It’s off to Brighton for Labour Party Conference. I’m delighted at our policy to scrap prescription charges, which too often mean people don’t take vital medicines or “wait until payday” despite the medical need. It’s particularly tough for people with lifelong conditions like asthma where the costs can really add up. This kind of positive action is exactly what our conference should be about – not turning inwards and fighting amongst ourselves.
This week saw International Trade Secretary Liz Truss apologise for admitting the UK Government breached a court order banning the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia. How do you accidentally sell arms to Saudi Arabia in violation of the law? An apology isn’t sufficient, she needs to resign for this appalling and grossly negligent failure. Only a few days before Johnson shut Parliament down, I asked questions on whether UK supplied weapons had been used in Yemen in breach of international humanitarian law. The Minister responded with assurances about the “robustness” of our export control systems. This shocking lapse suggests that’s very far from being correct. If we had been where we should have been in Parliament this week, I’d have been able to question her in person.
Instead I’ve been out in the community speaking to residents all over Hornsey & Wood Green, with issues raised including community safety and rights for EU nationals. At the Carers’ Coffee Morning we discussed housing and educational opportunities for young adults with learning difficulties. I’ve also been helping deliver my Autumn Report to every house across the constituency. If yours hasn’t arrived yet, you can read it here.
On Wednesday night, I took part in a discussion on Labour’s Green New Deal at Wood Green Social Club and launched my own consultation on green issues. Tell me your thoughts on how we tackle the climate emergency and what the Government should be prioritising here: https://www.catherinewest.org.uk/latest-news/2019/09/17/climate-emergency/
The background to everything this week has been the Supreme Court hearings as we wait to see whether Boris Johnson’s shut down of Parliament will be ruled unlawful. I can’t wait to get back to Westminster and find out what he’s been doing in the 30 days Angela Merkel gave him to produce his “alternative arrangements”. I’d also like to see him answer questions about the serious allegations uncovered over the weekend of the misuse of public funds.