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Kerry McCarthy
Kerry McCarthy
No Free Lunch

News from Westminster

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Showing records 31 to 40 of 808

- 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
- 20 March 2018
I am supporting the I Love You Enough road safety campaign to end distracted driving by giving young people a voice to ask their parents to make a pledge to never touch their mobile phone while driving. Distracted driving, especially mobile use, remains a major problem despite recent changes in law.
- 15 March 2018
I greatly welcome RSPB Love Nature’s news that the number of songbirds illegally trapped and killed in Cyprus has declined. From a peak of 880,000 birds killed in 2016, it fell to roughly 250,000 in 2017 – but it is obviously still totally horrendous that a quarter of a million beautiful birds are being slaughtered in this way.
- 13 March 2018
Last night the Prime Minister gave an urgent statement to Parliament on the recent poisoning in Salisbury, where she said that it was highly likely Russia was responsible for the attack. She will be making a further statement to the Commons tomorrow. The seriousness of this cannot be overstated. Sergei Skripal and his daughter were exposed to a nerve agent and are still in a critical condition, and more than 20 people have now had to seek hospital treatment after coming into contact with them, including the police sergeant Nick Bailey who rushed to their aid. I stressed to the Prime Minister that there are many decent Russians bravely speaking out against Putin’s regime, and asked what support we can give to them. I have long had an interest in Russian issues; I studied Russian at university, have visited Russia many times, and am Secretary of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Russia. In 2012 I visited Moscow to attend the trial of members of the protest group Pussy Riot. A s
- 09 March 2018
I am pleased to add my name in support of amendments to the forthcoming Financial Guidance and Claims Bill (FGC) tabled by my Labour colleague Luciana Berger, which would provide crucial support to tens of thousands of people with mental health problems. One of the functions of the FGC Bill is to pave the way for the creation of a Breathing Space debt respite scheme, which would give people who seek debt advice a six week break from fees, charges or collections activity, providing an opportunity to get on top of their finances before they spiral out of control. While I welcome this initiative, it does not go far enough to protect the thousands of people in mental health crisis who are too unwell even to seek debt advice. New analysis of national data by the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute estimates that 23,000 people in England were struggling in problem debt last year whilst in hospital for their mental health. These amendments would extend the scheme to everyone in receip
- 08 March 2018
International Women’s Day is an important opportunity to celebrate the success of women in all walks of life. However, 100 years after some women received the right to vote, there is still much to be done to improve gender equality both in Britain and around the world. The recent #metoo campaign has highlighted the shocking prevalence of sexual harassment that women from all walks of life face in their professional and private lives, and gender-based violence is still, sadly, very much part of too many women’s lives. Many women still face discrimination in the work place, as this Guardian article on gender pay gaps demonstrates. Gender discrimination of any kind has no place in 21st century society,and today is about saying that loud and clear.
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