John’s Monthly newsletter April 2017
Below is a brief summary of just some of my activities locally and in Parliament in the last month.
Campaigning in Nottinghamshire 4th
Along with other members of the Shadow Cabinet I attended a Spring Election Launch in Nottinghamshire to support the local party and our colleagues on Nottinghamshire County Council and set out Labour’s plans for Investing for a better Britain
Campaigning in Gravesend 8th
It was great to be in Gravesend campaigning for investment in new technologies and renewable energy to create jobs across Kent. After seven years of Tory failure on the economy, too much of our country is being held back. There’s huge potential in places like Gravesend and across Kent for investment in new technologies like renewable energy.
I was delighted to visit living wage employer Luton Town FC today with Jeremy Corbyn to spell out Labour’s commitment to raising the legal minimum wage to at least £10 an hour by 2020. Our policy will mean 5.6 million workers will receive a pay rise.
I joined actor Michael Sheen in Preston to highlight the impressive work of Preston City Council. The council here has provided a model of how an innovative Labour council can act creatively to build a richer local community. This kind of radicalism is exactly what we need across the whole country. Preston is showing how to push back against Tory austerity by creating local entrepreneurial states.
Friends of Minet Park AGM
At the Friends of Minet Park, which I set up many years ago, we discussed the impact of the Southall Gasworks development on the park and the protections we need.
I visited an arts and crafts exhibition at Age UK in Coventry along with Debbie Abrahams, Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions where we launched Labour’s Pensioner’s Pledge Card. The Pensioner’s Pledge Card lays out Labour’s four promises to protect older people in our communities:
Protect pensioner incomes by legislating to keep the Triple-Lock on state pensions up to 2025
End Tory unfairness on the women’s pension age, compensating those worst affected
Protect the pensions of UK citizens living oversea
Keep the Winter Fuel Allowance and free bus passes for pensioners
I am delighted to be launching this pledge card that will inform many elderly people in our communities that Labour is not only promising to stand up for pensioners; but is determined to ensure they keep the hard-won entitlements they currently hold.
It’s a national scandal that pensioner poverty is rising and the Tories are refusing to commit to keeping the triple-lock or compensate women worst affected by the speeding up in the state pension age.
National Union of Teachers Conference 14th
I addressed the NUT conference in Cardiff to express my support for the campaign that the NUT are waging to protect our children’s education. It must be our priority to oppose the government’s cuts to education. Labour would also seek to ensure that every primary school child gets a free school lunch.
Parliamentary Questions in the Chamber 18th
At Treasury Questions I asked the Chancellor to apologise to the British people for the utter failure of this Government’s economic policies and for the pain he has inflicted on this country.
In calling for a general election, the Prime minister blamed Brexit, she has blamed our European neighbours, she has blamed the parties on these benches, but the real truth is that after seven wasted years of economic failure under the Tories:
• They have failed to close the deficit
• They have added £750bn to the national debt
• Pay is falling behind prices
• 4 million children are growing up in poverty
• Our schools are in crisis
• Our prisons are in crisis
• There's more people than ever on NHS waiting lists
• More families are homeless
• More elderly people are not getting the care they need
Campaign Visit to Luton 20th
I joined Kelvin Hopkins, Labour MP for Luton North, on the election campaign to lent support for the local elections currently underway. However, the day was somewhat hijacked by the recent announcement about the General election.
3rd Runway Meeting Harlington School 20
I convened a community meeting on 3rd runway for Harlington Village residents. This is part of my cycle of meeting locally on the runway.
The Railway Estate
We canvased and leafleted the Railway Estate in Hayes. I have convened a public meeting on 2nd May to discuss the environmental problems on the estate and to set up a new residents group.
Campaign Visit to Oxford 22
I joined huge numbers of supporters out doorknocking for Labour in Oxford. This will be the biggest people powered general election campaign ever.
St Georges Day Parade 23
I attended the Scouts annual St Georges Day Parade at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, Botwell Lane. I also visited Harmondsworth Villlage St George’s Day celebrations at the Great Barn. Next year, under a Labour government, it'll be a public holiday
I had a great afternoon out on the High Street in Southampton talking to our dedicated party members and campaigning for a Labour government to transform Britain.
CWU Conference in Bournemouth
I spoke at a fantastic evening of politics, music and comedy to promote Labour under Jeremy’s leadership. It was attended by about 1,000 CWU delegates and 2,000 members of the public I was joined by Ken Loach, Francesca Martinez, Jason Manford and Jeremy Hardy