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Lee Rowley MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business and Industry visited Retford Town Centre on Friday 20th May. Lee Rowley visited local businesses in Retford and discussed how the government can help small independent businesses local businesses owners and Brendan Clarke-Smith MP.…

My Newsletter - May 2022

Graham Stuart (Beverley and Holderness)

Welcome to the latest edition of my monthly newsletter. This month I had the privilege of moving the Humble Address after the Queen’s Speech, I visited Molescroft Primary School to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee Day with the pupils there, and I welcomed the Energy Minister Greg Hands to Saltend…
West Princes Street Gardens will host a special free event in the Capital to mark the Platinum Jubilee of HM the Queen.

Earlier this week I had a discussion with Liam Halligan from GB News on a variety of topics including taxes, the economy and the Bank of England. You can watch the full interview below:

Parliamentary Report 2010- 2022

Chi Onwurah (Newcastle upon Tyne Central)

About Me

I was born in Wallsend, grew up on Hillsview Avenue in Kenton and went to Kenton School before studying Electrical Engineering in London. I have lived in many different cities around the world, without ever for a moment forgetting where I am from: Newcastle. My values and beliefs were formed in Newcastle based on the people I grew up with and my own experiences. I was incredibly proud to be elected MP for Newcastle Central in 2010, and I have been proud every day of the 12 years since to serve my constituents.

The last year

Working for Newcastle

As part of my commitment to openness and transparency, I have published the constituency casework figures on my website each month, together with details of my meetings, visits and speeches.

Dear Newcastle February 10th 2022

During this year in Parliament, I have worked closely with the Council, local and regional businesses, community groups, charities and universities to improve the lives of residents and speak up for the region. This year I took taken action on  3,559 cases raised by constituents who have contacted me for help with individual issues, and responded to a further 4,237 policy issues raised by constituents. These included individual queries for 1,196 constituents and 1,295 policy issues on a variety of Covid related matters.

I secured and led two debates in Westminster Hall, on Hadrian’s Wall in the west end of Newcastle, and celebrating the Tyne Bridge. Westminster Hall is a smaller debating chamber in parliament for MPs to raise issues with Ministers.

Working for a fairer and better society

I regularly spoke up for Newcastle on everything from the economy, jobs and skills to local health and transport services, to arts and culture. Until November I was a joint Shadow Minister across the Department for Culture Media and Sport and the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). Since November 2020, my brief covers only BEIS, as shadow minister for Science, Research and Innovation. The focus of my role has changed, but at the core has always been science and research, and its role in driving prosperity and security.

I have continued to provide constructive criticism to the government, who in the last year have become increasingly mired in scandal: second jobs, partygate, fraudulent Covid claims and now a cost of living crisis they seem unable to even understand let alone act on.

Working in Parliament

Inside Parliament I have been very active. I spoke 172 times  – well above the average amongst MPs. I ask more written questions than most MPs – 630 in this time period.

My attendance record at votes is also above average, at 81% during this time period.

As a former engineer I have worked hard to increase the availability of independent, balanced and accessible analysis of science and technology issues.

I am chair of the All-part parliamentary group for Africa & of the APPG for Diversity and inclusion in STEM, and of the APPG Creative Diversity. I am a member of APPGS on:   AngolaBangladeshCommonwealth, EngineeringEthnic Minority Business OwnersInfrastructureInternet, Communications and TechnologyJazz AppreciationMarketsOpen Banking and PaymentsScientificSpace


My expenses are published regularly by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA). You can view them on the IPSA website here.

How I have voted

My voting record is public and you can read more here..

I have voted against a score of terrible pieces of government legislation, which fails to address the needs of people in Newcastle Central, e.g. Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, the Elections Bill, the Health and Care Bill, Nationality and Borders Bill most of which reached completion in the final weeks of the parliamentary session. As a front-bencher, I worked constructively with the government on the ARIA and National Security and Investments Acts, trying to improve the legislation where possible, as well as on the early stages of the Online Safety Bill. I also scrutinised and tried to improve the Telecoms Security and Telecoms Infrastructure Acts.


Working to change Parliament

Being an MP is an immense privilege. It is one I believe should be open to more people from different backgrounds, particularly women, those with disabilities, those from working class backgrounds and black and ethnic minorities. These are the groups which are under-represented in Parliament today.

Despite the challenges of Covid19 I have visited and spoken at many primary and secondary schools in Newcastle to emphasise the work done in Parliament and how this should be accessible to everyone. I have spoken on request at many different organisations on the different ways to become an MP and the importance of holding MPs to account. In the constituency I have met with more than ten faith groups, forty community and charity groups and fifty local businesses.  I hope that in future Parliament will look more like the people we see on Northumberland Street.


Working for Newcastle 2016-2021

During these five years in Parliament, I worked closely with the Council, local and regional businesses, community groups, charities and universities to improve the lives of residents and speak up for the region. Between 2016 and 2021 I took taken action on behalf of 14,679 cases raised by constituents who have contacted me for help with individual issues, and responded to 17,868 policy issues raised by constituents.

Each week, I received around 2,000 emails, letters and phone calls. An uplift in enquiries as a result of the Covid pandemic was noticeable from March  2020, with around 100 individual and 100 policy queries additional each month.

Discussing the issues needing to be addressed by the Online Harms Bill


During this time I secured and led three debates in Westminster Hall, on Internet of Things regulation, the State pension for WASPI women and Martin Luther King’s visit to Newcastle. Westminster Hall is a smaller debating chamber in parliament for MPs to raise issues with Ministers

I secured five Adjournment debates, on Visa Processing Algorithms, Electric Car Batteries, Newcastle United FC and regulation, Sexual exploitation in Newcastle, and the leasehold for St Mary Magdalene Holy Jesus Trust.

I presented four petitions on behalf of constituents, on violence in Lagos, on Premier League Transparency, Football club ownership, and the implementation of 1995 and 2011 Pension Acts.

Working for a fairer and better society 2016-21

As well as regularly speaking up for Newcastle on everything from the economy, jobs and skills, to local health and transport services, to arts and culture, I have been a Shadow Minister to the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). The focus of my role has changed, but at the core has always been science and research, and its role in industrial strategy.

  Local meeting in Newcastle central to discuss ASB issues


I was also a Shadow Minister in the Department for Culture Media and Sport from 2020-21. My focus was on the digital economy, and I pushed the government on online safety, data protection and regulation for new technologies e.g. the Internet of Things, AI.

I was also proud to be the shadow minister for the Post Office. I led the response on the Horizon scandal in the Post Office, where thousands of postmasters and postmistresses were falsely accused and even imprisoned for fraud they did not commit, one of the greatest injustices of our time.

I have also scrutinised legislation on committees. Most of the committee work focused on legislative changes for leaving the EU, e.g. on Intellectual Property, Electronic Communications, changes to the Communications Act (2003).

Working in Parliament 2016-2021

Inside Parliament I have been very active. I spoke 758 times  – well above the average amongst MPs. I asked more written questions than most MPs – 1951 in this time period, which averages 2.6 questions per sitting day of Parliament.

My attendance record at votes was also above average, rising to 81% in the 2017-19 period from 72% in 2015-17.

As a former engineer I have worked hard to increase the availability of independent, balanced and accessible analysis of science and technology issues.


My expenses are published regularly by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA). You can view them on the IPSA website here.

How I have voted: 2016 – 2021

My voting record is public and you can read more here..

The legislative agenda from 2016-19 was dominated by leaving the EU. Most notably, I voted against triggering ‘Article 50’ to leave the EU and I explain why here. I consistently voted for a ‘soft’ as possible Brexit, as I believed the impact of leaving the EU would be hugely damaging for my constituents. I did so respecting the outcome of the referendum, but wanting to see the UK get the best deal out of the negotiations.

Since re-election in 2019, I have voted against a score of terrible pieces of government legislation, which fails to address the needs of people in Newcastle Central, e.g. Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, the Elections Bill, the Health and Care Bill. As a front-bencher since 2019, I worked constructively with the government on the ARIA and National Security and Investments Acts, trying to improve the legislation where possible.

Clearly, Covid-19 was the most important issue facing the country from 2020. I gave constructive criticism to the government in a time of national crisis along with Labour colleagues, trying to keep people safe and prevent the fraudulent and corrupt activities that we are now getting the full detail of.

Working to change Parliament 2016-2021

Being an MP is an immense privilege. It is one I believe should be open to more people from different backgrounds, particularly women, those with disabilities, those from working class backgrounds and black and ethnic minorities. These are the groups which are under-represented in Parliament today.

Notably, I was temporarily successful in securing online voting and participation in debates as an important safety measure during the pandemic, which the government have sadly since reversed despite it being a success and having the potential to free up MPs from having to always be in Westminster.

From 2016-2021 I have visited and spoken at many of the primary and secondary schools in Newcastle to emphasise that Parliament belongs to everyone and should be accessible to everyone. I have encouraged constituents to visit me in Parliament and arranged dozens of tours for them. I have met and spoken with hundreds of different community organisations, charities and business on many issues and been able to raise issues on their behalf encouraging their participation in Parliament.


Working for Newcastle 2010-16

I worked closely with the Council, local and regional businesses, community groups, charities, and universities to improve the lives of residents and speak up for the region. Between 2010 and 2015, I took action on 15,478 cases raised by constituents who have contacted me for help with individual issues, and responded to a further 23,516 policy issues raised by constituents.

I secured and led eleven debates in Westminster Hall, such as on Housing in Newcastle. Westminster Hall is a smaller debating chamber in parliament for MPs to raise issues with Ministers. Topics of debates I have secured include north east council funding, the internet of things, health inequalities in the north east, transport in the north east and mitochondrial disease (which Newcastle University has been pioneering research). I have also secured several Adjournment Debates – short debates at the end of each parliamentary day. One such debate on the planned closure of the Richardson Eating Disorder Unit in Newcastle resulted in a Ministerial meeting which saved the unit – the only one in the region – from closure.

School visit and discussion in Newcastle Central


I presented three petitions on behalf on constituents, one on the Blaydon Races, one opposing plans for a Drivethru McDonalds at Kenton Lodge and one on young people and body image.

As a Chartered Engineer I campaigned to make ICT and engineering more accessible to all, particularly girls, and to bring engineering and ICT jobs to the North East.

Working for a fairer and better society 2010-16

As well as regularly speaking up for Newcastle on everything from the economy, jobs and skills, to local health and transport services, to arts and culture, I was the Labour Party’s Shadow Minister for Culture and the Digital Economy. It was my job to scrutinise the Government on its disastrous broadband policies and to speak up for libraries and the importance of the digital economy to the UK.

I then became the Shadow Cabinet Office Minister for Digital Government, cyber security and social enterprise. In this role I commissioned a Review of Digital Government, set out how a Labour Government will support social enterprise, and led the Opposition’s scrutiny at all stages of the Deregulation Act 2015 in the House of Commons. I promoted the North East as a hub for both digital industries and social enterprise,  holding a seminar in Newcastle on how small businesses could benefit from digital government.

I also sat on the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee and scrutinised themEnterprise, Regulatory Reform Act 2013 as a Shadow Business Minister.

Working for Parliament 2010-16

Inside Parliament I was very active, speaking 48 times since being re-elected in May 2015 – well above the average amongst MPs. I asked more written questions than most MPs – 214 since the election – and my attendance record at votes was also above average, at 77%.

As a former engineer I worked hard to increase the availability of independent, balanced and accessible analysis of science and technology issues. As well as regularly speaking up on these issues, I was on the board of Parliament’s Office of Science and Technology.

I was chair of the All-party parliamentary group for Africa and co-chair of the all-party Parliamentary Internet, Communications and Technology Forum that works to keep MPs, Peers and other interested groups informed of digital issues in Parliament.


My expenses are published regularly by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA). You can view them on the IPSA website here..

How I have voted: 2015 – 16

My voting record is public and you can read more here.

I voted against George Osborne’s Budget cuts to Personal Independent Payments for disabled people and his disgraceful plans to cut £4.4bn in tax credits to working families. The Government eventually backed down on both.

I voted in favour the ‘Dubs Amendment’ to act on Save the Children’s call for Britain to take 3,000 unaccompanied refugee children.

I voted against the Government’s forced academisation plans. The Education Minister has since announced that they are abandoning the plans.

 Climate Change rally in Newcastle Central


I voted against the Government’s politically motivated attacks designed to permanently weaken the opposition and the trade union movement in the Trade Union Bill. The Government eventually backed down on

On Syria, I asked constituents to send me their views on whether the UK should extend airstrikes against Daesh/ISIS from Iraq to Syria. The vast majority of the constituents who contacted me were against airstrikes and after thinking very carefully about it, I agreed with them and voted against the proposal. I set out my reasoning here.

I opposed the Tory Housing Bill, which will leave a £593m hole in our city’s long term plan for social housing as well as forcing the council to sell off higher value properties. In May 2016 I secured a debate in Parliament on Housing in Newcastle.

I voted repeatedly against the Government’s vicious bedroom tax.

I voted against the Government’s £3bn reorganisation of the NHS at every opportunity. I voted against marketisation and in favour of restricting the use of NHS services for private patients. I also moved to block regulations that would open the NHS up to further marketisation.

On tax, I voted against the Government’s tax cut for millionaires and corporation tax. I have voted against rising VAT, as it hits the poorest hardest.

I voted against raising tuition fees cap to £9,000.

I voted against this Government’s unfair council funding allocations, which meant that Newcastle had to make £100m of cuts, whereas some Councils in richer areas ended up with few or even no cuts to make.

Many constituents contacted me about the vote for equal gay rights and same-sex marriage. A large majority wanted me to support it, and I did.

I voted against the privatisation of Royal Mail and restrictions on legal aid.

I voted to recognise Palestine as a state and believe that both Israel and Palestine deserve safety and security and control over their own destinies.

I also voted against selling off our forests, which was stopped.

Working to change Parliament 2010-16

Being an MP is an immense privilege. It is one I believe should be open to more people from different backgrounds, particularly women, those with disabilities, those from working class backgrounds and black and ethnic minorities. These are the groups which are under-represented in Parliament today.

I visited and spoke at every secondary school in Newcastle and 24 of the 26 primary schools to emphasise that Parliament belongs to everyone and should be accessible to everyone. I have encouraged constituents to visit me in Parliament and arranged dozens of tours for them. I have spoken on request at many different organisations on the different ways to become an MP and the importance of holding MPs to account. I hope that in future Parliament will look more like the people we see on Northumberland Street.


Statement – Sue Gray Report

George Freeman (Mid Norfolk)

27 May 2022
Statement – Sue Gray Report

I would like to assure my constituents that I have absolutely taken onboard the widespread feelings of deep anger across our area, and indeed the whole country, at what has occurred.

Whilst of course this issue is being used by those who are strongly opposed politically to this Government and Boris Johnson as the Prime Minister, my concern is for non-political constituents who simply feel let down by the machine of Government, on whose instructions they made such huge personal sacrifices and whom they now discover were flouting the very same rules.

That is both deeply painful and insulting to those who made such sacrifices, and damaging more generally to public trust in our machinery of Government and democracy.

I completely ‘get’ and indeed share that public concern, which is why I’ve consistently made clear how seriously I take those views and have raised them with relevant Ministers and the Prime Minister’s office, calling for broader reforms to the working of Number 10 and the creation of a new Prime Minister’s Department.

I didn’t comment immediately in the media upon the publication of the Sue Gray Report on Wednesday because I wanted to READ both the report carefully in full before having my say, and reflect on the views of constituents, which I’ve now had the chance to do.

The Sue Gray Report makes clear there was a shocking culture of routine office drinking amongst staff in parts of Downing Street and the Cabinet Office complex of offices during the pandemic emergency – seemingly accepted by both senior civil servants as well as more junior staff – which is seriously concerning and inappropriate.

Whilst the Prime Minister is ultimately responsible for the culture of the administration, and is right to take responsibility, apologise and make clear it was wrong and needs to change, the Report makes clear this is a deeper problem in the culture of Number 10 as a 24/7 crisis management ‘bunker’ at the heart of Government.

Whilst I think most people could understand and forgive staff working closely together on the frontline in crisis management of the Covid crisis – whether in a local NHS hospital, the Public Health England pandemic HQ or at the heart of the Cabinet Office/Number 10 pandemic crisis management team – taking a moment occasionally to share a meal break together, the Sue Gray Report suggests a culture of heavy drinking and routine late night partying by staff in Number 10 which is both shocking and deeply worrying.

For the majority of citizens who made such huge sacrifices by following the rules, this will be all the more shocking.

To repair damaging public trust, serious changes now need to be made to show the lessons have been learnt.

The Prime Minister was right to admit that and apologise again on Wednesday, and work is already underway for the biggest overhaul of Number 10 management in living memory – with the creation of a new Prime Minister’s Department that will codify leadership structures and management within the sprawling complex that is Number 10.

Please be assured that I will continue to raise all of my constituents’ concerns with Ministers and Civil Service leaders, and ensure their voices are being heard loud and clear as reforms to the way Downing Street is run are drawn up and implemented.

Thank you to all those who have taken the time to contact me on what I agree is a deeply serious issue for us all: for public trust and respect for the democratic process of lawmaking it is essential that the public can see those who make the laws set an example in also abiding by them.

This isn’t just a phrase: the taking of personal responsibility has always been at the very core of my Conservatism.

It is vital that the public can see that the lessons of this saga are now learnt and applied properly.

26 May 2022
Dunne welcomes support for families with cost of living

South Shropshire, Philip Dunne, has welcomed a £37bn package of support to help families with the cost of living and grow the economy.

The Chancellor unveiled a Plan for a Stronger Economy, which includes an extra £15 billion of support which will support the most vulnerable households with up to £1,200.

The initial £200 rebate for every household the government announced in February will be doubled to £400–and the existing clawback mechanism will be cancelled, turning it into a £400 cash grant for every household. This will continue to be delivered by energy suppliers from October, with payments spread over six months.

Over 8 million of the most vulnerable households (around one-third of all in the UK) will be directly sent a one-off cash payment of £650, paid out from DWP in two separate instalments, with the first due from July and the second in the Autumn. Payments from HMRC for those on Tax Credits will follow one month later. All those who live in the UK and are in receipt of Universal Credit, Jobseekers Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and Pension Credit are eligible.

In addition, to help vulnerable pensioners with energy bills, all existing recipients of the Winter Fuel Allowance – around 8 million pensioners - will be sent an additional one-off £300 cash payment, due to be paid out automatically in November/December.

For the nearly 6 million people who receive disability benefits – including Personal Independence Payments, Disability Living Allowance, and Attendance Allowance – there will be an additional one-off cash payment worth £150, paid out from DWP in September.

The government is also providing an additional £500 million for the existing Household Fund from October, to ensure local councils can support those not covered by the above set of payments. Local councils will continue to have discretion over exactly how the funding is used.

The new package of measures will be partly funded through a new targeted and temporary Energy Profits Levy on profits of oil and gas companies. The new Levy will be charged on profits of oil and gas companies at a rate of 25 per cent, on top of the existing 40 per cent headline rate of corporation tax. To prevent any loss of investment, significant investment incentives will be built into the new Levy.

Mr Dunne said:

“The combined effect of the war in Ukraine and global inflationary pressures mean the cost of living is rising sharply for everyone in South Shropshire. While it is impossible for any government to solve every problem, today’s announcement includes much needed support, targeted at those who will be feeling the price impact of the cost of living rising the most – and will do so in a way that means support will be paid quickly without complex applications processes.”

As part of Dementia Action Week (16-22 May), Llanelli MP Nia Griffith met with people affected by dementia, experts from Alzheimer’s Society and clinicians at the charity’s Parliamentary reception to find out more about the barriers people face to getting a diagnosis.

There are currently around 50,000 people living with dementia in Wales, with a total of 900,000 across the UK, which is set to rise to 1.6m by 2040. However, with diagnosis rates currently at a five-year low after the pandemic, the charity believes there are tens of thousands of people now living with undiagnosed dementia. This means they don’t have access to the vital care and support that a diagnosis can bring.

New research from Alzheimer’s Society shows some people don’t seek a diagnosis because they think memory loss is just part of getting old, don’t recognise the signs of dementia, or are in denial about their symptoms. Though the thought of diagnosis can be daunting, over 9 in 10 people with dementia say they benefitted from getting a diagnosis, for example by helping them come to terms with it or plan for the future.

Nia Griffith MP pledged her support to the charity’s Dementia Action Week campaign – “It’s not called getting old, it’s called getting ill” – which aims to raise awareness of the symptoms of dementia and encourage people worried about symptoms to seek a diagnosis.

She said: “I pledged to support Alzheimer’s Society in their drive to make the recovery of dementia diagnosis rates a priority. 1 people in 4 have battled dementia symptoms for over two years before getting a diagnosis. Anyone worried that you or a loved one may have dementia, should contact Alzheimer’s Society for advice and support.”

James White, Head of Public Affairs and Campaigns at Alzheimer’s Society, said: “We thank Nia Griffith for meeting with us, and showing her support for Dementia Action Week.

“Asking the same question over and over again is not called getting old, it’s called getting ill. We know getting a dementia diagnosis can be daunting, but we want everyone to be able to understand and recognise potential dementia symptoms, feel empowered to take the next steps, and come to Alzheimer’s Society for support.

“National diagnosis rates are currently at a five-year low so it is so important that we do everything we can to get people diagnosed so they can get treatment and support. We have launched new resources to arm people with all the information they need when speaking with their GP, which includes online support and advice and a new symptoms checklist which can be printed and taken to the doctor to help both patients and clinicians have an easier diagnosis experience.”

Support and more information about a diagnosis is just a phone call or a click away. Visit alzheimers.org.uk/memoryloss or call Alzheimer’s Society on 0333 150 3456 [0330 094 7400 Welsh-speaking number] For callers who do not have English as their language of choice, Alzheimer’s Society can arrange a simultaneous language translation service.

Government adopts Labour’s energy windfall tax

Catherine McKinnell (Newcastle upon Tyne North)

It’s good to see the Government has finally decided to adopt Labour’s proposal to impose a windfall tax on the profits of energy companies, after months of refusals. With the money raised, all households will now receive a £400 reduction in their energy bills in the Autumn. The previous £200 loan scheme has been scrapped. … Continue reading Government adopts Labour’s energy windfall tax

Martin Docherty-Hughes, SNP MP for West Dunbartonshire, has responded to the UK Chancellor’s statement on the cost-of-living crisis. Commenting, Martin Docherty-Hughes MP said: “I’ve spoken repeatedly in parliament about the worsening impact of the UK’s cost-of-living crisis in West Dunbartonshire. Far too many of my constituents have been forced to endure cold homes and turn …


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Gap needs addressing

Steve McCabe (Birmingham, Selly Oak)

 Last week, at Prime Minister’s Questions, I asked about 9,000 people over age 60 who died last year because their homes were too cold. I wanted a guarantee there would be fewer next year.

The gap between those who enjoy later life and those who struggle is increasing and needs addressing. Even before the pandemic, life expectancy was reducing.

More than two million aged 55 or over are living in a home with conditions that threaten their health. 4.3 million live in homes that don’t meet government standards because they’re cold and damp with hazards which put occupants at risk. In England one-in-five excess deaths are attributed to cold housing.

In less than 20 years, one-in-four of us will be over 65. Almost a million people between the ages of 50-64 are unemployed. They need work to pay bills, heat their homes and feed themselves. Unless there’s a plan to find work for them, things look bleak.

Many WASPI women, born in the 1950s, whose access to pensions were delayed without notice, know what a struggle life can be. It’s a disaster for those who fall into poverty before pension day and happening at a time of rising inflation when the value of state pensions is reducing because the government has broken the triple lock.

It used to be the case that to be old was to be poor. The last Labour government lifted millions of pensioners out of poverty but without urgent attention, we’re on course for those gains to be wiped out. Pensioners are once again having to choose between heating and eating.

How can a PM who talks about levelling up ignore what’s happening? The government could put an end to this. The PM could make sure no pensioner freezes to death. There could be an active jobs policy for over 55s and he could restore the pension triple lock.

The PM and his Chancellor are wealthy men who can look forward to a comfortable old age. What about everyone else?

Commenting on this afternoon's announcement from the Chancellor that the Government will finally bring in a windfall tax on the profits of oil and gas companies, local MP Tim Farron said: "Thank goodness that families will finally get support with their energy bills through a windfall tax - seven months after the Liberal Democrats first called for it.

"It's incredibly frustrating and that the Government dragged their feet over it for so long while people struggled to heat their homes and feed their kids, and that they've only decided to do this now in an attempt to save the Prime Minister's skin.

"This is a humiliating u-turn from a government in chaos, but a huge relief to the millions who are suffering."

Published and promoted by P Trollope on behalf of T Farron and the Liberal Democrats, all at Yard 2, Stricklandgate, Kendal
Printed (hosted) by Prater Raines Ltd, 98 Sandgate High Street, Folkestone CT20 3BY

Cost of Living Support

Victoria Prentis (Banbury)

Recent global events have left families facing increasing costs. Rising food, energy and fuel prices are affecting everybody, but hitting low-income families particularly hard. Many constituents have contacted me to express their concerns about rising bills and I have continued to relay these to my…
Local MP, Maria Miller, welcomed a Government consultation on measures to tackle fly-tipping, and urged Basingstoke residents to take part.    Maria said: “Fly-tipping is an absolute scourge on local communities.  It poses a risk to public health and the environment, and costs the country up to £…
With new measures today we are taking real action on the cost of living. In contrast to the uncosted, unworkable plans put forward by others, this Government is delivering energy cost relief and tax cuts for 70% of people in our country.

Cost of living support

Anne-Marie Trevelyan (Berwick-upon-Tweed)

PLAN FOR A STRONGER ECONOMY The last few years have been unprecedented – from a pandemic that has severely damaged the global economy to a cost of living challenge now being felt across the world. Due to a series of global forces – economies reopening following the pandemic, Russia’s invasion of…

Immigration Minister Guests at Tory Fundraiser

David Evennett (Bexleyheath and Crayford)

Yesterday evening (26 May), the Immigration Minister, Tom Pursglove MP, was the guest speaker at a Bexleyheath and Crayford Conservative Association fundraising supper. The sell-out event was held at the Conservative Club in the Broadway, Bexleyheath and guests enjoyed a two-course meal followed by…
Blackpool South MP Scott Benton has welcomed today’s announcement by The Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak of a new £15 billion package of targeted government support to help with the rising cost of living. Almost all of the eight million most vulnerable households across the UK will receive…
For far too long, for my life and beyond, Northern Ireland, the Republic and Great Britain have been scarred by the legacy of violence. History has been politicised and the truth has too often remained hidden. The damage is not historical. It continues. For families desperate to know the truth…
Yesterday Greg raised the issue of clean spectrum availability for the programme making and special effects industry. A constituent expert in this field recently briefed Greg on threats to our tv, film and entertainment industry use of radio microphones in the future, so he used his slot at DCMS…

John joins Iain Dale’s panel along with Pete Wishart (SNP MP), Rachael Maskell (Labour MP), and Olivia Utley (Telegraph Journalist) to answer listener questions on the biggest stories of the week.

Please find a link below to the full report, published on 25 May 2022. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1078404/2022-05-25_FINAL_FINDINGS_OF_SECOND_PERMANENT_SECRETARY_INTO_ALLEGED_GATHERINGS.pdf

I’m sure that many people across Tameside have seen the news surrounding the leadership of Tameside Council in recent weeks.

It’s been a turbulent time, but as the dust settles, it’s important that we celebrate the achievements which have been made in recent years, whilst looking ahead positively to the future.

Cllr Brenda Warrington and her predecessor, the late Kieran Quinn, have done a brilliant job leading the council over these past 12 years of Tory austerity.

Our council has lost 60 per cent of its funding since 2010. Labour-led Tameside has been put under unprecedented pressure from a Government that has proven itself to be totally out of touch with local people.

Cllr Warrington and her team have had a tough job managing this challenge and have done their best to shield the people of Tameside from the impact of Tory local Government cuts.

Brenda and Kieran rose to the challenge, and we should all be grateful to the work they’ve done. I know that Brenda will keep fighting for the people of Tameside as she continues in her role as Councillor for Denton West.

Looking ahead, I’ll be giving the council’s new leadership my full support as they seek to tackle the big issues facing Tameside, most prominently the soaring cost of living crisis.

With inflation reaching nine per cent – its highest rate in 40 years – and working people being hit with the biggest tax burden since the 1940s, the council has a key role to play in supporting local people where it can. The next few months will be tough, but excellent local Government can and does make a difference.

Beyond the cost-of-living crisis, there are many other areas where work is needed. From improving transport, to tackling health inequalities, and improving our struggling Children’s Services, I know that the council will continue with the job of improving the lives of people right across the Borough.

Now is the time for unity, as the council cracks on with delivering the promises it was elected on.

As the Member of Parliament for Denton and Reddish, I look forward to playing my part in helping Tameside Council where I can and being a strong voice for local people in Parliament.

I wish Cllr Cooney and his team well and look forward to seeing what more we can achieve over the coming months and years ahead.

The post A united effort to tackle challenging times – my weekly article for the Tameside Reporter appeared first on Andrew Gwynne MP.

Karin Smyth, MP for Bristol South, has condemned comments made by Tory Minister, Rachel MacLean MP, that people struggling with the cost of living crisis should work more hours or get a ‘better’ job.  The Safeguarding Minister’s comments have been criticised by Karin Smyth as “out of touch”. 

 Around 40 per cent of people who claim Universal Credit are in employment and wages have struggled to keep up with surging inflation.  The annual growth for total pay was 5.4 per cent in the year leading up to April, according to the Office for National Statistics, but inflation rose by seven per cent in the same period and is set to rise further this year, further cutting pay in real terms. 

The Labour Party is continuing to call on the Government to bring in measures to support people through the crisis, such as a windfall tax on oil and gas producers and reversing the rise in National Insurance, rather than suggesting people overwork themselves to make up for real term wage losses caused by the Government. 


Karin Smyth, MP for Bristol South, said: 

“Time and again the Tories are showing themselves to be out of touch and out of ideas.  The latest comments by a Tory Minister are disrespectful to hard working people and just goes to show how detached they are from the reality of the cost of living crisis.

“It is so unjust for the Government to blame people struggling with the cost of living crisis for not working enough.  With 40% of people on Universal Credit in employment, the Government is letting people down by not doing enough to tackle low pay and poor terms and conditions.  What’s more, millions of people already work multiple jobs or have additional care duties outside of work, particularly for women, creating fewer career development prospects.  The Government must close the pension gap for women to create a fairer society.

“I recently held my annual Jobs and Apprenticeships Fair in Bristol South to support local people into work and improve skills in the area.  Jobs and skills are important in helping people pursue rewarding and meaningful careers that benefit both individuals and the local economy, but simply working more hours should not be viewed as the solution to the cost of living crisis whilst wages remain low and career prospects limited for many.

“The Government should be doing more to support the creation of British jobs and apprenticeships, but they should also be stepping up their support during this time of crisis.  Increasing wages in line with inflation, a windfall tax on oil and gas producers to bring down energy bills, and more support for those who are struggling are all measures the Government must urgently take.”

The post Karin Smyth MP condemns Tory Minister telling people struggling in cost of living crisis to work more hours or get a better job first appeared on Karin Smyth.


Angela Rayner (Ashton-under-Lyne)

After the last few years, chaos has become the new normal when it comes to our politics. It seemed the transition out of the EU and the disruption from the pandemic were becoming part of our past and we were all finding a new sense of optimism with hope and potential for the future. Then a cost-of-living crisis brought our energy bills to record highs and many families have been plunged back into uncertainty and anxiety. It is times like this, more than ever, that we need a serious government.  People need real support and a proper plan.

What a disappointment then, that last Tuesday the Government matched people’s eagerness for change with a raft of tired and rehashed plans that will do little to ease the struggles that my constituents and families are facing right now.

Last week, the Queen’s Speech marked the opening of a new parliamentary session and was the opportunity for the Government to outline their plans to get us out of the mess we’re in. But 12 years of Conservative rule and they are out of ideas. There was nothing to tackle the cost-of-living crisis that is happening right now, no decent plan to protect our food and energy security from Putin’s Russia or other hostile states, and nothing to improve people’s daily lives. An employment bill which could protect workers, introduce minimum hour contracts, end fire and rehire practices, and stop people having to work multiple jobs just to get by, was completely left out.

This Government is out of touch and out of ideas.

As our energy bills skyrocket and the government makes undeliverable promises of rushed through nuclear power plants with no tangible plan for delivery, Labour has the plan and the seriousness to deliver an energy reform that is sustainable and ambitious, but also practical and protective of jobs.

Labour has consistently pushed for a Windfall Tax on the massive profits oil and gas corporations are making thanks to the huge rise in people’s energy bills. Whilst the government try and defend the billions of pounds in profit for these big businesses and stoke fear about long-term investment, BP’s Chief Executive admitted that all of the planned £18bn investment in Britain over the next eight years would go ahead, even if a levy were imposed to meet the demands of this emergency.

As the Government dithers, I will spend the next few months pushing them to urgently address the shortage of NHS dentists and appointments, so that charities no longer need to intervene to protect our children’s oral health. I have raised the issue of poor access to NHS dentists with the Government every year since 2016 and on Monday I did so again. Six years on, the government hasn’t acted, and now we face a dentistry crisis.

Earlier this month, I was proud to be sanctioned by the Kremlin for what they call “whipping up of Russophobic hysteria” and what I call fighting for Ukrainians right to live in peace and the freedom to determine their own future. My commitment to Ukraine is steadfast and I will continue to speak out against Putin’s shameful invasion.

I will also continue to tackle the scourge of spiking in the country which has devastating consequences for its victims, and push for its recognition as a standalone crime. In particular, I am working to ensure that the 7.1 million people who attend outdoor music festivals every year – many of them young people – are fully protected by from these dreadful acts. On Monday this week, the Association of Independent Festivals demonstrated their commitment to improving with their Safer Spaces campaign and acknowledging that everybody has a right to enjoy themselves safely, with support and without fear. That’s a good start.

As money gets tighter and tighter and the Government delays and delays, I will continue to push for more relief from this strangling cost-of-living crisis that means proud and hard-working people of Bradford are turning to food banks or having to pick between heating and eating. This Government is out of ideas. Bradford and Britain deserve better.

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Barnsley Mayor Making Speech 2022

Dan Jarvis (Barnsley Central)

[Check against delivery]


Ladies and gentlemen, I am honoured to speak here this evening, on my home turf.

Now, before I begin, I understand there’s a sweepstake on the length of my remarks.

Let me just put everyone’s mind at rest… my money went on 82 minutes – so settle in folks!

Turning to what this evening is all about… Councillor Tattersall – our new Mayor – congratulations!


Madam Mayor, you will be an outstanding Mayor for our borough. You are a tremendous councillor and a force of nature!

I know you have big plans for your term.

Your theme – Educate, inspire and deliver and your charities typify you…

Romero Communities – a wonderful organisation, who have provided invaluable support to countless people in Barnsley.

And one of the friendliest places to get a brew in the borough!

And Hey! – who do so much for our children and young people suffering with their mental health by providing the care they need when they need it most.


The very first time I met Sarah was back in 2011. I was dashing about canvassing for Party members’ support ahead of the selection hustings for the forthcoming by-election.

I knocked on her door.

She kindly invited me in.

I hesitated.

I obviously wanted to take Sarah up on her offer – her endorsement would’ve been very useful, but it suddenly dawned on me this encounter was laden with risk.

The dilemma was such: coming in for a chat, meant taking off my shoes which in turn meant – to my great embarrassment – revealing a hole in my sock.

“Shall I take my shoes off” I said sheepishly.

“Yeah, you can just leave them at the door” was the reply.

“Oh dear” I thought – it was actually another 4-letter word, but you get the gist.

I saw coming clean as the best course of action…

“I must apologise in advance, but I have a large hole in my sock” I said.

Now, discussing and exposing my ragged clothing – as you can imagine – was not meant to form part of the agenda for this important tête-à-tête.

Sarah’s response however was both merciful and profound…

“People are more interested in what you have to say rather than the state of your socks. And anyway, lots of people round here have holes in their socks”.

She was right. A sage lesson and one worth remembering.

Madam Mayor – I’m very much looking forward to working with you over the next year.

I have every faith you’ll be a huge success and a fantastic champion for Barnsley.

Congratulations again!


Ladies and gentlemen, before I go any further I’d like to say a few words about the terrible situation in Ukraine because we are joined here tonight against the backdrop of the most appalling violence and misery.

I know we are all greatly inspired by the resolve, determination and spirit shown by the Ukrainian people.

The response to the crisis from our community has been incredibly moving – we opened our hearts and our homes.

Naturally I wouldn’t have expected anything less.

We are of course twinned with a proud coalfield community in Ukraine – Horlivka.

A town which is now fighting for its very existence.

A fight it did not start, but from which it will not back down.

A few weeks ago – along with my great colleague and neighbour, Stephanie Peacock – I learned I had been personally sanctioned by the Russian parliament – something I see as a badge of honour because Barnsley stands united against Putin’s illegal invasion and we send our solidarity to our Ukrainian brothers and sisters both here and those resisting his barbaric regime.

Slava Ukraini!


I do also want to say a word about the Platinum Jubilee – truly a milestone in our nation’s history.

The Queen – overseeing us this evening – has been the embodiment of service and stability, a constant in our lives and it is right we recognise her unwavering dedication.


Ladies and gentlemen… that brings me to another fantastic ambassador, albeit one closer to home – our outgoing Mayor,

Councillor Caroline Makinson.

Caroline… you have been a wonderful advocate for our community and helped see us through the pandemic. I want to take this opportunity to pay tribute to you for all the work you have done – and will continue to do – for Barnsley.

Thank you.


I’d also like to say something about another outgoing Mayor… me!

In all seriousness, the last time I had the honour of speaking at this event was for Councillor Steve Green back in 2018 – which was only a matter days after I had been elected the inaugural Mayor of South Yorkshire, or the Sheffield City Region as it was then.

I’m now back delivering this address but no longer as Mayor.

Let me be candid, many people were surprised at my decision to stand down, but I said from the beginning that being a Mayor and an MP wasn’t a long-term arrangement.

And I meant it.

Some thought that I would step away as MP and keep going with the mayoralty, but I have a fierce loyalty to our town.

You can’t choose where you were born but you can choose where you want to be – and I chose Barnsley.

I hope everyone knows what an enormous privilege it is for me to represent our community, and how seriously I take that responsibility.

Politicians come and go, of course – and if the people of Barnsley want to get rid of me as their MP, then that is their absolute right. But I am not walking away from them.

Let me tell you why… there is so much to celebrate about Barnsley – but above all, it is the enduring spirit of our people that sets us apart.

And why I hold this place so dear, and why I was never going to walk away from it.


Our community knows all too well the arc of history does not always necessarily steer to a better tomorrow. But we also know that together we have the power to bend it toward a more hopeful future.

When you walk through our town, you are walking through a chronicle of our past – lessons in who we are, voices reminding us of what we have achieved, inspiration for generations to come.

Just outside, we have our square dedicated to the Barnsley Pals battalions. Men who stepped forward to answer the call during the First World War.

Miners, glassworkers, stonemasons, clerics – many of them friends and neighbours. They joined-up together, trained together, fought together and ultimately, many of them died together.

It is a legacy that inspired some of Barnsley’s finest to serve. Tom Hicks who lived in Royston – a veteran of Arnhem who helped write the Airborne Forces into the annals of history.

And Sergeant Ian McKay, who was born in the borough – another member of that proud brotherhood, posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for his sacrifice on Mount Longdon 40 years ago next month.

From the First World War to the Second, to the Falklands and every other conflict beyond, Barnsley’s men and women have consistently stepped forward to answer the call.

Their story reminds us that the lone hero is a myth – we are all in fact, threads, woven together to create something much stronger.

Walk down the Huddersfield Road and you’ll find the head office of the National Union of Mineworkers – a paragon of our community built on coal.

While the Pals’ struggle took them to foreign soil, the miners’ struggle was brought to their very doorstep.

To their detriment, successive governments failed to recognise it wasn’t just coal that came out from the collieries, but community too.

Theirs was a bond forged over generations. Mineworkers and their families wouldn’t run at the first sign of hardship, they held their ground and withstood hunger, smears and violence.

Their fight is a lesson in the meaning of true solidarity.

Down in our town centre, we now have our COVID memorial sculpture – one of the first in the world.

It’s our tribute to those no longer with us, to those who lost loves ones and to those working-class heroes who sacrificed so much to keep us safe.

Barnsley's fierce love will hold you forever in its heart.


Our community was left devasted by the pandemic, I know everyone here this evening has their own story – me included.

That suffering will live long in the memory but so too should the resolve of those who pulled us through – our NHS

workers, carers, delivery drivers, shopworkers, posties, transport staff, and many others. Too often taken for granted but

whose true value was there for all to see during our darkest hour.

Men and women from Barnsley have fought, struggled and laboured time and time again for our tomorrow. Their journey is one we continue.

But our story isn’t just one of triumph over adversity. We are so much more.

Barnsley’s sons and daughters have a long and proud history of stepping out and shaping a better world.

Just look at who was awarded the Freedom of the Borough last month alongside our phenomenal Intensive Care Unit

Mat Wright – the musical director of the outstanding Barnsley Youth Choir

Katherine Brunt – the world cup winning cricketer

Graham Ibbeson – the artist and sculptor

And Katherine Kelly – the acclaimed actress.

Inspirational figures, and every one of them Barnsley to their core.


And it isn’t just our people that are doing us proud, it’s our place.

Our town centre has undergone remarkable transformation in recent times – praise rightly goes to the Leader of our Council, Sir Steve Houghton and his team for the incredible progress we have seen.

I am however acutely aware not everyone always shares my enthusiasm for when the winds of change begin to blow!

I remember once being in complete awe stood outside our wonderful Town Hall by the newly installed fountains one summer morning – the sun was shining, children were paddling, laughter filled the air. It was a scene of pure joy.

I paused to soak up the experience when a gentleman appeared beside me.

We looked at each other, I could sense he was poised to deliver his judgement.

He then uttered the following – words that will stay with me evermore…

“It used to be a lovely little car park”

I believe Barnsley deserves more former lovely little car parks – we deserve the best because we are capable of the best.

Anyone who questions that ambition has a short memory, look at what we have achieved and how we have achieved it… as one.


In every direction, there is much to do. Just as we emerge from a health crisis, we have entered an economic one. Families facing hardship, businesses facing uncertainty.

The challenges we face today and those we face tomorrow are daunting but like the challenges of yesterday, they will be overcome.

You only have to walk around our community and speak to the people who make it so special to know that holds true.

Ladies and gentlemen, I hope you take comfort in knowing I still have holes in my socks just as I take comfort in knowing our people don’t care, they are still more interested in what you have to say.

Enjoy the rest of your evening. And Madam Mayor, congratulations once again. Thank you.

Dementia Action Week

Wendy Morton (Aldridge-Brownhills)

This week is Dementia Action Week.

It is run by the Alzheimer’s Society, and it is Britain’s longest running awareness campaign. I am myself a Dementia Champion and will continue to do all I can to raise awareness on this very important matter.

Research shows that the misconception around memory loss being a sign of normal ageing is the biggest barrier to people seeking a dementia diagnosis.

With diagnosis rates falling to a five-year low, it is important to encourage those who might be living with undiagnosed dementia to go to the Alzheimer’s Society for guidance and support and feel empowered to take the next step.

Lee Anderson, MP for Ashfield and Eastwood, proudly showed his support for the animal rescue sector at an event in Parliament hosted by Battersea Dogs and Cats Home. The event celebrated the vital role rescues play in caring for animals and supporting communities, and Lee was delighted to meet some…

Dementia Action Week Parliamentary drop-in

Royston Smith (Southampton, Itchen)

I was pleased to attend the Dementia Action Week parliamentary drop-in.  There is estimated to be over 850,000 people living with dementia and nearly 650 people in my constituency live with the condition. Dementia is still a disease that is not well understood and is set to affect a record number of people. I was [...]

The post Dementia Action Week Parliamentary drop-in appeared first on Royston Smith MP.

Unemployed Claimant Count April 2022

Jon Cruddas (Dagenham and Rainham)

Unemployed Claimant Count April 2022 Ione Fri, 05/20/2022 - 10:41

Today, Preet Kaur Gill MP joined with pupils at St Paul's School for Girls to take part in online activities with children in Nigeria in the run up to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. Preet and the children linked up with Bomas Academy in Jos, Nigeria, and exchanged information about their families, school life and favour subjects. 

Steve Frew, who took gold in the 2002 games and 400m champion Lesley Owusu also joined them at the school for a morning of sporting activities. The event was part of Commonwealth Connections - a partnership between the British Council and the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. It involves 60 primary, secondary, and special schools in the West Midlands linking up with 60 schools across 10 Commonwealth countries. Through the partnership, children explore cultures and beliefs and learn how to communicate with people from different backgrounds and perspectives through sports and arts.  

Preet Kaur Gill, MP for Birmingham Edgbaston, said: “Our wonderful city of Birmingham is one of the most diverse in the world and truly reflects the Commonwealth. It’s fantastic to see Commonwealth Connections promoting collaboration and encouraging young people to make new connections with people from different backgrounds and different countries. 

“The Sustainable Development Goals 2030 affect us all and it’s vital young people, as future leaders, understand why these are so important. By talking to people across the world with different perspectives of how climate change and sustainability is impacting people’s lives is how we show how global Britain can be a force for good.” 

During the event, St Paul’s School for Girls was presented with a British Council foundation level International School Award by the organisation’s Senior Schools Consultant, John Rolfe MBE. The award champions schools that have shown a commitment to embedding international awareness and understanding in their classrooms and curriculums. The £500k Commonwealth Connections project is co-funded by Birmingham 2022 and the British Council.  

The British Council is delivering the project with Birmingham Education Partnership (BEP) and the children’s charity the Youth Sport Trust (YST). BEP has nominated its flagship Birmingham Arts School to lead on delivery of the arts and culture strand of the project. 


For more information, please contact: 

Notes to Editors  

About Commonwealth Connections 

Commonwealth Connections is a joint project from the British Council and the Birmingham Organising Committee for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.  

Running from the autumn 2021 until July 2022, it is twinning 60 schools in Birmingham and the West Midlands with counterparts in Ghana, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, Zambia 

The British Council is delivering the project in partnership with Birmingham Education Partnership (BEP) and the Youth Sport Trust (YST).  

Supporting 120 primary, secondary and special schools in Birmingham/West Midlands and across 10 Commonwealth countries to use sport, arts and culture to learn about the Commonwealth and their own identities, in a way that focusses the attention and excitement of young people and their communities on the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham 

About the British Council 

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We build connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education and the English language. In 2019-2020 we reached over 75 million people directly and 758 million people overall including online, broadcasts and publications. Founded in 1934 we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. We receive a 14.5 per cent core funding grant from the UK government. www.britishcouncil.org 

About the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games    

The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, which will be held from 28 July until 8 August 2022, will be a once in a lifetime opportunity to put the city, the region and its people on the global stage.       

The Games is already proving to be a catalyst for transformation across the West Midlands, attracting new investment and funding, creating jobs and apprenticeships for local people and new opportunities for local businesses, as well as accelerating projects that will ensure the region is ready to host a fantastic sports and cultural celebration.       

Birmingham 2022 will be the Games for everyone, bringing people together from across Birmingham and the region, to provide a warm welcome to millions of visitors during the summer of 2022.     

Find out more at www.birmingham2022.com       


Standard (Image)

The Government has Again Refused to Back Energy Sector Windfall Tax

Debbie Abrahams (Oldham East and Saddleworth)

The Government has Again Refused to Back Energy Sector Windfall Tax

Conservative MPs who failed to back Labour’s calls for a windfall tax on oil and gas producers’ profits as inflation hits a 40 year high at 9% should be ashamed of themselves.

Labour has called on the government to introduce a windfall tax 250 times since the start of the year, and there is widespread support for a windfall tax from experts and business leaders, including the chairs of Tesco, the Chair of the Treasury Select Committee and the former CEO of BP.

Labour’s call for a windfall tax vote was defeated in the Commons, by 310 votes to 248 (17/5/22). Not a single Conservative MP voted for Labour’s windfall tax plan, which would cut household energy bills by up to £600.

This Conservative party has made it clear that they will do everything they can to protect oil and gas companies but take no action to protect ordinary families many of whom are really struggling with a cost of living crisis. The fact that inflation has hit 9% is yet more evidence, as if it were needed, that the Government must heed our calls for an Emergency Budget, without delay.

With inflation at a 40 year high, we are urgently calling on the government to create a more pro-growth, pro-business environment post-Brexit, where higher productivity and more private investment is leveraged in to help Britain lead the recovery globally.

In addition to help with the increase in energy costs, we want to help businesses with a reduction in Business Rates, and to bring forward our energy efficiency scheme to retrofit homes so that they use less energy in the future. Our plan to buy, make and sell more in Britain, to fix the holes in the government’s patchwork Brexit deal, and its Climate Investment Pledge, to decarbonise the economy, and create good jobs across the country, is vital for creating more certainty, boosting businesses and stimulating sustainable growth.

Rachel Reeves MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, said: “For each and every day government fails to act, families are forking out more and more to keep oil and gas profits so high, that producers don’t even know what to do with that extra money.

In the midst of a cost of living crisis, this failure to act is unconscionable. How much evidence do the Tories need that a windfall tax on oil and gas producer profits is the fair and right way to cut bills now? How many more alarm bells on spiralling inflation, painful tax rises and rising poverty must they hear before they act in the interests of the British people and our economy?

Anything less than backing an Emergency Budget – including a one-off windfall tax on oil and gas producer profits – to ease the pressure from the cost of living crisis is a failure by this Conservative government.”

Feel strongly about this article?

The post The Government has Again Refused to Back Energy Sector Windfall Tax appeared first on Debbie Abrahams, MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth.

Liz’s MP representative Sarah Russell caught up with New Parks Community Hub Director Jo Randall as well as the brilliant Premier League Kicks team, which runs community football sessions on the Hub site. 

The Hub is a fantastic community centre for New Parks – Jo and her team have created a really welcoming environment at the centre, which hosts an incredible range of activities and events, including their Team Cafe, Team Tots sessions, and regular housing surgeries, as well as lots more. 

Sarah also had the chance to see the Hub’s new football pitch in action and meet the Premier League Kicks team. They run regular community football sessions from the site, for both children and adults. They welcome players of all abilities and sessions are free of charge- to find out more about the Kicks programme see here https://www.premierleague.com/this-is-pl/the-communities/409192Premier League Kicks


The post Premier League Kicks and New Parks Community Hub appeared first on Liz Kendall.

The Queen’s Speech

Stephen Kinnock (Aberavon)

On Monday morning, Local MP Grant Shapps joined passengers at Welwyn Garden City Station to mark the beginning of new cross-London train services between Welwyn Garden City and Sevenoaks, Kent.

The new Thameslink services will run every half an hour during weekday peak times – greatly benefitting those who commute into London from the area.

The link makes up the first-ever direct route across central London via Finsbury Park in the north and Elephant & Castle in the south.

Passengers travelling from Welwyn Hatfield will also benefit from better access to the new Elizabeth Line which opens next week.

During the visit, Mr Shapps met with Tom Moran, Managing Director for Thameslink and Great Northern, as well as various other stakeholders from across the constituency, speaking to them about the new Thameslink service.

Commenting on the service Mr Shapps said, “it’s fantastic to see this new service being introduced, not only for the wider region, but also for my own Welwyn Hatfield constituents who will now be able to travel into London that bit easier.

“Increased connectivity between Welwyn Hatfield, London and Kent can only benefit residents, providing them with greater opportunities, and making the area a more prosperous and desirable place to live.”

When speaking of the service Mr Moran said, “We’re delighted we can now provide these extra seats and new journey opportunities for Hertfordshire and Northeast London commuters. The new route is a key part of the service uplift we’ve achieved for our passengers in the new summer timetable introduced this week.

“This timetable is the starting point for rebuilding our railway, working closely with our community and industry partners to support passengers and the economic recovery of both local and regional rail.”

The post Grant Shapps Welcomes Welwyn Garden City Cross-London Train Route appeared first on The Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP.

The Queen’s Speech Newsletter

Nigel Mills (Amber Valley)

Dear Constituent,

Welcome to this month’s newsletter, which includes a special note on today’s Queen’s Speech at the opening of this session of Parliament and the support the Government is introducing to help with the rising cost of living. There’s also local news on progress with the regeneration of the former Heanor Grammar School, a new training academy in Alfreton and a summary of the recent local election results. 

Queen’s Speech summary:

Today’s Queen’s Speech at the opening of Parliament set out 38 new bills focused on helping to ease the cost of living, growing the economy, cutting crime and supporting communities, clearing the backlogs from Covid and making the most of the freedoms offered as a result of Brexit. 

We are growing the economy to improve living standards by:

• Providing £22 billion of support to help families to tackle the global cost of living increase, easing costs for households.

• Supporting people into high-skilled and well-paid jobs through our multi-billion pound Plan For Jobs, giving thousands of people the security of a job. We have a strong labour market helped by our multi-billion pound Plan For Jobs – with a boosted National Living Wage of £9.50 per hour, an extra £1,000 a year for an average full-time worker, focussing on ensuring work pays.

• Levelling up and regenerating our towns and cities through our landmark Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill, shifting power to local leaders. Our Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill will deliver planning reforms, regenerate towns and cities and shift power and accountability to local leaders giving communities a louder voice which will empower communities across the UK.

• Reforming our higher education system through our Higher Education Bill, raising education standards and increasing fairness within the system. Our Higher Education Bill reforms the higher education system to raise standards and introduce the lifelong loan entitlement – helping every student fulfil their potential wherever they live.

 • Introducing our Energy Security Bill, delivering a more secure and homegrown energy system that is more affordable and cleaner, cutting costs for families. Our Energy Security Bill will deliver a cleaner, more secure and affordable homegrown energy system that will create tens of thousands of jobs whilst cutting household bills for families and achieving energy sovereignty.

• Modernising our business rates system through our Non-Domestic Rating Bill, increasing fairness for business owners. Our Non-Domestic Rating Bill modernises the business rates system with more frequent revaluations based on more accurate data, increasing fairness for business owners on the amount of business rates they pay.

• Improving tenants’ rights through our Social Housing Regulation Bill, ensuring better quality and safer homes.

• Introducing our Social Security Bill, allowing more people nearing the end of their life to get fast-tracked accessed to key disability benefits.

• Enabling the sale of Channel 4 through our Media Bill, strengthening the UK’s system of public service broadcasting. Our Media Bill will enable the sale of Channel 4, allowing the channel to embark on a new chapter of its journey and strengthening the UK’s public service broadcasting sector by increasing competitiveness.

• Putting Great British Railways on a statutory footing through our Transport Bill, making our transport system more reliable and efficient for passengers.

We are using our Brexit freedoms to grow our economy, ease cost of living pressures and support British business by:

• Seizing our Brexit freedoms through our Brexit Freedoms Bill, putting us in control of our own laws which best deliver for the UK.

• Strengthening our school’s system through our Schools Bill, raising standards for students, reforming funding and encouraging attendance. Our Schools Bill will level up opportunity by delivering a stronger and more highly performing school system that benefits every child, regardless of where they live.

• Introducing our Trade (Australia and New Zealand) Bill, implementing our Free Trade Agreements as we strike out as Global Britain. Our Trade (Australia and New Zealand) Bill will enable the implementation of our Free Trade Agreements with Australia and New Zealand as we strike out as Global Britain and take control of our own trade agreements free from EU restrictions.

We are making streets safer and cutting crime by:

• Recruiting 20,000 new police officers, helping to keep our streets safe. We have already recruited 13,576 new and an extra £540 million will be invested by 2024-25 to complete this recruitment.

• Enshrining the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts (PCSC) Act into law, keeping dangerous offenders behind bars for longer. Our PCSC Act introduces whole life orders for child killers, life sentences for drivers who kill while intoxicated, and ends the automatic early release of dangerous violent and sexual offenders.

• Bringing forward a Draft Victims Bill, strengthening rights for victims by placing the new Victims’ Code on a statutory footing. The drafted Victims Bill will set out to restore victims’ confidence that their voices will be properly heard and that perpetrators will be brought to justice.

• Strengthening our approach to modern slavery through our Modern Slavery Bill, protecting human trafficking victims. Our Modern Slavery Bill will strengthen protection and support for human trafficking victims and increases transparency in supply chains – stamping out modern slavery in our society.

• Carrying our Online Safety Bill over from the previous session to improve safety online, making the UK the safest place in the world to be online. Our Online Safety Bill creates a new regulatory framework that improves user safety online while safeguarding freedom of expression – making the UK the safest place in the world to be online.

We are funding our NHS to clear the Covid backlogs by:

• Following the unprecedented challenges placed on the NHS by Covid-19, we are investing £36 billion as we clear the backlogs.

• Recruiting an additional 27,000 nurses and investing £1.5 billion to create an additional 50 million GP appointments, tackling the backlogs. We are recruiting 27,000 new nurses and investing £1.5 billion to create 50 million more GP appointments, and we are delivering our manifesto commitment to build 40 new hospitals, alongside £2.3 billion to increase diagnostic activity with ambitions to roll out up to 160 community diagnostic centres over the next three years.

• Bringing forward our draft Mental Health Act Reform Bill, putting patients and the centre of mental health services.

Cost of living support:

Many residents have understandably raised the issue of the rising cost of living as something they are particularly concerned about. 

As we emerge from the pandemic, we have been increasingly confronted by global inflationary pressures caused by the world economy starting up again. Much of this inflation is driven by rising energy costs as worldwide demand grows and supply is unable to keep up – as well as the effects of the war in Ukraine. 

In response to these pressures, the Government has announced £22 billion of support for families.

This includes a £200 rebate on energy bills for all households, to be paid back over the next five years at £40 per year starting from April 2023. Secondly, the Government has announced a non-repayable £150 cash rebate for households in Council Tax bands A-D, which include the vast majority of homes in Amber Valley. And finally, the Government will provide local authorities with a discretionary fund of nearly £150 million to help low-income residents in houses outside of Council Tax bands A-D.

In the Spring Statement, the Chancellor also outlined further measures to help families cope with the cost of living by cutting fuel duty, lifting the National Insurance personal threshold, cutting the basic rate of income tax from 2024, scrapping VAT on energy saving materials and doubling the existing Household Support Fund to £1 billion. 

I welcome these measures as I believe they strike an appropriate balance between remaining responsible with the nation’s finances as we recover from the pandemic and providing families with both immediate and longer-term help with the cost of living.

I know that many are concerned about this year’s pensions and benefits increase being based on inflation figures from September. As inflation figures are now substantially higher than they were in September I share your concern that the increase will not be sufficient, and that a more appropriate measure would be to use the most recent inflation rate from December. Back in February, I spoke in the House of Commons to raise my concerns and outline my position on this issue. While the uplift has remained, I am very glad the Government has confirmed that the pensions triple lock will return next year as planned; so that pensions will rise far more substantially in 2023.

I will continue to support and push for measures to help residents cope with pressures on household budgets. 

Amber Valley Borough Council local elections – 5th May 2022:

Last week, on Thursday 5th May, a third of the seats on Amber Valley Borough Council were up for election. Within the Amber Valley constituency, voters went to the polls in Alfreton, Somercotes, Swanwick, Ripley, Ironville and Riddings, Codnor and Waingroves, Heanor East, Heanor West, Heanor and Loscoe, Langley Mill & Aldercar, Shipley Park, Horsley & Horsley Woodhouse and Kilburn, Denby & Holbrook.

Congratulations to all successful candidates. You can find the results in full here and you can find your local councillor here

Progress on regeneration of former Heanor Grammar School site – purchase completed!

It was recently confirmed that Amber Valley Borough Council have taken ownership of the former Heanor Grammar School building. This is excellent news for Heanor as for too long this building has sat empty at the heart of the town. Despite the building’s potential to elevate the local community, it has become an eyesore.

I have been calling for the building to be repurposed for years, so I was delighted to learn that the Council now plans to restore the building into a new ‘Heanor Hub’. The regenerated site will include a mixture of business space and community facilities for local residents, as well as potentially some leisure activities. The plans also aim to provide new parking and improve links with the Market Place and town centre. This is all being done through the Borough Council’s Future High Streets project, which combines £8.6 million of Government funding, as part of an overall £17.8 million town centre regeneration programme.

This project represents a fantastic opportunity to reinvigorate Heanor town centre after a particularly tough time during the pandemic. Local residents will be able to have their say on the draft plans of the former Heanor Grammar School through upcoming planned consultations and I will keep you updated in future newsletters. 

Investing in local bus services:

Bus services form the backbone of our local transport network and I know that for many residents local buses are vital for getting around. However, bus services have been severely impacted by the pandemic and we also need to make it easier and more accessible to encourage more people to use local bus services. 

So, as part of a new Bus Service Improvement Programme, the Government recently announced the award of £47 million of funding over the next 3 years to Derbyshire County Council to maintain and improve our local bus services. The investment is intended to promote cheaper and easier ticketing and invest in bus services by improving information for passengers, investing in bus stops and shelters and making journeys more reliable through road network and traffic improvements. 

This is welcome news for Amber Valley and the whole of Derbyshire and I will continue to push for local areas and services to benefit from this investment.

Visit to Alfreton Qualitrain Engineering:

Education and opportunities for young people in Amber Valley are subjects that are often raised when I speak to local residents. Specifically, the need for more vocational training and employment focused qualifications. It is for this reason that I was so pleased to open the new Qualitrain Engineering Academy in Alfreton, which is specifically designed to offer these opportunities.

The academy is set to offer hands-on apprenticeships to the next generation of engineering and manufacturing professionals. Offering apprenticeships in the form of Level 2 and 3 Improvement Standards in such courses as Engineering Technician, General Welder, Metal Fabricator, and Rail Engineering Technician.

It is clear to me that this is a great asset to add to our local community, and exactly the type of employment focused education we all want to see offered locally. I look forward to seeing the academy’s progress in the coming months.

Street Watch – report it:

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 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.

Public Sexual Harassment Law – Update

Yasmin Qureshi (Bolton South East)

My Weekly Round-up

Christina Rees (Neath)

The House resumed on Tuesday 19th April, because Monday was a Bank Holiday, and I began by attending the UK Steel re-launch of the UK Steel Charter. The event brought together Government Ministers, MPs, steel producers, consumers, and other supply chain partners to discuss the issues of procurement, infrastructure, and steel’s place within it. The event celebrated new signatories, thanked existing ones, and attendees heard from organisations who support domestic supply chains and maximise social values achieved through procurement activities. But the manner by which public and private organisations source steel will fundamentally change in forthcoming years. We were told that the UK Government’s Transforming Public Procurement and Levelling Up white papers, and the Government’s Steel Procurement Task Force publications, commit to harness the power of public procurement to support jobs and local communities. The UK Steel Charter has encouraged this proactive approach for many years, and numerous public and private sector organisations, including BEIS, and devolved administrations have become supportive partners. MPs and Unions have a pivotal role in maximising opportunities and value for the steel sector. I pledged my continued support for the UK Steel Charter and my ongoing commitment for steel workers, employees, in every region of the UK.

On Tuesday, there were three Government statements in the Chamber: Global Migration Challenge (Rwanda Plan); Prime Minister’s Statement: Government Update; and BEIS Statement: Energy Security Strategy. The first statement was led by Home Secretary Priti Patel who set out her Government’s plan for immigration published in March 2021, which is based on three objectives – increase the fairness and efficiency to better protect those in genuine need of asylum, deter illegal and dangerous routes, breaking criminal smuggling networks, and remove those without a right to be in the UK. The Home Secretary set out the international agreement with Rwanda, which states that Rwanda is a state party to the 1951 UN Refugee Convention, operates the seven core UN human rights conventions, and has a strong system for refugee resettlement. Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper disagreed and said that this statement was unworkable, shameful, and a desperate attempt to distract from the PM’s lawbreaking, and undermining the rule of law. It didn’t include costs of people transferred to Rwanda, but the Home Office had briefed that it might be £30,000 per person to cover 3 months accommodation, and that is three times the cost of dealing with an asylum case in the UK. Ms Cooper said that the top police chief and anti-slavery commissioner said that this agreement will make it harder to prosecute people traffickers. Former PM Theresa May stated that she did not support it for legal, practical and efficacy grounds.

The second statement was led by the PM who stated that on 12th April he received a fixed penalty notice (FPN) relating to an event in Downing Street on 19th June 2020, which he paid immediately, and offered a full apology to the British people, and today on the first sitting day after receiving the FPN he repeated his wholehearted apology to the House. He said that it did not occur to him then or subsequently that a gathering in the Cabinet room just before a vital meeting on Covid strategy could amount to a breach of the rules. The Leader of the Opposition, Keir Starmer MP, did not accept the PM’s assertions, and stated that the public has made up its mind and they do not believe a word the PM says. Many MPs questioned the PM during the 80 minute statement, and many read out heart-breaking stories of their constituents who had lost loved ones during Covid but had obeyed the rules that the PM had made, and consequently didn’t have the opportunity to visit, or pay their respects to loved ones who had died. In total, the PM apologised 35 times.

The third statement was led by the Secretary of State for BEIS, Kwasi Kwarteng, who said that the UK Government’s energy security strategy provides a clear, long-term plan to accelerate transition from expensive fossil fuel prices set by global markets, and is based on well-constituted energy policy, security, affordability and sustainability. Mr Kwarteng quoted the Chancellor’s £9 billion support package, including a £150 council tax rebate, £200 energy rebate in October, and decarbonisation of people’s homes saving low-income families £300 per year. Shadow Climate Change and Net Zero Minister, Ed Miliband MP, disagreed and said that it’s all hype, promises, and fails to live up to the scale of the energy crisis that families are facing, and once again the UK Government cannot deliver what the national interest demands.

The Online Safety Bill Second Reading was led by the Secretary of State DCMS Nadine Dorries, and was debated for two and a half hours, but was not pushed to a division. Therefore, the Bill was carried over for the Committee Stage, following the Queen’s Speech which will take place on 11th May.

On Wednesday I attended a drop in event to support the Fan-Led review of football governance organised by Fair Game UK to show that we must build a future for football that puts financial sustainability, good governance, equality standards, and fan community engagement, at the heart of football in the UK. I met former England International John Scales and Niall Cooper, the CEO of Fair Game who have both been instrumental in campaigning for reform after the failure of the European Super League. Football fans must play a central role in reform.

I also dropped in to the RNIB and LEGO Group event to celebrate their amazing initiative to develop LEGO Braille Bricks to help young people who have vision impairment to learn braille. This is a concept that is a play-based methodology which teaches braille to children who are blind or visually impaired. Each brick retains its iconic form, but the studs are arranged to correspond with numbers and letters of the Braille alphabet. Each brick also shows the printed version of the symbol or letter, so that sighted and blind children can play and learn on equal terms. Over the past 15 months RNIB has delivered training to 800 teaching professionals and distributed 2,000 sets of bricks to 220 Local Authorities. I met with teachers and students who have benefited from using the LEGO Braille Bricks and took the opportunity to try out the bricks.

I attended the TSB’s “Tackling Fraud Together” event and report launch which is campaigning for better protections for consumers against fraud. Online fraud has a significant impact on the cost of living for many families in the UK. Research by TSB found that in Wales 26% of people would not be able to afford food, and 21% would not afford their rent or mortgage, for one week, if they lost up to £500 through fraud. 53% of the claims seen by TSB are for less than £500, and I’m supporting TSB in their call for stronger action from the public and private sector to protect people from fraud. TSB has refunded 97% of fraud claims since April 2019 compared to the rest of the banking sector which has refunded less than 50%. I’m calling on other banks to refund more fraud victims.

On Wednesday afternoon, the Lords Amendments to the Subsidy Control Bill, the Building Safety Bill, and the Nationality and Borders Bill were debated in the Commons Chamber.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for BEIS, Paul Scully MP, led the first Bill, and the UK Government accepted all the Lords Amendments, apart from 46, which were then agreed to by Members without pushing to a division.

Labour supported the following Lords Amendments regarding the Building Safety Bill when they returned to the Commons:
Amendment 8: major concerns about safety in buildings should be addressed in a timely way.
115: extended the cost protections to leaseholders in buildings of all heights containing two or more residential dwellings.
117: ensured that leaseholders in enfranchised buildings are not excluded from protection.
155: reduced the maximum amount leaseholders could be made liable for fire remediation to zero.

Unfortunately, the UK Government were successful in opposing all these Lords Amendments.

There was a Government concession on Labour Lord’s Amendment 22 which ensured that social housing providers are exempt from the additional financial burden of the Government’s proposed levy, ensuring that council tenants would not subsidise the failures of private developers, and will be enacted through Secondary Legislation. There were 250 Government Lord’s amendments agreed without divisions.

We voted on 12 Lords Amendments to the Nationality and Borders Bill when they returned to the Commons late Wednesday night.

Amendment 4B removed the retrospective power of the Secretary of State so that any existing deprivation orders given without notice would have to be reissued through the lawful process in the Bill.

5B ensured that nothing in the Bill authorises policies or decisions which do not comply with the Refugee Convention.

6B ensured that refugees which have been separated into 2 groups, based on whether or not they have passed through a safe third country, should have the equal entitlements. They will be given Convention and family reunion rights.

7B provided asylum seekers with a right to work whilst they are still waiting for a decision after 6 months.

8B ensured that inadmissibility rules cannot be commenced until there are safe return agreements in place.

53B-D removed offshore processing of asylum seekers from the Bill.

10B replaced family reunion rules lost under the Dublin III scheme and provided a route for unaccompanied children.

11B provided that the Secretary of State published a target for refugee resettlement each year and put in place resourcing and infrastructure to support it.

13B provided that it is only an offence if someone arrives in the UK in breach of a deportation order, rather than criminalising anyone who arrives without clearance.

20B ensured that anyone rescuing lives at sea would be protected from prosecution.

25B narrowed the prosecution of those identified as a “threat to public order” to those convicted of terrorist offences.

26B put in place 12 months of support for victims of modern slavery.

The UK Government defeated all these Lords Amendments.

On Thursday the opposition parties tabled and the House debated a censure motion entitled “Referral of Prime Minister to Committee of Privileges”, which contained: fixed penalty notices in relation to events in 10 Downing St; assertions made by the PM with regard to – the legality of these activities under Covid regulations; that no parties and no regulations were broken; appeared to mislead the House; and that this should be referred to the Privileges Committee to consider whether the PM’s conduct amounted to contempt of the House, but that this should not begin until inquiries by the Metropolitan Police have concluded. Sir Keir Starmer MP opened the debate and Angela Rayner MP closed the debate on behalf of the Opposition. The Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General Michael Ellis MP wound up the debate for the Government. Angela said that she hoped it was the last time that the Minister was wheeled out to defend the indefensible, and that members from across the House have spoken about the heart-wrenching sacrifices their constituents made throughout the pandemic, and about the principles of integrity, honesty, and dignity, which are at stake. She also stated that the debate is a historic moment and it’s about the crucial question of whether the PM intentionally misled the House. The Minister said that the PM has made it clear that he is happy to face whatever inquiries Parliament sees fit, and he is happy for the House to decide how to proceed, so the Tories were not whipped, but free to vote. He also stated that the Government Amendment was tabled last night because it wanted Sue Gray to publish her report without delay and the Metropolitan Police to conclude their investigations, but now recognise that these will happen, so the Government is happy for the Labour Motion to go through. The Minister said that the PM has apologised repeatedly for what has happened. He has asked for the House’s forgiveness and should be allowed to get on with serving the country. The debate lasted for over 5 hours and, as the Minister said, the UK Government did not oppose the motion and it passed without a vote.

The Government also announced that it anticipated that Parliament will be prorogued on Thursday 28th April and will be resumed on Tuesday 11th May, when the Queen will make a speech opening the new Parliamentary session.

On Saturday 23rd May I was honoured and humbled to join many people from the local community who attended the Ukrainian Vigil in Ynysfach Primary School. A committee made up from Resolven Community Council, the ladies from the Welfare Club, and local residents was set up to organise the Vigil, which took place in the school yard. The pupils had made Ukrainian banners and flags with which they had decorated the yard, and they joined in the Vigil. Neal Francis, the Chairman and Mayor of Resolven Community Council introduced the speakers, including a local resident from Tonna who has family in Ukraine and is raising funds to send over much needed supplies including medical equipment; Jeremy Miles gave an update on Welsh Government support; and Reverend Jane Shaw said prayers and a blessing. We listened to the Black Eyed Peas song for Ukraine “Where is the Love” and the Ukrainian anthem. After the very emotional Vigil, we attended a fund-raising buffet where all the food was made by the WI, and held in Building Blocks Family Centre, hosted by the centre manager Ceri Pritchard. The local shops and clubs had sold ribbons, held raffles and collections. The total raised was an amazing £1196.66. Slava Ukraina. Slava Resolven.

The last week of the current Parliamentary session started on Monday 25th April. The business in the Chamber was – UK Government statements, Urgent Questions, and Lords Amendments returning to the Commons, to be voted down by the UK Government.

At 3.30pm on Monday, The Secretary of State for Defence, Ben Wallace MP, updated the House on Ukraine. He said that it is 61 days since Russia invaded Ukraine and 74 days since his Russian counterpart assured him that Russia would not invade. The UK Government assessed that 15,000 Russian personnel have been killed, over 2,000 armoured vehicles, 60 helicopters and fighter jets, have been destroyed or captured. Last week the Russians admitted that the Moskva had sunk, and the Russians have refocused to try and capture Donetsk, Luhansk, Donbas, and connect with Crimea via Mariupol. The Minister listed the support he had given Ukraine: 5,000 anti-tank missiles; 5 air defence systems; 1,360 anti-structure munitions and 4.5 tonnes of plastic explosives. Also, 90,000 ration packs, 10 pallets of medical equipment, 3,000 pieces of body armour, 77,000 helmets, and 3,000 pairs of boots. The Minister stated that the PM had announced another £100 million of high grade equipment and the Minister said that Stormer vehicles will also be gifted to Ukraine. He said that the next three weeks would be key, and the UK is working with Canada, US, and EU, and that NATO is reassessing how it can deter and defend against threats. The Minister quoted the President of Ukraine who said that if Russia stops fighting there will be peace – if Ukraine stops fighting there will be no more Ukraine.

The next statement was the UK Government’s response to the Fan Led Review of Football Governance delivered by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Nigel Huddleston MP, but before he called the Minister, Mr Speaker yet again voiced his disappointment that the UK Government had already released its response to the media the night before. Mr Speaker said that it was discourteous to the House and to Tracey Crouch MP who had chaired the review, and had put so much work into this and she has been cut out, but the Speaker would give her more time to speak in the statement. The Minister said that his Government endorsed all 10 strategic recommendations set out in the review, and would Implement its responsibilities, but the football authorities should implement theirs too. The UK Government also published the findings of a study by Kieran Maguire and Christina Philippou, which confirmed there is a widespread issue of fragile finances across English Football Clubs. The Minister said that the UK Government would publish a White Paper in the summer which will set out details of implementing the recommendations, including a new financial regulation regime, an independent regulator, a new directors and owners test, a minimum level of fan engagement, fans consent before changing stadium, colours, and badge, protection of players welfare, and the UK Government will implement these reforms as soon as possible. The Minister said that the Premier League should strengthen its support through the football pyramid. The Minister said that the UK Government will also launch a dedicated review of women’s football, and that the FIFA Women’s World Cup, and UEFA European Women’s final will be made available to free-to-air broadcasters. Tracey Crouch MP welcomed the UK Government’s endorsement, but said she was concerned about the timeframe for implementation, and asked the Minister to clarify: what does summer mean; will he rule out housing the independent regulator in the FA; will the owners and directors test be split into 2; does he share her disappointment that no progress has been made on discussions between football authorities regarding redistribution and parachute payments; what is his position on the transfer solidarity levy; and will there be a veto for fans on heritage matters. The Minister said that he would bring back further information about: the definition of “summer”; the home for the regulator; financial distribution agreement; and the precise nature of fan engagement and heritage assets in the forthcoming weeks.

The debate on consideration of the Lords Message for the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill followed the statements, and we voted to support the Lords Amendments. The first Lords Amendment group 73, 74 ABCDEFG, and 87 ABCDEFH, removed provisions for police to impose conditions on “noisy” protests, and in-person impact to people in the vicinity of protests – defined as intimidation, harassment, serious unease, serious alarm, and serious distress. We lost by 300-220 votes. The second Lords Amendment group 80 ABCDEFH removed provisions for police to impose conditions on public assemblies, and static protests. We lost by 302-221 votes.
The next debate considered the Lords Amendments for the Health and Care Bill. We voted on Lords Amendment 29B which required workforce projections to be published every three years rather than two years, to reduce the bureaucratic burden, replacing Lords Amendment 29 which we lost last week. We again lost by 278-182 votes. We voted on Lords Amendment 80 which removed the clause relating to a cap of £86,000 on social care costs, and also stated that Local Authority contributions would not count towards the cap. Lords Amendments 80P and Q ensured that the cap cannot be brought in until results of the Trailblazer pilots schemes have been evaluated. We lost by 282-183 votes.

On Tuesday morning I joined the AGM of the Environment All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) and was re-elected as one of the vice-chairs. The Green Alliance was confirmed to continue as the secretariat. Rt Hon Chris Skidmore MP, who was the UK Government Minister who signed net zero into law, was elected as chair. We discussed the work and events programme for the next twelve months, including meetings on energy security with the Minister for Business, Energy and Clean Growth, Greg Hands MP, environment land management with the Minister for Farming, Fisheries, and Food, Victoria Prentice MP, and CBD COP15 with the Minister for the Pacific and International Environment, Lord Goldsmith.

In the afternoon I chaired the Fifth Delegated Legislation Committee which debated The Industrial Training Levy (Construction Industry Training Board) Order 2022. This instrument will enable the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) to raise and collect a levy on employers in the construction industry. The levy funds the expenses of the CITB in carrying out its functions encouraging training in the industry under the Industrial Training Act 1982. The purpose is to address market failure in the development and maintenance of skills in the construction industry. A previous instrument in 2018 allowed levies to be collected in 2018, 2019, 2020, but the 2021 instrument allowed for a one year levy to halve the 2018 rate in response to the pandemic. The instrument debated in this committee allowed the rates to return to the 2018 levy, and extended it for the levy periods ending in 2022, 2023, and 2024. The increased threshold for small employers remained unchanged. I called on the Minister, Alex Burghart MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Apprenticeships and Skills, to open the debate by moving the motion, but he only managed to read the title of the motion, when the division bells rang, and I had to suspend the debate so that members of the committee could vote on Lords amendments of the Judicial Review and Courts Bill.

Labour abstained on Lords Amendments 1 and 5, and voted to support Lords Amendment 11, which introduced a new entitlement for bereaved persons to receive publicly funded representation in inquests where public bodies are legally represented (Hillsborough Law) and we lost by 299-168 votes.

I resumed the Delegated Legislation Committee after all the votes had taken place. The Minister moved the motion and opened the debate. The Opposition Spokesperson Toby Perkins MP responded and asked the Minister questions, but did not oppose the instrument, which was passed without a vote.

The UK Government added the Nationality and Borders Bill to the end of Tuesday’s business. Starting at 10.30pm we voted again on three of the Lords Amendments that we had voted to support last week when we were defeated by the UK Government and sent back to the Lords for “ping-pong” (when Lords Amendments to a UK Government Bill are voted down in the Commons and sent back to the Lords to be re-amended or conceded). Labour again supported Lords Amendment 5D, losing 296-206; Lords Amendment 6DEF losing 299-205; and Lords Amendment 7FG losing 288-212. These amendments were then sent back to the Lords for them to decide whether to concede defeat on these amendments or send them back to the Commons for more ping-pong.

On Wednesday I joined the APPG on Rare, Genetic and Undiagnosed Conditions for Undiagnosed Children’s Day (29th April). Approximately 6,000 children are born every year with a genetic condition likely to remain undiagnosed. There are multiple factors which stop someone from receiving a diagnosis, for example, some people may not be able to access tests to identify their condition, while others may have a condition so rare it is yet to be discovered. We heard from two speakers: Marie Pritchard, representative from SWAN UK, which is run by the Genetic Alliance UK Charity and provides 24/7 support for its members, on her experience of having a child with “a syndrome with no name” and Nick Meade, Joint Interim Chief Executive and Director of Policy at Genetic Alliance UK, who spoke on the findings from the Good Diagnosis report which underlies the importance of diagnosis for people living with rare conditions and sets out some guiding principles for diagnosis: increasing awareness of rare conditions among healthcare professionals; people with rare conditions should receive information and support throughout their diagnosis; and a good diagnosis patient rights charter should be developed. I asked Nick what he thought of the Welsh Government Rare Diseases Implementation Plan and he said that it was clear, ambitious, and achievable.

The Elections Bill came back to the Commons on Wednesday night for some “ping-pong”. Labour has advocated that voting is safe and secure in Britain and Ministers should be promoting confidence in our elections, rather than threatening our democracy, by proposing a voting ID system taken from the Republican Party Playbook. In the 2019 General Election, there was one prosecution for voter impersonation out of over 59 million votes. Three and a half million people of the UK electorate do not have access to any form of photo ID. We saw the severe consequences of the Windrush scandal when communities struggled to provide official documentation. Labour supported Lords Amendments 22 and 23 tabled by Lord Judge which removed clauses that make provision for a power to designate a “Strategy and Policy Statement” for the Electoral Commission which will be drafted by the Government, and will undermine the independence of the Commission. Amendment 22 was defeated by 306-215 votes, and Amendment 23 was defeated by 306-213 votes. Labour supported Lords Amendment 86 tabled by Lord Willets, which added a list of documents that would be accepted as a form of identification for electors voting at polling stations, many of which are non-photographic, but this was defeated 306-213. Parliamentary protocol stipulates that because I chaired the Committee Stage of the Elections Bill I was not allowed to vote on the other stages of this Bill.


Stephen Morgan (Portsmouth South)



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ARTICLE: I Won’t Give Up on Unfair Energy Prices

Drew Hendry (Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey)

The UK Parliament was prorogued last week, marking the end of this Parliamentary term. As is the way at Westminster, there is a lot of pomp and ceremony attached to the process, but, in short, prorogation allows the Government to reset parliamentary business.

Parliament will recommence on the 10th of May, with the Queen’s Speech marking the beginning of the new legislative session. At this point, we learn the bills the Government intends to pursue over the course of the next session of Parliament.

Readers may recall that Boris Johnson was found to have illegally prorogued Parliament during the Brexit negotiations. He used this process to avoid scrutiny by MPs of his Government’s Brexit deal – which resulted in him having to make a formal apology to the Queen. At the time, it was almost unthinkable that any Prime Minister would act to bring their own Government into disrepute. Now we know it was only the beginning.

Before the end of Parliament, my Energy Pricing (Off Gas Grid Households) Bill was published. If passed, the bill would oblige the UK Government to act to ensure households do not have to pay more for energy because they do not have access to mains gas supply.

The current energy price cap is based on the assumption that households across the nations of the UK consume energy with a split of 80% gas and 20% electricity. However, about one in six homes across the nations of the UK are currently off the gas grid.

The end of the parliamentary session means this bill will fall, along with many others. I will keep on the issue in the new parliamentary session.

Last week, I also presented Highland News Media’s petition on unfair electricity charges to 10 Downing Street. It was great to see so much support across the Highlands to end these unfair charges and rest assured, I will continue to work on this issue on your behalf.

Before I sign off, I want to take this opportunity to wish all the candidates standing for  election to the Highland Council well. Whatever separates us in politics, we all want to see the best for our communities.

To everyone else – don’t forget to vote this Thursday to elect your local Councillors. If you have a postal vote and haven’t filled it out yet, there is still time, and it can be returned to the polling station on Thursday.

The post ARTICLE: I Won’t Give Up on Unfair Energy Prices appeared first on .

I know how anxious people are about safety in Ashford Town Centre, so it was reassuring to be shown around the various new measures put in place as part of the Ashford Safer Streets initiative. On Friday Kent’s Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott joined me, Ashford Borough Council and the…

April 2022 Newsletter

Tulip Siddiq (Hampstead and Kilburn)

Click here to view my newsletter for April 2022

International Workers’ Memorial Day 2022

Conor McGinn (St Helens North)

Local Update

Chris Grayling (Epsom and Ewell)

Dear constituent

I am writing to you with one of my regular updates about local issues.

Chalk Pit

Firstly the latest on the Chalk Pit in Epsom.

I am waiting for news as to whether the controversial retrospective planning application will be called in by the Government. This does not normally happen if a local authority has given permission for a development, but I am hoping that this case will be different. If it is called in, there will be a proper enquiry into the situation.

In the meantime, the business which has been causing most of the problems has been sold and is moving its operation off the site. Unfortunately another firm has been using the site as well, and is now applying to take over the permit for the site. As this firm were ordered to leave a previous site in Morden because of noise and dust pollution, I am strongly opposing the granting of a licence to them. After representations from myself and local residents, the Environment Agency has agreed to treat the application as a matter of high public interest which means it will be subject to a much more detailed investigation and consultation than would normally be the case.

In addition I met the Chief Executive of the Environment Agency before Easter to discuss the problems at the Chalk Pit and I am hopeful that the Agency will now be more robust in its approach to dealing with the noise and dust nuisance there. I know that the high level of nuisance has been continuing and will do all I can to hold them to the promises that they are now making.

Southern & Southwestern Rail Services

I have also met the Chief Executives of our two local rail companies to protest about the poor levels of service at the moment. On the Southern Route I have been promised additional trains from Epsom to London Bridge, but I am pushing for them to go south of Epsom as well as the service from Ashtead and further down in Mole Valley is not good enough at the moment.

With SWR I am in particular pushing for additional trains from Ewell West, Stoneleigh and Worcester Park in the peak as crowding levels are clearly now bad again. In particular the service after 8am is much too thin. I will update you when I get a response from them.

New Hospital Sutton

I have been asked by some local residents what is happening about the potential new hospital at Sutton. This has clearly been delayed by the pandemic, but I understand that a planning application is due in the coming months. I do not expect the new facility to be open until the second half of the decade, though. For now I do not expect any change to local services.

Citizens Advice Drop in Hours

The Citizens Advice team in Epsom have restarted their drop in service at their office in the Old Town Hall after closing it during the pandemic. The service can offer you help and guidance about a range of issues, including benefits, housing, debt, fuel poverty, family issues

The service is available as follows:

Monday – Friday                  10am – 4pm   Adviceline Telephone service

Tuesday (from 17th May)    10am – 1pm    Drop in service

Thursday                               10am – 3pm   Drop in service

Address: Citizens Advice Epsom & Ewell, The Old Town Hall, The Parade, Epsom KT18 5AG

Adviceline:      0808 278 7963 (free to call)

Email:              office@caee.org.uk

Appeal for Former Scouts

Finally an appeal for former Scouts in the area.

3rd Epsom Scout Group is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. Based in the Scout Hall behind St John Chandler Hall on Church Road (just off East Street), we are the oldest continuously running Scout Group in the area

Did you attend Beavers, Cubs, Scouts or Explorers with the Group when you were younger? Did your children go there? Did you volunteer as a leader there? If so, we would love to hear from you. 

This summer we are holding an event to celebrate our centenary and would love to have old members and other friends of the Group join us. If you have any memories or photos of your time in Beavers, Cubs, Scouts or Explorers, we’d also love to hear from you.

To join our alumni mailing list and find out more about how we’re celebrating, go to: https://www.3rdepsom.org.uk/Alumni.html

Or contact us at: 100years@3rdepsom.org.uk

Best wishes


The post Local Update appeared first on Chris Grayling.

I was extremely disappointed to be informed last week about the threatened closure, once again, of High Wycombe’s Driving Test Centre. Having been through this before, just over a year ago, I remain determined for High Wycombe to maintain driving tests for the thousands of learner drivers in our town. It is essential we have driving tests in High Wycombe, which is why I was thrilled to help secure the lease of the test centre at Cressex Business Park since […]

New Plan for Immigration

Damian Collins (Folkestone and Hythe)

Wednesday 27 April 2022 The UK has a proud history of welcoming those in desperate need of help. We are a fundamentally generous nation recognised as a beacon of humanity, openness, and opportunity around the world. You only need to look at the enthusiastic response to the Homes for Ukraine Scheme to see that we […]

Climate and Environment Emergency: WWF Earth Hour

Nick Brown (Newcastle upon Tyne East)

The Situation in Ukraine

Bob Stewart (Beckenham)

Speech in the Ukraine Debate on Tuesday 15 March Bob Stewart (Beckenham) (Con)  The Kremlin must be reeling in shock. President Putin was no doubt briefed that a simultaneous rapid blitzkrieg into Ukraine on at least three axes would result in Russian forces triumphant in Kyiv and other Ukrainian…

Keuntungan Saat Memainkan Situs Judi Slot Online

Chris Leslie (Nottingham East)

Keuntungan Saat Memainkan Situs Judi Slot Online – Internet memiliki dampak luar biasa pada berbagai industri meskipun mungkin industri perjudian yang paling banyak mengalami perubahan. Perjudian online yang sederhana, dengan cepat menjadi industri multi-miliar dolar.

Ada sejumlah situs judi online yang menyediakan layanan hiburan dan perjudian kepada pengguna dari setiap bagian dunia. Di sini kita melihat manfaat utama yang bisa Anda dapatkan dari perjudian online.

Mari kita ulas bersama tentang keuntungan yang akan di dapatkan saat memainkan situs judi slot online ini yaitu;

Apa Saja Keuntungan Saat Memainkan Situs Judi Slot Online?

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Penawaran lain juga tersedia di mana para pemain dapat mulai bermain tanpa harus menyetor satu sen pun.

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Opsi perbankan yang digunakan platform kasino online semuanya benar-benar aman dan memungkinkan seseorang untuk mendanai akunnya dengan mudah. Ada berbagai metode yang dapat dilakukan dan pengguna dapat memilih metode yang paling cocok untuk mereka. Bahkan banyak yang memberikan penawaran tambahan saat menggunakan layanan ini.

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Baca artikel lainnya di: Link Situs Judi Bola Terpercaya Alternatif, Solusi Paling Tepat Bermain

The post Keuntungan Saat Memainkan Situs Judi Slot Online appeared first on Chrisleslie.

  • Matt Warman has welcomed the Conservative Government’s decision to give councils £125 million to provide vital support services for domestic abuse victims in 2022-23, taking the total support to date to £330 million.
  • This funding will play an important role in funding healthcare, social workers and benefits, interpreters, immigration advice and other specialist services – so that victims of domestic abuse can get the support they need to rebuild their lives.
  • Building on the Government’s landmark Domestic Abuse Act, this is providing victims and their children with the support they need.

Matt Warman has welcomed the Government’s decision to give Lincolnshire £1,458,158 to provide vital support services for domestic abuse victims, helping victims recover and rebuild their lives.

The Government is providing £125 million to councils across England to make sure that safe accommodation spaces, such as refuges and shelters, can provide victims with vital support services including healthcare, social workers and benefits.

Interpreters, immigration advice, drug or alcohol support and other specialist services will also be funded and made available so that anyone who flees their home gets the help they need.

The funding Lincolnshire will receive from the Government will help them to increase the support they can offer domestic abuse victims, whilst allowing them to choose how the funding is spent to match local priorities and benefit those in need.

The Conservative Government also announced that it will consult on current housing rules, with the aim of giving victims more choice on where they rebuild their lives. By removing Local Connection Tests for abuse victims, this could help victims apply to social housing outside their local area, escaping the community their abuser lives in.

Commenting, Matt Warman said:

“Domestic abuse is a horrific crime, and we must do everything we can to help victims recover and rebuild their lives.

“I am pleased the Government is giving additional funding to Lincolnshire to help local victims of abuse and their children start again – with better services such as healthcare, social workers and benefits.

“Combined with the Conservative Government’s landmark Domestic Abuse Act, we are helping victims escape their abusers and making sure that perpetrators feel the full force of the law.”

Commenting, Rough Sleeping and Housing Minister Eddie Hughes said:

“This funding will give victims of domestic abuse and their children across the country the practical and emotional support to recover and rebuild their lives from this terrible crime.

“Through the landmark Domestic Abuse Act, the government has transformed the response to domestic abuse, helping to prevent offending and make sure victims are protected and supported.

“The consultations we are launching today build on this work and will help us give victims more options to move forward with their lives in the way that is right for them.

Commenting, Safeguarding Minister Rachel Maclean said:

“Home is not the safe place it should be for domestic abuse victims and their families. The extra support provided today will provide a vital lifeline for victims as they try and rebuild their lives positively while feeling supported and protected.
“These are important changes that sit alongside the new measures in the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill which will give victims of domestic abuse longer to report offences to the police, so that abusers do not evade justice.

Notes to editors:

  • The Conservative Government has invested more than £330 million since 2014 to provide support for domestic abuse victims in safe accommodation. Refuge bed spaces have increased by more than 20 per cent in the past 12 years. On top of this, £4 million is being invested in the Respite Rooms programme which supports vulnerable rough sleepers impacted by domestic abuse (DLUHC, Press release, 15 February 2022).
  • The Conservative Government’s landmark Domestic Abuse Act 2021 helps keep victims safe and ensures survivors of this horrendous crime get the support they need to rebuild this crime. The Act defines domestic abuse in law, strengthens protections for victims, and tackles perpetrators at the earliest stage – making sure they feel the full force of the law (HO, Policy paper, 31 January 2022).
  • The Conservative Government is giving domestic abuse victims more time to report assaults – ensuring abusers cannot evade justice. We are increasing the time to report incidents of common or assault and batter from six months to two years – protecting victims while bringing perpetrators to justice (MoJ, Press release, 4 January 2022).

Today Nottingham City Council Leader, Cllr David Mellen responded to the Government’s long overdue “Levelling Up” White Paper, cautiously welcoming the next steps on devolution but highlighting that these words do little to reverse the damage that twelve years of unprecedented Conservative cuts has caused to Nottingham. 

Cllr Mellen said: “Nottingham people will hear the Government talking about ‘levelling up’ today, but they will wonder what it really means for them in their daily lives and what it means for the place they call home. That is the big test for the Government.

“Words from Government Ministers won’t deal with the soaring cost of energy and food or assist with the enormous pressures on household budgets. In April many of the people I represent will see big increases in National Insurance, steeply rising prices for home-energy and the government’s adult social care levy added to Council Tax bills yet again.

“I’ve worked proactively with colleagues in other Councils across Nottinghamshire to make the case to government about the investment our area desperately needs after 12 long years of cuts and underfunding.

“We’ve always been pro- devolution in Nottingham, but detail in terms of additional powers and new investment must be forthcoming. If Government is serious about genuine devolution for our area it has to be about more investment, better transport infrastructure, higher skills for local people and creating more good jobs in our area.

“The East Midlands region has suffered greatly over the past decade with chronic under investment. Our residents and our businesses expect and deserve much better than the sustained funding cuts we’ve seen and the huge regional funding variations with the East Midlands often losing out.

“If the government is finally recognising that to create stronger regional growth that the investment is required I absolutely welcome that.

“It is imperative that the Minister matches his word with deeds and begins to deliver in a meaningful way.  As a Core City, Nottingham has much to be proud of and much to build on. We have ambitious plans to truly unlock the potential of our area and be at the heart of growth in our region, plans that are ready to be put into action if we get the green light on funding.

“I urge the government to work with us, to adequately fund local public services, which continue to be under severe strain, to invest in the huge potential of Nottingham, Nottinghamshire and the East Midlands and to start to deliver for people.”

The post City Council Leader Responds to “Levelling Up” Announcement appeared first on Nottingham Labour.

Backbench Business Committee

Ian Mearns (Gateshead)

My article in House Magazine

Carolyn Harris, MP for Swansea East, stood up for the thousands of Menopause Warriors in Wales during the Welsh Grand Committee debate earlier this week as she discussed the work of the menopause revolution and how it is benefiting women across the nation. 


A key success of Carolyn Harris’ Private Member’s Bill last year was the formation of the Menopause Task Force, of which Carolyn is co-chair, which will be holding its inaugural meeting in the coming weeks.  


Through the Taskforce, Carolyn aims to totally transform menopause support and services for women right across Wales and the UK with three key aims- to improve diagnosis and treatment pathways; to ensure women have the understanding and support they need from doctors, employers and their families; and to develop the school curriculum so the next generation are better educated on the menopause. 


Carolyn has also been working closely with the Welsh Labour Government, who have put the menopause high on the political agenda, to make the  improvements in healthcare and education so that women in Wales will be able to access the support and services they need when it comes to menopause care.

Carolyn Harris, MP for Swansea East, said:

“2021 saw the menopause revolution really take off.  We have already achieved so much in breaking down the barriers and getting people talking about the menopause, putting the menopause high on the political agenda.


“In Wales, we are so lucky to be able to access HRT free of charge thanks to the Welsh Labour Government, but I’m looking forward to working with Welsh Government colleagues to make further improvements to menopause support and services to ensure women across Wales can always access the support and services they need.


“Our combined efforts across the Senedd and Westminster are helping us revolutionise menopause care throughout the UK to help keep women wonderful.  There should be no politics in women’s health, and we must work together cross-party and with the devolved governments to make a difference to women’s lives and achieve our common goals.”

Vaccination Update

Kit Malthouse (North West Hampshire)

The Lights in Andover is one of 10 additional GP-led vaccination sites opening up in Hampshire over the next couple of days to deliver the lifesaving vaccine to the most vulnerable.

This is great news for Andover and the surrounding villages where the most vulnerable residents will have easier access to a vaccination site when their time comes to receive it. For now, vaccinations remain limited to the most vulnerable and the NHS will be contacting recipients. You can find further information about the vaccination programme on the NHS website. https://www.england.nhs.uk/…/covid-19-vaccination…/This is more progress on the path to recovery and a bit of good news as we keep up the fight against C-19.

Constituents Update – 10th November 2021

Jack Dromey (Birmingham, Erdington)

Benefits of Distance Education

Luciana Berger (Liverpool, Wavertree)

Right now, the pros of distance learning in school are not at all obvious to thousands of teachers. It seems that distance education is nothing but inconvenience, a threat to discipline and academic performance. But it isn't: distance education has many advantages. 

Here are some of them.

 The opportunity to work with each student individually. 

1) Distance teaching technology helps to find a personal approach to each student. There are times when a shy child is shy to work actively in a classroom where twenty classmates are staring at him. 
But such a shy kid feels freer at a distance, asks the teacher questions in a chat room, and successfully completes tasks. And the teacher can choose additional tasks for such students, which correspond to their aptitudes, to maintain an interest in learning. 
Distance learning is a great chance to get to know your students better.

 2) Automate routine processes.

Simply put, technology can take over the most boring part of a teacher's job. For example, checking homework and compiling classroom statistics. On average, using technologies with automatic checking will save at least 1-2 hours per day, if not more. This system works very simply: the teacher goes to the site, selects a subject, class and topic, finds the appropriate assignment and sends a link to the students, and then just look at the same site to see how they did. 

 3) A chance to learn new technology. 

The high demand for teachers with distance learning experience is a reality. Knowing how to use interactive learning platforms, Google Docs, electronic workbooks, and video conferencing services increases your value in the job market and gives you a chance to find a part-time job at an online school (and there are many such schools, they are growing and in need of new personnel). But even more valuable are the skills to organize your time, work with students remotely, and be able to monitor and motivate them from a distance. If you can manage it now, by the next school year you can try your hand at online tutoring.

4) Game assignments. 

Distance learning involves a very active use of digital technology. Including gamified tasks: online games, quizzes, interactive tasks for ingenuity. Let us not forget that for any child the game is the most natural way to learn the world. And older students like these more dry tasks from the textbook. Games not only make learning fun - they help to evaluate progress and bring to school an element of healthy competition. Learning games are not part of the official curriculum, but we recommend that you dilute regular assignments with them. A child who enjoys learning will make more progress than one who is bored in class.

Minuses of Distance Education

1. Limited choice

Unfortunately, not everything can be learned remotely. In some cases, you cannot do without practical studies under the guidance of an experienced tutor. You can study history or literature remotely, you can become an excellent designer or programmer. But you cannot learn to be a pilot or a surgeon.

Perhaps that will change in the near future. One day, virtual reality technology will allow people from different parts of the world to participate in collaborative lab work. When that happens, the list of professions and skills that can be learned remotely will greatly expand.

2. Lack of face-to-face interaction
Face-to-face learning is not only valuable as a set of knowledge. An important element of offline learning is personal communication. While getting traditional higher education, a student spends several years simmering in the swirling cauldron of university life. He interacts with professors and classmates in an informal setting. These interactions can generate amazing ideas and dramatically change people's lives.

3. the absence of positive "side effects
The fact that distance learning gives a person a specific set of knowledge can be considered not only a plus, but also a minus. By studying remotely, a person deprives himself of many of the positive "side effects" of academic education.

For example, the process of taking notes on long lectures trains the speed of writing, develops mechanical memory, and teaches on the fly to isolate the most important fragments from the flow of information. All these skills are very useful in everyday life, but distance learning does not provide them.

The post Benefits of Distance Education appeared first on Berger.

End Fire and Rehire

Diana Johnson (Kingston upon Hull North)

End Fire and Rehire Anonymous (not verified) Fri, 10/22/2021 - 16:02

Visit my Facebook page

Yvonne Fovargue (Makerfield)

Visit my Facebook page for upto date news on my work as your Member of Parliament.

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.

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."

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.

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.

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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.