My International Women’s Day Parliamentary event this year was on the theme of empowering BAME women, with the wonderful Merlene Carrington from Operation Black Vote sharing her experiences of taking up a public appointment as a Magistrate. Cllr Peray Ahmet introduced and shared her journey into politics and Labour’s Deputy Leadership candidate Dawn Butler stopped by to share her experiences. Thanks to everyone who came.
I also joined the This Girl Can team in Parliament to celebrate IWD2020 and talked to Sport England about what more could be done to support women to be active in Hornsey & Wood Green and across England. I heard from Paralympic champion Kadeena Cox and international star Ama Agbeze about their experiences as professional sportswomen and the way that the This Girl Can campaign had inspired them. It’s a great campaign and the record numbers of women playing sport show that it has really struck a chord. But clearly more still needs to be done.
On Thursday I went to Birmingham in my role as Shadow Sports Minister to see how the city is preparing for hosting the Commonwealth Games in 2022. I met with organisers, contractors, Liam Byrne MP and Birmingham City Council and was impressed by the vision and scale of the plans. I hope that the Games will provide the transformative effect the Olympics had in London. The new athlete’s village in Perry Barr, with the associated transport improvements and investment in public services, will provide good quality homes for thousands of residents and create a new community in the heart of the city.
On Friday, together with David Lammy MP, Haringey Police and Council we held a public meeting for residents concerned about crime, policing and community safety in the Turnpike Lane area. Over 50 people attended and discussed their concerns and the targeted work taking place to tackle and prevent crime in the area.
Over the weekend I took part in London CND’s conference, where I spoke in a panel session on Britain’s place in the world. You can read my speech here. It was an interesting event and I especially enjoyed the contributions on climate change and increased refugee movements as challenges which governments are failing to face up to.
On Sunday I had a wonderful afternoon at the Park Road Lido, attending the unveiling of a bench in memory of Susan and Roman Halter. Susan competed in the 100-m freestyle swimming event in the 1948 London ‘Austerity’ Olympics; Roman swam long-distance races and played water polo. Both escaped the Nazis and met and married in the UK, living in Crouch End and swimming regularly in the lido for many years.