My latest monthly e-newsletter has just gone out to thousands of homes across Hornsey & Wood Green. You can read a copy below or online, with all the pictures, here. If you’d like to receive my e-newsletters, and you don’t already, you can sign up here.
Welcome to my February e-newsletterI’ve spoken out in Parliament about the soaring cost of energy bills for schools. One local primary told me their annual bill had gone up by £30,000 with no financial support from the Government to ease the pain. What’s the Tory plan? A sticking plaster that would give more cash to energy giants, whose profits have soared during the pandemic, and see the cost piled on households for years. The loan shark Chancellor refuses to cut people’s bills now by introducing Labour’s one-off windfall tax on oil & gas producers or plan for the future by investing in renewables and insulating Britain’s cold and leaky homes While families struggle, the Chancellor has sat back and gifted £4.3 billion to fraudsters. It is a disgrace and one that our community is now paying for. Labour held a Parliamentary debate on the subject where I also highlighted the wastefulness of the Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, charging taxpayers for lavish food at a Tory donor’s restaurant despite civil service opposition. It symbolises everything about this Government’s approach during a pandemic, that has seen their mates and donors grow richer from multi-million pound PPE contracts whilst ordinary households struggle to pay their bills. As the government is paralysed by chaos and incompetence, the latest local unemployment figures for Hornsey & Wood Green are 5,165, that’s 2,585 higher than before the pandemic. Even for many in work, life has got tougher with a rise in zero hours contracts and the disgraceful “fire and rehire” that the Tories refuse to outlaw. We need a Government and a Prime Minister focused on these issues. Sadly we don’t have one.Soaring energy prices are set to push a quarter of households into fuel poverty this winter. I’m already seeing the impact in my inbox and at my constituency surgeries. Residents telling me they’re struggling to afford the essentials or worried about putting their heating on because they don’t know how they’re going to pay the bill. It isn’t just residents affected –
Covid-19: living with COVIDIn Parliament, I asked the Prime Minister if he would confirm or deny reports that the Government was looking to sell off the Vaccine Manufacturing and Innovation Centre. The UK’s vaccine rollout was built on the back of great British scientists, but he couldn’t answer, what should be, a straightforward question. I’ve now written to the Health Secretary for an answer. Future of the NHS I took part in the Parliamentary debate on the future of our NHS, called in response to the petition demanding the Government restore England’s publicly funded, publicly provided NHS by reversing all privatising legislation, ending ongoing PFI contracts, and scrapping plans for Integrated Care Systems and for-profit US-style ‘managed care’. You can read my speech here. Make misogyny a hate crime I welcomed the House of Lords vote to make misogyny a hate crime (during the Third Reading of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill) and am appalled that the Home Secretary has now said she will reject this amendment. There is an urgent need for a long overdue change in the law so that misogynistic acts are treated as the serious hate crimes they are. What’s more, the Home Secretary is still refusing to establish specialist rape units in every police force area or minimum sentence for rape and stalking, and shockingly is still resisting Labour’s proposals for action against landlords who pressurise tenants into sex for rent. Labour will keep pushing for change when the Bill returns to the Commons.Living with COVID cannot mean leaving clinically vulnerable people without the support they need to enjoy life or forcing workers into unsafe environments because they can’t afford to stay home. The Tories broken system of sick pay is not only wrong, it is a public health risk. Labour has been clear that we would fix this broken system by raising statutory sick pay, making it available to all workers and ensuring sick pay is a day one employment right. I’ve received lots of messages from residents anxious about what the end of self-isolation and free testing means for them and the people they care for, and I’m concerned that decisions are being made not on science but to save Johnson’s own political skin. Testing is crucial for keeping infections under control and avoiding the need for further restrictions that impact on our lives, livelihoods, and liberties. This additional cost will also hit families at a time when they face a cost-of-living crisis. It means people simply won’t take them, putting others at risk. It’s incredibly short sighted.
Edmonton IncineratorYou can watch my full speech here. Save our Bees Without bees our ecosystem would collapse, but we’ve already lost 13 species of bees native to Britain and a further 35 are under threat of extinction. Now, despite their promises, the UK Government is using a loophole to allow a banned bee-killing pesticide to be used in England. It’s wrong and potentially devastating and I have written to the Environment Secretary urging him to think again. Kept Animals Bill and Cats and Kittens The Government’s Kept Animals Bill will be returning to the House of Commons soon and I’ve had lots of emails from constituents who would like to see greater protections for cats and kittens against smuggling. Whilst the Bill in its current form includes stricter regulations about the importation of dogs, I share the belief it should include cats. I also believe there is no justification for the commercial importation of pregnant cats and dogs (a loophole used by unscrupulous illegal importers) and support banning non-commercial importation of animals over 42 days pregnant. The Government must act quickly and efficiently to tackle international animal abuse and finally put an end to cruel puppy and kitten farms in the UK. Every month I ask Government Ministers to answer questions on a whole range of different issues. You can see my latest questions, and the responses I have received, here.I attended the Westminster Hall debate on the environmental and health impacts of the proposed Edmonton Incinerator expansion and was pleased to have the opportunity to repeat my support once again for a pause and review.
In the community:
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