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 April e-newsletterI’ve urged the PM to act . Labour is calling for an emergency budget to tackle the cost-of-living crisis and immediate action to slash energy bills, support struggling businesses and insulate homes. We want the National Crime Agency to investigate the scandal that has seen £11.8 billion of taxpayer cash lost to fraud and error. Instead of hiking taxes on people who’re struggling, we want to see those at the top pay their fair share. A Labour Government would abolish non-dom status and crack down on hidden offshore trusts. It’s not just families who are struggling. Today, I met with the Schools’ Minister to raise my concerns about the impact of soaring energy costs in schools. With bills increasing by as much as £30,000 that’s the cost of a teacher. I wanted to know what the Government will do to help, but I’m not seeing any solutions. I’m very worried about what the next few months will bring without urgent change. If you are affected, please do get in touch and visit Haringey Council’s Here to Help for advice and support.People across Hornsey & Wood Green are struggling with the cost-of-living crisis. In my inbox, at my advice surgeries and at our food banks, constituents are crying out for help. One resident told me they used to volunteer at the food bank, now they rely on it themselves because their energy, food and rent bills keep going up. The Conservatives had an opportunity to act in the Spring Statement. Instead they shrugged their shoulders and hiked taxes on the “just about managing”. They’re putting more effort into saving the PM’s job than protecting Briton’s pay packets. It’s not good enough and
Partygatein answer to my Parliamentary question that the PM told me the “rules were followed at all times”. Now he and his Chancellor have been fined for partying at Downing Street whilst people across the country stuck by the rules he set. The Ministerial Code is clear that any Minister who knowingly misleads the House of Commons must offer their resignation. Boris Johnson is the first British Prime Minister to have been found to have broken the law. He has shown utter disregard for the sacrifices the British people made to save lives and he must go. I will continue working tirelessly with my Labour colleagues to press upon Tory MPs the need to act in the national interest and restore standards to Downing Street.It was
Rwanda Asylum Processing Planwhistleblower report on the Government’s “inhumane” Homes for Ukraine scheme is damning, but it’s not surprising. I’ve raised countless urgent cases with Home Office officials for weeks now. Families where one member has had their visa approved, another hasn’t so none can travel. Pregnant women who need maternity care and can’t wait any longer. A mum who has had her visa accepted but nothing for her 6-month baby who is now being asked for biometric data. The list goes on. The Hornsey & Wood Green community has responded with such generosity, and they’ve been let down by this Tory Government. It’s shameful we are the only country in Europe to respond in such a shambolic way to this crisis. This month, I’ve written to Lord Harrington to request an urgent meeting and I will keep pushing Priti Patel to ditch the bureaucracy, stop making people jump through hoops and get them here now. Privatisation of Channel 4 I have received an outpouring of emails from constituents alarmed at the prospect of Channel 4 being privatised. I strongly oppose this ideological move, it’s cultural vandalism that risks a great British success story. Nadine Dorries MP, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, doesn’t even understand that the channel costs taxpayers nothing – only a few weeks ago she wrongly believed that it was tax-payer funded. Selling it off to the highest bidder will cost jobs and opportunities in the North and Yorkshire, and hit the wider British creative economy. Of all the issues the public wants action on, the governance of Channel 4 isn’t one. That’s why I will continue to urge the Government to focus on the cost-of-living crisis, and help people with their bills, not be fiddling around like this for ideological reasons. Ban Conversion Therapy I am deeply concerned that the Government appears to be either u-turning on its previous commitments to ban the dangerous practice of Conversion Therapy or is intending to water it down. Both positions are entirely unacceptable. Conversion therapy is a deeply harmful practice which has no place in 2022 – in any setting – and it should have already been banned. My Labour colleagues and I are committed to a full ban – without any caveats.This Tory plan to off-shore asylum seekers to Rwanda is unethical, unworkable, a staggering waste of money and a shameless attempt to distract from Johnson’s law breaking. The UK should be a welcoming and open refuge to those seeking asylum and that should mean taking our responsibilities to house and process applications promptly here in the UK, not in a country with human rights record as concerning as Rwanda. I assure you that I will join my Labour colleagues in opposing this plan when it is presented in Parliament. Update on the situation in Ukraine Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine is now appearing to be a long and drawn out conflict after his attempts to capture the Ukrainian leadership ended in failure. While much of the news begins to focus on other issues it is vitally important we continue standing by our Ukrainian partners and doing what we can to stop Putin’s war machine and save civilian lives. This
COVID-19 and access to testing in care homeshave written to the Health Secretary urging him to act.COVID-19 hasn’t gone away and it’s still having a heavy impact on care homes. It’s vital visitors aren’t priced out of seeing their loved ones and that staff can afford to isolate to keep those they care for safe. I’ve been chatting to care homes locally about their concerns and
This month, I met once again with Christabel, a constituent who lost her beloved father during the pandemic and is one of thousands of bereaved families fighting for justice. She has written a beautiful poem in memory of her father which I share on my website. The human cost of COVID-19 has been appalling. Families deserve answers to the decisions made by the Government and to the wider questions of preparedness and resilience. I want to see a full public and independent inquiry begin as soon as possible, to learn lessons and ensure mistakes are not repeated.
All-Party Parliamentary Group on SwimmingNow soaring energy bills are putting their future at risk. As Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Swimming, I welcomed the Sports Minister to our meeting today to raise these issues in person. Pools urgently need emergency funds to stay open and it’s vital costs aren’t pushed onto struggling families, when we’re already seeing far too many kids leave primary school unable to swim or stay water safe.First swimming pools were hit by the pandemic.
In the community:sign & share my petition to save Barclays in Muswell Hill & protect access to cash . The Tories promised legislation two years ago but we’re still waiting. In the meantime bank branches have been closing at an alarming rate and customers, small businesses and our high streets suffer. I’ve written to urge the Chancellor to act now and I’ll be presenting my petition to Parliament in the coming weeks. Royal Mail – meeting with Chief Executive Last week David Lammy and I met with Royal Mail’s Chief Executive. We arranged this meeting, because even though the situation has improved locally, we remain very concerned that our area was hit so hard two years running. I wanted assurances from the very top that measures had been put in place to prevent this ever happening again. Read my report of the meeting on my website and do keep sharing your experiences. I’ve also submitted a Parliamentary Question to ask the Secretary of State for Business what steps he’ll be taking to ensure Ofcom take meaningful and timely regulatory action against Royal Mail when required. Travelling this summer? Don’t forget to check your Passport now! MP offices were told last year that demand for passports would soar in 2022 as travel reopened. It isn’t a surprise yet time and again Priti Patel’s department fails to plan and people pay the price. The standard processing time is now up to 10 weeks so please check your passport now and renew ASAP if you’re planning to travel. The advice page on my website has lots of useful information if you’re affected.Save Barclays Bank & protect access to cash Please
Step-free access for our train stationsI’ve been pushing for step-free access for all our local train stations, and I’m pleased that GTR are now nominating Bowes Park and Harringay stations for Access for All funding. I’ve written a supporting letter and really hope we’re successful. Thousands of people use these stations every day but they’re inaccessible for wheelchair users, and Harringay Station in particular is very difficult to access for those with limited mobility, cyclists, and parents with buggies, due to the narrow and steep stairs leading to the platform. If we are, work would start in 2024. Sickle cell treatment at North Middlesex Hospital I met with the Care Quality Commission to discuss their recent report about services for patients with sickle cell disease at North Mid. The report identified the need for improvements and a better understanding from staff across the hospital of sickle cell as a disease. This is a nationwide issue, but particularly important at North Mid which has the 5 th highest number of sickle cell patients across the country. I will be meeting with North Mid bosses in the coming weeks to discuss their response to this report as well as other issues, including their work to fully implement the Ockenden Review findings into maternity services.
I joined the Holy Friday service at St Mary’s Church and wish Christos Anesti to all those celebrating Orthodox Easter in Hornsey & Wood Green and beyond. I am also pleased to have been re-elected as an Officer for the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Cyprus at their AGM this week.
Hong KongThe erosion of civil liberties in Hong Kong continues apace, fatally undermining the promises offered to the people of Hong Kong at the handover in 1997. As both a patron of Hong Kong Watch and Labour’s shadow Asia Minister I launched Hong Kong Watch’s report in to press freedom in Hong Kong. While the Chinese Government have undermined much of Hong Kong’s freedoms it is imperative we do what we can to halt the slide and stand by the people of Hong Kong in defence of their freedoms.
Sikh FederationWith the shadow Foreign Secretary David Lammy, I took part in a wide ranging and detailed meeting with the Sikh Federation to discuss their concerns about the treatment of religious minorities in India. My Labour colleagues and I have always been clear that India is a proud and diverse multicultural society, but there is a growing concern of religious intolerance in parts of Indian society. This is something which we have raised with the British Government, urging them to raise with their Indian counterparts. We will always stand in support of religious minorities the world over, and we have previously committed to a review of British involvement in actions committed against India’s religious minorities.