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Kerry McCarthy
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News from Westminster

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Showing records 71 to 80 of 808

- 21 January 2018
The Dogs Trust recently released its third investigation into the puppy smuggling trade, and the findings are harrowing. Puppies are smuggled into the UK from across Europe, often having been bred in industrial-scale puppy farms, and suffering long journeys in cramped, filthy conditions with no food or water. The Dogs Trust found instances of dogs being sedated to get them through customs and vomiting due to heat stress. It’s crucial that you’re aware of the tell-tale signs that the puppy has been illegally smuggled when buying a puppy. Be sure to ask the following questions, and if in doubt contact your local authority or the RSPCA (England & Wales): Ask about the puppy’s age: puppies are not allowed to leave their mum until after 8 weeks old. Ask about the puppy’s microchip: all puppies must be microchipped, with the details of the chip registered to the breeder. Ask about the vaccinations and worming treatments the puppy has had, and make sure to get the associated paperwork
- 20 January 2018
Only a minority of people choose to participate In the so-called “sport” of grouse shooting, but their hobby affects us all. As moorland is burnt or drained by grouse moor managers, the risk of flood increases hugely – and has already caused flooding in areas such as Hebden Bridge. The burning of moorland also releases huge amounts of carbon into the atmosphere, that contributes to climate change. And, as well as millions of game birds dying each year, shooting is associated with the illegal persecution of hen harriers; England has enough habitat to support 330 breeding pairs of hen harriers, in 2016 there were only 4 pairs recorded. In 2016 I spoke in Parliament in support of a ban on driven grouse shooting, and just this month we’ve had the great news that Bradford Council has voted to ban the practice on Ilkley Moor. I urge you to sign the latest petition below that calls on the Government to introduce a nation-wide ban.
- 19 January 2018
Today I was in Parliament to support Karen Buck’s Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill, which will establish a minimum standard for private landlords to let out their property. Too many people today rent properties which are simply not fit to live in, with widespread problems of damp and mould, leaks, or other unsafe conditions. Given that the Government has blocked this change twice in the past, I’m delighted this Bill has just passed its Second Reading with Government support. It now has to go through Committee stage, Third Reading, and pass through the Lords, but the fact that it now has Government backing means it shouldn’t be too long before it becomes law – and not before time!
- 18 January 2018
Brilliant to hear that the Government is bringing the Agent of Change principle into planning law to protect small venues! This will come as a big reward to music campaigners who have been fighting for this for years, such as the Music Venue Trust and Chris Sharp from The Fleece Bristol. There are other challenges facing small music venues, and I will continue to campaign on those, but this is a very welcome move.
- 17 January 2018
As of this week, new EU rules on payment services apply which will: - prohibit additional charges for payments with credit or debit cards, both in shops or online - introduce strict security requirements for e-payments - enhance consumers' rights This is what 28 European Countries working together can deliver for consumers, but something which a single state working on its own will struggle to do. In fact, although it’s now trying to claim credit for this, the truth is, the UK Government played an obstructive role during negotiations, having been ‘got at’ by business interests. If our Government had had its way, these changes wouldn’t have happened. Many of our country’s problems can only be solved by countries coming together and working collaboratively on these issues whether it’s tackling tax havens, combating terrorism, or developing technology and new cross-border businesses, which is why Brexit is such a tragedy.
- 17 January 2018
It’s great to see Forbes reporting on Plamil - the UK’s longest running vegan business, and the first in Europe to make products like soya milk and dairy free chocolate. Plamil’s philosophy of ethical business that includes not just veganism, but also making ethical banking decisions and paying all staff a living wage, was ground breaking, and sadly, is still the exception rather than the norm. Plamil was also an industry-leader in catering to those with severe food allergies. If it wasn’t for Plamil’s innovative thinking that started way back in the 1920’s (!) then there probably wouldn’t be the interest in veganism and vegan products that we have today. It’s exciting to see businesses operating like this, and hopefully many more businesses will follow Plamil’s lead.
- 16 January 2018
We are expecting to hear soon of the appointment of a number of new peers. Names such as Eric Pickles have been mentioned. I have consistently called for, and voted for, an elected House of Lords. When I spent time in the US Congress last year, they were amazed to hear that in the 21st century, in a supposedly democratic country, we still appoint our upper house through a system of patronage. Until we can agree on House of Lords reform, and a basis for elections, we should at the very least take steps to reduce the size of the bloated Second Chamber, which is the second largest in the world. Peers should be working peers, and be required to do a proper day’s work, not just turn up as and when it suits them, and their terms should be limited.
- 15 January 2018
I will be in Parliament this Friday to support Karen Buck’s Private Members’ Bill, to strengthen tenants rights and put a duty on landlords to ensure the homes they rent out are fit for people to live in. When Karen first put her Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill to Parliament in 2015 it was blocked by the Tories, as was a Labour amendment to the Housing Bill. It’s good news that, post-Grenfell, the Housing, Communities and Local Government Secretary has now indicated his support for the Bill, although shocking that in this day and age there should be any doubt about it. We now need to make sure there is proper help and advice for tenants who need to enforce their rights, and tough action against revenge evictions by landlords.
- 13 January 2018
When I was first elected in 2005 I set up the All-Party Group on Somaliland with Alun Michael MP. Alun’s successor as MP for Cardiff South and Penarth, Stephen Doughty, hosted a meeting in Parliament this week with Somaliland’s Foreign Minister, Dr Saad Ali Shire. As well as getting an update on the recent election there we also discussed economic development, infrastructure and overseas aid. It was a constructive meeting, with several points for the APPG to follow up on as part of our continued efforts to support Somaliland and the case for recognition.
- 11 January 2018
I was shocked to find out that 1/3 of slaughterhouses have failed their audit in the past 7 years, and that 15% have failed multiple consecutive audits – but only 1 slaughterhouse has been forced to stop sending out their product! It’s also a big cause for concern that a slaughterhouse is allowed to continue operating for several months after receiving an unsatisfactory audit result. I recently submitted several Parliamentary Questions on standards across the slaughterhouse sector. It’s the public’s health and the welfare of animals at risk here, and I will be submitting more Questions to better understand the issue and to hold the Government to account on these failings.
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