International Workers’ Day on 1 May celebrates the achievements of the workers who refused to accept second best and whose efforts, over hundreds of years, have helped win fairer pay, decent working conditions and safer working environments for millions. Their work sadly isn’t done and there’s as big a need for trade union activism as there’s ever been with the rise in zero hours and insecure contracts. There are also too many workers still losing their lives unnecessarily and on Monday evening I hosted and spoke at an event in Parliament organised by the London Hazards Centre to commemorate International Workers Memorial Day, where I joined trade union colleagues and Global Justice to discuss the safety picture both in developing countries and here in the UK where 144 workers lost their lives last year.
That day I also attended a moving interfaith service in the House of Lords with Rabbi David Mason from Muswell Hill Synagogue and other national faith leaders in memory of those killed in the horrific terror attack in Sri Lanka over the Easter weekend.
Haringey Council, London’s Labour Mayor Sadiq Khan and Labour nationally have declared a climate emergency and now it was down to Parliament to do the same. At the end of the debate on Wednesday the Government did not contest the vote so Labour’s motion forced the Government into making Britain become the first country in the world to declare an environment and climate emergency. In my speech, I focussed on transport, which is the single highest emitting sector of the UK economy yet performing the worst in reducing emissions. Watch my speech here.
I went to visit Coleridge School on Friday to speak to the Head, teachers and parents about concerns over harmful emissions on Crouch End Hill and spent a very interesting afternoon at Hornsey Traincare Depot meeting some of their fourth-year engineering apprentices working on the UK’s newest train fleet, the Class 717 which has just begun serving Great Northern routes. There’s been a depot on the site in Hornsey since 1850 and I was very impressed at their commitment to ensuring engineering skills remain in the local community, with plans to expand their engineering apprentices from 20 to over 150 over the year.
With the European elections only weeks away, I’ve been speaking to voters in Hornsey & Wood Green. I’ve always been very clear that I want to see the public given a final say on any Brexit deal, even one that comes out of Tory and Labour negotiations, and I’ll continue to make that case. Here’s the letter I co-signed along with 87 other Labour MPs. MEP candidate Katy S Clark’s speech at Haringey’s European election launch recently highlighted the radical manifesto of the Party of European Socialists which Labour are proud to be part of. I want Katy and all Labour’s other excellent candidates sitting in a European Parliament with Britain at the heart of discussions – not out on the side lines.
And finally I’m delighted that Hornsey & Wood Green’s own Jai Krishna has been nominated for this year’s Tiffin Cup for the best South Asian restaurant in the UK, and will go through to the next stage of the competition. The Tiffin Cup is awarded every year by the Tiffin Club of MPs, with the aim not only of applauding the quality of South Asian food in Britain, but also raising money for charity. This year the competition is in aid of World Vision and the Grand Final will be held in the House of Commons on Tuesday 2nd July 2019. I am sure everyone in Hornsey and Wood Green will be rooting for Jai Krishna to become Tiffin Cup Champions!