I secured a debate in Parliament on Tuesday on women human rights defenders, who are coming under attack at an alarming rate. From the three inspiring women who led the campaign for women’s right to drive in Saudi Arabia to the women-led movements like Latin America’s ‘Ni Una Menos’, women are facing violence, repression and intimidation just for defending their rights. In the debate I argued that the UK should be at the forefront of responding to this global backlash. Read my article in The House magazine on why I believe this is so important.
After being rescheduled a number of times, I finally got to meet the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government James Brokenshire to talk about the need for a special fund to support children at risk of exclusion. A high percentage of perpetrators of knife crime were excluded from school in their early years and a fund that helped families who might be struggling could help beat the “PRU to prison pipeline” of disengaged young people in pupil referral units getting into a cycle of trouble. Crucially, a fund should also include targeted support and training for school staff who are on the frontline of what can be incredibly difficult situations at the same time as they are seeing their funding slashed. Cllr Mark Blake and Haringey Council are doing some important work in this area with their new Young People at Risk Strategy, you can watch the video here.
On Wednesday I chaired an inquiry session for the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Autism looking specifically at support into adulthood. We touched on topics including the importance of the assessment process and the gap between the social care services autistic adults told the National Autistic Society they needed and the services they were actually receiving.
I strongly supported Labour calling an opposition day debate on the Government’s broken manifesto promise to keep free TV licences until 2022. If these plans go ahead, almost 5,000 households in Hornsey & Wood Green will lose out, yet TVs can be a lifeline for older people, particularly those living on their own. Older people deserve better. Sign our petition and pass it on labour.org.uk/tvlicence
I held a busy advice surgery at Wood Green Library on Friday and visited the Meadow Care Home and Paddock Retirement Living Scheme to meet with some of the residents.
The Big Green Bookshop has sadly closed its doors, but I was at the launch of its replacement, a Cooperative which will aim to re-provide books for sale without going through Amazon as well as an exciting new arts and learning space beside the bookshop. For more information visit www.allgoodbookshop.com
I also joined in the Community Fun Day celebrating 135 years of the Salvation Army in Wood Green, attended Highgate Wood School’s moving 25 year on Rwanda commemoration conference and attended the plant sale at Shepherd’s Hill allotment.
We’ve had large groups of Labour canvassers out supporting our excellent MEP candidates. Only Labour can defeat the likes of Tommy Robinson and Nigel Farage and we’ve got lots of sessions between now and the 23rd if you want to join us on the doorsteps: https://www.hornseywoodgreenlabour.org.uk/news/european-elections:-canvassing-schedule