What a badge of shame to be the first Government in history to be found in contempt of Parliament. Theresa May is clinging to office despite becoming the first Prime Minister to lose three votes in a single day for 40 years.
It wasn’t a great start for the PM to a week-long Brexit debate before Parliament’s meaningful vote next Tuesday. With the success of Dominic Grieve’s amendment, which I fully supported, reducing the threat of a catastrophic no-deal Brexit and the European Court of Justice’s top advisor ruling that the UK can unilaterally cancel Article 50 it feels like we’re moving in the right direction. If the Prime Minister’s deal is voted down, as appears likely, I’m increasingly hopeful that our campaign for a People’s Vote on the final deal will be successful.
I spoke during the day of debate that focused on the security and immigration aspects of Brexit. I spoke about the appalling use of divisive language both during the referendum campaign and now, the role of the EU in keeping the peace and my desire to see a second people’s vote on the final deal. Read my full speech here.
I’m receiving hundreds of emails from constituents about Brexit, so I arranged a special drop-in at Muswell Hill Library on Saturday so I could answer questions and update on what I’ve been doing in Parliament. I also held a busy advice surgery at the ArtHouse in Crouch End.
Brexit isn’t the only thing happening, although it may feel like it. I was extremely proud on Monday to take over as the new Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Rare, Genetic and Undiagnosed Diseases. The group has been doing some extremely important work looking at access to rare medicines and I feel privileged to take this on for the rare disease community over the coming year.
I also took part in the debate on the Immigration Bill time limit on detention and asked the Home Secretary whether he would look at lifting the ban on asylum seekers having the right to work. He said it is one of the areas he wants to review, but this shouldn’t be kicked into the long grass – it needs to happen now. It isn’t just a social injustice, it’s economically illiterate. Here’s my letter in the Guardian on why this policy needs to be scrapped.
Then on Friday, I was up very early in the morning for my annual trip to say thank you to the hard-working staff at Muswell Hill Delivery Office at this, the busiest time of their year. I very much hope it won’t be my last and I’m continuing the fight to save it from closure. You can still sign my petition here
Over the weekend I visited the Wood Green Food Bank to meet and thank volunteers and attended the community menorah lighting in Crouch End. Happy Chanukah.