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Amjad is handed Tory business brief

Amjad Bashir has been named Conservative spokesman on small business in the European Parliament.

The Conservative MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber is himself the former proprietor of a restaurant business in the region. He sees his new role as a mission to cut red tape, create opportunities and facilitate investment for new and growing companies. His appointment was announced as spokesman on Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) by leader Ashley Fox MEP at a delegation meeting this week of Britain's Conservative MEPs. Mr Bashir said: "I am excited to take on this important role for my party. "Small business is the lifeblood on any healthy economy and if Europe is to regain its economic competitiveness SMEs will have to do the heavy lifting. "Too often the EU is a source of annoyance, inconvenience and endless form-filling for small business. Entrepreneurs and innovators feels Brussels gets in their way and ties them down instead of giving them encouragement and a leg up. "If we are going to stay in Europe that has to change. More exemption from regulation, easier access to markets and public-sector contracts, greater availability of funding - these are the things small business need and all can be influenced by the EU. "That's why I want to hear from business people with particular problems or with good ideas to help SMEs, so that I can raise these issues with the Commission and in parliament."

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