The spectacle this week of the Prime Minister travelling to Germany and France to beg for the assistance of European leaders with our self-inflicted Brexit mess rather than ask the British people if they still want to go ahead makes a farce of the idea this is about “taking back control”. We must use this six-month extension to hold a confirmatory public vote on any compromise agreement that wins Parliament’s support.
With the delay meaning the UK is now contesting European elections, it’s crucial that we work together to combat the rise of the Far Right. This deeply unpleasant current climate, where we have seen Tommy Robinson and others speaking to huge crowds outside Parliament, and a far-right terrorist convicted of plotting to kill Labour MP Rosie Cooper means we must never be complacent about the threat we face.
With Parliament sitting this week, I challenged the Housing Minister to apologise for all those people left languishing on homelessness waiting lists across the country. Over 120,000 children are recorded as homeless in temporary accommodation – an increase of 70 per cent since 2010, thanks to nine years of Tory and Lib Dem austerity and decimation of crucial support services. I also quizzed the Minister on the number of families from the Grenfell Tower disaster still waiting for housing. It’s coming up to 2 years since the tragedy at Grenfell and there are still survivors who have not been rehoused. I raised the fundamental imbalance of a world where the likes of house builders Persimmons are gaining all the benefits of being involved in the housing market, despite fire safety concerns and health and safety breaches, while tenants in places like Grenfell Tower are getting such a rough deal. That has to change and under a Labour Government it would.
I attended the Urgent Question on Monday about the deteriorating situation in Libya and asked the Minister what action the Government was taking to tackle people smuggling and the dreadful conditions in the camps along the Libyan coastline.
Over the weekend, I gave the closing remarks at an excellent public meeting on “Haringey in a time of climate emergency”, looking at what the council is doing, what the Government should be doing and what residents can do to defend our environment. It is young people who will pay the price of this generation’s failure to act while global temperatures rise to increasingly dangerous levels. We need to start doing things in an entirely different way to create a permanent low-carbon sustainable economy. Read my latest report to Hornsey & Wood Green Labour’s active Climate Change & Environment Group on some of the things I’ve been doing in Parliament this month.
I also had a wonderful evening at Jacksons Lane, celebrating Melian Mansfield’s incredible 44 years on the Board and the huge contribution she has made.
Finally, this week was a bit of a milestone as I responded to my 50,000th message from a constituent about policy issues – no surprises it was on Brexit! It’s wonderful to represent such an engaged constituency and I always enjoy reading and hearing your thoughts on what’s going on in Parliament, whether that’s through emails, letters, social media, at my pop-up surgeries or out and about in the constituency. I also helped my 6,000th constituent with a casework issue this month. I wish there weren’t so many people needing assistance with housing problems, benefits, immigration and more and that we didn’t have a Tory Government’s failed austerity and hostile environment making life so much harder for thousands of my constituents. But I will continue doing everything I can to help those who need my assistance – and fight for a General Election and a Labour Government.