Even though it did not go far enough, I was happy to be in Parliament on Friday to back the ‘Affordable Housing Bill' which makes improvements to the hated ‘Bedroom Tax'. Better something than nothing, although I want to see this ineffective and unpleasant policy dumped once and for all.
The ‘Bedroom Tax' cuts housing support from low income households deemed to have a spare bedroom. For someone like Jean, a 60 year old constituent with severe mental health problems, she has to either leave her home of 30 years, close to relatives and support, or lose almost £30 a… » Read more
Responding the to the humanitarian crisis continuing to unfold in Iraq which has displaced more than one million Iraqis from their homes- Labour's Shadow Foreign Secretary, Douglas Alexander, has said:
" Labour supports the decision to make UK military assets available as part of the wider international humanitarian efforts, and the UK must continue to play its part, alongside other EU and international partners, in contributing to the efforts already underway to bring safety and help to those civilians fleeing from ISIL's murderous advance.
Clearly the forces of the Kurdistan Regional Government have played an… » Read more
Like you, I am horrified by the violence engulfing Gaza. As of today, more than 1700 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, most of them civilians, including hundreds of women and children. Hamas rockets have also killed civilians with over 40 Israeli soldiers also dead. With half the population of Gaza aged under 18, children inevitably bear the brunt of this conflict. (I made this point when speaking in the Gaza statement in Parliament, the full text of which you read in the link).
The clashes occurring inside the West Bank demonstrate that violence is not… » Read more
As I write, it will have been more than a whole year since the target time for Accident and Emergency was met across the country. Record numbers of people are visiting A+E units, emergency waiting times are higher and ambulance response times longer. It is clear the £3 billion re-organisation of the NHS has not changed the NHS for the better, but wasted scarce resources, accelerated privatisation and left London in particular lacking the strategic management we desperately need.
It seems a strange time for a programme of Accident and Emergency closures to be taking place across London- in the… » Read more
Our job, as local politicians and those concerned with the community, is to strive to maintain the unique character of London's ‘ villages' , and the quality of life for residents, whist accommodating the changes essential in a healthy city. Locally, that has meant keeping a very careful watch on the trend towards de-regulated planning (such as the relaxation of Permitted Development rules allowing the conversion of shops to residential use), and its impact on areas such as Bayswater. Attending the Bayswater Residents' Association AGM recently, for example, it was clear that the problem of massive basement excavations remains extremely… » Read more
Thank you very much for writing to me.
Firstly, I share the widespread regret that this emergency legislation has been brought forward so close to the Parliamentary recess, so that there is not the usual time to consider it. This follows the European Court of Justice ruling in April which, unless responded to by Parliament, means that the police and intelligence agencies will suddenly lose the ability to us vital information and evidence which is applied in 95% of serious and organised crime investigations. Yet whilst the judgment itself was in April, the legislation has been published just… » Read more
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