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- 16 December 2017
Just had a productive meeting with Brislington Labour Councillors and library campaigners about the future of Wick Road Library. Discussed a lot of options, and much to take forward. #LoveMyLibrary
- 15 December 2017
I am one of over 100 Labour MPs to sign my colleague Alex Sobel’s letter to Theresa May demanding she cancel the planned visit for Donald Trump to the UK early next year. Donald Trump’s rhetoric in winning the presidential election deeply divided America and he has stigmatised many minority groups, particularly Muslims; he recently retweeted the fascist and anti-Islam far-right group Britain First, giving them exposure to his 45 million followers; his aggressive foreign policy risks making us all less safe; and he has taken the US out of international agreements on tackling climate change. Britain must stand for tolerance and equality, and the Government must not spend vast amounts of taxpayer’s money on welcoming him to Britain.
- 14 December 2017
Fantastic news that Bristol City Council is the first local authority in the country to introduce a levy on disposable coffee cups in all cafes in council buildings. The UK throws away 2.5 billion coffee cups a year, creating approximately 25,000 tonnes of waste which can’t be recycled through most collections. I’ve been calling for a levy on single-use plastic for some time – which includes coffee cups because it’s their plastic lining that makes them difficult to recycle - and I welcome the Government’s call for evidence on how this might be done. The Environmental Audit Committee (of which I’m Deputy Chair) has been conducting its own inquiry into disposable coffee cups, and will produce its report early in the New Year.
- 14 December 2017
Last night, Parliament took back control of the Brexit process. Thanks to a few Conservative MPs putting the national interest ahead of that of their party, we were able to inflict a defeat on Theresa May and her Government. Dominic Grieve’s Amendment 7 is now part of the EU Withdrawal Bill, and this means that MPs will now have a meaningful vote on any Brexit deal. It also means that ministers will not be able to change the law themselves until a new Act of Parliament approving a Brexit deal has the approval of MPs and Lords. I hope this means that the Government will now start listening to the MPs and the public, rather than hardline Brextremists MPs like Jacob Rees-Mogg and John Redwood. The process of leaving the European Union is far too important to be left to factional interests in the Tory Party. The Government will now, rightfully, have to work for an outcome that satisfies a majority of MPs, and I will continue to advocate for the UK to remain as a member of the Single Mar
- 14 December 2017
Yesterday at Prime Ministers Questions, Jeremy Corbyn held Theresa May to account over her Government’s failure to address the housing crisis. Since 2010 homelessness has risen by more than 50 per cent and rough sleeping has doubled. Last year 120,000 children spent Christmas day in temporary accommodation; this year, 128,000 children will spend Christmas without a home to call their own. It is disappointing that, in the latest official count of rough sleepers in Bristol, the number stood at 86, a 12% increase from the previous year. It is good to see that, despite the impact of austerity, the Mayor is determined to tackle the problem and has rightly made tackling homelessness a top priority, an issue which is given greater urgency by the below-freezing temperatures we’re experiencing. The Council cannot do this by itself though – we need greater support from Government and that is why the Labour leader was right to raise this at PMQs. http://news.bristol.gov.uk/annual_rough_slee
- 13 December 2017
Last week in Parliament I raised the issue of Brexit causing a rise in food prices. Data from the Office of National Statistics shows that food prices are up 4.2% on 12 months ago, and the Food Foundation has calculated that Brexit will cause an increase of £158 per year in what the average family spends on fruit and veg. Though the Minister dismissed these concerns, potential delays at border controls, a shortage of seasonal workers and a lack of R&D investment makes the fruit and veg sector vulnerable to further price increases. I will continue to push the Government to give the food sector certainty, and to ensure that the UK has continued access to affordable and fresh fruit and veg after we have left the EU.
- 13 December 2017
Delighted to see that the Democrat candidate snatched a shock result in the Special Election for Alabama Senator. Doug Jones, who as a prosecutor helped bring to justice KKK terrorists who planted a bomb in a church which killed 4 young black girls, was running against a Republican candidate with virulent anti-gay views, who had been accused of sexual harassment with girls as young as 14. Despite this, he had still been endorsed by President Trump. The state hasn’t elected a Democrat to the Senate for a quarter of a century, but I’m so pleased to see the people of Alabama made the right choice yesterday.
- 13 December 2017
On the 29th December the Government’s consultation on stopping the ivory trade will close. Currently an elephant is killed for its ivory every 25 minutes. A total ban on the trade in ivory is the only way to stop this from happening - and to ultimately prevent elephants from being driven to extinction. Polls show that 85% of the public support the ban - so please follow the link below to email the Government’s consultation and show your support! #IvoryBan #StopIvoryTrade #JoinTheHerd #endwildlifecrime
- 12 December 2017
Last night MPs voted on the Second Reading of the Finance Bill, which follows the Chancellor’s Budget last month. Labour voted against giving the Bill a Second Reading, and our reasoned amendment sets out why: - The Bill does nothing to address the fact that the UK has the slowest economic growth in the G7 while the IFS warns of two decades of lost earnings growth - It fails to reverse the Government’s 2015 Bank Levy cut resulting in £4.7bn less in tax revenue from banks over five years - It proposes a stamp duty cut that, according to the analysis of the OBR, will increase house prices, instead of helping to address the housing crisis through measures to build more affordable homes - There is no provision for lifting the public sector pay cap or addressing the funding crisis in social care and the NHS - It includes no measures properly to tackle tax avoidance and evasion Despite the Chancellor admitting the deficit now will not be eliminated by 2031, far off George Osborne’s
- 12 December 2017
Along with dozens of other MPs, I've written to the Foreign Secretary expressing my concern after President Trump made the decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The final status of Jerusalem must be determined by negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis as equal partners. The US President's unilateral actions have put peace, future agreements on Jerusalem, and even the two-state solution at risk. We need the British Government to be leading in the pursuit of a peace that is both just and sustainable for Israel and Palestine. As part of that, the UK should now recognise the State of Palestine as the House of Commons did in October 2014.
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