My latest monthly e-newsletter has just gone out to thousands of homes across Hornsey & Wood Green. You can read a copy below. If you’d like to receive my e-newsletters, and you don’t already, you can sign up here.
Welcome to my July e-newsletter
With the “Johnson variant” out of control and the PM’s efforts to avoid self-isolation demonstrating yet again it’s one rule for them and another for everyone else, I fear a summer of chaos lies ahead.
Monday wasn’t “Freedom Day” for the anxious shop and hospitality workers, who can’t survive on pitiful statutory sick pay if they get “pinged”. Nor was it for the clinically vulnerable who feel abandoned by this Government, the one million school kids self-isolating after another disrupted year and the exhausted and underpaid NHS workers dealing with ever rising caseloads.
Restrictions must be lifted carefully and guided by science, and I welcome Mayor Sadiq Khan’s decision to mandate masks on public transport in London, showing the leadership the Government isn’t.
Don’t delay, have your jab today
Here are some of the other things I’ve been doing this month. If you know anyone who would like to receive these updates, please share this link.
Unpaid carers have consistently been an afterthought in the pandemic and now the Government’s plan for booster vaccines has forgotten them again. I’m a signatory to a letter calling on the Health Secretary to recognise the role of carers and confirm they will be prioritised for booster vaccines in the Autumn. Read the letter here.
A fairer recovery
Ten years of Tory cuts to our courts, police, vital youth services and mental health support has seen violent crime rise and victims left waiting far too long for justice. I want to hear your thoughts on safety in our area, what your priorities are and how you think they should be tackled. Take the survey now at https://labour.org.uk/crimesurvey
Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill
Labour opposed this Government bill which wasn’t about protecting freedom of speech. It was a hate speech protection bill that gave free rein to anti-Semites, climate deniers and people whose only aim is to cause deep hurt and offence – exactly what you’d expect from a Government and a PM more interested in stoking a culture war than legislating for the real issues affecting this country. Here’s the speech I gave during the Parliamentary debate.
Racism in Sport
I’m gutted that the English football team didn’t lift the Euro 2020 trophy but incredibly proud of the dignity shown by Southgate and his team. The appalling racism Rashford, Sancho and Saka faced online following the result isn’t limited to football as Sir Lewis Hamilton’s Grand Prix victory highlighted. I’ve written to the Culture Secretary to urge this Government to condemn the abuse, work with all sporting bodies to identify those responsible and ensure they’re prevented from attending future sporting events.
EU Settlement Scheme
The EUSS closed on 30 June, despite Labour’s pleas for an extension, and my Ham & High column this month sounded the alarm about the potential for another Windrush scandal. The Home Office themselves have admitted a 400,000 backlog and we know that 130,000 of those eligible for benefits still haven’t applied and only 1 in 3 children in care. Read my column here and my intervention during the Parliamentary debate.
Nationality & Borders Bill
I was disappointed time limits prevented me from speaking in this debate as I would have slammed this shameful bill that punishes those fleeing persecution, famine & war; violates our commitment to the Refugee Convention and will make the lives of so many vulnerable refugees even harder. I voted against the Bill and am appalled that with the full backing of Tory MPs it passed its second reading. I will apply again to speak at Report Stage.
Politics Summer School
Over 40 young people from schools across Hornsey & Wood Green took part in my third Politics Summer School – the first time it’s taken place virtually! It was a fantastic week, with lively, engaged participants and some tough questions! The programme covered the work of Parliament, City Hall & Haringey Council as well as journalism, law and the role of charities and trade unions. Some of the sessions were recorded and I’ll be making them available on my website over the coming weeks. I’m also very grateful to the Ham & High for agreeing to publish a column written by one of the students.
Climate Consultation with Ruth Jones
On 30 June I held a virtual Climate Consultation for constituents attended by Ruth Jones, Labour’s Shadow Environment Minister. Read my report from the event here .
Planning and Local Representation
Further afield, I have been heartbroken by the devastating scenes in parts of Germany and other areas in western Europe, with flooding laying waste to towns and villages and taking many lives. As Labour’s shadow Europe Minister, I wrote to the German Ambassador to the UK to formally pass on our condolences. We have to see the events in Germany as a wake-up call to climate change, with further freak weather events likely if we do not act now to halt the rise in global temperatures.
You can view the Parliamentary Questions I’ve submitted this month here
Shadow Ministerial Update:
Overseas Development Aid (ODA) cuts
Advice & support:
If you need my support throughout the summer or would like me to take up an issue on your behalf, please do not hesitate to contact me by email or on 020 7219 6141.
I hope you have a restful and safe summer. Find out some of the holiday fun activities taking place across Haringey here.