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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 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.

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Catherine West MP

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