The Tory Government is hanging on a thread this week. The Prime Minister’s Chequers deal dead in the water after she was held hostage by the hard right in her party who want to crash out of the EU with no deal. The Vote Leave campaign, led by senior Tories Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, fined and found guilty of electoral fraud.
It is becoming ever clearer that my worst fears for Brexit are turning into a reality that would be bad for our country, for our economy and for our community. I will continue to do everything in my power to prevent that happening and this week I sponsored two amendments to the Trade Bill. The first would have allowed for a continued Customs Union with the EU – essential as millions of jobs and thousands of businesses depend on it. The second would have allowed Parliament to ratify and consent to future trade deals to ensure scrutiny and oversight.
Despite Labour’s support, both amendments were defeated – with the Liberal Democrat leader and ex-Leader not even bothering to turn up for key votes. They had one job and one policy, so it’s staggering that they weren’t in Parliament when they knew full well that these nail biting, crucial decisions for the future of our country are often coming down to one or two votes. Perhaps, like the Prime Minister, they wanted to start their summer holidays early.
On Tuesday I sat down with the Home Secretary for the meeting the Prime Minister promised months ago. I urged him to do more to keep our streets safe and to cancel the £325 million in further cuts the Metropolitan Police is expected to make by 2012. Crime is increasingly becoming one of the biggest issues people contact me about and it’s clear that our stretched police forces are struggling following years of Tory and Lib Dem cuts.
I set up the All-Party Parliamentary Group on swimming last year to raise the profile of the sport, push to change the fact that still almost half of 11-year olds can’t swim 25 metres, and tackle barriers to access and affordability that can all-too often prevent people taking the plunge. We had an excellent outing to Hampstead Ponds and Parliament Hill Lido this week to show members this fantastic resource. I’m thrilled that this summer Haringey Council has introduced £1 under 16 swim entry for Tottenham Green and Park Road Pools & Fitness and hope children across our borough will take advantage of it.
On Thursday I joined Cllr Peray Ahmet, Haringey’s Cabinet Member for Adults & Health to visit North Middlesex Hospital and deliver messages of thanks to the staff as part of the NHS’s 70th birthday celebration. Our National Health Service is its staff, who work so incredibly hard every single day of the year
I’ve been doing a lot of work in Parliament to pressure supermarkets into reducing their plastic waste and it’s great to see small businesses, like the Crouch End institution, Dunn’s doing their bit too. I visited Dunn’s this week to launch their new reusable coffee cup which will help encourage more people to abandon single use plastics and stop thousands of cups going into landfill.
Finally, I have always supported the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, which is widely accepted by the Government, scores of local authorities as well as many major national UK organisations. Personally, I don’t believe Labour’s NEC should be amending widely accepted definitions, and it’s particularly unhelpful coming at a time when too many members of the Jewish community have spoken openly about their fears that Labour has not done enough to tackle anti-Semitism. I have sought a meeting with my representative on the NEC, where I will discuss the concerns that constituents have raised with me.