It is shameful that since Monday evening I haven’t been sitting in Parliament. As an elected Member of Parliament at a time of national crisis, that is exactly where I should be – scrutinising Boris Johnson and his Conservative Government. That’s why I was one of the petitioners in legal action in the Scottish Courts and I’m absolutely delighted that on Wednesday they ruled Johnson’s Parliamentary shutdown “unlawful”.
It’s clear that Johnson shut down Parliament to try and force through a disastrous “no deal” Brexit without challenge. Our rapid cross-party efforts last week to pass a Bill forcing him to secure an extension to the Brexit deadline and now this court judgement prove we’re going to fight this abuse of the democratic process every step of the way. I held a packed Brexit update and Parliamentary drop-in at Jackson’s Lane over the weekend and there was huge support for MPs getting back to where we should be – in Parliament holding this reckless Government to account.
Thankfully, our rapid cross-party efforts to pass a Bill forcing Johnson to secure an extension to the Brexit deadline in the days before Parliament was suspended were successful. That’s removed an immediate threat and we also successfully voted for the government to release all communications detailing their decision to prorogue Parliament together with the Operation Yellowhammer briefings setting out the impact of a “no deal”. That will hopefully help shed some transparency on this murky business. However the fight certainly doesn’t stop here, that may include legal action should Johnson seek to break the law.
This Government seems to think the law doesn’t apply to them. News reportsthis week that the Prime Minister’s unelected advisor Dominic Cummings is seeking to track personalised data from people using the Government’s GOV.UK services raises some serious questions. I’ve written immediately to Michael Gove to seek urgent assurances about the use of data and call for Parliament to scrutinise and approve any changes.
I’ve also written to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy Andrea Leadsom following media reports that the striking workers I met last week are finally to receive the London Living Wage. That would of course be extremely welcome news, yet whilst the announcement has been made in the media, the workers themselves or their unions have been told nothing. Understandably, this doesn’t fill them with confidence that the genuine employment concerns they’ve been raising for over three years now have actually been adequately resolved. I’ve asked Ms Leadsom for written assurances that a meeting will be taking place as a matter of urgency with the workers and their union to resolve this matter.
I’m one of over 100 MPs to write to the Prime Minister to demand that he act robustly in response to any Israeli annexation of Occupied Palestinian Territory and make very clear that flouting international law will have serious consequences. Read the full letter here.
I attended a really interesting Haringey Living Streets meeting on Sunday where we discussed how to do our bit on tackling air pollution. More must be done to support the Mayor of London’s ULEZ so more people can switch to non diesel vehicles and public transport, & walking and cycling can be promoted in Haringey.