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Mercury Article: Let’s Shop Local!

John Penrose (Weston-Super-Mare)

It’s here. At last. The start of reopening. We can get our hair cut, try on clothes in a shop before we buy them and, yes, go to the pub (but wrap up warm!).

We’ve been here before of course, as we’ve emerged from previous lockdowns, tier restrictions and what-have-you-s. But this time feels different. It’s not just that the latest lockdown happened in the long, dark winter months, or that we’re all so weary after a full year of pandemic. This feels different because now there’s hope. The vaccine means this ought to be the last time we take this journey, and good riddance to all that.

The feeling is captured in a rather beautiful film by local filmmaker Sally Low. It’s about Weston coming back to life as 14 of our local shops prepare to re-open (it’s on the SuperWeston facebook page) and, if you haven’t seen it, it’s three-and-a-quarter minutes you won’t regret.

It’s a useful reminder of what getting back to normal will mean for stores or local firms and the people they employ. It’s particularly important because, like High Streets everywhere, central Weston was fighting a battle against online shopping and out-of-town shopping malls before anyone had ever heard of Coronavirus. Lockdown gave online retail a huge push forward and no-one really knows how we will use High Streets from now on. Will we rush back to bricks and mortar town centre shops, or not? We stopped a massive expansion at Cribbs Causeway that would have taken almost £40million from central Weston a few years back, but Sally Low’s film brings our town centre to life: the sounds and the sights, the architecture and beautiful buildings, the people and care they put into the coffee they serve or passion for the products they plan to sell.

So let’s shop local and enjoy normality again. It can’t come soon enough!

Motorways are by far our safest roads for a variety of reasons. Separating vehicles going in different directions, and providing high capacity segregated routes onto and off them greatly reduces the capacity for smashes between vehicles travelling in different directions or from drivers misreading each other’s conduct at a junction. In addition no cyclist or pedestrian is allowed on them, removing the danger of conflict between a fast moving vehicle and a vulnerable person. Motorways are more like railways which also have better safety figures thanks to a ban on all pedestrians and cyclists from proximity to the track, and from seeking to keep trains moving in opposite directions on different track.

The main reasons A and B roads are so much more dangerous lies in three main areas. First, pedestrians and cyclists are allowed, and are very vulnerable to mistakes by drivers or by themselves when coming into conflict with vehicles. Second, many junctions lack capacity and are poorly designed, leading to crashes between vehicles seeking to use the same piece of road to go in different directions. Third, there is scope for vehicles to wander or overtake in the lane coming the other way, leading to potentially very dangerous crashes between vehicles travelling in opposite directions. On a 50 mph road this may mean a 100mph crash.

Most of these A and B rods are under the control of Council Highway departments. They have options under national legislation and grant schemes to make improvements in each of these areas to cut accidents. As with motorways the first necessity is to increase overall capacity to reduce tensions and conflicts between vehicles. Pedestrians and cyclists deserve better treatment through the provision of dedicated cycleways and footpaths that avoid main A and B roads to cut conflict with vehicles. Junctions need review. Wherever possible roundabouts should be used rather than traffic lights, as that ensures all vehicles are heading in the same direction of flow and not meeting head on. Where there are signal controlled junctions they should where possible be reconfigured to provide segregated right hand turning lanes with short filter light phases where traffic is sensed by intelligent lights as waiting. Priority should be afforded with plenty of green light phase for the main road which should allow flow in both directions at the same time with right turning traffic held. On straight stretches of potentially fast road there should be consideration to painting a third overtaking lane where there is sufficient width allowing alternate overtaking by vehicles in opposite directions to cut frustration and dangerous overtaking.

Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, has thanked the charity FareShare for providing 81.1 tonne of food to charities in the constituency.

Over the last year, FareShare supplied the equivalent of 193145 meals to 7 charities across the Denton and Reddish constituency.

The charity has doubled their operations in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and nationally they have been providing the equivalent of 4 meals per second to those in need.

FareShare is a national network of charitable food redistributors, made up of 18 independent organisations. Together, they take good quality surplus food from right across the food industry and get it to almost 11,000 frontline charities and community groups.

The charity is currently asking for support from the UK Government to fund their ‘Surplus With Purpose’ scheme to the tune of £5 million per annum, which would both alleviate hunger and tackle climate change.

Andrew Gwynne said:

“The Covid crisis means that it’s been an incredibly difficult year and food poverty has sadly risen.


“On behalf of everyone in the Denton and Reddish constituency, I’d like to thank FareShare for their fantastic work in providing so many meals to local people.


“I strongly support FareShare’s work and hope that the Government will fund the ‘Surplus With Purpose’ scheme.”

The post Gwynne thanks FareShare for 81.1 tonnes of food in Denton and Reddish appeared first on Andrew Gwynne MP.

Spring 2021 newsletter

Brendan O'Hara (Argyll and Bute)

The last few months have been tough for everyone but I am glad to see that with the easing of restrictions across Scotland, hope is on the horizon for an end to the pandemic and all the suffering and sacrifices it has involved. My latest newsletter is just a snapshot of some of my work […]
At the same time as saying he would do anything he could to stop the #ESL the PM was saying football takeovers are purely commercial matters and not answering the question on whether he’d discussed the #NUFC takeover – or others – w officials. Can’t trust the Tories on #Football

Statement on Greville Road layout proposals

Karin Smyth (Bristol South)

Speaking about the proposed Greville Road layout changes, Karin Smyth, MP for Bristol South, said:

“I am aware of the considerable interest in the scheme and have been in open communication with residents and local road users alike. It is my sincere hope that as many people as possible took part in the consultation exercise undertaken by Bristol City Council.

“It’s important that consultations of this type not only listen to the views requested, but also reach out to those who feel the language or supporting documentation is not sufficient. I am pursuing this very issue with the Council presently.

“Traffic management schemes, be them large or small, should hold the primary focus of reducing and not simply displacing vehicle movements. It makes very little sense if any plan increases congestion and pollution on alternate routes. Liveable Neighbourhoods are not just one road and decisions should be undertaken with that in mind.”

The post Statement on Greville Road layout proposals first appeared on Karin Smyth.

Graham Stuart, MP for Beverley and Holderness, virtually met local farmers and representatives from the Environment Agency (EA), East Riding Council and the National Farmers Union to discuss recent flooding.   Graham initiated the meeting after he had been contacted by farmers in his constituency who have suffered significant flooding during the winter, in an attempt to find a way forward with the help of the Environment Agency.

The Environment Agency presented detailed findings of their Bathymetric Survey of the River Hull.  The fall over the length of the river is unusually small, which affects the approach to pumping water from agricultural land into the river.  Managing the river and Drains requires a delicate balance.  In years of high rainfall and high levels in the chalk aquifers of the East Yorkshire Wolds, this is challenging. 

Farmers welcomed the opportunity to highlight their individual experiences of crop failure and extended periods of fields under water and to ask questions. It was concluded that additional funding and new projects are required, and Graham looks forward to chairing a follow up meeting in June to hear an update from the EA when he hopes a clear proposal for a way forward can be achieved.

Graham said, “This meeting was a great opportunity for everyone to have a say, and to be clear that agencies need to work together to try reduce the effect of flooding that local farmers have experienced this winter and for several years.  I look forward to meeting again in June, when Sir Greg Knight MP and I will join forces to consider what is possible.”

Paul Stockhill, Flood and Coastal Risk Manager at the Environment Agency, said, “We have recently completed a detailed Bathymetric Survey of the River Hull, which will help identify any changes to the riverbed.  The meeting provided a great opportunity to start sharing the results of our survey.  Managing flood risk in low-lying rural catchments can be complex, and there are challenges in attracting funding.  We hope our strong relationships, and working together, will provide some of the solutions in managing flooding into the future.”

John Duggleby, who farms at Beswick, said, “We in the farming industry have good productive farmland here that is being flooded more often and for longer periods. We had reached an impasse locally, so it was good to get Graham on board and for him to raise the need for action with the Environment Agency.”

The group will meet again in June.


Catherine McKinnell (Newcastle upon Tyne North)

Catherine McKinnell, Chair of the influential House of Commons Petitions Committee has led a debate in Parliament on black maternal healthcare and mortality. The debate was triggered following a petition started by campaigners Tinuke Awe and Clo Abe and signed by over 187,000 petitioners. The petition highlights that statistically in 21st-century Britain, the colour of a … Continue reading CATHERINE LEADS DEBATE ON BLACK MATERNAL HEALTHCARE AND MORTALITY

European Super League

Damian Collins (Folkestone and Hythe)

Wednesday 21 April 2021 On Monday I joined the twenty-seven million people who have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. I was administered with the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine at St Thomas’s hospital in London, just over the river from the House of Commons. The roll out of the vaccine is the best way […]
20 April 2021
Dunne welcomes UK commitment to cut emissions by 78% by 2035

South Shropshire MP, Philip Dunne, has welcomed plans by the government to enshrine in law a new target to cut emissions by 78% by 2035.

Mr Dunne, who is also Chairman of the Environmental Audit Select Committee, said while ambitious targets were welcome, the UK is currently off track, so plans must be backed up by concrete action from the government.

Mr Dunne said: “With a little over six months to go until COP26, the climate leadership the UK has shown in committing to cut emissions by 78% by 2035 compared with 1990 levels is incredibly ambitious but very welcome. This move is exactly what we need to see at this crunch point in making the tough decisions to limit warming: to stimulate changes in behaviour and mobilise private sector investment to achieve dramatic change.

“Although this level of ambition demonstrated is very promising as we mould net zero Britain, we cannot overlook the fact that the UK is off-track to deliver against its fourth and fifth carbon budgets, and we are lacking Government strategies on net zero, heat and buildings, and hydrogen – all areas that need urgent clarity, rather than Government dragging its feet. We also need to see an end to the stop-start of Government schemes as recently occurred with closure of the Green Homes Grant.

“The Government’s climate sentiment is welcome, but must start being backed up with clear and demonstrable action. More policy inaction could jeopardise the UK’s leadership in this crucial year and set back climate progress for years to come.”

South Lakes MP Tim Farron is urging the Government to reverse its decision to slash Cumbria's road repair budget by almost a quarter after a record rise in the number of pothole-related car breakdowns.

New figures from the RAC show that in the first three months of this year, the they received nearly 5,000 call-outs for vehicles likely damaged by potholes, around three times as many as in the last three months of 2020.

Last month the Government cut Cumbria County Council's funding to repair damaged roads and potholes by £10.5m.

The RAC said today that "many drivers are finding themselves having to use roads that in places better resemble the surface of the Moon" and a result "thousands are suffering from unnecessary and costly breakdowns caused by potholes".

Tim said: "Pot holes are always the number one issue people raise with me when I'm out knocking on doors in the South Lakes - no matter which town or village I'm in.

"Disappointingly though, the Conservatives just simply aren't listening - and regular road users in Cumbria are the ones paying the price.

"The Government must immediately fill this massive hole in Cumbria's pothole repair budget so Cumbrians can have the decent quality roads that their taxes pay for."

Published and promoted by P Trollope on behalf of T Farron and the Liberal Democrats, all at Yard 2, Stricklandgate, Kendal
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Martin Docherty (West Dunbartonshire)

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced details of the further relaxation of restrictions across Scotland. From Monday 26 April, hospitality venues such as cafés, pubs and restaurants can reopen, along with tourist accommodation. Non-essential retail outlets and close contact services … Continue reading

The post COVID-19: MOVING TO LEVEL 3 appeared first on Martin Docherty-Hughes MP.

Unemployed Claimant Count March 2021

Jon Cruddas (Dagenham and Rainham)

The number of unemployed claimants in Dagenham and Rainham constituency in March 2021 was 6,925. This represents a rate of 9.9% of the economically active population aged 16 to 64. The equivalent UK claimant rate was 6.5%.

There are 4190 more claimants than in March 2020 before the UK lockdown began and 120 more claimants than February 2021.

Figures are not seasonally adjusted and are rounded to the nearest five. “Unemployed claimants” include people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance or who are claiming Universal Credit and are required to seek work.

Long term trends            

The unadjusted claimant count is currently not a good indicator of long- term trends in the number of people looking for work. It does however provide us with a measure of how the number of claimants has changed in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The adjusted alternative claimant count is updated on a quarterly basis.

The ongoing impact of coronavirus on Universal Credit

Under Universal Credit, a broader spectrum of people are required to look for work than under Jobseeker’s Allowance. This has the effect of increasing the number of unemployed claimants. In addition to this, as part of the government’s response to Coronavirus (COVID-19), a number of enhancements were introduced to Universal Credit. Consequently, whilst some of the increase in the unemployed claimant count will be due to people who have become unemployed, some will also be due to employed people who have become eligible for Universal Credit as part of the government response to Coronavirus.

Jon Cruddas MP: “Although the Furlough scheme has been a lifeline for many residents across Dagenham and Rainham, it has not been without its flaws. As lockdown eases it is vital that we have proper support structures in place to protect the most financially vulnerable, and those now facing job insecurity. We are not out of the woods yet and the government lacks a clear vision to rebuild our country. I will be working hard alongside Labour colleagues in Parliament and with services across the constituency to ensure that areas like ours have the resources needed to truly build back better.”

Asda: Green Token Giving goes Digital

Robin Millar (Aberconwy)

Great news! The Llandudno Asda Store has been selected for the digital trial of Green Token Giving, which is now live! Green Token Giving is a key part of Asda Foundation’s grant giving programme. Unfortunately, this voting was paused in-store due to Covid-19. However, the new digital trial will…
Today MPs spoke in a backbench debate to raise their concerns of a growing ‘digital threat to democracy’ which is preventing women from a career in politics. The debate was secured by Maria Miller in her capacity as Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Women in Parliament, along…

New hospitality guidance a 'fatal blow'

John Lamont (Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk)

New draft hospitality guidance has been published by the Scottish Government for businesses reopening on the 26th. It came after hospitality groups expressed dismay at the lack of guidance for the industry to the Scottish Affairs Committee last week. From Monday 26th April, alcohol will be allowed…

Leicester’s story of winning the premier league, against all the odds, showed everything that football is supposed to be about.

The proposed European Super League is the complete opposite of this. It was cooked up without any involvement of supporters, yet football is nothing without its fans. I know the anger and strength of feeling against these proposals and I will do everything in my power to prevent them from going ahead.

Sign Labour’s letter to stop the Super League.

The post Liz responds to announcement on the formation of a European ‘Super League’ appeared first on Liz Kendall.

Mayor slams 'disgraceful' Super League proposals

Dan Jarvis (Barnsley Central)

Barnsley Central MP and South Yorkshire Mayor Dan Jarvis has condemned proposals for a breakaway ‘European Super League’ including the Premier League’s Big Six clubs.

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Cllr Adele Williams has made a submission to the Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee Inquiry on long term funding of adult social care and used it as an opportunity to reiterate calls for a fair, adequate and sustainable system for funding adult social care services.

The Housing, Communities and Local Government select committee has launched an inquiry focusing on   how adult social care should be funded in the long-term and to understand how Covid-19 has impacted the sector. Fair, adequate and sustainable funding for adult social care is an issue Cllr Williams has been raising for a number of years and the pandemic has accelerated an existing problem, increasing demand faster than expected.  There is an urgent need for a more sustainable long term funding settlement for adult social care.

In submitting a response to the Inquiry Cllr Adele Williams highlighted the unfair nature of the current funding model on places like Nottingham, saying “The income that can be raised locally is lower where the levels of deprivation, and therefore need, are higher, meaning that this is not an adequate response  to the issue – but one which hits local taxpayers hard.”

The current approach by Government to fund social care has been to put on an additional 3% onto council tax, called the social care precept, solely to fund costs in that area. In Nottingham the Government’s additional 3% has increased council tax for each band in the following way:

Tax Band
Government’s 3% social care precept £
A £36.17
B £42.19
C £48.22
D £54.25
E £66.31

Continuing in her submission, Cllr Williams said “A plan to resource social care adequately and sustainably is long overdue. Local taxation is not the answer and the current situation is not a fair or sufficient solution to meet the gap in funding that is widely acknowledged. I would support funding adult social care through general and progressive taxation whilst retaining the role of the local authority who are best placed to promote an asset and strengths based approached given the many and various intersections we have with citizens’ lives.“

It is  hoped that this inquiry will help produce a fair, sustainable and long term funding system for adult social care. The Government has repeatedly promised to produce a plan, including Boris Johnson on the day he became Prime Minister, but no such plan has materialised.

The post Fair. Adequate. Sustainable – Submission to Inquiry on Adult Social Care Funding appeared first on Nottingham Labour.

Anne Marie's Weekly Column

Anne Marie Morris (Newton Abbot)

  Last week saw the re-opening of non-essential retail, outdoor hospitality, hair and beauty businesses and a range of other industries. Like many of you, I took the opportunity to get out and about and to visit a range of businesses across Newton Abbot. I was especially pleased to be met by David…

My Weekly Round-up

Christina Rees (Neath)

On Monday in Parliament, MPs from across the House came together to pay tribute to the life and achievements of the Duke of Edinburgh. I offer my sympathies to the Queen, who has lost her husband of 73 years, and the person she has described as her “strength and stay” during her long reign. The Duke of Edinburgh Awards, which he founded in the 1950s, were commended by many MPs during the tributes and will surely be the Prince’s greatest legacy – young people from all walks of life coming together to take part in activities that enrich their lives and learning and encourage them to go on to achieve great things.

The UK Government Minister for Women and Equalities Liz Truss MP has finally confirmed that the Government would be bringing forward a Bill to ban the practice of conversion therapy (CT), as set out in the UK Government’s LGBT Action Plan 2018. I attended the cross party briefing to explore what is needed to ensure that all CT practices are banned, and that survivors and victims are protected and supported. We had presentations from LGBT organisations, Stonewall, the Ozanne Foundation, GALOP the LGBT Anti Violence Charity, The Memorandum of Understanding Coalition Against CT. And from the UN Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, the Bishop of Buckingham, Senior Rabbi to Reform Judaism, Baptist Minister, and New Horizons in British Islam. There was unanimity that all forms of CT should be banned, globally, and that a good model of legislation is the Australian State of Victoria’s Change or Suppression (Conversion) Practices Prohibition Act 2021. Six countries have banned CT, Germany, Taiwan, Brazil, US, Spain and Australia, and it is hoped that Liz Trust will make sure that the Queen’s Speech, due in mid-May, will include CT prohibition legislation.

The APPG for Mineworkers’ Pensions, made up of coalfields MPs, chaired by Stephanie Peacock MP, has been campaigning for pension justice for mineworkers and their widows for many years. The BEIS Select Committee is holding an ongoing inquiry into the scheme by live and written evidence sessions, chaired by Darren Jones MP. The UK Government Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan had already given evidence and she said that the 50:50 pension split was justified because the £4.4bn pension scheme surplus which went to the Government was used for the benefit of the taxpayers more generally, but was vague about the £1.2bn held in the Government reserves investment account, which we believe should be returned to the pension scheme immediately. Darren told us that his committee would be writing to the Minister following up unanswered issues. Wales Area NUM Secretary Wayne Thomas stated that the NUM Actuarial Report could not be challenged and that the UK Government should change the split to 90:10 in favour of mineworkers immediately and therefore guarantee a future for our mineworkers and their widows. As part of the evidence, the chair of our APPG, Stephanie Peacock MP arranged for mineworkers and their representatives, Chris Kitchen and Wayne Thomas, NUM, to give evidence to Darren and the other BEIS committee members at our meeting via Zoom. Darren said that there is no other pension scheme like this, and his BEIS committee should be producing its draft report within weeks and that he will present the final report on the floor of the House.

As a Labour and Co-operative MP, I attended the Co-operative Parliamentary Group meeting. We discussed the many candidates that are standing under the Labour and Co-operative banner in the many elections taking place in the UK on the 6th May. In Wales we have 20 Labour and Co-operative candidates (of which 15 are in seats currently held by Labour) in the Senedd elections and all 4 Police and Crime Commissioner candidates are Labour and Co-operative, which is the most we have ever had. And we are proud that all Labour manifestos contain Co-operative policies.

As part of my duties as a member of the Parliamentary Panel of Chairs, I chaired the Back Bench Business debate of the Third Report of the Education Select Committee “A Plan For An Adult Skills and Lifelong Learning Revolution HC 278” which was opened by the Education Select Committee chair Robert Halfon MP. There was widespread cross-Party support for the Report amongst MPs, and many emphasised that learning should have no age connotation but should last a lifetime and be diverse and tailored to the learner. There was massive support for apprenticeships, but also that all learning pathways should be properly funded by the UK Government.

The Stress Management Society are currently encouraging everyone to take part a ‘30 Day Challenge’, as they once again look to highlight the causes and cures of the modern-day stress epidemic. The campaign encourages people to pick one action each for your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing to carry out every day. Millions of people in the UK experience regular high levels of stress, which can have significant impacts on both mental and physical health. The pandemic has only made the public health challenge of stress even more urgent, with the Stress Management Society finding that 65% of people in the UK have felt more stressed since the beginning of the pandemic.

The UK Community Renewal Fund is now open and organisations that invest in skills, local business, communities and places, and supporting people into employment are being encouraged to apply. We have seen some fantastic initiatives in Neath among our communities during the pandemic and I hope that many of these will continue to flourish as we move out of lockdown and, hopefully, back to something resembling “normality”. You can find more information regarding the fund and on how to apply on the Neath and Port Talbot Council website.

The Senedd elections are approaching and for those concerned about the risks of Covid from voting in person, there is still time to apply for a proxy or postal vote. Applications for a postal vote close on 20th April but more information can be found on how to apply on the Government website here. Everyone’s vote is important, and everyone deserves to have their voice heard – difficulties in reaching a polling place or fears of Covid should not preclude anyone from having their say on who runs many of our most vital services here in Wales.

As always, if you have any questions or issues and want to get in touch about matters that fall under my role as an MP, please do not hesitate to email on christina.rees.mp@parliament.uk or call on 01639 630152. My staff are working from home to comply with the social distancing measures, but as always, we are available should you need to get in contact with us. I hope you stay well, and remember – observe social distancing, wash your hands regularly and keep Wales safe.

Duke of Edinburgh: 1921 - 2021

Anne-Marie Trevelyan (Berwick-upon-Tweed)

The death of the Duke of Edinburgh brings such sorrow to the nation.  His was a life of commitment and service. To the Royal Navy, to the nation, the Commonwealth and the Royal Family, but perhaps most crucially as a firm and steadfast devotion to Her Majesty. His unwavering support became an…
Despite the weather this has felt like the start of spring, with the cautious reopening of shops and pubs inspiring analogies with flowers re-emerging after the winter. Certainly the many thousands of people whose livelihoods depend on normal activity in the retail and hospitality sectors will hope…
I get the idea of grey-zone warfare. I studied strategy; I realise that we cannot fight the next war as we fought the last war—I get that, too. The real problem is that we are going to have to do the next war in a different way. I get that as well. But we have not fought a total war as envisaged…

Preet Kaur Gill MP urges young people to vote

Preet Gill (Birmingham, Edgbaston)

With four days left until the deadline to register to vote in England, Preet Kaur Gill MP is urging young people to register to vote and have their voices heard ahead of the elections on May 6th.  

Just 7% of 18-25 year olds have registered for a postal vote in the West Midlands, the lowest rate in the country. This is in comparison to those aged over 65 where the rate jumps to 23%. 

With less than half of 18-25-year-olds voting at the 2019 General Election, turnout among young people is expected to be historically low at the May elections amid the pandemic.  

Preet Kaur Gill, MP for Edgbaston in Birmingham said, “In my constituency alone, there are three universities, with collectively more than 55,000 students. However, even with this large student population, the West Midlands has the lowest voter registration of young people by post than anywhere else in the country. 

“At 7% this is staggeringly low and after the devastating year that many students and young people have had, it’s imperative that they make their voices heard.” 

Preet has said that young people must be at the heart of Britain’s recovery from this crisis, with successive Conservative governments weakening Britain’s foundations and robbing too many young people of the opportunities they deserve. 

Labour warns that Government inaction on postal voting threatens UK democracy and public health and is calling for councils to receive dedicated Government support for postal vote sign up efforts ahead of the deadline for postal vote registration in England on 20th April. 

With those aged 18 and older due to be vaccinated by 31 July in England, many young people unlikely to be vaccinated by election day.  

Preet continued, “Young people have played a central role in our country’s response to this crisis, with many volunteering to support the most vulnerable in our communities and fighting as key workers on the front line to protect our families. The Tories continue to treat young people as an afterthought in this crisis – these are our workers of the future. 

“Young people are not expected to be vaccinated ahead of the May polls, which makes postal vote sign-up critical. In the Midlands, we have some really important elections with the hopes of a new West Midlands Mayor in Liam Byrne and a Labour Police and Crime Commissioner in Simon Foster, the region has a real opportunity to change its future and make it a bright one for everyone who lives and works here.” 




Notes to Editors:  


Standard (Image)
Red square with text reading, Join the 50,000 young people registering to vote from home

MacNeil renews call for trial of MV Pentalina

Angus MacNeil (Na h-Eileanan an Iar)

Angus MacNeil has today repeated the call for the trial of the MV Pentalina given the news that the MV Loch Seaforth is suspended until at least the end of April.

Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP Angus MacNeil said:

“Given the breakdown of the MV Loch Seaforth and the challenges we will again face on the west coast of Scotland on the CalMac ferry routes it is imperative that the MV Pentalina is tested and trialled to see if it is a viable ferry for use on the routes.

“We would be in a hugely dire situation now if another ferry broke down. The current situation is bad enough but to know there is a ferry sitting idly by is frustrating. Between the Government, Transport Scotland and CMAL the decision has not been made to trial the MV Pentalina to see what it can do, it is very frustrating indeed.

“Now is the time for action. I would call on the Transport Minister, Michael Matheson, to urgently intervene to make sure that the Pentalina is brought into the equation.”


Job losses at AIM Altitude

Nia Griffith (Llanelli)

My thoughts are with the workers and their families, who will be devastated that it has come to this, in spite of the fact that in meetings with management, the workforce representatives and Unite the Union rep made forceful arguments for keeping the factory open.

It seemed to us that it was all a foregone conclusion.

For a year now, we have been asking the UK Government for a specific Aviation Sector Covid Package, because everyone can see that the sector has been very badly hit, and that any recovery depends on decisions by numerous governments and operators, and such a deal could have could have made all the difference.

Without such a deal, I fear many other jobs in the aerospace and aviation industries will also be at risk.     

Statement on Erin Landfill Site

Toby Perkins (Chesterfield)

Worcester’s MP has paid tribute to HRH the late Duke of Edinburgh and recalled his visit to the faithful city during the Queen’s diamond jubilee in 2012 to open the Hive. The Worcester MP, Robin Walker has spoken of his three meetings with the Prince Philip and how he always showed a dynamism, wit and kindness.

As Parliament sits today for tributes to be paid to an incredible man at the end of a long and fruitful life, Robin has pointed out how his desire to give young people the best chance in life leaves a lasting legacy. Speaking after the sad news of the Duke Of Edinburgh’s passing, Robin Walker MP said:

“This has been an extraordinary life well lived. As a war hero in the Navy, as the world and our country’s longest living consort to a Queen, as the rock of support for our longest serving monarch in her duties at home and around the world and as a dutiful member of the Royal Family, Prince Philip has made an incredible contribution to our country, to the Commonwealth and its history over well over seventy five years of public service.

“For any individual to live to ninety nine and to keep working into their nineties is remarkable but for someone who has bourne such a burden of public service is even moreso. As we heard the sad news of his passing my first thoughts were with her Majesty the Queen for whom he has been such a source of strength. I know that my constituents across the faithful city will be thinking of the Royal Family and all his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren as we join them in mourning.”

“I was very lucky to have met the Duke on a number of occasions and on each he had the capability to light up a room. I first met him when I was a small child of eight or nine at the Royal Welsh show when my father was Secretary of State for Wales, I had been carefully primed to address him as your Royal Highness but in the excitement of the moment I completely forgot to do so. He was charm personified and made no fuss but joked with me in such a friendly matter that I was immediately put at ease. Many years later I was invited as newly elected MP to a palace garden party at Buckingham Palace and he was again laughing and joking all the way around the visitors there, I told him that my office was in Old Scotland Yard and he explained that it took its name from where the Kings of Scotland used to stay on their visits to London, then joked “and sometimes we let them go again afterwards”. The third time and the most special was during the diamond jubilee year when he and the Queen came to Worcester to open the Hive. Everyone who met him that day attested to a larger than life personality, a great charm and an immediate wit, focused on putting people at their ease. I now realise more than ever what an incredible privilege it was to be presented both to the sovereign and to such a remarkable man who has been her strength and support. I also know from my work in Northern Ireland that so many places all over our United Kingdom have fond memories of his visits.”

“The whole country owes this extraordinary man a debt of gratitude for his service but also for his remarkable legacy. His creation of the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme for young people has created so many memorable experiences and done so much to support young people in undertaking volunteering, learning about the great outdoors and building character and resilience. In a very real way his legacy will live beyond him in so many lives enhanced and people inspired. Whilst as a Minister of State, I will not have the opportunity to speak in today’s commons debate, I am looking forward to hearing the tributes from the Prime Minister and others who speak today and I consider it a privilege to have served in the Government and the Parliament of the second Elizabethan age that Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, has done so much to shape.”

My article for 'The House' magazine in remembrance of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh I was attending a reception in the Royal Gallery, House of Lords at which the Duke of Edinburgh was present. As he moved around from one group of MPs to another, he joined those with whom I was standing, and I…

HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

Bill Wiggin (North Herefordshire)

I am sure that I, like the rest of North Herefordshire, am deeply saddened by the passing of His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh. My thoughts and prayers are with our Queen at this most unhappy of times. Prince... Continue Reading →

Funding Sources

Below is an updated list of funding for Voluntary Organisations and Charities  as of 8th April 2021.

Funding Newsletter as at 1st April 2021

Funding Newsletter as at 8th April 2021

The post Funding Opportunities for Voluntary Organisations & Charities appeared first on Dr Philippa Whitford.

HRH the Duke of Edinburgh

Jonathan Djanogly (Huntingdon)

Jonathan Djanogly comments on the death of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.  read more »

Prince Philip 1921 – 2021

Royston Smith (Southampton, Itchen)

Prince Philip 1921 - 2021 Such sad news today. HRH, Duke of Edinburgh, has been a father figure to us all. RIP Prince Philip.

The post Prince Philip 1921 – 2021 appeared first on Royston Smith MP.

Honouring Alan Turing

Wendy Morton (Aldridge-Brownhills)

The new £50 note featuring Alan Turing will start to be rolled out from 23 June 2021.

Alan Turing is undoubtedly a national hero, his work helped turn the tide of World War 2 and saved thousands of lives.

It is absolutely right that Alan Turing has been honoured in this way and I look forward to the new notes being rolled out.

Find out about its design and security features: New50.co.uk #TheNew50


Angela Rayner (Ashton-under-Lyne)

March Roundup

Liam Byrne (Birmingham, Hodge Hill)

As the vaccine rollout continues across Birmingham we can start to see some light at the end of the tunnel after what has been a truly difficult year for all of us.

We all know someone whose health or employment has been affected by the events of the past 12 months, and as we look to the end of the covid restrictions I’m determined to see the government provide Birmingham with the support it needs to rebuild its healthcare and employment capacity.

While the numbers of covid patients is decreasing, our NHS will have a mountain to climb to provide care for those with other conditions whose treatment has been deferred. Recent figures show 300,000 patients now waiting a year or more to receive care as a result of the pandemic.

Please don’t hesitate to  contact me in the coming months if you have been affected by these issues and I can help in any way.

Birmingham Coronavirus Update

Following the first stage of the unlocking process, the following changes to the coronavirus restrictions came into effect on the 8th March:

  • Wraparound childcare and other supervised children’s activities can resume where they enable parents to work, seek work, attend education, seek medical care or attend a support group
  • Care home residents will be allowed one regular visitor provided they are tested and wear PPE
  • The Stay at Home requirement will remain, but people can leave home for recreation outdoors such as a coffee or picnic with their household or support bubble, or with one person outside their household
  • Some university students on practical courses will be able to return to face to face learning 

Call for an independent inquiry into the Government’s handling of the pandemic

Alongside my fellow Birmingham Labour MPs and Council leader Ian Ward, I have called for a full independent public inquiry into the government’s handling of the Covid pandemic.

Many residents have raised this issue with me, and want to know why the UK had the highest death rates in the world and whether these deaths were preventable. I believe we have a duty to those who have lost loved ones to ensure a full, independent, and transparent investigation into how our country has handled the pandemic.

“The pandemic has undoubtedly presented unprecedented challenges to governments around the world. There has not been a crisis like this is living memory and combatting this deadly virus was always going to be difficult. However, it must be acknowledged that the UK has seen one of the highest death tolls in the world and questions are now rightly being asked about what led us to this position.”

You can read the full letter here.

Support for a nurses pay rise

Over the past year our health workers have given everything while under historic pressure to save lives and cope with the huge number of extra patients in our hospitals. 

After all they’ve been through it cannot be right that the 12,289 nurses in Birmingham have been offered a real terms pay cut by the government. We must do better for them than that, after all they’ve done for the country there must be a fair pay settlement.

We’ve all been encouraged to show our appreciation throughout this crisis, but claps don’t pay the bills. I sincerely hope that the government will reconsider its recommended 1% pay increase. 

Celebrating St Patrick’s Day

This St Patrick’s Day was unlike any other in generations.

Coming from an Irish family, I saw the great solidarity and cohesion of the Irish community in Britain. It is heart-warming to witness this togetherness reaffirm itself during these challenging times.

I hope that all members of the Irish community in Hodge Hill found a way to mark the day, and that next year we will be able to come together as usual! 

Fighting to safeguard employment

Second only to the health impact of Coronavirus is its impact on the economy and employment. That is why I’ve written to the Chancellor Rishi Sunak calling for a £7.8 billion Budget ‘fair share funding’ boost for our area to tackle the jobs crisis.

Businesses need help to bounce back from the Covid crisis, and we must do every we can to support them by extending the furlough scheme in a targeted way, extending business interruption and bounce back loans, enabling interest free deferral of VAT, and extending targeted business rate relief.

Alongside help for existing business we must make sure big projects such as HS2 and the Commonwealth Games deliver jobs and long term benefits for local people.

You can currently apply for one of over 200 vacancies with HS2 and its partners at the following link: https://www.hs2.org.uk/careers/careers-with-our-supply-chain/jobs

The post March Roundup appeared first on Liam Byrne MP.

March 2021 Newsletter

Tulip Siddiq (Hampstead and Kilburn)

Click here to read my March 2021 Newsletter

In my newsletter, you will find information about the work I’ve been doing this month as Member of Parliament for Hampstead and Kiburn and Labour’s Shadow Minister for Children and Early Years:

  • Helping with the vaccine roll out
  • US firm takeover of GP surgeries
  • Tackle the climate and ecological emergency
  • Now is the time to Free Nazanin
  • International Women’s Day
  • Campaigning as Shadow Children’s Minister
  • Standing up for the early years sector
  • Vaccinations for education workers
  • World Book Day

Meeting with Merseyside’s faith leaders

Conor McGinn (St Helens North)

Weekly round-up #Working4Wycombe

Steven Baker (Wycombe)

What I have been up to this week #Working4Wycombe: Briefed by the Minister for Covid Vaccine Deployment Observed a minute’s silence to reflect on & mark the anniversary of the first national lockdown Met with the Secretary of State for Health & Social Care to discuss the future of public health Supported the APPG Mutuals inquiry into demutualisation Attended the YMCA Parliamentary Patrons briefing Scrutinised and sought to improve Govt coronavirus legislation Briefed by Health Minister on the roadmap & […]

Friday 26 March 2021 is the 50th anniversary of Bangladesh’s independence from Pakistan in 1971.

Grant Shapps MP- One Year On

Grant Shapps (Welwyn Hatfield)

It’s been a really challenging year for all of us. Who would have thought at the beginning of last year that, in only a few months’ time, we’d be in a nation-wide lockdown to protect ourselves from a global pandemic? It’s been tough on everyone – keeping apart from loved ones, not going out to work, studying and learning from home. Businesses have been placed under enormous pressure, many of which are only still going today on account of the generous support the government has provided in the form of staff furloughs and other grants and loans.

Most tragically of all, we all know people who have lost friends and family. And we mourn them all.

Of course, there are also aspects of the last year we will look back on with pride. The way Welwyn Hatfield has pulled together. The resilience our local NHS staff have shown when working at any and all hours in the battle against this virus. Local charities and volunteers like Sarah Jamieson of Resolve, who literally moved in with the homeless people she was helping to find accommodation during lockdown. And, of course, all those involved in the Herculean effort that is our vaccination roll-out, some of whom I had the pleasure of meeting when I had my first jab at the University of Hertfordshire in Hatfield recently.

One year and three lockdowns later, the remarkable rollout of our vaccine programme means that we’re now able to look forward to a cautious but final route back to normality. Well over 50% of all adults in the UK have now been vaccinated – no other major economy in the world has vaccinated its population faster. We know it will take time for things to get back to normal, but thanks to the fortitude of the people of Welwyn Hatfield, as well as the hard work of our scientists, our brilliant NHS workers, our military and the army of volunteers across the entire country, we are embarking upon the journey to recovery.

– Grant Shapps

Diana stands up for Britain's Red Arrows

Diana Johnson (Kingston upon Hull North)

Diana Johnson stood up for skilled jobs and the red arrows in the House of Commons today.

Diana asked the Minister:

Bradford MUST have a Northern Powerhouse Rail stop

Judith Cummins (Bradford South)

Judith, alongside Susan Hinchcliffe, leader of the council and Tracy Brabin, candidate for West Yorkshire Mayor, has called for the Government to ensure there is a Northern Powerhouse Rail stop in the city centre.

Representing all three of Bradford’s Labour MPs, Judith said: “There is a world out there that would open up with an NPR stop here in Bradford city centre.

“It would increase our opportunities for job search, it would mean our businesses thrive.

“It’s a massive deal for Bradford, I can’t think of anything bigger at the moment.”

You can read the full article on the Telegraph & Argus website by clicking here

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As Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Dementia, I welcome Dame Julie Walters’ support in calling on the Government to deliver on its election promise to double funding for dementia research.

This comes as Alzheimer’s Research UK reveals 94% of dementia researchers are very concerned progress is at risk due to fewer funding opportunities. While new polling from the charity has highlighted that UK adults think the pledge made during the 2019 election is important, very few believe government will follow through on its word.

This week the UK’s leading dementia research charity has revealed that:

  • Over three quarters (77%) of the public believe the Government’s pledge to increase its funding for dementia research to over £160 million a year is either still important (59%) or more important (18%) since the coronavirus outbreak.
  • One in five people (18%) think it is even more important because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has seen people with dementia among the hardest hit.
  • Despite this, only 7% of people believe the Government will deliver on the promise made during the 2019 election.
  • Yet the charity says the funding is more critical than ever before, as a separate survey shows one in five researchers are considering leaving, or have already left, dementia research due to COVID-19 – while more than a third (34%) are considering leaving research altogether.

I am delighted to see Dame Julie pressing the Government to keep the promise it made to the public.  I wrote to the Prime Minister in November urging him to keep his promise on the dementia ‘moonshot’ and also to the Chancellor last month, ahead of the Budget.  Unfortunately neither have yet replied and I share the concern of those surveyed that the Government will break its promise.

Like many people, including Dame Julie, I have family experience of dementia – my mother had Alzheimer’s Disease, the most common form of dementia. I know just how important research is into understanding the condition and looking for treatments to prevent, slow, and ultimately cure diseases that cause dementia.

It’s been well over a year since the government pledged to boost dementia research, after this was included in the Conservative 2019 General Election manifesto. But with no indication that this funding is to be delivered, it’s time for action.

While it’s right that the response to the pandemic has had to take priority, dementia is not just the UK but the world’s greatest long-term health crisis. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the lives of people affected by dementia and their carers have been devastated, with a staggering 34,000 people with dementia estimated to have died from coronavirus since March 2020. The search for life-changing dementia treatments has never been more critical.

Our life sciences sector both in academia and industry showed what we can do together in response to Covid-19. In the same way, I believe we can lead the world in finding cures for the diseases which cause dementia.

Dame Julie Walters said:

“As someone who witnessed the effects of dementia growing up, I am proud to be standing with the tens of thousands of people who are calling on government to deliver on its election promise to double investment into researching the condition. My grandmother had vascular dementia and she lived with us when we were kids. We didn’t really understand her symptoms, but we all loved her to bits. I still don’t know how my mother coped having to care for her and look after three young children.

“It’s appalling that over half of us know someone affected by dementia, yet there are no treatments to slow, stop or prevent it. Far too many families are being forced to experience the pain dementia causes on a daily basis because of the lack of treatments and to put it simply, enough is enough.

“There is an urgent need for research to bring about life-changing treatments for people affected by dementia. With the tragic impact COVID-19 has had on those with the condition, the funding promised by government is more critical now than it ever has been and it’s clear the public agrees. I’d urge everyone to sign this petition, so we can make it clear to government that we will not let their promise be cast aside.”

Feel strongly about this article?

The post Debbie welcomes Dame Julie Walters’ Support on Dementia Research Funding appeared first on Debbie Abrahams, MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth.

The Fire Safety Bill

Nick Brown (Newcastle upon Tyne East)

During the debate on the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill last night the local MP for Ashfield & Eastwood Lee Anderson spoke passionately in support of the legislation. During his speech, which can be viewed be clicking here, Lee vociferously supported measures which would allow those…

RELEASE: Research Reveals Majority of UK Firms Feeling Brexit Bite

Drew Hendry (Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey)

The SNP has criticised the UK government over its damaging Brexit deal, after new research revealed that three-quarters of UK firms are struggling with Brexit bureaucracy and delays.

In a survey of more than 200 leading industrial companies, 74% said they are facing Brexit-related delays. Meanwhile, over half (51%) have said this has led to increased costs, and one in five are losing potential business.

Commenting, the SNP’s Shadow International Trade spokesperson Drew Hendry MP said:

“Barely a few months into the UK’s new post-Brexit trading relationship and already the damage being inflicted upon businesses is clear.

“With three-quarters of surveyed firms warning that Brexit bureaucracy and checks are leading to delays, and over half stating that they are now facing extra costs, it is businesses that are being forced to pay the heavy price for the Tories’ bad Brexit deal.

“Time and time again, analysis has shown that Brexit will leave us poorer and worse off – with firms facing Brexit red tape, checks and delays, and a significant number of them looking to bail from Britain and set up shop in the EU instead.

“Scotland can do so much better. It’s clear beyond any doubt that the only way to properly protect our businesses, economy and place in Europe, is to become an independent country – and that starts with both votes SNP in the upcoming Holyrood elections in May.”

Keep up to date with new articles at www.drewhendrymp.scot 

Find out more about my work in parliament at www.theyworkforyou.com

The post RELEASE: Research Reveals Majority of UK Firms Feeling Brexit Bite appeared first on Drew Hendry MP.

Steve Reed has asked Croydon Council to listen to local people over the future of South Norwood Library.  The library’s future is uncertain because the Conservative Government has cut funding to Croydon by 70% and pushed it into a financial crisis.

Local MP Steve Reed has spoken to residents and campaign groups who are fighting to save the library.  He’s now written to the Council asking them to consider how closing the library will affect the areas poorest residents who may not have access to WiFi or quiet spaces for learning or reading at home.  He’s also asked the Council to fully involve the local community before taking any decisions.

Steve Reed said: “Croydon Council is faced with some really difficult decisions after ten years of Conservative funding cuts.  But they do not have to go it alone. Now more than ever people want a say over what happens in their area. The Council should harness this enthusiasm and work with residents to come up with plan that could protect library services for South Norwood.”

You can see the full letter here.

If you would like to get involved in the campaign to save South Norwood library, email Steve at steve.reed@croydonlabour.org.uk

  • Steve Reed
    Steve Reed Member of Parliment for Croydon North

Steven Reed is Labour MP for Croydon North and Shadow Minister for Children and Families. In 2018 his private member’s bill on reducing violent mental health restraint became law. In June 2019 he launched Labour’s civil society strategy outlining radical plans to empower citizens and communities.

Steve chairs the Cooperative Councils Innovation Network, co-chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group for London, was Leader of Lambeth Council 2006-12 where he led the council’s children’s services to become best-rated in the country and pioneered the public-health approach to tackling violent youth crime. He worked in publishing for 16 years and was an elected trade union branch secretary.

The post Steve Reed calls on Council to work with residents to save South Norwood Library appeared first on Steve Reed MP.

Rt Hon Sir David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford and Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party, spoke virtually in the House of Commons debate yesterday (23 February) on Supporting Businesses and Individuals. Sir David began his speech by welcoming the roadmap that will guide us cautiously…

I recently coordinated a cross party letter with Robert Halfon MP which gathered almost 100 signatures across both Houses in support of my School Breakfast Bill.

As a result of the reduced parliamentary calendar during lockdown, my Bill has been indefinitely postponed. However, with child food insecurity rising and the educational attainment gap growing, there is now an urgency for this Bill.

I am deeply concerned that the Government’s National School Breakfast Programme reaches just 7% of the schools meeting the government’s own eligibility criteria and that funding will end altogether in July 2021. This will leave thousands of children without access to the free school breakfast they have come to rely on.

The proposed School Breakfast Bill would address this issue. The Bill proposed scaling up school breakfast funding to all the 8,700 schools with high levels of disadvantage in England. The Bill also proposed making support to schools permanent at a cost of just over £300m annually. This could be funded by the Soft Drinks Industry Levy (SDIL) which continues to raise approximately £340m each year. In addition to this, research from Sustain has found more than £700m raised from the Levy since 2018 is unaccounted for. The unspent SDIL revenue can be allocated towards scaling up school breakfast provision.  

I really hope the Government accepts our proposals in the School Breakfast Bill so that every child at risk of hunger can have a free, nutritious school breakfast and be ready to start their day of learning.

New GP Surgery Back on Track for Shifnal

Mark Pritchard (The Wrekin)

New GP Surgery Back on Track for Shifnal
Tue, 16/02/2021 - 13:45

The local Clinical Commissioning Group has confirmed that the funding is in place to build a new GP surgery for Shifnal.

Commenting, Mark Pritchard MP said:

"I'm delighted that, in the last 24 hours, the Shropshire NHS Clinical Commissioning Group has confirmed to me that the new GP surgery in Shifnal will go ahead this year.  The building plans are well advanced and NHS England has provided the extra funding needed.  Local councillors and Shifnal Matters 2021 have supported me in pushing for this new surgery, and I'm glad that the NHS has listened to local needs."


Michelle Donelan (Chippenham)

The post MELKSHAM CAMPUS UPDATE appeared first on Michelle Donelan MP.

*Cold Weather Payments*

Kit Malthouse (North West Hampshire)

The cold weather has been harsh enough recently to trigger the Cold Weather Payments System, and some residents will receive an additional £25 towards the costs of heating.

Eligibility of CWPS is for those who are currently in receipt of some benefits, with pension credit serving as the most common eligibility criteria.

Residents in the following postcodes will be eligible; RG28, SO21, SP10, SP11, SP4, SP9, RG19, RG20, RG21, RG22, RG23, RG25, RG26, RG7

A full list of eligibility criteria can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/cold-weather-payment/eligibility

COVID-19 Advice and Assistance

Alec Shelbrooke (Elmet and Rothwell)

COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It’s caused by a virus called coronavirus.

Alec is advising all constituents to follow Public Health England advice for their own safety and the safety of others.

Please read, share and regularly check the Government guidance as the situation and the response to it is changing daily.

Read the regulations here: FAQs- what you can and can’t do.


Anybody with symptoms can book a test. To book a test click here.


The UK medical regulatory agency has approved two vaccines for COVID-19. The Government has begun the largest nationwide vaccination programme in history, starting with key clinically vulnerable groups. Your GP will contact you directly with a date to get your vaccine.

Volunteer Support

Alec is working with local Leeds City Councillors to best co-ordinate volunteer efforts in our community. If you’re able to offer help please go to www.doinggoodleeds.org.uk

Help from Alec

If you have a unique issue to raise with Alec that is not covered in the information above, please get in touch at alec.shelbrooke.mp@parliament.uk or via 01937 589 002. In line with national guidance, Alec and his team are working remotely but are working hard to get back to constituents as soon as possible.

The post COVID-19 Advice and Assistance appeared first on Alec Shelbrooke.

Brexit Deal or No Deal

Ian Mearns (Gateshead)

I wanted to take a moment to explain my reasoning behind abstaining from the vote in Parliament on Wednesday (30/12) as the Governments’ Brexit deal returned to the House of Commons.

From the outset, I have sought to respect the decision of the referendum in 2016 and have been happy to work with colleagues in Parliament to deliver a compromise between those 16 million people who voted to remain in the EU, and the 17 million who voted to leave with the myriad of different options that would entail. It has become clear to me over the last 4 years that many people who voted to leave the EU in Gateshead, did so for very different reasons and with very different expectations of our future relationship ranging from close alignment like Norway, to what has now been termed a hard Brexit, essentially no formal trading relationship with the European Union, operating on basic WTO rules instead. I was re-elected to represent Gateshead at the last General Election on the pledge to respect the result of the referendum and to negotiate a deal that would meet the 6 key tests.

It would seem that successive Conservative Prime Ministers have seem set on rail-roading their respective deals through Parliament without proper scrutiny our accountability, and this week is no different. It appears to be the case that the Government may have sought to hold out for demands within the negotiations that they knew could not be agreed, around fishing quotas as an example, knowing that once these demands were dropped a deal could be agreed between both sides. They have then sought to drop these demands as Parliament goes into recess for the Christmas period, and bring back a deal of some 1200 pages for 5 hours of debate at 3 working days’ notice; 48 hours before the UK would end the transition period with no deal if this was not agreed.

The deal itself does not satisfy the 6 key tests I was elected on, and the way in which the Government appear to have manipulated the Parliamentary calendar to force MP’s into a vote quite literally between this deal or no deal, brings great shame on any type of Parliamentary Sovereignty. What we now have in the UK is Government sovereignty without proper input or scrutiny from democratically elected Members of Parliament.

To this end, I found that while a deal, even this deal, is better than a no deal, I could not in good conscience vote in favour of a deal which did not satisfy the key tests in the manifesto on which I was elected, and in essence to vote to help the Government extricate themselves from a mess entirely of their own making. It is the Government who have sought to negotiate this deal alone, it is they who have forced the timetable for approval and who have removed any Parliamentary Sovereignty and scrutiny from the timetable and it is the Government who must be judged on the success or failure of this deal.

As a local resident of Gateshead for over 40 years, I absolutely hope that this deal goes far enough to safeguard jobs and livelihoods of families across the North East. I also hope that this does not lead to shortage of supplies or price increases. This affects us all, and in many ways I do not wish the Government deal to fail to protect us from any negative consequences of it. However, with the way the whole process has been manipulated to force MP’s into a corner, and with the deal not meeting the 6 key tests set out in the manifesto on which I was elected, I could not see fit to vote in favour.

This is the Conservative Government’s deal, their deliberate mismanagement has brought it to Parliament, on a timetable manufactured by them, with no time for appropriate scrutiny, it’s their deal and they should own it!

I hope this sets out my reasoning, as ever please do get in touch should you have any further questions.

Nigel’s December Newsletter

Nigel Mills (Amber Valley)

Subscribe to my future newsletters here

Dear Constituent,

Welcome to my December email newsletter. I know this year has been incredibly difficult for many families, and will continue to be very challenging, especially given the new variant of Covid, but the rollout of vaccines and community testing, which are gathering pace in Derbyshire, gives some hope for the new year. I’m sure, like me, you particularly welcome today’s announcement of the approval of the Oxford vaccine for rollout in our communities. Under these challenging circumstances, I nevertheless wish you a very safe and happy new year in 2021.

Heanor Future High Streets Fund bid success – £8.5 million:

Following Heanor’s bid towards the Government’s £830 million Future High Streets Fund, I’m delighted that Heanor has been successful and has been awarded over £8.5 million to help transform its town centre and recover from the pandemic. You can find the full details of the Borough Council’s bid here, which focuses on plans to regenerate the Market Place and Grammar School site. The Council now have a few months to confirm the final version of their plans, and I look forward to continuing to support and work with them to ensure we can maximise this funding.

Brexit deal latest:

On Christmas Eve, the Prime Minister reached a deal with the EU regarding our future relationship after the end of the transition period, from the 1st January 2021. Parliament has been recalled today, on the 30th December, to consider the deal and vote on it. You can read the deal here and the legislation enabling it here. The select committee on the Future Relationship with the EU on which I serve has published a report on the deal this morning, which you can read here.

I can confirm I will be supporting the deal when it comes to a vote later.

Many constituents have contacted me throughout the negotiation period, and I think this deal delivers on the key areas whilst also providing certainty and security for businesses and residents already impacted by Covid-19.

This deal delivers on Brexit, the referendum and last year’s election result by taking back control of our laws, borders, money, trade and fisheries.

– there is no role for the European Court of Justice and no requirement for the UK to follow EU law, so regaining parliamentary sovereignty;

– we will trade with the EU on the basis of zero tariffs and zero quotas, which will allow businesses to be able to trade smoothly and continue to access EU markets;

– Allows us to introduce our own modern subsidy system. This new subsidies system will operate in a that best suits the interests of UK industries – outside the EU State Aid regime.

- offers streamlined co-operation on law enforcement, ensuring we continue to effectively tackle serious organised crime and counter terrorism, protecting the public, and bringing criminals to justice. It also provides for future cooperation between the UK and EU on emerging security challenges, such as cyber and health security, including continuing to work together on tackling the spread of Covid-19.

- Recognises UK sovereignty over our fishing waters and puts us in a position to rebuild our fishing fleet and increase quotas, overturning the inequity that British fishermen have faced for over four decades. By the end of the five year transition we will have full control of our waters and the amount of fish available to UK fishermen will have risen from half to two-thirds.

- Provides for the UK’s participation in certain EU programmes, furthering our commitment to making the UK a science and research superpower. This deal will fulfil our manifesto commitment to participate in the Horizon Europe programme, but also the Euratom Research and Training programme, and the space programme, Copernicus.

The deal also includes arrangements for airlines and hauliers that provides them with certainty, and gives people the ability to travel to and from the EU easily for work and holidays; a social security agreement that has practical benefits for UK citizens including accessing healthcare when travelling in the EU; and agreements on energy which will benefit consumers by helping to keep prices down.

As I set out in previous newsletters, compromises were necessary to achieve a deal, especially on fishing and the level playing field. Having been through the deal I am satisfied that these compromises are acceptable in the context of the importance of tariff free access to the EU market. This is a good deal achieved at great speed and gives us the best possible platform to make a success of Brexit.

Coronavirus guidance latest:

Following the last review of the tier restrictions on 16 December, Amber Valley and all of Derbyshire remained in the tier 3 restrictions. The next review takes place today. Amber Valley currently has a high case rate, of 332 cases per 100k, which is one of the highest in Derbyshire, and up 44% on the previous week. This is a very concerning situation and may lead to further restrictions being out in place locally.

On the positive side, mass testing has started in Swadlincote in the south of the County and will spread further in the county, including to Amber Valley early in the new year. This programme, along with similar roll outs in health, care and school settings will help identify cases earlier and slow the spread.

Vaccines are also now starting to be rolled out across the County, and I’m pleased that Ripley is one of the first primary care centres to begin rolling out the vaccine, which you can read more about here. Now that the Oxford vaccine has been approved for us, the roll out of vaccination should increase rapidly at dedicated centres as well as local GPs and pharmacies. Please do wait to be contacted about the vaccine though rather than asking your GP.

We are now at a critical point in this pandemic with cases rising rapidly and the problems of 2 new variants. But the end is in sight now we can rapidly vaccinate the most vulnerable. At this time we all need to show as much caution as possible to reduce the number of cases and minimise the new restrictions needed. We’ve got this far, let’s not ease off now.

I will continue to engage with ministers, the public health team and the local NHS to ensure that this area sees the full roll out of the vaccines and mass testing as soon as possible and that support is in place for those who can’t work and those businesses forced to close as a result of the tier measures.

You can read my contributions in Parliament here including on highlighting the need to roll out the vaccine to people who are unable to leave their homes as soon as logistics allow here and about consideration of more localised geography for tier restrictions here.

As always, you can find the latest Covid-19 guidance, and support available, here.

Coronavirus – support for local businesses & high streets:

In Parliament, I’ve continued to highlight the difficulties faces by our local businesses, such as the events industry and conference centres (you can read my question to the Secretary of State for Business on this here), and supporting local high streets (which you can read more on here).

I welcome the Chancellor’s announcement of the extension of the furlough scheme until the end of April 2021, and the extension of the business loan schemes until the end of March. You can find more information on the support and grants available for you or your business here.

Street Watch:

As always, if there are any street repairs in your area, such as potholes, pavement repairs or broken street lights, you can report these issues and concerns to me quickly and easily here so I can ask for the repairs to be investigated and addressed.

GDPR and privacy notice:

Data laws have recently changed with the introduction of the new GDPR legislation. You can find my office’s privacy policy here and, if you don’t want to receive these emails anymore, you can unsubscribe here.

Get in Touch!

As always, you can contact me by hitting the ‘reply’ button on this email, or you can ring my office on 01773 744341.

Twitter and Facebook

You can also follow me on Twitter @NigelMills and like me on Facebook here to stay up to date with news and events in Amber Valley throughout the month.

Yours sincerely,

Promoted by Nigel Mills MP, of Unicorn House, Wellington Street, Ripley, Derbyshire, DE5 3EH.

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How to write a script for an e-course

Luciana Berger (Liverpool, Wavertree)

Easy level: information courses. The main goal is to inform employees and tell how to use the acquired knowledge in work. For example, to get acquainted with a new product of the company. There may not be a hero and a plot. Therefore, in the scenario it is enough to describe on which slide what to tell: for example, on the first – about the main characteristics of the product, on the second – about the advantages over competitors.

Intermediate level: motivational courses. The main goal is to motivate employees to change their approach to work or attitude to something. For example, staff do not follow fire safety rules in the workplace, and you need to motivate employees.

In such courses, the character works well – involves in training. In the material about fire safety, a fire instructor will look logical. He will tell you what the neglect of the rules leads to and how to avoid an emergency. It is also important to add more practical assignments.

Difficult level: training course. The main goal is to pump up an old skill or develop a new one. There must be a history. Here it is important to think about the plot, the conflict, the place and time of the action, the main character and more.

Below I will tell you how to write a script for a training course. If you take this height, it is easy to handle tasks easier.

The results of the step: you have determined what type of course will best solve the tasks.

The post How to write a script for an e-course appeared first on Berger.

Statement on Tata Steel Group Announcement

Stephen Kinnock (Aberavon)

None of us wanted these new restrictions, and the Government has done everything in its power to avoid them.

As the Prime Minister said on Saturday night, we understand the huge impact further restrictions have on jobs, on livelihoods and on people’s mental health.

Throughout this pandemic we have sought to protect our businesses and limit the intrusions on personal liberty as much as possible. For those of us who came into politics to help hardworking people and small businesses to thrive, it is heartbreaking to place these burdens upon them. For those of us who value personal freedom deeply, it pains us to inhibit it in this way.

But the data left us with no choice, but to take this course of action and introduce new restrictions until 2nd December.

As Local Government Secretary, I strongly believe that we were right in pursuing a local and regional approach to tackling this virus. I want to thank the millions who have put up with local restrictions and the local leaders who have stepped up to deliver this approach. Councils and local leaders have done wonderful work to help tackle the virus in their areas, and I firmly believe that in the longer term that is the approach that works best.

That’s why after we ease restrictions on 2nd December we are planning to continue with a local approach according to the latest data and trends.

But for now, the stark reality is that infections, hospitalisations and deaths continue to double, meaning that the virus is now a national problem.

The NHS and its workforce is weeks from being placed in an impossible situation. And those concerns are shared by our NHS colleagues from rural Cornwall to Nottingham to Newcastle. And a significantly higher death toll than the first wave is now predicted without taking further restrictions. We owe it to the country to act, and to act swiftly.

The Prime Minister made a decision that any responsible leader would make when presented with the new medical evidence last week and will set out his plans to parliament ahead of a vote on Wednesday.

Non-Covid healthcare can continue as normal – so that you can continue to use the NHS for your treatments, appointments and scans.

And the furlough scheme has been extended for a further month, covering 80% of employees’ wages. The Prime Minister and Chancellor have always been clear that we will do whatever it takes to protect businesses and their employees.

These are tough national measures, but they are different from those in the Spring. Our schools, colleges and universities remain open and we should resist those who would close them. As a parent I know there is simply no substitute for face to face teaching and our children’s education must not be set back again.

Unlimited exercise outdoor is permitted and single person households can form a support bubble. Children under school age who are with their parents will not count towards the limit on two people meeting outside, meaning that a parent can see a friend or family member with their baby or young children, and children and adults who are dependent on round-the-clock care, such as those with severe disabilities, will also be included in this exemption. Churches and places of worship will remain open,  providing solace and comfort for people, albeit for private prayer rather than communal worship.

If you can work from home you should, but if not, you can and should go to work, following the relevant guidance for your workplace. Too many jobs and businesses have been lost already, with all the harm that comes with that, so we must do everything we can to keep working and we in Government will do all we can to support you.

As Housing Secretary, I can confirm that the housing market will remain open throughout this period as will construction sites, building the homes and sustaining the jobs we desperately need. Tradespeople like plumbers and electricians can come into your home as long as they follow social distancing guidance.

Those we previously asked to stay at home and shield, the clinically extremely vulnerable, will be given new guidance shortly that will be less restrictive. But nonetheless they should continue to be cautious.

These changes are important to protect our way of life and our livelihoods, but I am under no illusion that the things people really want to do are hug their grandchildren, finally have the postponed wedding or simply share a cup of tea with old friends. But it is by taking these tough decisions now that we will get through this together.

Members of the public have shown incredible forbearance, patience and dignity in responding to this unique situation, and shown the character that has always been present in this country at moments of great challenge.

Amidst this winter gloom, there are rays of light piercing through and raising our eyes to the horizon. We know more about this virus with every day that passes and there are ever better medicine and therapies, along with the realistic chance of a vaccine being available for those that need it most in the first quarter of next year.

We expect to have quick turnaround tests that will tell you whether or not you have the virus very soon – with a massive expansion of these planned in the coming weeks.

These are reasons for optimism – but there is no denying that there are hard days ahead of us.

But by acting now, it is our hope that families across the country can be together for Christmas.

So, from Thursday: rejoin in a further national effort to protect the NHS, save lives and move forward together.

New Hospital in Sutton Confirmed

Paul Scully (Sutton and Cheam)

I am delighted to write and tell you that local NHS leaders have confirmed plans for a new hospital to be built in Sutton and to upgrade facilities at St Helier. This represents a £500 MILLION plan that will not only build a brand new state of the art hospital near to the Royal Marsden by 2025, but ALSO invest AT LEAST £80 MILLION into upgrades at St Helier.

The new specialist emergency care hospital, just a few minutes from St Helier, would treat the sickest 15% of patients, those normally arriving by ambulance. This larger specialist team would be available 24 hours a day to diagnose what is wrong with patients more rapidly, start the best treatment faster, and help patients recover more quickly. St Helier and Epsom Hospitals will remain open 24/7, with updated and improved facilities, providing all the other services that they currently do.

My children were born at St. Helier so healthcare provision in Sutton has been an issue that is a very personal one to me. Ever since being a councillor in Carshalton, some 14 years ago, I have been campaigning for a solution that protects the future of St. Helier whilst ensuring that Sutton residents have access to the very best treatment in cutting edge modern healthcare facilities. I believe that this decision can finally put to rest the political arguments so that we can get on with doing what’s best for residents across the whole of the borough of Sutton.

With this plan, the refurbished St Helier Hospital is here to stay providing the majority of local health services, and the sickest patients will get state-of-the-art treatment in the brand-new specialist emergency hospital right here in our area.

You can find out more about the plans, including the answers to some frequently asked questions at the NHS’ website: www.improvinghealthcaretogether.org.uk. You can also contact them at hello@improvinghealthcaretogether.org.uk, or get in touch with me with any queries.


Why is this being done?

To improve the care that we receive. As St Helier’s buildings continue to age over time, it’s necessary to upgrade our healthcare facilities to improve outcomes. Surviving illness and recovering quickly is the number one priority.

Is St Helier closing?

No, quite the opposite. St Helier is here to stay with a multi-million-pound improvement package.

Is a new hospital being built?

Yes. A new specialist emergency care hospital will be built in Sutton, in addition to improving St Helier hospital.

Is St Helier getting an upgrade?

Yes. At least £80 million of the funding promised will go towards improving the facilities at St Helier hospital.

Who developed these proposals?

For the first time, we have a plan that was developed by local clinicians, not national bureaucrats or politicians. Local healthcare professionals made the case for funding to deliver this improvement, which has been rewarded with a £500 million investment. Sutton Council also supported the proposals last year.

Will I have to travel outside my area for services now?

At the moment, if you have a stroke or heart attack you will be taken past St. Helier to be treated at St. George’s. This plan means that we will still be able to treat people within the local area, not moving more services away from Sutton.

Will we still use St Helier?

Yes. From 2025, Epsom hospital, St Helier hospital and the new hospital at Sutton will all have a 24/7 Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC) (which already treats the vast majority of people going to St. Helier in an emergency). Under the plans, 85% of services will remain at St Helier. Both Epsom and St Helier hospitals will still have a 24/7 UTC.

Diagnostic tests, such as MRI, x-ray or ultrasound, the heart problem diagnosis unit, the dialysis unit, Croft Ward (which takes care of patients who are stable but not ready to leave hospital), the eye care unit, the gastroenterology unit, and so many more services are staying put at Epsom and St Helier hospitals.

What about bed numbers?

The NHS have calculated that they will need the same number of beds as they do now.

What about A&E?

Unlike previous plans, which saw A&E diverted away into Tooting, A&E is now staying right here in our Borough at the new hospital. Most of the time you will still use St Helier for matters requiring immediate medical attention like broken limbs or cuts. Major trauma cases needing a blue light ambulance transfer will be treated in Sutton at the new state-of-the-art hospital next to The Royal Marsden.

What about maternity services?

Maternity services have also been protected and kept locally. Post-natal and ante-natal care are staying put at Epsom and St Helier hospitals, and births will take place in the brand-new maternity unit at the new hospital in Sutton built to the very latest healthcare standards. Women need the very best care and facilities when giving birth, and the new plans will provide that.

Where will children services be provided?

Most children will continue to receive care and treatment in the same place as they do now. Care for children who need to stay in hospital overnight – as a result of a serious illness or complex problems – will be treated at the new specialist emergency care hospital. This includes children’s surgery.  

What will happen until the new hospital in Sutton is built?

All services will continue to be carried out at Epsom and St Helier hospitals until such time the new hospital in Sutton is ready for patients.

Where will the new hospital be built?

After consulting residents, patient groups and healthcare professionals, the decision was taken to build a brand-new specialist emergency care hospital in Sutton. This will be combined with the necessary infrastructure and transport links to ensure the site of the new hospital is accessible to all that need to use it.

For more facts, and to find out what this multi-million-pound government investment in our local NHS will mean for you and your family, visit the following website: www.improvinghealthcaretogether.org.uk/faq.

Raise the Rate debate

Yvonne Fovargue (Makerfield)

A&E at The Royal Glam

Chris Bryant (Rhondda)

A&E @ the Glam – Strength in Unity

I have said from the very beginning that if we are to ensure a 24 hour A&E Service at RGH then we need to forget about Party Politics, and come together to work cross-party.

We need you to play your part too, by signing the below letter. If you wish to do so then please let me know by filling in the form at the bottom of this page:


The configuration of Emergency NHS services across Cwm Taf Morgannwg has changed over the years – and will continue to change along with medical advances and changes in the local population. We welcome, for instance, the development of the new Major Trauma Centre at UHW, which will almost certainly save lives and we recognise that for some specialist forms of care it will be necessary to travel to a regional centre of excellence such as the Burns Unit at Morriston. We also understand that there is a UK-wide shortage of Emergency Consultants. and that Cwm Taf Morgannwg is not in a unique position with the recruitment challenges it faces,but would note that 5 of the 7 LHBs in Wales have substantially increased emergency consultant numbers over the last 6 years whereas Cwm Taf Morgannwg has not. We would argue that the uncertainty created over the future of the hospital due to the South Wales Programme has itself created a self-fulfilling prophecy about recruitment problems.

Our starting point, however, is that all NHS services should be safe, efficient and delivered as close to people’s homes as is medically and logistically feasible. Time-critical medical interventions can make the difference between life and death in many emergency situations and we are concerned that if the A&E were permanently to close at any one of the three hospitals, significant numbers of patients in some of the most deprived communities would not be able to get to an Emergency Department in time. A&E cannot be seen in isolation from other services such as GP surgeries, local minor injuries units and out-of-hours support. Additional capacity in these services would almost certainly lighten the load in the Emergency Departments, but this must be put in place before any changes to the configuration of Emergency Care is considered, let alone implemented, with evidence that they have substantially reduced the load on Emergency departments required before any changes. Changes to A&E provision at any one of the hospitals would have serious implications for other services within the hospital, including ITU and theatre and might harm the recruitment of other specialists.

There would be significant knock-on effects if the A&E at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital were to be downgraded to a Minor Injuries Unit, as the hospital would almost certainly lose its Intensive Care Unit and operating theatre. This could jeopardise the long-term future of the hospital. The RGH’s Emergency Department is the most used in the area, with roughly 65,000 attendances a year, and ranked the best in terms of viable outcomes.  We fear the two other Emergency Departments would find it impossible to cope with the additional workload and that many patients will travel instead to UHW, which is also already over-stretched. We are also concerned that extra A&E admissions to PCH and POW would put additional pressure on not just their respective A&E depts but onwards and throughout the hospital system. We are determined to work with people of all political parties and trades unions (and none) to get the best possible outcome for the communities we represent. We believe the eventual decision should be informed by clinical best practice and local experience on the ground – and not by any partisan consideration.

We are calling on the Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board to do the following:
1) Rule out the closure of A&E at the RGH or changing it to a 24-hour Minor Injuries Unit.
2) Reinstate the option of maintaining a full consultant-led A&E at all three hospitals. This would require a serious new attempt at recruiting Emergency Consultants who would have secure full-time permanent posts working across all three hospitals. It would also require at least a ten-year commitment to RGH so that potential staff can apply with confidence.
3) Bring forward proposals to extend the opening hours of the Minor Injuries Unit at Ysbyty Cwm Rhondda and Ysbyty Cwm Cynon and make these units more readily accessible for walk-in patients.
4) Bring forward other proposals for community health services, including improvements in the out-of-hours GP service, that might alleviate the pressure on all three A&E departments
and bring services closer to local communities.

In addition, we are calling on the Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board to publish the following:
1) A socioeconomic and equality impact assessment of any proposed changes.
2) Detailed analyses of travel-to-hospital times, average ambulance response times and levels of car ownership, for all electoral wards in the area. that analyses such times during periods of poor weather.
3) Detailed statistics for levels of ischemic heart disease, diabetes, stroke and infant and adult mortality for all electoral wards in the area. and how they compare with the Welsh averages/wealthier wards in Wales.
4) An assessment of how many patients from each electoral ward would be affected by a proposal to move to an 8 to 8, and 8 to 10 and an 8 to midnight Emergency Department.
5) An assessment of capacity in the Emergency Departments at POW, PCH, and UHW and how they would cope with additional patients.
6) Statistics for the number of patients who are admitted on towards at each hospital from A&E.
7) An assessment of the impact to the Welsh Ambulance Service, Ambulance response times, handover response times, in terms of waiting times at hospitals, blue light trauma travel times
and non-emergency transport between hospitals.

Please wait...

The post A&E at The Royal Glam appeared first on Chris Bryant.

Reflecting on Defeat

Richard Burden (Birmingham, Northfield)

First of all, thank you to everyone who has sent such kind messages to me after last night’s result in Birmingham Northfield. Even though I never took this election – or any election – for granted, it is still a big blow to lose the seat I have represented for 27 years and which is […]

Compensation package for Waspi women

John Healey (Wentworth and Dearne)

Labour has pledged compensation packages for millions of women hit by state pension age rises imposed by the Tories.

Pay-outs of up to £31,000 will be made, with an average payment of £15,000.

The scheme will be delivered within Labour's first full five year term of government.

Payments will go to women born in the 1950s who had their state pension age hiked.

David Cameron's coalition government presided over a change in the law that increased the women's state pension age to 65 in November 2018 - followed by 66 in October 2020.

Labour will introduce a compensation scheme as rapidly as possible for the 3.7million women hit by the changes, which Cameron's Tory-Lib Dem government imposed in 2011.

It comes after Boris Johnson u-turned on his pledge to help those affected.

He dismissed the concerns of a woman who has lost out on her pension, telling her it’s “not possible” to right the huge wrong she and so many others have suffered.

The next Labour government will compensate women who were unfairly hit by the rise in the state pension age and give them the respect they deserve.

They were not able to prepare and have had to suffer serious financial consequences as a result.

We have a historic debt of honour to them.