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- 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.
- 11 December 2017
I was delighted to be asked to say a few words at the launch of Lucy’s Law last week. Lucy was a Cavalier Spaniel who was rescued from a puppy farm where, as a breeding dog. she was horribly mistreated. I’m supporting the Mirror’s campaign for Lucy’s Law which will make it illegal to sell puppies unless the mother is present, stopping sales by third party dealers who too often have no concern for the welfare of the dogs they raise and breed.
- 11 December 2017
I am pleased to support the cross-party pledge to divest parliamentary pension funds from fossil fuels. Two years on from the Paris agreement, and with the devastating impacts of climate change already apparent, there is no room for continued investment in companies whose business is incompatible with our climate obligations.
- 10 December 2017
A Greenpeace investigation has revealed that a ban on imports of millions of tonnes of plastic waste by the Chinese government from January could see an end to collection of some plastic in the UK and increase the risk of environmental pollution. There are no robust plans in place to cope with the impact of this decision by China, which is the biggest market for waste in the world, and the restrictions are likely to lead to stockpiling of plastic waste in the UK, more incineration and the risk of more landfill. I tried to raise this looming crisis with the Environment Secretary this week at Defra Questions, but was not called, so I raised it with Andrea Leadsom at Business of the House Questions which followed it. She talked about the tax on plastic bags and ban on microbeads, as example of the Government’s efforts to reduce plastic waste, which clearly isn’t going to make the 2.7 million tonnes of waste plastic we have been sending each year to China and Hong Kong disappear overnight
- 09 December 2017
I was disappointed that, in response to my written question on whether a licensing system or code of practice would be introduced for driven grouse shooting, the Government stated that they had ‘no plans’ for either. During the grouse shooting season – which ends today - thousands of birds are killed every day. It has also caused a dramatic decline in the number of hen harriers. The burning of heather on grouse moors results in degraded habitats, polluted water, increased flood risk and extra carbon dioxide emissions – estimated as up to 350,000 additional tons per year. I spoke in a Westminster Hall debate on driven grouse shooting last year and I will continue to campaign for a total ban.
- 09 December 2017
Great to see that Bristol City Council, the Department for Work and Pensions and N-Gaged Training have come together to put on a job fair for ex-employees of Palmer and Harvey, the groceries’ supplier that went into administration last week. It has been estimated that hundreds of staff who worked at local sites in St Anne’s and in Avonmouth have been made redundant as a result of this, and obviously coming just before Christmas this will be a particularly difficult time for them. If you’re affected, or know anyone is, then please let them know about this. The Employers Fair will take place next Monday 11th December at The Beeches Conference Centre, Broomhill Rd, Bristol, BS4 5RG between 11am and 1pm.
- 08 December 2017
Academic staff from across Europe play a crucial role in British universities; as a sector it has hugely benefitted from the freedom of movement and cooperation that has come with our membership of the European Union. We must ensure we do not lose out on the contribution of the #BrightestMinds due to Brexit – including the world leading energy researcher from UWE featured in this clip. We need the Government to offer guarantees to academics that they will be able to remain in the country and continue their research.
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