It’s disappointing that the second stage of Brexit indicative votes on Monday didn’t produce a majority for any option, but again the idea of giving the public the final say received the most support (something I’ve long called for) alongside growing support for a customs union. Whilst I backed that, I continue to believe that there is no deal better than the deal we currently have as full EU members so I will keep doing everything I can to ensure a confirmatory public vote is a condition of any deal Parliament agrees over the coming days and weeks. It’s crucial the public get to decide if they still wish to go ahead with Brexit.
I think Jeremy Corbyn was absolutely right to agree to meet the Prime Minister. With just over a week to go before we crash out with “no deal”, it’s imperative Labour does everything we can to avoid that. But how can anyone have any faith in anything this lame duck Prime Minister promises? She has already told her warring backbenchers she will stand down before the next stage of negotiations, which means it could be Boris Johnson at the helm. Who honestly believes he or one of his Brexiteer colleagues could be trusted?
That’s why any deal agreed through this process has to come back to the public. Along with 80 Labour MPs, I’m a signatory to this letter to Jeremy Corbyn urging him to break the deadlock with a public vote.
Monday also saw the debate in Westminster Hall about revoking Article 50, following the 6 million strong petition – signed by over 31,000 Hornsey & Wood Green constituents. You can read my full speech here.
The killing last month of a teenage boy in my constituency was carried out under the eyes of small children in the hairdressers who themselves became victims of crime as terrified witnesses. At Home Office questions this week, I challenged the Home Secretary on the police response time and the impact this Government’s austerity programme has had on public services over the past nine years.
I was appalled to hear that a Muslim woman had her hijab pulled off on a north London tube last weekend. Together with David Lammy MP, I’m tabling an Early Day Motion and I sent my support to the vigil of solidarity that took place in Haringey on Monday evening.
As a new member of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, I attended a number of meetings this week where we discussed the Committee’s report on China and the Rules-Based International System. The section on strengthening the UK Government’s approach to the persecution of Uighur people in China’s Western provinces is particularly welcome.
I use Parliamentary recesses to spend even more time out and about in the community, so with the Easter Parliamentary recess cancelled thanks to the Tories’ Brexit shambles, I had a busy Friday and weekend visiting the fantastic newly accessible Finsbury Park Station to see the step-free lifts in action, presenting the Spring Show prizes at the Muswell Hill Horticultural Society, supporting the Crouch End Festival Chorus and attending the launch of Hornsey Hope Not Hate. I also joined Labour’s excellent candidate Faiza Shaheen on the doorstep in Chingford & Woodford Green. I’d love to see her make history and take the seat from the architect of the Universal Credit misery Iain Duncan Smith.
Finally, I was desperately sad and sorry at the passing of Haringey legend and passionate anti-racism, anti-apartheid and equalities campaigner Narendra Makanji. If you knew Narendra, please join in and celebrate his life of public service at Bernie Grant Arts Centre next Tuesday. I will personally miss his wealth of experience as Chair of the Whittington Hospital and his encyclopaedic knowledge of cricket. RIP Narendra.