News and Blogs
Yesterday I spoke in a debate in Parliament following a successful petition calling for the end of the pay freeze for NHS staff.
When a parliamentary e-petition gains more than 100,000 signatures a committee considers it for debate and allocates time. Congratulations to one of my constituents Danielle Tiplady, who is a nurse herself, on setting up the petition.
The NHS is under pressure but the government's plans to continue to cap pay rises for staff will hit those who keep our health service going the most. This includes nurses who look after us when we are most in need.
Morale in the NHS is low, with many nurses now considering their future in the NHS – so at a time like this continuing to restrain pay for staff is self defeating for recruitment and retention of nurses. This comes on top of the scrapping of NHS bursaries for student nurses and other health professionals which means becoming a nurse is more expensive.
The Royal College of Nursing estimates there has been a real terms fall in pay of 14% since 2010 when the pay cap was introduced.
Nurses work hard and dedicate their time to public service in our health system. They work long hours and deal with very difficult situations. It's time to rethink this cap because nursing really does count.
You can read more on this on the Ilford Recorder website.
Yesterday I spoke in a debate in Parliament following a successful petition calling for the end of the pay freeze for NHS staff. When a parliamentary e-petition gains more than...
I met with local campaigners and Councillors on Friday to show that we take safety at Charlie Brown's roundabout seriously and will keep campaigning to make sure new crossings are installed.
It’s great the Charlie Brown’s scheme is in the TfL business plan, but I don’t think we can afford to be complacent. I would like to see temporary measures put in place in the meantime while we wait for construction to start.
You can read more in the link below:
I met with local campaigners and Councillors on Friday to show that we take safety at Charlie Brown's roundabout seriously and will keep campaigning to make sure new crossings are...
I've written a piece for The Times today on the economic vandalism of Theresa May's decision to pull Britain out of the single market. You can read the full article on The Times website (£).
Membership of the single market brings enormous benefits to businesses across our economy, particularly in the manufacturing and service sectors. It’s not simply that it provides tariff-free trade with a market of 500 million consumers, but that it holds countries to common standards in areas like labour market rights and consumer and environmental protections, preventing a race to the bottom.
We could have opted to remain part of the single market while being outside the EU, and we would have minimised the costs of leaving and maximised opportunities for job creation, growth, trade and investment and, as a result, increased living standards.
Instead the prime minister has ruled out single market membership and, worse still, has indicated that she would be prepared to default to basic World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules if she can’t negotiate a successful deal within two years. It would see tariffs applied to 90 per cent of UK-EU goods trade by value, including a tariff of 10 per cent on cars. This will send a shiver down the spine of businesses up and down our country. The prime minister claimed that “no deal for Britain is better than a bad deal for Britain”, but defaulting to WTO rules would be the very worst deal for Britain. She should rule this out immediately.
But the politics of the Brexit debate are trumping the economic interests of our country. The referendum debate began as a result of David Cameron’s decision to put Conservative party political management ahead of the national interest and yesterday Theresa May placed jobs and Britain’s future prosperity as a second order issue behind the politics of the immigration debate and the challenge she faces in holding her fragile party together and appeasing its UKIP tendency.
Neither she, nor any of her ministers, can credibly claim that new trade deals with other countries around the world would match the economic benefits of our trading relationship with the EU inside the single market.
The chancellor, Philip Hammond, told the House of Commons treasury committee that “keeping as many options open as possible is key to the strongest possible negotiating hand”. Instead, before negotiations have even begun, the prime minister has guaranteed that we end up with a worse trading relationship, leaving Britain worse off as a result. Mr Hammond also said that Britain didn’t vote to be poorer.
Jobs and livelihoods depend on our prime minister getting the best possible deal with the EU. And that is why those of us who respect and accept the referendum result and want to see Britain succeed outside the EU won’t be cheering the sort of economic vandalism that this government seems determined to commit.
I'll continue to press for the best possible deal for Britain outside of the EU.
I've written a piece for The Times today on the economic vandalism of Theresa May's decision to pull Britain out of the single market. You can read the full article...
Having written a joint open letter to the Mayor alongside Cllr Jas Athwal and Mike Gapes MP, it is brilliant news that Sadiq Khan has announced that step free access will finally be completed at Newbury Park station.
Residents and local campaigners have been tireless in their campaign for this, and it’s great to see the new Mayor will deliver.
I’m proud to have been able to work with local community groups and the council on this important issue that will help the elderly, disabled people and parents access tube services more easily.
You can read more here:
Having written a joint open letter to the Mayor alongside Cllr Jas Athwal and Mike Gapes MP, it is brilliant news that Sadiq Khan has announced that step free access... Read more
Millions of people across the UK have been mis-sold loans, but the perpetrator isn't a high street bank or a payday lender - it's our own Government!
Working with Martin Lewis of Money Saving Expert, I've been campaigning against a little known change in last year's Autumn statement that will see millions of existing students and graduates pay thousands of pounds more on their student loans because of a broken promise by our government. They've changed the repayment conditions on students loans RETROSPECTIVELY, which will see many graduates paying hundreds of pounds more each year from next year.
If a commercial lender had behaved the same, they'd be subject to an investigation by the Financial Conduct Authority, but our government is getting away with it!
Today I proposed changes to the law to stop ministers changing student loan repayment conditions retrospectively and to ask the Financial Conduct Authority to regulate student loans.
You can see my speech to Parliament here: http://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/792504dd-44a4-4402-b3ac-0590112cd3d8?in=18:15:04&out=18:29:00
You can also read my piece for the Telegraph here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/11/21/philip-hammond-can-save-students-from-scandalously-mis-sold-loan/
We lost the vote in the Commons, but I will be pushing these amendments to colleagues in the House of Lords.
Millions of people across the UK have been mis-sold loans, but the perpetrator isn't a high street bank or a payday lender - it's our own Government! Working with Martin...
Today I questioned the Prime Minister on Britain's future outside of the European Union. I campaigned for the UK to remain part of the EU and my focus, particularly as a member of the Treasury Committee, is now on making sure we get the best possible deal for our country - particularly on protecting jobs and our economy.
Last week, the Treasury Committee heard from the Chancellor that the Treasury is modelling the range of options for Brexit to look at what the economic opportunities and risks might be. He refused to publish that work, even though it is funded by the taxpayer.
I raised this with the Prime Minister and was disappointed that she didn't commit to publishing this information. She didn't even answer my question, so is clearly learning the art of being Prime Minister!
I think it's completely unacceptable that Parliament and the public are being kept in the dark. It's important that we have an informed debate.
I'm not a 'remoaner'. I want to protect our country's interests. I don't expect a running commentary on the negotiations, but I don't think it's too much to ask the government to tell us what its objectives are for Brexit negotiations and to share relevant research so that we can have an informed debate.
You see the full exchange below.
Today I questioned the Prime Minister on Britain's future outside of the European Union. I campaigned for the UK to remain part of the EU and my focus, particularly as... Read more