My week

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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I joined the Living Wage Foundation to campaign for a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work. In Hornsey and Wood Green, 11% of people in work earn less than they need to live on. The figure for London is 18%. The country deserves a pay-rise and the Government must help bring this about.

This week the International Trade Select Committee questioned Dr Liam Fox, International Trade Secretary. The Committee was able to hold the department to account on their vague aims in the wake of Brexit and the uncertainty that has been caused. I was personally able to ask if the UK will retain EU rules on the restraint of sale of goods and services related to torture and the death penalty. I was assured that Brexit would not lead to a weakening of our ethical standards, and I will continue to hold the Government to account on this issue.

I met with Korean Ambassador Joonkook Hwang in Parliament to talk about how to support closer links between our countries. As tensions on the Korean Peninsula continue to escalate, I believe a diplomatic solution offers the only way forward to securing peace in the region.

Discussing Japanese businesses and the UK’s future economy with Ambassador Tsuruoka on Tuesday evening, I was able to explore opportunities that Japanese innovation and cutting edge technologies can play in the UK’s future economic growth. The UK must remain an open country in the wake of Brexit, so it was exciting to view the positive impact of Japanese investment in boosting the UK’s trade and creating jobs.

As Vice Chair of the APPG on Hong Kong, I met with Edward Leung, leader of the Hong Kong Indigenous Party and a former researcher at the Kennedy School of Harvard University, who is fighting for democracy is Hong Kong. At least 118 pro-democracy protesters are either charged or in imprisonment. With the political suppression in Hong Kong, Edward is working closely with Joshua Wong, Nathan Law and Alex Chow to call for unity among the opposition groups. With their imprisonment in August, I share Edward’s call for their release and for the British Government to uphold the Joint Declaration that secures democratic norms in Hong Kong.

On Thursday I was able to ask the Government what steps the Department for International Trade has taken to maintain UK access to the Horizon 2020 programme and Erasmus+ programme after the UK leaves the EU. The Government still has not engaged with the European Commission on this issue and access must be maintained. If the Government does not secure access, the Government needs to commit to funding UK researchers as “third country” participants.

In the afternoon I attended a backbench motion debate on Calais and unaccompanied child refugees in Europe. The UK has taken just 750 child refugees from Calais and more provision must be taken to create safe and legal means to bring children into the UK and to reunite with families. The UK has a moral obligation to help the world’s most desperate children from falling into the hands of traffickers who will abuse and exploit them. Many countries around Europe are closing their doors to refugees - the UK can and must do better.

On Friday I sat in Parliament as the Commons voted through the Mental Health Units (Use of Force) Bill from Labour MP Steve Reed at its second reading. His law would outlaw disproportionate use of force against people with mental ill health, which is wholly unacceptable. As Patron of the Labour Campaign for Mental Health, I will continue to fight for better mental health provision and care. 

I also sat as the Conservative benches voted against Votes for 16, brought by Labour MP Jim McMahon. The Tories sabotaged the votes for 16 year olds, but Labour will continue to fight for this right. Arguments made by Conservative MPs such as Bernard Jenkin, suggesting that 16-17 year olds do not have the requisite level on maturity to vote hold little water. Working with young constituents, I understand the interest and dedication of younger members of our community, which made it all the more disappointing that the Bill was not passed.

 

My week in Parliament 30 October - 5 November

I joined the Living Wage Foundation to campaign for a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work. In Hornsey and Wood Green, 11% of people in work earn less...

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On Monday morning I met with chief executive of North Middlesex University Hospital Trust for a general update about the hospital and how we can work together to ensure patient care is delivered as effectively as possible. A report from charity the Health Foundation has found that shortages of nurses are growing, calling the situation "extremely worrying". The Government needs to spend on nurses to fill the gap and ensure it employs enough dedicated staff to meet the demands of an ageing population.

I spoke at a Safe in Schools Diabetes event in Parliament in the afternoon to help raise awareness about the issue affecting people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. As a member of the Diabetes APPG and having spoken to a number of parents about their experiences, I understand the need for change in support, with schools being required by law to have a medical conditions policy. You can sign a petition here.

On Tuesday I joined teachers, parents and students in Parliament to lobby the Government against school cuts. I spoke to constituents concerned and worried scared about the biggest shortfall in school funding in a generation, because while school and academy costs are rising the Government is still failing to provide the level of funding they need to meet costs. Next month the Chancellor of the Exchequer has a chance to fix the Government’s record. When Philip Hammond delivers his Budget he must cover the current shortfall by releasing new money from the Treasury - not move money around from other areas of education spending.

The Westminster Hall Debate on police funding in London that I secured was held on Wednesday morning, with strong turnout from Labour MPs. Police stations are closing and neighbourhood policing is under attack. Visibly we are seeing the closing of police stations across the capital, with half of London’s remaining 73 police station counters set to close, including a number in Hornsey & Wood Green, and fewer police officers on the street. Across the UK and into London there are 20,000 fewer police officers than at its peak in 2010, with 924 fewer than last year alone. Some 70 per cent of the Met’s funding comes from the Home Office and as such it must wake up and realise that without urgent action, the head count will fall further. We can not protect our communities on the cheap.s

My EDM on indefinite detention is now circulating among MPs. Many in Parliament remain concerned that the UK detains people indefinitely under immigration rules and I am calling on the Government to urgently reform immigration detention by introducing a 28-day time limit.  The UK is the only country in Europe without a time limit on detention and people can be detained for months and years on end without knowing when they will be released - it is time for this to change.

On Friday I held my regular advice surgery at Wood Green Library, where I was able to speak to constituents about their concerns and how I can help them. For more information about future surgeries, please check my website by clicking here.

I then met with The Leafy Bean, a new independent coffee shop that has opened at Bowes Park Station, to speak to owner Laura Monk on local improvements and performance. It was fantastic to see a new independent shop open successfully, while I was grateful to speak about the vital issue of transport infrastructure in the capital. Investing in infrastructure in London remains imperative to keep our city moving, which is why along with colleagues I am continuing to lobby the Government to commit to this spending.

Over the weekend I attended the fifth anniversary of the Haringey Youth Festival at Duke’s Aldridge Academy, where an incredible display of talents was on show from young people in the borough. The festival does fantastic work utilising the performing arts as a means of unifying the borough and connecting young people in a space where they can develop their love for the arts.

My week in Parliament 23 - 29 October

On Monday morning I met with chief executive of North Middlesex University Hospital Trust for a general update about the hospital and how we can work together to ensure patient...

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I was in the House of Commons for Home Office Questions on Monday, where I was able to ask the Government when wrongly detained asylum seekers would be released from detention centres, following the High Court’s ruling that the Government had wrongly detained people who are torture victims. The Minister said he would write to me on this issue and I will post the letter on my website when I receive it.

In the evening I attended a National Day Reception of the Republic of Korea. With escalating tension on the Korean Peninsula, I continue to believe that a diplomatic solution offers the best way forward, as I recently wrote in a letter for The Times.

As Secretary for the APPG for London, I spoke at the launch of London’s Poverty Profile on the United Nations’ International Day for the Eradication of Poverty on Tuesday. We know that without addressing poverty in London, it is very hard to address the issue of poverty nationally and that housing poverty is the key driver of inequality in London.

Later I met with a representative from Christian Solidarity World Wide, a human rights advocacy group promoting the right to freedom of religion or belief of all faiths and none, to discuss human rights in China. We discussed a report written by a human rights lawyer in China around abuses in Tibet and Xinjiang, as well as the situation for lawyers and human rights defenders. I continue to believe that the UK’s foreign policy should have human rights at its core and will stand up against violations wherever they occur.

On Wednesday the International Trade Select Committee met again, covering key issues in international trade and assessed issues from the UK’s position at the World Trade Organisation to trade strategy, export promotion and investment. At current the Government has offered little explanation of the UK's post-Brexit trading relationship with the EU or other countries around the world. While Dr Liam Fox, International Trade Secretary, says that it will be fine if the UK falls back on to World Trade Organisation Rules with the EU, many businesses, consumers and trade unions know that a Brexit cliff-edge would be devastating for our economy and jobs.

Later was the Opposition Day Debate on Universal Credit. The devastatingly poor roll-out of Universal Credit has left many people without cash for six weeks. Labour unanimously won the motion but Theresa May has still said she will not delay the roll-out after Tory MPs were told to abstain from the vote. This follows the Prime Minister’s decision to tell her MPs to abstain on motions around NHS pay and university tuition fees in September.

I also attended a Post Office Reception to talk about how the Post Office is changing and how staff and communities will be consistently served and jobs protected.

On Thursday I spoke at the Labour Movement for Europe about the effect Brexit is going to have on workers, as well as freedom of movement and membership of the Single Market. I voted against the Government’s EU Withdrawal Bill and I have supported a number of amendments and new clauses to this bill as it moves to its next stage of scrutiny, this includes amendments 1, 3 and 5. Further to this I have supported over 25 amendments and new clauses to the bill to address a wide range of issues from retaining environmental protections, ensuring access to the Single Market, enshrining human rights law, upholding our international commitment to UN conventions, protecting for workers’ rights and importantly ensuring parliamentary oversight and key decision-making.

Over the weekend I spoke at the Stand-Up to Racism Conference on how to confront the rise of racism, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism in the US and Europe. Our community’s diversity should be celebrated, as well as the impact that immigrants have had on our economy, society and culture.

My next advice surgery is this Friday, 27 October, at Wood Green Library at 10am. No appointments are necessary.

My week in Parliament 16 - 22 October

  I was in the House of Commons for Home Office Questions on Monday, where I was able to ask the Government when wrongly detained asylum seekers would be released...

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My week in Parliament 9 - 15 October

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Meeting with Italian MPs 

Monday saw Parliament debate the vital EU (Withdrawal) Bill at its second reading. This Bill amounted to a power grab from the Conservative Government, which hopes to reduce the role of Parliament to an armchair observer. The Bill would have put vast powers into the hands of Government Ministers, evading all scrutiny. Given Labour amendments to the Bill were roundly rejected, I voted with the party against giving it a second reading. While I hoped that some pro-EU Conservative MPs would vote with Labour, it was disappointing to see them vote with the Government on a Bill they have criticised so much.

Earlier in the day I met with Italian MPs who were dealing with Brexit, along with Italians living in London, to discuss how I can help people living here and our partners in Europe as the UK exits the EU.

On Tuesday I met with Labour Friends of Israel to discuss their plans going forward, including their co-existence campaign ‘For Israel, For Palestine, For Peace’, where I was able to discuss how Parliament can support work towards peace in the region. As a member of both Labour Friends of Israel and Labour Friends of Palestine, I continue to work cross-party to call for peace.

The first meeting of the International Trade Select Committee was held on Wednesday morning, where I was able to join with colleagues across the party spectrum to explore the key themes that we will investigate in the coming Parliament. I look forward to future meetings and hearings, as well as producing reports to hold the government to account and add to the discussion on how best to transition out of the EU in a prosperous and ethical manner. One of my priorities lies in the education sector as an export and in particular taking student numbers out of the immigration target to facilitate important work in education and science without obstruction.

I was able to speak to students from St Mary’s Primary School, who then took a tour of Parliament, before Prime Minister’s Questions. At PMQs the Prime Minister continued to dodge questions about how average families are struggling to get by, ignoring a slew of data and warnings that low income families are being hit particularly hard.

After PMQs I joined EU citizens to campaign for their right to remain in the UK post-Brexit. Many constituents are living in paralysis, fearful that they will not be able to stay in the UK after Brexit, despite having contributed to our country and society for years. I continue to believe that an early agreement needs to be made on citizens’ rights to make sure people on both sides of the English Channel have security.

In the afternoon I met with Sophie Lindon, Deputy Mayor for Policing, to discuss police cuts which are hitting our streets and the rise in moped led attacks. The Conservative Party is rashly cutting the police budget, making it harder for the Metropolitan Police to do their job. That is why I have applied for a Westminster Hall Debate on Police Cuts in London, as well as having written to Home Secretary Amber Rudd about the closure of police stations, urging her to meet with me to examine the extent of the shortfall funding. 

I also attended the APPG on Crossrail 2 to discuss key issues and the how they fit into the Mayor’s Transport Strategy. Transport remains a crucial issue in London, presenting a challenging and exciting time and progress must be kept up on this key infrastructure commitment. I will continue to push for new rail provisions to help businesses and people keep moving in our city. 

An Official Opposition Day Debate was secured on Public Sector Pay in the NHS and Student Tuition Fee Rises. I continue to believe that the pay-cap in the NHS is wrong and that increases in student fees are harmful. Recent research published by the IFS has revealed that students from the poorest households would accrue debts of £57,000 by graduation, and that 77% of students would fail to pay off their debts even 30 years after leaving university.

On Thursday evening I held a pop-up surgery at Muswell Hill Synagogue where I was able to meet constituents and help with their cases. Please click here to find details of my next surgeries.

To end the week I attended the launch event of Singing for the Brain, hosted by the Alzheimer’s Society, where I spoke about the important work that is being done to help people afflicted by the disease and promote the Alzheimer's Society's emphasis on further research into this debilitating problem.

My week in Parliament 11 - 17 September

Meeting with Italian MPs  Monday saw Parliament debate the vital EU (Withdrawal) Bill at its second reading. This Bill amounted to a power grab from the Conservative Government, which hopes...

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The inaugural meeting of the APPG for Swimming.

As the House returned on Tuesday I appeared on Sky News to discuss Labour’s change in police on Brexit and keeping the UK in the Single Market and Customs Union for a transitionary period. I welcomed this change of position by Sir Keir Starmer as a more pragmatic approach to discussions ahead.

I was in Parliament later on Tuesday for an Urgent Question on violence in Rakhine State, Myanmar, where tens of thousands of Rohingya have fled devastating violence. I pressed Foreign Minister Mark Field on whether human rights had come up in trade negotiations, to which he assured the House that the UK’s diplomatic forces would be focussed on the humanitarian crisis. I will continue to monitor the situation and hold the Government to this pledge.

I sat in the Commons during a statement by Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson on the Korean Peninsula. I believe that diplomacy offers the best route forward and hope to see all parties engaging in constructive dialogue rather than a war of words.

During a Ministerial Statement on Grenfell, I asked Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, how many flat blocks in the private sector have failed fire safety tests in light of the news 165 out of 173 social housing blocks failed the tests.

I attended a briefing for MPs at the Department for International Trade on Wednesday morning to hear about the department’s ambitions and priorities for this Parliament. As many constituents may be aware, I have recently been appointed the the International Trade Select Committee, where I will hold the Government to account across a range of issues related to Liam Fox’s department.

Later in the afternoon I held the inaugural meeting for the Swimming APPG. I have received a lot of support from MPs and Lords after founding the APPG, which will aim to make swimming more accessible and affordable for everyone as a way to keep fit.

On Thursday Parliament debated the EU (Withdrawal) Bill. Labour put forward a sensible and well thought-out amendment to the Government’s Bill. The Government’s current approach to Brexit is reckless and irresponsible. It risks damaging our economy, isolating us from our European neighbours and creating a bonfire of workers’ rights and environmental protections. Most worryingly, the Government is using this bill to downgrade and subvert the role of Parliament by passing sweeping powers to Government Ministers to make decisions on Brexit. For these reasons, I voted against the Government’s EU Withdrawal Bill.

I held my first advice surgery since Recess ended on Friday, where I was able to meet constituents and help with their cases. Please click here to find details of my next surgeries.

My week in Parliament 5 - 10 September

 The inaugural meeting of the APPG for Swimming. As the House returned on Tuesday I appeared on Sky News to discuss Labour’s change in police on Brexit and keeping the...

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Catherine West MP

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