The Tories are trying to privatise the only publicly owned train line in the country ahead of the General Election.
East Coast has returned over £800 million to the taxpayer and has established itself as one of the best train operating companies in the country. Rather than trying to sell it off before the election, David Cameron’s Government should have been putting the public interest first and working to get a better deal for passengers.
The contract has not been signed yet and it’s not too late for the process to be halted, I have signed the petition to stop the sell off, you can too: http://tinyurl.com/nrysc83
The Tories are trying to privatise the only publicly owned train line in the country ahead of the General Election. East Coast has returned over £800 million to the...
George Osborne constantly claims that the economy is only safe under a Tory government, however, the Autumn Statement today made clear that the Tories have entirely failed to deliver on their promise to reduce the deficit.
Under the Tories the average employee is now at least £1600 worse off per year, wages are stagnant, jobs are insecure and many people in my constituency are finding it harder and harder to make ends meet. This is all while they give millionaires a tax cut.
Low pay combined with higher housing costs and a failure to deliver benefit reform has driven social security costs higher - £25 billion more than George Osborne budgeted.
Little wonder then, that in the Chancellor’s autumn statement, he failed either to mention that he has wholly failed to deliver his deficit reduction plan or that the deficit is estimated to rise once again by a further £12.5 billion.
Labour’s strategy will be different, it will be fair. Our strategy would be centred on jobs and growth because an economy is more productive when pay scales are not settled by a race to the bottom.
We will tackle the wages crisis by halving the number of people on low pay, by increasing the minimum wage and by driving up to the living wage.
We will also put people back to work with a tax on bankers’ bonuses – this will fund the compulsory jobs guarantee available to the long term unemployed. It is far better to have people in work, and paying taxes, rather than being on benefits and unproductive.
We will also build 200,000 houses a year by the end of the Parliament which will put people back to work as well as fulfilling an urgent social need.
We will help to make work pay for working parents by expanding free care for children aged 3 and 4 by increasing the bank levy. We will also stop the race to the bottom by dealing with unscrupulous use of zero hours, unethical employment agencies and other inappropriate labour market practices
Our actions will be guided by the principles of fairness and efficiency. It is not right that millionaires were given a tax cut by this government when others are struggling to get by. It is only right that those with the broadest shoulders should bear their share.
George Osborne constantly claims that the economy is only safe under a Tory government, however, the Autumn Statement today made clear that the Tories have entirely failed to deliver...
This week I met Communication Workers Union members in Parliament who are campaigning to defend their member’s jobs under the threat of competition to the universal postal service (USO).
So many households across the UK rely on the USO and I believe it is vital that the Government and Ofcom safeguard it - it is the foundation of our postal service, it guarantees that Royal Mail will deliver to 29 million addresses anywhere in the UK, six days a week and at the same price.
I campaigned with the CWU against the Coalition Government’s privatisation of the Royal Mail. We knew at the time that if they had their way the universal postal service would be vulnerable as the “profitable” delivery areas in cities and urban areas were “cherry picked” by competitors. Areas of my constituency are considered rural. Delivery to these areas could be threatened and jobs could be lost.
Royal Mail have warned Ofgem of the threat that alternative providers could pose to the USO and has urged Ofcom to bring forward their review of the USO, which is currently scheduled to take place at the end of next year. Ofcom's primary duty is to maintain the USO and I am calling that they should start their review of the USO as soon as possible. I fear that if Ofcom wait until the end of next year to undertake this review, it could mean it is too late to take necessary action to protect USO.
The Shadow Business Secretary, Chuka Umunna MP, has written to Ofcom to press them on this matter and I hope Ofcom will respond positively.
I also welcome the commitment that a future Labour Government would safeguard the USO beyond 2015, secure the future of the link between the Post Office network and Royal Mail and ensure there is an appropriate degree of price control on stamp prices, given the sharp rises we have seen in recent years.
This week I met Communication Workers Union members in Parliament who are campaigning to defend their member’s jobs under the threat of competition to the universal postal service (USO). So...
A twitterstorm – actually it was more of a sonic boom – over the weekend saw more than 260,000 actively participate in #CameronMustGo.
And four days on, it was still trending.
It’s a great campaign. It demonstrates that Cameron is out of touch – he says he’s fixed the economy but a recent poll shows eight in ten people have felt little or no impact on their standard of living.
When I first tweeted the hashtag, I was immediately told by a senior and seemingly grand media personality that this was a futile gesture.
But once the full extent of the movement – over a quarter million tweets – became evident the grandees fell silent and the official media suppressed any comment on the whole tsumani of reasons as to why so many want to see the back of the Tories and Lib Dems under the #cameronmustgo hashtag.
You might think that the newspapers would be quite interested in the views of 269,000 people but you won’t have seen anything about it in the mainstream media.
I suspect that there are two reasons why the official media fell silent. In the first place the Twitter storm against Cameron is directly contrary to the narrative which so many of them subscribe to.
But was there a second reason. Was it because the media fear their grip on mass communications is failing?
Is it possible that the press barons and their hired hands fear that their power to control the flow of opinion and information is, daily, slipping away from their hands?
The Tories think that media is their not so secret weapon; that the right wing press will go all out to swing the election for the Tories and UKIP.
But the truth is that the newspapers, although still influential, are declining, their readership is falling and their reach is diminishing.
Also the old vertical world where the rich and powerful could control so much is now receding. And a horizontal era of mass communication is opening up where each of us can make our own voice heard and each of us can choose who we listen to.
It is this changing world which is illustrated by the mass phenomenon of the #cameronmustgo hashtag and its corollary the media silence about this process.
For the truth is that Twitter is a great mobilising tool. The #Cameronmustgo we will have had a collective readership potential of over 5 million in the first 24 hours. More than almost any of the national newspapers can reach.
The media and the Tories can underestimate social media at their peril.
To paraphrase Bob Dylan:
Come all the rich and the powerful throughout the land
don’t criticise what you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters are beyond your command
And the old order is rapidly changing
For the times they are changing.
The Internet and the twittersphere are raucous, unruly, and insurgent, and they are profoundly egalitarian and democratic.
If I represented the old order, as the Tories and their friends clearly do, I would be quaking in my boots.
A twitterstorm – actually it was more of a sonic boom – over the weekend saw more than 260,000 actively participate in #CameronMustGo. And four days on, it was still...
Last week I supported a Bill brought in by Labour MP Clive Efford, which challenges NHS Privatisation. I was delighted with the overwhelming support for the Bill and want to thank everyone who contacted me about it. The Bill was a success - it was passed by 241 votes to 18.
With the local NHS under increasing threat, there has been widespread concern from local people, including healthcare professionals, doctors and nurses.
The Bill will scrap David Cameron’s most harmful plans for NHS privatisation, which were brought in by the Government's 2012 Health and Social Care Act. It will also protect the NHS from the Transatlantic Trade Investment Partnership (TTIP), which would have opened the NHS to further privatisation opportunities.
I believe it will also help restore the right values to the NHS, putting my constituents’ needs before profits.
Labour’s stance has always been the same, to protect our NHS. We will rescue our services with our £2.5 billion Time to Care package which will fund new staff including 20,000 more nurses – investment the Tories will not match.
Last week I supported a Bill brought in by Labour MP Clive Efford, which challenges NHS Privatisation. I was delighted with the overwhelming support for the Bill and want to...
I was very happy to vote yesterday to end the unfair and unreasonable ‘beer tie’.
It was clear that the Government hadn't wanted the bill to go through and I was pleased that - despite this - we defeated the Government 284 votes to 269.
Yesterday's vote means that pub tenants can get a fairer deal, they will no longer be required to buy supplies from the companies that own them, they will be free to buy beer on the open market, look for the best prices and have an independent rent review, to ensure the rent they are paying is reasonable.
The Campaign For Real Ale (Camra) said ‘Over the last decade many thousands of pubs have been lost as big pub companies have squeezed them out of existence with sky-high rents and beer prices. With 31 pubs closing a week it is vital that publicans, who are on the frontline of keeping our valued community pubs open, are given protection from heavy handed business practices from the big pubcos’
Our pubs are not only a place for people to meet up or have a meal, they are also an important source of employment, this year in our area there were 56 pubs and one brewery operating - providing jobs and wages, especially for young people.
Pubs play a vital role in our local community and deserve fair treatment, I was delighted by the result.
I was very happy to vote yesterday to end the unfair and unreasonable ‘beer tie’. It was clear that the Government hadn't wanted the bill to go through and I...
Today, the UK Youth Parliament (UKYP) debate takes place in the House of Commons to mark the start of Parliament Week.
Parliament Week is a number of country wide events and activities which aims to engage, inform and connect people with Parliament and democracy. You can find out about events and how to get involved here: https://www.parliamentweek.org/
During the debate today the 285 Members of the Youth Parliament, including representatives from Yorkshire, will discuss five issues chosen by young people across the UK. There will be a vote at the end to decide two issues which should become the UKYP’s campaigns for 2015.
Young people are the decision makers of tomorrow and the leaders of the next generation so I am pleased to find out that within my own constituency young people are standing for elected positions of responsibility and acting as the leading lights within the youth community.
Today, the UK Youth Parliament (UKYP) debate takes place in the House of Commons to mark the start of Parliament Week. Parliament Week is a number of country wide events...
It is shocking that women today still earn just 80p for every male-earned pound and a quarter of all working women are now earning less than the living wage.
In Yorkshire the pay gap between men and women is one of the biggest in the country. The gap between what men and women earn rests at 19.6% - compared to London, where the pay gap is 13.2%.
Women also make up the majority of individuals working on zero-hour contracts and as many of my constituents will know working on a zero hour contract means insecurity at home and makes budgeting and childcare arrangements nearly impossible.
Labour have decided to take action to help deliver equal pay for men and women. We would start by requiring companies with more than 250 workers will to publish their hourly pay gap – meaning many of my constituents who are concerned about unequal pay will be able to see if discrimination exists in their workplace. I believe transparency to be the best disinfectant and therefore believe this will go a long way toward helping shrink the pay gap.
Additionally, an £8 minimum wage under Labour will give 3.9 million low paid women a pay rise and if you’ve been working regular hours on a zero-hours contract, you will finally have a right to a regular contract.
Labour will also support women, men and their families by offering 25 hours free childcare for working parents of 3 and 4 year olds, which will support more mums who want to go back to work but can’t afford it.
We will also support thousands of young women back to work, with a real paid job or training for all those under 25 and out of work for more than a year.
It is shocking that women today still earn just 80p for every male-earned pound and a quarter of all working women are now earning less than the living wage....
I have been contacted by a large number of constituents who have reported to me serious concerns surrounding the Redrow housing development in Crofton.
Concerns residents have raised with me include the working times– with works beginning both earlier and finishing later than agreed, the delivery of large items of equipment outside of the agreed hours and on Sundays, damage to the surrounding area’s grass verges and footpaths and bad language and shouting from the workmen on the site – which I find particularly offensive and inappropriate for any area in which many families reside.
I have been working with your local Wakefield District Councillors Maureen Cummings, Faith Heptinstall and Albert Manifield in taking up your concerns and we are fighting hard to make sure all of my constituents complaints are heard and dealt with.
I have written to Redrow Homes, the Health and Safety Executive and the Council to raise these concerns and have also been calling for a meeting with Executives of Redrow Homes so that these concerns can be raised directly. I now believe this meeting will be taking place very soon.
If you would like to continue to receive regular updates on this matter from myself please contact my office or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
I have been contacted by a large number of constituents who have reported to me serious concerns surrounding the Redrow housing development in Crofton. Concerns residents have raised with...
Yesterday I participated in an extremely important debate in the House of Commons about coalfield communities. The debate was called to highlight the deprivation which still exists in our ex mining communities and to ask the government to not, once again, turn its back on the hard working families who worked down the mines, helping to create the wealth of our country.
The Conservatives’ attitude to the miners and former mining communities is symbolic of their attitude to working people today - you only have to look at the explosion in the use of zero hour contracts, temporary work and false self-employment to see that this government has not changed, it’s still the same old nasty party.
Two fifths of neighbourhoods that make up the most deprived communities in the country are in coalfield areas. So further funding being taken away from our area, for example, from the Coalfield Regeneration Trust is shockingly premature, because the job that it was asked to do has clearly not yet been completed.
One in five of all children in my constituency live in poverty, and equally disturbing is the fact that a male child born today in the most deprived area of my constituency is expected to live 10 and a half years less than a child born in the least deprived area.
The government have questions to answer - if we do not support and invest in our ex coalmining communities now it is the next generation that will suffer.
I would like to see the government to do three things. Firstly, show some humility and apologise to the miners. Secondly, agree to a proper independent inquiry into the events surrounding the miners’ strike. And thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, commit the government to a full scale process of regenerating coalfield areas.
The full debate is currently available to watch on BBC Iplayer and you can read the full debate by following this link: http://tinyurl.com/qbq5svr
Apology needed from the Government for underhand tactics used by the thatcher administration during the miners' strike
Yesterday I participated in an extremely important debate in the House of Commons about coalfield communities. The debate was called to highlight the deprivation which still exists in our ex...