📢 Over the past couple of weeks I have been working with campaigners in our city and across the country to fight the Tories authoritarian Policing Bill. I recorded this video message, asking people to write to the Lords and attend the National Day of Action and I wrote this piece for Now Then Sheffield on our city’s proud tradition of protest. I was also really pleased to have the opportunity to speak at the rally held outside the Town Hall on Saturday.
🎉Thanks to pressure from all of you, the Lords defeated the Government and voted down some of the worst parts of the Bill. But the fight is far from over – the Government still wants to ban protests and criminalise the Gyspy, Roma and Traveller community. I am holding a meeting with BLM Shef, XR Sheffield and Sheffield Against the Policing Bill to discuss what more we can do in our city to fight this Bill. You can register here.
🗳️ As if attacking our right to protest wasn’t enough, the Tories are about to push through new laws requiring people to present photo ID before they vote in local and national elections. This will make it harder for working class, older and Black, Asian and ethnic minority people to vote and represents yet another attack on our democracy. I, along with my Labour colleagues, voted against these dangerous laws. Sadly, the Government voted them through.
🏫This week I spoke at the launch event of the Ask, Listen, Act report into the experiences of children and young people with SEND during Covid-19. I spoke about the urgent need for an increase in funding in the system. We also urgently need to see the Government’s SEND review released.
💰The pandemic has left a large backlog in vital services for Disabled children, exacerbating the already huge levels of unmet need. As a result 3/4 Disabled Children have seen their progress regress. I am asking people to please support Disabled Children’s Partnership’s campaign to ask local councils to invest in the services that disabled children and families deserve as they set their budgets for the next year.
🌎As Shadow Minister for Climate Change I questioned COP26 President Alok Sharma on the Government’s inadequate net-zero strategy. It is very worrying that they have seemingly published this strategy without any understanding of how far individual policies will help reduce emissions or meet vital targets. We are in a Climate Emergency. We don’t have time for more empty promises and Tory greenwash. You can watch my question here.
💬I also spoke at the Fabian’s New Year conference on how we can solve the climate emergency and the Cynon Valley Climate Assembly.
❌Thank you to everyone who has emailed me about the Prime Minister’s conduct over the past week. My thoughts are with all of the people across the country who have sacrificed so much over the past two years, and especially those who were unable to say goodbye to loved ones due to lockdown rules. Following the outrageous discoveries about the multiple Downing Street parties held during lockdown, I have been calling for Johnson to resign. You can read my interview with the Sheffield Star here.
🏥There have been reports that some Trusts re-introduced Covid-19 rules – forcing people to once again attend maternity appointments alone. I have written to Sajid Javid to ask what he will do to ensure guidance is followed and hospitals have necessary resources to support pregnant families. I also spoke to the Yorkshire Post about my concerns.
💪I am proud to have been elected as vice chair for the All Party Parliamentary Group on migration and I am looking forward to working with this group to hold the Government to account over their hostile and inhumane migration policy.
✊I am pleased to announce that the Unite Stagecoach bus drivers, who have been on strike across Yorkshire, have won an above inflation pay rise! This is amazing news and a huge testament to the power of unions! If you’ve not already, join your union now!
🕯️I was really pleased to join Holocaust Memorial Day UK for a moving event this week ahead of Holocaust Memorial Day next week. I would like to thank the organisers and the speakers for their powerful testimonies.
👂Last but not least, this year I am asking everyone in Sheffield Hallam to take a short survey, to let me know what issues to prioritise over the next year. Hundreds of people have already fed in their ideas. If you’ve not already, you can do so here.