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- 11 September 2017
Following from my resignation from the University of Bath Court in protest at the £450,000 salary of their Vice-Chancellor, yesterday I asked the Universities Minister Jo Johnson whether they are doing enough to challenge undeserved high pay for University Senior Staff.
- 11 September 2017
I’m proud to support Stonewall's Come Out for LGBT campaign, which encourages everyone to be proactive in standing up for LGBT equality at home and abroad. The fight for equality is far from over, with Stonewall’s recent report ‘LGBT in Britain: Hate Crime and Discrimination’ finding that hate crime against lesbian, gay and bi people in Britain has gone up by 80% in the last five years. You can read the report in full here: http://www.stonewall.org.uk/come…/lgbt-in-britain/hate-crime. During the month of October, it’s Stonewall Season – a time to get together and hold events for LGBT equality. There are lots of ways to get involved, from fundraising to raising awareness at work and in educational settings. You can read more about the #ComeOutForLGBT campaign here: http://www.stonewall.org.uk/our-work/campaigns/come-out-lgbt.
- 11 September 2017
Later today we will see a blatant attempt at a power grab by the Government. MPs will be voting on the Second Reading of the EU Withdrawal Bill, where, in a bid to avoid parliamentary scrutiny over Brexit, the Government wants to give Ministers so-called "Henry VIII" powers, so that they can make new laws without bringing them before Parliament. I will be voting against the Second Reading tonight, and also against the Programme Motion, which sets out to reduce how much time will be allocated to debate the Bill at Committee stage, where the real scrutiny is carried out. The debate today runs till midnight, so voting will be in the early hours. Tomorrow, the Government is again showing its undemocratic nature by trying to assure Conservative Majorities on crucial public bill committees. The Conservatives lost their majority in June at the General Election; they need to realise that and start working with other parties in Parliament to get legislation passed. I will be voting against thi
- 11 September 2017
I am deeply concerned by the news coming out of Myanmar, of violence against the Rohingya Muslim community. The recent news that a top UN Official has described the situation as a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing” is deeply alarming. I am one of 157 Parliamentarians who have signed Rushanara Ali’s letter, addressed to Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, demanding an urgent response from the British Government, including reviewing the training provided to the Burmese military and allocating humanitarian resources to stop the violence. This is an issue I have been raising in parliament since my time as shadow Foreign Office minister. The eyes of the world are now upon Myanmar, and the need to act is urgent.
- 10 September 2017
Tom Watson, our shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport announced yesterday that Labour will ban betting companies from having shirt sponsorship deals with football clubs. We know that Britain has a hidden epidemic of problem gambling, where people become addicted to placing bets and end up losing far more than they can afford to, including on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals. There is some concern that this might hit the smaller clubs hardest, but given the devastating impact gambling can have on people’s lives, I think it’s important football clubs aren’t seen to promote it. Let me know if you have other thoughts on it!
- 10 September 2017
Despite the pressures they are facing, nurses are the backbone of our NHS. The pay cap can’t continue if we are to keep the nurses we have, attract new recruits and ensure nursing staff can earn a decent wage. Understaffing in our hospitals and communities is affecting the safety of patients. It’s time for the Government to show its commitment to valuing and supporting nurses – the Chancellor’s autumn budget is an unmissable opportunity to scrap the public sector pay cap.
- 09 September 2017
I was deeply disappointed to hear about Bristol, North Somerset, and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Groups’ (CCGs) proposals to reduce eligibility for NHS fertility treatment. Under new proposals, only women aged between 30 and 35 would be eligible for NHS funded fertility treatment. You can read the proposals in full here: https://www.bristolccg.nhs.uk/…/fertility-treatment-eligibi…. It is unfair and discriminatory to only allow women aged between 30 and 35 access to NHS funded fertility treatment. This limits women’s chances of conceiving and discriminates against people who can’t afford to pay for private fertility treatment. The CCGs are now holding a consultation on this topic which allows people to share their views about these proposals. The consultation closes on 15 September 2017. I urge all my constituents to make their views heard by filling in the form available via the link above. I have already written to the CCGs personally to voice my concerns at these
- 08 September 2017
Bristol Doors Open Days is a once-a-year chance to look behind closed doors and discover our city’s hidden treasures. For the first time this year, community food projects are opening their doors too. If you’re short of plans for Saturday, I highly recommend heading to Feed Bristol on Frenchay Park Rd, for a chance to take a look behind the scenes at this 6-acre community food growing and wildlife gardening hub. Discover how seeds are sourced and grown sustainably and find out how edible mushrooms make it from the lab to restaurants. Details of this venue and many more can be found on the BDOD website.
- 08 September 2017
Following my resignation from the University of Bath’s Court in protest at the Vice Chancellor’s salary and Lord Adonis’ campaign on the issue of high pay and fees at Universities, I am pleased to see that a newly created Office for Students watchdog will force universities to justify salaries higher than that of the Prime Minister, and will publish the salaries of everyone earning above £100,000. This comes following the recent revelation that on top of Bath’s Vice Chancellor £451,000 salary, she was able to claim £18.000 in expenses. At a time of higher fees for students who now often leave University with over £40k debts, and stagnating salaries and increasing demands for academic staff, there should be a greater focus on these high salaries.
- 06 September 2017
No-one should have their experience of school ruined because they are victims of bullying. I am supporting Anti-Bullying Pro’s #Back2School campaign which works to empower young people, professionals and parents to tackle all forms of bullying, online and offline. More details about the campaign and how to get involved can be found on their website here - http://back2school.antibullyingpro.com/
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