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Kerry McCarthy
Kerry McCarthy
Bowl Cancer

News from Westminster

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- 26 April 2018
This week I’m back in Strasbourg in my role as a member of the Council of Europe. Former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott presented a report about ensuring that the main agreements of the Paris agreement on climate change – keeping global warming below two degrees – are met. I spoke in the debate, and talked about how we should be keeping as many fossil fuels as possible “in the ground”, as well as reducing meat consumption if we are to have any chance of combating climate change. Watch a clip of my speech:
- 25 April 2018
Have you ever wondered who made your clothes? How much they’re paid, and what their lives are like? Millions of people make our clothes, but too many of them live in poverty, exploitation or danger. Five years ago the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh collapsed killing over 1,100 garment workers. While progress has been made, there is still so much the fashion industry must do to improve pay and conditions for the world’s 75 million garment workers, 80% of whom are women.We can all help drive positive change, by demanding a fair, safe and more transparent industry. I encourage you to watch and share the video below to mark Fashion Revolution Week and ask brands #whomademyclothes.
- 17 April 2018
Later this month, I hope the Government will finally announce plans for the largest marine reserve in the Atlantic, around the incredible South Sandwich Islands near the Antarctic, home to a huge array of whales, fish, birds, seals and over 10% of the world’s penguins. I’ve been campaigning for this for some time – recently asking the Government to take action on this in a debate on marine degradation, and have signed the Blue Belt Charter. Marine reserves help our threatened oceans to recover and rebuild. And the UK is responsible through its overseas territories for the fifth largest marine estate in the world, which includes the largest coral atoll on earth, globally significant populations of albatross, whales and turtles, and a quarter of the penguins on the planet! Read more about the Blue Belt Charter below
- 16 April 2018
It’s shameful that the Government hasn’t given assurances to the immigrants from the Windrush generation, who have lived, worked, and paid taxes in Britain for decades, that they can remain in Britain without producing documents proving they have been here since before 1973. Many people simply do not have such documents, such as Albert Thompson, who has lived in London for over 40 years, but is being denied cancer care on the NHS and faces a £54,000 charge for treatment he has received so far. The Government has now admitted that some people have even been wrongly deported. I am ashamed that we are treating people who have contributed so much to this country so poorly, and I have co-signed a letter calling for the Prime Minister to guarantee the status of Commonwealth nationals in this country. It is now up to the Government to act to give this generation of migrants the assurance they need and deserve. There’s a petition calling for an amnesty to all minors who arrived in Britain b
- 10 April 2018
This week is Male Cancer Awareness Week. This is really important, as one in three men in the UK say they know nothing about prostate cancer, despite it being the most common cancer amongst men. Over 47,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year – that's 129 men every day. This infographic from the male cancer charity, Orchid, focuses on three key risk factors and the predominant symptoms associated with prostate cancer. I would encourage you to share it to help raise awareness and encourage men to get to know the risks.
- 07 April 2018
I have added my signature to an open letter to the Home Secretary, calling on her to allow 17 year old ‘Stephen’ to stay in the UK. Stephen is just one of the many victims of modern slavery in the UK, having been trafficked here at the age of ten and subsequently enduring years of slavery and abuse. After being rescued by police, Stephen started a new life. He was placed with a loving foster family and started attending his local church and college. But now his right to remain in the UK has expired and he is facing deportation, putting him at risk of being re-trafficked and destroying the life he has built. This Home Office decision goes against its promise to put trafficking victims first.
- 31 March 2018
I was recently contacted by a local hedgehog rescue volunteer, and it was really heart-warming to hear about the work they’ve been doing – especially during the recent cold weather. The rescue centres across both Bristol and the UK are doing important work, but unfortunately they’re up against a huge task as currently hedgehogs are not a protected species under the Wildlife Act. This means that whilst it is, for example, an offence to interfere with a birds nest, to interfere with a hedgehog’s habitat doesn’t carry the same legal weight. Defra recently approved the sale of A24 traps in the UK which are used in New Zealand to kill wild species classed as invasive (in New Zealand that includes hedgehogs). With UK hedgehog numbers already dwindling, the last thing the Government should be doing is allowing the sale and use of traps that could accidentally kill hedgehogs here as well. I’d therefore ask that you sign the two petitions below to make hedgehogs a protected species, and t
- 28 March 2018
I was glad to be able to add my name to the League Against Cruel Sport’s petition to support a comprehensive ban on the hunting of animals. Polling repeatedly shows overwhelming support for a hunting ban across the UK. Yet a tiny minority of people continue to openly violate the law without being prosecuted, destroying wild animals and their natural habitats. Labour has, rightly, committed to strengthening the Hunting Act, as well as introducing better enforcement of the laws on hunting. It’s time that the Government takes decisive action on this. Please add your name to the petition below -
- 28 March 2018
I recently asked the Minister what steps he will be taking to prioritise local and organic food in public sector procurement. The Minister’s reply was less than useful, which is unfortunate as there is a huge opportunity to leverage the billions of pounds worth of food and drink used by the public sector to provide opportunities for British food and farmers. It’s a step forward that the new ‘Balanced Scorecard’ guidelines have been introduced for central government departments – however this urgently needs to be rolled out to all public sector bodies as well as hospitals and schools. I recently wrote a letter to Michael Gove on this issue, and I have submitted several Parliamentary Questions. France and Brazil are two of several countries who have been able to make progress on this: in France 50% of public sector procurement of food must come from organic or local farms, and in Brazil at least 30% of food for school meals must come from local or family farms, so why can’t we do t
- 21 March 2018
Kerry McCarthy 21 March at 15:47 · On Monday I spoke in a Westminster Hall debate on access to the drug Orkambi for people with cystic fibrosis. This is an issue close to my heart as my own niece suffers from this life-limiting illness. A number of constituents have also been in contact with me to tell me about their children, grandchildren and friends’ children who could benefit from this new drug. There is huge public support for this - the petition reached 100,000 signatures in its first 10 days - and this was reflected in the number of MPs who turned up for the debate. Orkambi has the potential to help forty percent of CF sufferers, but the Government is refusing to fund the drug on the NHS as it does not deem it cost-effective. We must not look at the issue of funding new drugs as a crude mathematical calculation but at what it means for people’s lives. We need to see action from the Minister for Health and Social Care on access to Orkambi now, as CF sufferers do not have
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