice Secretary has contacted me about my campaign to outlaw 'sex for rent'. This is where sexual predators, in places like our where there is a housing...

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