Below is a brief summary of just some of my activities locally and in Parliament in the last month.
The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists Performance 1st
I was honoured to speak at the phenomenal performance of The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists in Portcullis House which was hosted by Dan Carden MP. Robert Tressell’s classic of working-class literature, exploring the daily struggles of a group of painters and decorators in capitalist society, had been reimagined for the stage by Townsend Productions and actor Neil Gore.
There can be no doubt that Budget week is the perfect time to revisit Tressell’s classic and the lessons it teaches us – particularly the ‘money trick’, as the Chancellor has been preparing some tricks of his own to mask this government’s failed austerity policies.
I visited Barnhill School to meet Ms Hemmings, the Executive Head Teacher to discuss the incredible progress the school is making as a result of the leadership and hard work of the team.
Stand Up For Labour fundraiser Blackpool
I was delighted to speak at a very lively and packed fundraiser at the Imperial Hotel, Blackpool which was hosted by Chris Webb Labour’s Candidate for Blackpool North & Cleveleys
Labour North West Regional Conference 3rd
I spoke to a packed audience at Labour’s North West regional Conference at the Grand Hotel about my response to the Budget and the misery that so many people will continue to endure as a result of this Government’s callous agenda. However, I started off by mentioning the Preston New Road fracking site, and said when Labour get into government, fracking will be banned.
Anti-badger cull protest 6th
I spoke at the anti-badger cull protest outside Westminster before Chris Williamson’s debate in Parliament. Badgers are being killed in what is known as the ‘badger cull’, which has taken place in certain parts of England since 2013. Thousands of badgers have so far been killed in what is believed to be an unjustified slaughter of a protected species.
Barnet Outsourcing Rally
I attended a rally in Westminster Hall in support of Barnet campaigners’ plight to highlight the failure of outsourcing services to Capita in Barnet in light of a recent Grant Thornton report underlining shortcomings and the cost to the council.
Hayes Park School 8th
I was delighted to meet the new Pupil Parliament and answer their questions at Hayes Park School. I had a preview of their most impressive anti bulling campaign ‘Odd Socks’ which was launched on 12 November. I was then interviewed for Hayes Park radio station. This was followed the Pupil Parliament award ceremony where I presented members with their new badges.
Consultation Coffee Morning “Building a Statutory Youth Service” Labour Hall 10th
We organised a discussion group around youth service provision in our area. Regrettably the youth service has been savagely cut. We plan a new youth service when labour returns to power.
We Own It Conference: Public Ownership
I spoke at the conference about Labour’s policy on public ownership which is part of a package of measures to broaden ownership and control in the economy, including giving workers a third of seats on boards, billions of pounds for public services to be raised from Labour’s Inclusive Ownership Fund and a wide-ranging consultation on putting workers and service users in charge of running the water, energy, rail and mail industries which we will bring into public ownership.
Remembrance Sunday 11th
To mark Armistice Day I did what I do every year. I went to Barra Hall bandstand and marched with the British Legion and the local cubs and scouts to St Mary’s for the service and had tea and cake afterward remembering their sacrifice. click here To read by article in the Mirror ‘We will never forget heroes’ vision for UK’
Interview with Iain Dale LBC – Global Radio 13th
I joined Iain Dale to talk about Brexit, and said that I backed a “Remain but Reform” approach – which would have won the 2016 vote if “that vision was presented more effectively” I also explained that Labour would only back the deal in Parliament if it met six strict tests. If the deal protects jobs and the economy and it doesn’t undermine the protections we already have in terms of employment, in terms of the environment, in terms of consumer rights we’d support it. “I think it would be a deal that there’d be a majority in the Houses of Parliament for. click here to see the full interview.
Austin Road meeting 14th
We held a meeting for residents to discuss the continuing issues of anti-social behaviour and lack of repairs on the estate. We are working with the newly formed residents association we have helped to set up.
Hayes Carnival meeting 15th
I attended the Carnival meeting to review this year’s carnival and plan for 2019.
Canal Partnership 16th
At the Canal Partnership we discussed our work to continue improvements to the tow path and the development of residential moorings in Hayes town.
Mosque as part of interfaith week
I was pleased to call into our local mosque in Pump Lane to lend my support to interfaith week.
Pump Lane Developers
I met with the team developing the Pump Lane site for housing and expressed my concern about the continuing loss of employment sites and the need for community facilities to support the growing population in our area.
Nestles developers to show their proposals
I met with the site developers to discuss the final details of one element of the development, expressing my preference for retaining employment use in some areas of the site.
The Road to Rebuilding the Economy: Mansfield 17th
We are touring the country, bringing people together for our Road to Rebuilding the Economy campaign. I recently went to Mansfield and found real enthusiasm and an exciting desire for change. click here to see a short video of the seminar
UK Disability History Month 19th
I hosted the UK Disability History event in the House of Commons. This year’s theme is Disability and Music. We were entertained by a mixture of well-known disabled and non-disabled musicians. I was pleased to give my continuing support to this tremendous initiative.
I told business leaders, in my calculations, that if the government’s deal was rejected in a meaningful vote next month, May would return to Brussels to seek concessions. If it fell again, then Labour should be given the chance to form an administration. If that’s denied us then we will be pressing for a general election, but that two-thirds majority is very difficult to get.
I confirmed that Labour would retain the option of a second referendum if it was unable to form a minority government or to force a general election – but was equivocal on whether remain would be on the ballot paper. I said MPs would prevent a “cliff-edge” Brexit and there was no majority in parliament for a no-deal Brexit. “We cannot countenance no deal. It gives you some security we will not fall off the cliff-edge. There is a will in parliament to prevent that happening,”
British Steel Pension Lobby
I met with the steelworkers who have lost part of their pensions as a result of a lack of adequate advice. We are pressing the regulatory bodies for action to assist their workers.
Grange Park School
I visited Grange park school for the launch of new logo and mission statement. I met with the senior leadership team before assembly and was then given a tour of the school by the Head girl and Head boy. I was then interviewed by the school council in the staffroom. The school is just buzzing with activities and I was so impressed with both staff and pupils.
Doncaster North Pie and Tea Fundraising event 23rd
I really enjoyed joining Ed Miliband and Rosie Winterton for Doncaster North CLP’s Pies, Peas and Socialism fundraiser. It was a great atmosphere.
NASUWT Regional Conference 24th
At the NASUWT Regional Conference in Durham I spoke about How Labour would take a more robust approach and work with trade unions to ensure our education system is improved to tackle the funding crisis, workload concerns of teachers whilst ensuring we have a diverse curriculum that gives all children opportunities to be the best they can be. I am sure John will link this to the National Education Service.
Annual A-Level Economics Student Conference for 6th Form Students’ 26th
I spoke about Labour’s economic policies to this massive gathering of A Level students and took questions.
Economics for the Many Launch 27th
I spoke with the Guardian’s senior economics commentator, Aditya Chakrabortty, about the greatest challenges that lie ahead for our society, and about my visions for a new economics after the launch of Economics for the Many, a new book which I edited. It features contributions from leading economists, and is a manifesto for a fairer, more sustainable society. It offers insight into the crises gripping the British economy and future challenges – such as housing, increased automation of work and climate change – as well as offering solutions.
Hobart Estate Meeting 28th
We convened a meeting of local residents to discuss their concerns about the local area. Over 100 people turned up and our 3 local Labour councillors were tremendous in responding to questions. The local residents have agreed to work with us to set up a residents association.
Urgent Question 28th
I was granted the following Urgent Question in the Chamber and asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the Government’s publication of the economic and fiscal analysis of various Brexit scenarios. Click here to see a short clip
The full debate can be viewed here.
2nd ESA Roundtable Discussion 29th
I chaired the 2nd ESA discussion at which we discussed the future of assessment frameworks for social security – what would a personalized, tailored and holistic assessment process for disabled people look like under a labour Government.
Railway Estate Meeting Pump Lane 29th
We convened a public meeting for local residents on the estate, who have agreed to reform the residents association. Our local councillors in the ward are working closely with us to support this initiative.