My week

Parliament returned from Easter recess this week, with Syria top of the agenda.  Nobody could view the horrendous images of death and suffering, including young children, from a suspected chemical attack without feeling appalled.  Seven years into a brutal conflict that has already killed hundreds of thousands of Syrians and displaced millions, there is a pressing need to restart genuine negotiations towards peace

I am concerned about the Prime Minister’s decision to join Donald Trump in launching air strikes in advance of any independent report by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) or any renewed UN investigation.  You can read my full statement here

I believe the Prime Minister should have brought the decision to Parliament for scrutiny, rather than jumping to the timetable of Donald Trump’s late-night tweets.  I strongly support Jeremy Corbyn’s call for a ‘War Powers Act’ to ensure that the PM consults Parliament before deploying our military in major interventions. 

Also on Monday, my colleague David Lammy secured an urgent question on the Government’s heartless, incompetent attitude to children of the Windrush Generation.  It is utterly shameful that British citizens who have built their whole lives here and contributed to our society for decades are living in fear of deportation.  I co-signed a cross party letter urging the Government to get a grip on the growing crisis and wrote this article for the Times Red Box on how the hostile environment that Theresa May and successive Tory Governments have deliberately pursued has taken us to this place. 

On Tuesday, I participated in an important Parliamentary debate about anti-Semitism in the UK.  Brave colleagues Luciana Berger and Ruth Smeeth spoke powerfully about their own horrific personal experiences.  On one occasion Luciana Berger MP received over 2,500 violent, abusive messages in just one day.  Since 2013, four people have been convicted of anti-Semitic abuse and harassment directed towards her.  Three of those, from a far-right persuasion, were imprisoned. 

It is disgraceful and abhorrent.  Anti-Semitism must always be challenged in our country, our community - and in the Labour Party.  It goes against the fundamental values on which our movement was founded – values of social justice, solidarity, dignity, diversity and equality.  

That means action, including implementing the Chakrabarti report recommendations in full.  I’m very glad that Labour’s new General Secretary Jennie Formby has made tackling anti-Semitism within the party her top priority and, crucially, pledged to speed up the process of dealing with allegations.  It is clear that the current system is too slow and decisions are taking too long.  That has to change.  The Jewish community must be able to feel that the Labour Party is a safe home. As Luciana so eloquently said “one anti-Semitic member of the Labour Party is one too many”. 

My week in Parliament 16/04/18

Parliament returned from Easter recess this week, with Syria top of the agenda.  Nobody could view the horrendous images of death and suffering, including young children, from a suspected chemical...

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The Easter break has seen yet more violence on the streets of Haringey.  The tragic death of Tanesha Melbourne-Blake, known to many locally for her youth work, took the total of gun deaths since the start of 2018 to six.  The same night Tanesha died, a 16-year-old boy lost his life in Walthamstow after being shot in the face and news reports suggested London had overtaken New York’s monthly murder total for the first time in modern history.

Every senseless young life lost is a tragedy for their families, their friends and for our community.  I don’t believe there is one simple answer for tackling this epidemic, but it seems blatantly obvious to me (if not to the Home Secretary) that the loss of 21,000 police officers from our streets and the decimation of youth services thanks to the Government’s savage austerity programme all play their part.

On Tuesday, I joined Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick, Home Secretary Amber Rudd, MPs and Council Leaders from across London to discuss what more can be done.  The Home Secretary talked about a new £40 million fund for the Serious Violence Strategy, but I want to know if that is a change to the £325 million planned reduction the Metropolitan Police faces by 2020?  I have submitted an official question to find out the answer.  Crucially, I’d like to see us exploring the joined up public health approach Glasgow has taken to violent crime.  Education, youth services, social services, the Police, mental health services, the community, local authorities all working together and creating an attitude shift that has seen the city transformed and violent crime dramatically reduced over the past ten years.

In more positive news, I’ve been pushing for almost three years now to secure the long-term future of the Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms (LUTS) service at Whittington Health and open it to new patients.  Since I first started campaigning on the issue, I have heard from people all across the country whose lives have been devastated for years by chronic bladder conditions and utterly transformed by the care of Professor Malone-Lee at the Whittington.  The clinic’s reopening cannot come soon enough for the many others desperately waiting to be seen.  I’ve now received news that the Whittington Board has agreed the clinic’s reopening to new patients and that recruitment will start shortly for a new Consultant.  This is extremely welcome but the work isn’t over.  There is a huge backlog of patients, including children, and it’s essential that they are now seen in a timely manner and that the appropriate resources are provided to enable this.

My week 4-11 April 2018

The Easter break has seen yet more violence on the streets of Haringey.  The tragic death of Tanesha Melbourne-Blake, known to many locally for her youth work, took the total...

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Catherine campaigning for a properly funded NHS

With London known as a key cog in the wheel of money laundering, I attended the All Party Parliamentary Group on Anti-Corruption on Monday. I met with the cast of McMafia, a BBC drama documenting the global criminal underworld. We discussed how vital London is for global corruption and what can be done to tackle it. I wrote about the issue for The Guardian, urging Prime Minister Theresa May to introduce a public register of beneficial ownership of UK property.

Afterwards, I met in Parliament with Yanis Varoufakis, former Greek Finance Minister, to discuss Democracy in Europe. The discussion focussed on how Britain can best have a progressive influence over European democracy. While decisions ahead remain difficult, I believe that a close relationship with Europe is the best course of action for our prosperity and development and will continue to push this issue in Parliament.

Having written and campaigned against plastic waste, I have become the Vice Chair of the new All Party Parliamentary Group on the prevention of plastic waste. At the inaugural meeting, we discussed how we can work with the industry and public bodies to help reduce the devastating wastage that currently takes place, with dire consequences for the environment.

On Tuesday I chaired the Westminster Higher Education Forum, where we discussed the future of UK science and innovation in light of Brexit. I continue to believe that our higher education sector is one of our top exports and should be protected by the Government. That can start by removing international students from the migration target, but also commiting to programmes such as Horizon 2020.

Later in the day I met with the Federation of Small Business to speak about small housebuilders and how they can help the sector provide the homes our country desperately needs. In London the price and availability of housing needs improving, and small businesses have a key role to play in its provision.

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Swimming, which I founded, met on Wednesday to talk about outdoor swimming and the restoration of lidos. We welcomed Chris Romer-Lee to present on the Thames Baths project, and Dennis Freeman-Wright, Head of Facilities at Swim England, provided advice relating to the building and restoring of facilities.

On Thursday I was a panelist at a debate on the relationship politicians have with the media and whether this undermines or strengthen democracy. Speaking alongside Kate Proctor from the Evening Standard, Councillor Clive Carter and Simon Aldridge, we talked about President Donald Trump and his use of Twitter, as well as the leaking of information.

I finished the week by meeting with Chocolate Factory 1 artists to talk about local development and how to get studio spaces available for use. The Chocolate Factory is a hub of creativity and home to a number of creative industries, with the resulting collaboration hugely beneficial to both the artists and our community.

Over the weekend I campaigned with the Hornsey & Wood Green Labour Party for a properly funded NHS that serves patients and not profits. A Labour Government will invest in our health service, not lead it into winter crisis after winter crisis.

My week in Parliament 29 January - 1 February

Catherine campaigning for a properly funded NHS With London known as a key cog in the wheel of money laundering, I attended the All Party Parliamentary Group on Anti-Corruption on...

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Catherine at the Holocaust Multi-Faith Commemoration

I began the week by meeting with fellow North London MPs, the British Medical Association London Regional Council and the Royal College of Nursing to discuss the North Central London Sustainability and Transformation Plan. We also discussed the impact of the Capped Expenditure Process and access to ‘low priority’ serves and certain drug prescriptions. With increasing austerity, the money guaranteed to the NHS by the Conservatives simply is not enough. Huge numbers of NHS Trusts in London remain in deficit, with morale sinking day by day and patients not getting access to the right care. I will continue to call out the Government’s dismal record and push for greater funding for our NHS.

The debate that I secured in Parliament on Skills in London was held on Tuesday. The skills shortage remains particularly acute in London and has worsened severely since 2010, when further education colleges faced cuts of 50% to their funding. The skills system in the UK is very centralised, leaving London with few tools at its disposal to cope with London-specific issues, such as the higher demand for English as a second language, historically low levels of apprenticeships and the reliance on incoming labour in key sectors. There is a strong case for devolution of skills, especially in light of Brexit, to ensure that people can access jobs and employers can access a highly trained workforce. You can read the full debate, along with my speech, here.

Afterwards I attended the British Group Inter-Parliamentary Union to discuss the role of Parliamentarians in addressing climate change. We heard from Dr. Alina Averchekova, lead of Governance and Legislation at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment. I firmly believe that our country should take a lead on reducing climate change, especially in light of President Donald Trump leaving the Paris Accord. It is for that reason that I signed a pledge to divest MPs’ pension fund from fossil fuels.

This week I asked the Government a series of questions over what conversations they have had with their Turkish counterparts over the opening of a new front in the Syrian civil war, which is deeply distressing. As Turkish troops continue their invasion of a Kurdish enclave in north-west of Syria, devastation continues and will likely lead to a surge in the number of refugees fleeing the region. Our Government must put pressure on all sides to cease the violence.

I have also been monitoring the elections in Cyprus, the first round of which ran last Sunday. With no candidate having won an outright majority, the next round will continue this Sunday. I will continue to keep an eye on developments. 

I was able to hold the Government to account on Thursday over the use of disposable plastic packaging. Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Michael Gove said that there had been a roundtable before Christmas to encourage retailers to commit to reducing demand for plastic. However, this does not go far enough, with the Government failing to assist supermarkets meet targets.

Later in the day I attended a debating competition at Alexandra Park School. It was incredible to see six local schools, all with informed and persuasive contestants, take part in this fantastic competition across a range of topics.

On Friday, I met with Abubakar Ali, representing the Somali Bravanese Community, which is established in London. We spoke about issues affecting the Somali community both in the UK and in Somalia, as well as rebuilding of the Somali Community Centre.

Over the weekend I campaigned in our constituency, listening to constituents’ concerns, before I gave a reading at the Holocaust Multi-Faith Commemoration. It is vital that these atrocities are never forgotten and we continue to hold up human rights for everyone, no matter where they are born.

My week in Parliament 22 - 28 January

Catherine at the Holocaust Multi-Faith Commemoration I began the week by meeting with fellow North London MPs, the British Medical Association London Regional Council and the Royal College of Nursing...

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Prime Minister Theresa May suffered her first Parliamentary defeat last week as Labour helped secure a huge victory for democracy. MPs voted by 309 to 305 in support of Amendment 7 to the EU Withdrawal Bill. This means there can be no Brexit deal until it has been placed on the statute book through an act of Parliament, putting the power back in the hands of MPs and not ministers. Parliament will now have a say over the Brexit process, no matter what happens in the negotiations. I also wrote an article for the Huffington Post to outline why our Government must realise a Canada-Style deal does not fit the UK.

Earlier in the week I met with Woodside High School students in Parliament to discuss democracy and the role of an MP in the UK’s political system. One of my favourite parts of being an MP is talking to engaged young members of our community, and I will continue to campaign for their rights by supporting legislation such as Votes at 16.

One year after the launch of the campaign, 100 MPs, including myself, have signed a pledge to divest our pensions from fossil fuels. This is more important than ever, with 2017 having brought soaring temperatures and devastating climate impacts. We know that stopping dangerous climate change means keeping fossil fuels in the ground, so I am pleased to have signed this important pledge.

Last Tuesday I visited the National Childbirth Trust (NCT), the UK's largest charity for parents - supporting them through the first 1,000 days of childbirth. I spoke to parents who need more action on postnatal mental illness, given around half of new mothers’ mental health problems do not get picked up. Mothers should get the treatment they need and I will press for this at every opportunity in Parliament.

The six month anniversary of the Grenfell Tragedy was commemorated last week, with a huge number of victims still not having been rehoused. We will never forget what happened in Kensington and Chelsea earlier this year, must learn the lessons of it and support those whose lives have been turned upside down by the terrible events that unfolded.

My week in Parliament 11 - 17 December

  Prime Minister Theresa May suffered her first Parliamentary defeat last week as Labour helped secure a huge victory for democracy. MPs voted by 309 to 305 in support of...

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I attended a debate on Public Sector Pay on Monday, asking the Government if it accepts there is a link between the current crisis in numbers of nurses in the NHS and the pay on offer, particularly given the huge student debts that many nursing graduates have. The debt It is up to £54,000 for those at London Metropolitan University, so I asked if the Government believes that there is any link between a starting salary of £21,500 and a huge student debt of £54,000 for nurses. The Minister told me that he recognises that there is a link between salaries and debt for people making choices and and that the Government will take the recommendations of the pay review body process into account. I will continue to monitor this issue and push for fair pay for public sector workers.

On Tuesday I spoke at Highgate Synagogue about the need to help refugees across the world. Refugees are still streaming into Europe for the hope of safety and security, only to be left desolate in Greece and Italy. Meanwhile, thousands of lone refugee children remain at risk in Europe while the UK continues to ignore its commitment to offer sanctuary. Across the world, Rohingya Muslims are fleeing violence in Burma, but left in precarious situations as the arrive in Bangladesh. The UK must help lead the way in helping the world’s most desperate people.

An article written by Stella Creasy and myself was published in the Guardian on Wednesday calling on politicians and society to recognise the benefits of immigration. Labour must lead the debate on freedom of movement and ensure that we don’t forgo our obligations to those who also need us to be a place of sanctuary. We must also tackle head on the concerns about change, ensuring that resources are available, collected and effectively distributed. It is time to step up and fight for all our freedoms – regardless of where we were born. You can read the article here

During the day I attended Amnesty UK’s annual reception to commemorate Human Rights Day. Human Rights continue to come under attack around the world and we must all stand up for these universal and inalienable human rights.

I wrote for the Huffington Post about the plight of human rights defenders, academics, journalists and dissidents in Turkey. At least 50,000 people have been imprisoned pending trial and more than 100,000 public sector employees have been summarily dismissed. The authorities have targeted critical voices in the media and civil society; at least 130 journalists and media workers have been detained since the attempted coup, and hundreds of media outlets and NGOs have been shut down. This Human Rights Day, I urge the Turkish Government to release Taner and drop the charges on the Istanbul 10, to release opposition politicians and academics from jail, and reverse its purge and reinstate the freedoms that have made Turkey a thriving, multicultural, open and successful nation.

I then attended a joint meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Groups on North and South Korea to see how the APPGs can work together to help bring stability and peace to the region. With tensions high on the Korean Peninsula, I continue to believe that open dialogue between all parties remains the only sustainable solution to the crisis.

In the evening I met with other MPs to support Chagossians and their right to return home. I continue to believe that the indigenous people of Chagos should be allowed to return home after the Government made the decision in 2016 to continue Chagossian exile, refusing to back a resettlement programme that the Foreign Office deemed feasible. I will continue to campaign for Chagossians to have the right to return to their Island home.

On Thursday evening I attended a fantastic production of Joseph at St Thomas More, where students put on an incredible display of song, choreography, costumes and lighting, before my last advice surgery of this year on Friday. I have now helped over 4,000 constituents with their grievances and look forward to working with constituents in the New Year on issues affecting our community.

Over the weekend I attended a discussion with the Hornsey & Wood Green Womens Forum to listen to constituents about their concerns, before attending a Christmas concert at Weston Park Bakery.

My week in Parliament 4 - 10 December

I attended a debate on Public Sector Pay on Monday, asking the Government if it accepts there is a link between the current crisis in numbers of nurses in the...

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I began the week by attending the AIDS Memorial Quilt Exhibition in Parliament, with Friday also being World AIDS Day. The UK has contributed substantially to eradicating the disease, but more must be done. As I wrote for the Independent last week, new infections remain high, with 1.8 million people becoming newly infected with HIV in 2016. Meanwhile, many countries continue to impose unacceptable discriminatory legal frameworks on people living with HIV and people most affected by HIV. Internationally, the challenge for new International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt is to formalise and publish a strategy on HIV quickly, increase levels of funding in line with UNAids recommendations, while putting the issue on the agenda at upcoming meetings including the International Aids Society Conference.

In the afternoon I attended the All Party Parliamentary Group on Chinese in Britain for the Launch of the International Student Report, which outlines recommendations for the Government in order to make university life more fulfilling and enjoyable for Chinese students. I have been campaigning strongly for the Government to take international students out of the net migration target in order to keep our university and academia sector world leading. The Government has replied to me, which you can find here

Later I celebrate the contribution London’s further education and sixth form colleges make to social mobility and economic prosperity in our city at the Association of Colleges London Region reception. It was great to explore the role that colleges play in delivering excellent further and technical education to thousands of Londoners across the city.

On Tuesday I asked the Government what more needs to be done to target aid for women and children in the Rohingya Crisis. Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims have fled Myanmar in recent months in the midst of extreme violence. I believe that the UK Government should be taking a lead on the crisis generally, whilst making sure that aid is made available for victims of gender made violence.

Afterwards I met with Maria Caridad Rubio Hernandez, chair of Cuba’s National Panel on the Control of Breast Cancer at the Institute of Oncology and Radiology. A qualified doctor who has worked in women’s health for many years, we spoke about the Cuba Solidarity Campaign with other MPs.

On Wednesay I spoke at the 99% Campaign in parliament, before hearing from marginalised young people in the context of Brexit. It was fantastic to engage with young people on how Brexit will impact them and what effect they will have on young carers and young people, touching on issues from rights, the economy, the NHS and social care, as well as education.

On Friday I spoke at Haringey’s First World War Conscientious Objectors’ lottery project launch. Heritage Lottery Fund has made a substantial grant to the Haringey First World War Peace Forum, a small but active local group, for a project called “Conscientious Objection Remembered”, which makes known the stories of Haringey Conscientious Objectors from WWI.

I then went to the Winter Gala Dinner to support the Mayor’s Special Fund, which helps support mental health provision in the borough. The scheme supports Studio 306 Collective and MIND in Haringey, both of which help those with mental illness. As Patron for the Labour Campaign for Mental Health, I strongly believe that more needs to be done to help those who suffer from mental illness and will continue to do all I can in Parliament and our community to raise the issue up the agenda.

Saturday was Small Business Saturday across the UK and into Hornsey & Wood Green. Small, independent businesses serve our community well, adding to its culture and identity. However, the Government is not currently doing enough to stand by them. I wrote about the issue in the Ham&High

Afterwards I went along to the Coldfall Primary School Christmas Fair and the Crouch End Festival tree lighting ceremony, as well as visiting Myddleton Road for its Christmas festival and lights switch on. I was able to make it to Parkside Malvern Residents Association annual winter drinks, as well as Northern Road for the Christmas light display.

My week in Parliament 27 November - 3 December

I began the week by attending the AIDS Memorial Quilt Exhibition in Parliament, with Friday also being World AIDS Day. The UK has contributed substantially to eradicating the disease, but...

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Wednesday was Budget day, and what a depressing day it was. What we thought was going to be 2015 - as Mr Osborne originally promised us – it’s now going to be 2030 before the public finances are in better shape; the disappointing news that the NHS will only get a small amount of money while Brexit is set to get £5 billion We are in a real mess. Apart from even starting on universal credit, the number of people going to foodbanks has shot right up and we have also had so many people coming to our advice surgery, saying ‘I’m worried, I’m worried about the future, I’m worried about my kids.’ This is what we are looking at. Schools having to send letters home to ask parents for donations, just so that books and pencils and pens can be purchased. To view my video response, click here.

On Thursday I set off for Brussels along with other members of the International Trade Select Committee, where we met with the International Trade Committee of the European Parliament, as well as the UK’s negotiator. The EU negotiations are continuing to stall, with little hope that a deal will be made to give citizens, businesses and workers the security they seek. Meanwhile, the EU (Withdrawal) Bill continues to make its way through Parliament, with a series of hollow concessions made by the Government to appease their own Tory backbenchers. The Labour Party continues to oppose the Government, laying out a series of amendments that would make sure the UK remains in agencies such as Euratom and in programmes such as Horizon 2020, while also ensuring the rights of EU citizens are protected in the UK.

Earlier in the week I met with Hong Kong legislator Lam Cheuk-ting, a Democratic Party politician in Hong Kong and a former investigator of the Independent Commission against Corruption. Having been also been chief executive of the Democratic Party, we spoke about Hong Kong’s current status under the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ principle and supporting calls for universal suffrage.

I then met with the Japan All Party Parliamentary Group’s sub-group on sports with the Sports minister; Annamarie Phelps, Vice-Chair of the British Olympic Association; and Koji Tsuruoka, Ambassador of Japan. The group is looking forward to the international sporting events being hosted in Japan, including the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and I am delighted to help facilitate discussions of the positive impact sport can have on society, as well as the relationship between the UK and Japan.

With reported crime on the rise, I also attended the All Party Parliamentary Group on knife crime, where we spoke with young people who have been directly involved in knife crime. It was enlightening to hear such honest accounts of knife crime, helping inform MPs of how to tackle the epidemic.

I held my regular advice surgery at Wood Green Library on Friday, where I was able to hear constituents’ concerns and help them with grievances they have. For further details on this, please click here.

Saturday was Labour’s National Day of Action, where many turned out to campaign for a fairer future, built on social justice. The Labour Party stands ready as a Government in waiting, ready to take over and implement policies that will help everyone get by.

My week in Parliament 20 - 26 November

Wednesday was Budget day, and what a depressing day it was. What we thought was going to be 2015 - as Mr Osborne originally promised us – it’s now going...

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I spoke to Sixth Form students at Highgate Wood on Monday morning to talk about my experience of politics and the role of an MP in a functioning democracy, both across local and national issues. It was fantastic to engage with students interested in politics and how it interacts with the real world. I also spoke to Muswell Hill Primary School later in the week about being resilient and working with others as part of a team.

The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill was back in Parliament on Tuesday for a Committee of the Whole House, where all MPs are now able to scrutinise the bill line by line. Unfortunately, the Government has been able to win all of its votes by making a series of meaningless concessions. Labour MPs continue to believe that the Bill needs to be improved on, making sure that the UK remains in agencies such as Euratom and in programmes such as Horizon 2020, while also ensuring the rights of EU citizens are protected in the UK. Debate is set to continue on the Bill and I will hold the Government to account every step of the way.

Prime Minister Theresa May’s biggest challenge will come when the Commons debates fixing the date and time of the UK’s exit. The Government wants to put into law that the UK will leave the EU on 29 March 29. I will join my Labour colleagues in voting against the key Brexit legislation amendment, which even a number of Tory MPs have harshly criticised.

I also joined with the Federation of Small Businesses from London for a briefing on what small businesses in our capital need from the Government in order to thrive. Even in business the Tories are letting down the country. A number of small business owners in my own constituency have been in contact with me over recent months, fearful of having to close their operations or employ fewer people due to changes to business rates and a lack of support from the Government.

In the evening I spoke at the Haringey CND event on why the UK is boycotting the Global Nuclear Ban agreed by 122 at the UN, before attending the Bowes Park Community Association AGM.

On Friday I met with Hornsey Pensioners, who want to see greater funding for the NHS during the Budget, as well assessing the state pension and universal benefits, which are crucial for older people to be active members of the community.

In the evening I met with Hornsey Parish Church, which hosted the Winter Night Shelter in order to learn about how it functions. The Shelter provides an invaluable service, giving hot meals and beds for the homeless who would otherwise be out on the streets during the coldest months of the year.

Over the weekend I attended Muswell Hill Synagogue for its sixth annual Civic Service, along with the Mayor of Haringey, Councillor Stephen Mann. Afterwards I attended Wightman Road Mosque in the afternoon to talk to young people about politics and why it is good for communities if more people are involved, before celebrating Diwali at the community hub in Haringey.

My week in Parliament 13 - 19 November

I spoke to Sixth Form students at Highgate Wood on Monday morning to talk about my experience of politics and the role of an MP in a functioning democracy, both...

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I held the Government to account over education on Monday, asking Schools Minister Nick Gibb what the funding allocation is for the coming academic year for counselling services and help for transgender children, which the charity Stonewall describes as being in a seriously bad state. The Minister said £3m had been allocated for a programme to stop homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying, and I will continue to monitor the situation to help eradicate this bullying.

I was on Sky News this week, where I spoke about the lack of progress in the EU negotiations. The Government continues to appear oblivious to the fact the EU and UK at loggerheads, with EU officials wanting solid progress on the UK’s Brexit Divorce Bill, the rights of EU citizens in the UK and Northern Ireland. These three issues have not been tackled by our Conservative Government, and thus has meant there has been an astonishing lack of progress. With 2019 rapidly approaching, business, workers and citizens need certainty that this Government are simply unable to provide. It is time for the Tories to either govern to leave it to Labour to take over this crucial negotiation.

On Tuesday the All Party Parliamentary Group for Swimming met, discussing how to improve schools swimming, where Steve Parry, an Olympic Medallist and Director of Total Swimming and Total Gymnastics, spoke about how to engage with schools and students to get more children swimming. I also met with Royal Life Saving Society, the UK’s Drowning Prevention Charity. Some 400 people needlessly die from drowning in the UK every year, with thousands more suffering injuries. It was fantastic to hear about the charity’s work and how it can work with the APPG for Water Safety and Drowning Prevention.

I held my regular advice surgery on Friday where I was able to listen to constituents’ concerns and help with their problems. For regular updates, please check my website.

On Sunday I joined Councillor Stephen Mann, the Mayor of Haringey, for the Borough Civic Act of Remembrance to honour those who gave their lives in conflicts to defend our way of life. Their brave service to all future generations will never be forgotten.

My week in Parliament 6 - 12 November

I held the Government to account over education on Monday, asking Schools Minister Nick Gibb what the funding allocation is for the coming academic year for counselling services and help...

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Catherine West MP

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