Monthly Round Up

Monthly Round Up – Oct Nov 21

Constituents get in touch

My constituents in Bedford and Kempston have contacted me on a wide variety of issues this month, ranging from the privatization of Channel 4, to teacher’s pay and fireworks regulations.

I have corresponded with constituents on issues with both a national and local impact, such as the current crisis in General Practice. Some had concerns regarding local primary care, whilst others queried the impact of the pandemic on hospital waiting times. I have discussed issues such as staff recruitment, training and retention, lack of resourcing, long hours and medical backlogs.

I have received a great deal of support for Barry Gardiner MP’s Fire and Rehire Bill. I was pleased to attend the campaign in Parliament on behalf of my constituents on this important issue and it was shameful that the Conservatives chose to block the Bill.

Several of my constituents have voiced their concern for the continued plight of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, and support for the hunger strike of her husband. I recently met with Mr Ratcliffe and was in awe of his determination, and I share my constituent’s disappointment in this Government’s shameful lack of diplomatic action.

Continuing from last month, my inbox has received a number of emails on the issue of the environment and climate change. Some of these emails are further concerns raised surrounding COP26 and issues such as sewage and the Environment Bill. Other constituents have focused on specific issues such as peat digging, plant-based diets, waste incineration and enquiries into the Government funding behind projects such as Hinkley Point and investment in solar.

In the constituency

Last month I met again with Hybrid Air Vehicles to hear about their plans to bring the Airlander into production. This is an exciting growth industry, offering a more environmentally friendly future for aircraft. We discussed their funding bid to the Government which I fully support and received assurances they will keep their headquarters in Bedford even as their business grows and expands manufacturing across the country.

I attended several remembrance events across the constituency, firstly the Highland Division at Foster Hill Road Cemetery to honour the memory of the men of the Highland Division, many of whom are buried there having lost their lives to disease in the winter of 1914/15 while stationed in the Town. On Armistice Day I attended a commemoration and on Sunday I attended services and parades at the War Memorials in Bedford and Kempston and at Guru Ravidass Gudwara.

I was delighted to be invited to attend recent Guides and Rainbows meetings as part of their activities for UK Parliament Week. It was also inspiring to meet Bedford Borough’s Youth Parliament Representatives, whose role it is to listen to the voices of children and young people. They were elected to the role by over 2,000 children and young people and I wish them well in their role.

Last weekend, I was invited to speak at both USDAW’s regional conference and at branch meeting for Vauxhall Unite, honouring their vital work in protecting and improving workplace conditions.

East Midlands Railway responded to my letter regarding the very tired and dated fittings on the trains on their services running through Bedford and have received assurances that they are committed to refitting the interiors to be fully accessible and to better serve its commuting passengers, with 2+2 seating with tables, free WiFi, charging points for each seat and modern passenger information signs. I will continue to follow their progress.

In Westminster

It’s been a very eventful month in Parliament and beyond, with the Cop 26 Climate Summit, the Budget, Remembrance and the Tory corruption scandal.

There’s relief that after 22 previous COPs, there is at last reference to the need to phase down fossil fuels – although there’s dismay that India and China watered down the wording at the last minute. And there are widespread fears that politicians won’t keep their promises because many, including the UK haven’t delivered on the commitments they’ve already made.

On the plus side, the coalition of civil society, business, finance, NGOs and others around COP26 is starting to drive real progress. But we are still heading for more than 2°C of global warming, which risks triggering multiple climate tipping points when natural systems collapse because of increased temperatures.

Despite some vital successes, ultimately the Glasgow COP26 climate summit let those responsible for the climate crisis off the hook and left those most existentially impacted by it waiting for meaningful climate action.

I’m pleased to be one of the 130 MPs to call for the parliament pension fund to divest from fossil fuels.

The Budget made the Chancellor’s out-of-touch priorities clear. As he hit working people with the highest sustained tax burden in peacetime, he’s gave a tax cut to bankers. The cost-of-living crisis is very real with Inflation in the UK, currently at a 10-year high, and is “likely to rise further” over the next year, Rishi Sunak has admitted, with the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) expecting it to average at 4% over the next 12 months.

The high level of inflation is likely to severely reduce the boost given to workers in the national minimum wage increases announced earlier this week. Never has a Chancellor asked the British people to pay so much for so little in return, loading the burden on working people with tax rises and wasting billions of pounds of taxpayer money.

In Treasury Questions I asked the Chancellor to commit to the electrification of East West Rail from day one to avoid the need for diesel trains that pollute the environment.

Following the public meeting held in Bedford last month, I wrote to East West Rail to reiterate my position opposing the potential demolition of homes and my support for electrifying the line.

My Labour colleagues and I went to support Richard Ratcliffe who at the time was on day 12 of his hunger strike outside the Foreign Office, in the hope that the Government does more to free his wife Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori. The Government must do more to bring Nazanin home.

In the HCLG Committee this month we heard from the new Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Michael Gove MP who was questioned on a range of issues relating to the scope and role of the Department and grill him on what the term means. The Committee examined issues around building safety and remediation, levelling up and planning reform around the sustainability of local government funding, considering announcements in the Spending Review, including funding for adult social care services.  The Committee also launched an inquiry into the regulation of social housing in England.

Primary Care & Dental Crises

I attended a Westminster Hall debate about GP appointment availability. Many of us are very concerned about access to GPs and both patients and GPs are being let down by this Government.

Primary care is in crisis but I’m very uncomfortable that GPs are being scapegoated for a failure of this Government to act and put people’s health first.

In the Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes clinical commissioning group area, there is only one GP for every 2,500 people, making it one of the worst hit by GP shortages in the country. The number of GPs employed in the area also has fallen by 12% to 390.

I made the point that we need an urgent independent review of access to general practice, not a “name and shame” league table that will only drive more overwhelmed GPs away from their profession.
I met with GPs in Bedford this month to talk about the challenges facing Primary Care.

GPs in Bedford have seen a significant increase of 45% in call numbers alone since the start of the Covid 19 pandemic. A significant proportion of appointments are taking place face to face but telephone, video call and E consults are also used to ensure patients can access the care they need in a method they are able to use.

The Government must invest in Primary Care to make it more attractive for health professionals to take up roles and stay in the profession and invest in securing modern buildings suitable for GP surgeries.

I also supported a cross-party letter to the Treasury in support of the British Dental Association ahead of the Budget asking the Chancellor to respond to the depth of the crisis facing NHS dentistry.

I made the following representation recorded on the Hansard:
26 October 2021: GP Appointment Availability
02 November 2021: Net Zero Emissions – Electrification of EWR
02 November 2021: Budget Resolutions
17 November 2021: Palestine: Roadmap to peace

Monthly Round Up – March/April 2021

In the constituency

It is clear that, as we look tentatively towards a hopeful end to our national lockdown, concerns around Coronavirus still remain. I have discussed the Coronavirus Act and the possibility of domestic vaccine passports in detail with several of my constituents, who were rightly concerned about the impact that these may have on their civil rights and liberties. Similarly, I am also hearing from constituents on a number of issues surrounding foreign travel during this pandemic – some have requested clarification on plans for future journeys whilst others have highlighted the extortionate costs of COVID-19 tests when returning from international travel.

Nearly a quarter of the issues raised by our constituents in Bedford and Kempston have been related to health services and medicine. Much of my correspondence has focused on the appalling proposed takeover of GP practices by the American health company Centene. Of particular note this month has been the sheer number of emails calling for increased funding for brain tumour research. This is a terrible disease and there has been a heart-warming outpouring of support for its victims. Continuing from March, I have seen further emails on the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, as well as other ongoing campaigns such as banning Conversion Therapy. There have been a wide variety of requests related to civil rights: some on the legal recognition of British Sign Language, as well as emails calling for public sexual harassment to be made illegal

On the behalf of my constituents I have written several emails to Ministers recently; following letters calling attention to the need for flexible season tickets I contacted the Department for Transport to present this case. Elsewhere, I have written to the Department of Health, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and to the Leader of the House of Commons. I have no doubt that I am keeping the Government busy.

I was delighted to attend ACCM UK’s campaign launch event in March, where they handed out blood pressure and sugar testing kits free of charge to Bedford and Kempston residents from ethnic minority communities. These kits will greatly help residents with type 2 diabetes to monitor their conditions and stay healthy.

I have hugely enjoyed getting back out door-knocking to campaign on behalf of David Michael MBE, Labour Candidate for Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner. After a long year, it has been extremely welcome to safely discuss issues with residents on the doorstep again.

It was a pleasure to host a visit from Keir Starmer, Leader of the Opposition, and Sarah Jones MP to Bedford. Walking through Bedford town centre, paying tribute to Captain Sir Tom Moore at the Harpur Centre memorial, meeting several business owners and residents to discuss the impact of local and organised crime, it’s fair to say they were both clearly impressed with the obvious pride in Bedford shown by residents and I’m hopeful of a return visit.

We’ve welcomed support for the campaign from Rushanara Ali MP, who carried out a recent virtual visit to join Bedford campaigners, Wes Streeting MP and David Evans, General Secretary of the Labour Party, with both joining us knocking on doors.

I met with Bedford Hospital Maternity staff last month, following the CQC inspection in Autumn 2020 finding services to be inadequate, revealed in a report in January. We discussed plans in place and for the future to rapidly improve services, and I offered my support in terms of raising vital issues with the Government, such as the midwife shortage crisis.

As Vice Patron of Autism Bedfordshire I was invited to a virtual update on their work in the pandemic, during which time they have displayed enormous resilience and innovation in continuing to provide their invaluable services to many people with autism and their families.

In Westminster

In Cabinet Office Questions I asked the Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt MP, Paymaster General, to meet with Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce to hear about the significant challenges that the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal has imposed on them. I haven’t had a response so will be raising the issue again in Treasury Questions next week.

I spoke out against the decision to cancel the Warrior Capability Sustainment Program at Lockheed Martin which puts local jobs at risk and damages our armed forces.

I voted in favour of the Lords amendments Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill which Labour worked with others to secure. The Labour frontbench tabled four key amendments. On the first, to remove torture and war crimes from the Bill. The Domestic Abuse Bill came back to the Commons. I supported the Lords amendments. The Bill has the chance to be transformative; but the amendments voted in by the House of Lords are vital for this to be the case.

I wrote my monthly column on the greed of the European Super League Plans and how the debacle showed we need new legislation to protect football fans.

HCLG Committee

The HCLG Committee launched a new inquiry to examine the Government’s approach to permitted development rights (PDR). The inquiry will examine the impact that an expansion of the PDR system has had, and will continue to have, on the planning system and the Governments targets for new homes and economic growth.

I made the following representations recorded on the Hansard:

25th March – HOC Chamber: Trade with the EU: Non-tariff Barriers 

14th April – HOC Chamber: Strength of the UK’s Armed Forces Debate: Warrior capability sustainment programme 

21st April – Westminster Hall Debate: Special Education Needs 



Monthly Round Up – Feb/March 21

Last weekend, I was delighted to receive my first Covid-19 vaccine dose, and I offer my sincere thanks to all the vaccine centre staff and volunteers for their amazing, life-saving work. If you haven’t already received yours, when you are invited, please don’t hesitate to accept. The end of restrictions appears in sight, but for now it is vital we all continue to play our part and adhere to the rules to keep the case rate down so that society can safely reopen according to the Government’s plan.

In the constituency

Constituents in Bedford and Kempston continue to demonstrate their concern for animals and the environment, emailing me in relation to: the issuing of new badger cull licences, the treatment of pigs and other caged farm animals and, consistently, the impact of Neonicotinoids on Bees.

I am also receiving significant numbers of emails on issues relating to civil rights and crime with the campaign to ban Conversion Therapy and requests for me to vote against the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill dominating my inbox.

In relation to the NHS, there is groundswell of consternation about the 1% pay rise currently on offer, as well as concerns about how health services will ‘catch up’ post-Covid-19.

Whilst we navigate towards an exit from national lockdown, people remain concerned about support for businesses, particularly those in hospitality. Once again, my office has received many emails about financial support packages for pubs. Another significant body of correspondence has been received about the post-Brexit arrangements, specifically in relation to arrangements surrounding the Northern Ireland protocol.

I have met with constituents, the Borough Council and East West Rail regarding concerns to the planned Route E. EWR’s consultation over the finer plans for Route E is expected to become live soon.

The local roll out of the Covid-19 vaccine programme has continued to progress, despite what the Health Secretary is calling a ‘lumpy’ supply, and whilst I’m pleased the CCG are now briefly in receipt of higher than ever stocks, it is greatly concerning to hear we must expect lower supplies again over the coming weeks. I continue to meet regularly with CCG to discuss progress and any challenges and have been working with different stakeholders on tackling vaccine hesitancy.

I attended a NASUWT meeting attended by several teachers from the constituency earlier this month, which was a welcome opportunity to hear directly from staff on the ground about the challenges they are facing, some regarding the pandemic but also wider issues. Already a highly pressured job, the past year has thrown so much at teachers, and I am grateful for how well they have adapted to the frequent demands made of them but I am hugely disappointed the Government failed to administer priority vaccines to school staff, and obstinately continually fails to recognise the investment needed to properly fund our schools.

I met with the Chair of the Bedford and Milton Keynes Waterway Trust for an update on progress being made in getting the Bedford and Milton Keynes Waterway Park off the ground – an ambitious project to link the Grand Union Canal in Milton Keynes with the River Great Ouse, establishing a green corridor right at the heart of future developments on the Oxford to Cambridge Arc and bringing benefits in  relation to increased biodiversity and improved water resilience.

I attended an informative virtual tour of the local Jobcentre Youth Hub, where young people who would benefit from more tailored support to find employment or training opportunities can access a range of services from the DWP and local stakeholders.

This week I’m meeting with Bedfordshire Police and Cllr Colleen Atkins to discuss the issue of begging in Bedford and Kempston and I also have a meeting planned with the newly appointed Head of Midwifery for Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to discuss improvement plans for Bedford Hospital’s maternity wing, highlighted by the recent CQC report.

In Westminster

This week I voted against the Police, Crime and Sentencing and Courts Bill at Second Reading which, among other things, would give police greater powers to restrict “non-violent” protests.

I spoke in the International Women’s Day debate about Home Office’s plans to open a new network of immigration detention units for women contrary to previous pledges to reform the system and reduce the use of detention for women.

I wrote an open letter to the Secretary of State for Business about the new grant for businesses without business premises and a letter from Bedford Labour Group to the Foreign Secretary about the plight of Indian farmers.

I signed parliamentary letters on: the issues of violence against women and girls, advocating for the living wage in global fashion supply chains, support for the School Breakfasts Bill, asking for urgent help for the weddings industry and on mental health support for people with eating disorders.

I signed EDMs on: visiting in care homes and hospitals during the covid-19 outbreak, investment in prison education technology, job losses at National Art Library, the Marie Curie Great Daffodil Appeal and reorganisation of the NHS and social care.

For this month’s column for Bedfordshire Life I wrote about the Budget – one that might get us through the next months of the pandemic but falls far short of what is needed to get the UK on a recovery track for what has been a catastrophic hit to the economy – the worst of any major economy.

 HCLG Select Committee

The HCLG Committee launched a new Inquiry into Local government and the path to net zero and a new inquiry into Long-term funding of adult social care.

The Committee also examine the Government’s proposals for tackling the legacy of dangerous cladding and fire safety defects on residential buildings taking evidence from Minister for Building Safety and Communities, Lord Greenhaulgh.

I made the following representations recorded on the Hansard:

22nd February – HOC Chamber: HCLG Questions – Increasing disabled facilities grant

22nd February – HOC Chamber: Covid-19 Roadmap – BAME vaccine data 

23rd February – HOC Chamber: Coronavirus: Supporting Businesses and Individuals – Beauty industry

2nd March – HOC Chamber: School Staff Vaccinations 

8th March – HOC Chamber: Women’s Health Strategy – Midwife shortage 

11th March – HOC Chamber: International Women’s Day – Women in detention centres 


Monthly Round Up – Jan/Feb 21

This week, I welcomed Labour leader Keir Starmer’s ‘New Chapter for Britain’ speech: his economic policies provide a sorely needed long-term route forward to address the many inequalities following a decade of tory cuts and short-term thinking, which have been further exposed – and deepened – by the current pandemic. The British Recovery Bond for the funding needed to invest in our communities, funding for start-up loans, proper funding for local authorities and affordable housing would rebuild Britain into a prosperous and just society.

Be assured my labour colleagues and I will continue to fight for a fairer distribution of support in anticipation of the Chancellor’s Budget, and for the safe reopening of schools and for the prioritising of vaccines to critical workers. Next week should see the PM announce the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown restrictions, which we will take care to scrutinise closely – and hope that lessons have at last been learned.

After three months of high admissions of Covid-19 patients to Bedford Hospital, my sincerest gratitude to all the frontline workers who continue their vital work despite exhaustion and the personal sacrifices they have made.

In the constituency

I’ve received a steady stream of queries and concerns about the vaccine roll out, and I’ve continued to meet with the Vaccine Minister, Health Portfolio Holder Cllr Louise Jackson and the CCG to better understand any pressure points and advocate on behalf of my constituents.  Given we have an older demographic, the decision by local Primary Care Networks to work together to offer two clinics appears to have been sound, with a very large proportion of the top four priority groups successfully receiving first vaccine doses by the Government’s deadline of mid-February, and I thank all the staff and volunteers making this happen.

Post Brexit concerns are manifesting in emails about the passage of the Environment and Trade Bills through Parliament. Constituents express concerns that previously afforded protections are being retrenched and new proposed legislation is not adequate. Highlights are the campaigns around Neonicotinoids and Bees, shortcomings of the Environment Bill, the ability of Parliament to scrutinise future Trade Deals and in support of the recent Opposition Day debate around protecting working hours.

We have seen a concerted campaign to Support Pubs (and the wider hospitality industry) in a number of ways including advocating for a cut in Beer Duty and supporting a campaign to reopen safely. People have also written in significant numbers expressing concerns about the ongoing effects of the pandemic on people with Dementia living in Care Homes who have been unable to receive visitors consistently for nearly a year.

There are come constituents who remain concerned about the impact of refusing a vaccine and find the messaging from Government around the topic inadequate. We have received emails on the interrelated matters of a Medical Freedom Bill and Domestic Vaccine Passports.

A national movement which had significant local ramifications was the Choose Love directed campaign around appalling asylum accommodation conditions, advocating for the closure of Barrack dorms at Penally and Napier. This segued with the vital local drive to prevent the Home Office opening temporary asylum accommodation on the wholly inappropriate Yarl’s Wood site.

Last week, after pressure from myself and Labour councillors to provide grants to taxi and private hire drivers, Bedford Borough agreed last week to waive licence fees, which is progress. Since the start of the pandemic, I’ve worked with Shadow Rail Minister Tan Dhesi on the issue of taxi permits at rail stations. Given that rail operators have received financial support from the Government given the dramatic drop in rail users, I firmly believe this support should be passed down the line to benefit taxi drivers who have been extremely badly hit by the slowing of trade through the pandemic.

Taxi and private hire drivers are of course not the only sector struggling due to a lack of support: the beauty industry, for example, is reeling following closure for many months of the past year, without the same alternatives for diversifying and offering services online available to some other sectors and I will continue to fight for decent financial support packages to ensure these businesses can reopen once restrictions are lifted.

I was pleased to virtually meet Year 12 students at Mark Rutherford last week, and I hugely admire the continued efforts of all teaching staff across Bedford and Kempston as they face the challenges of delivering virtual and in-school teaching. I will be meeting with members of teaching union NASUWT next month to hear their concerns.

This week I will meet with the British Transport Police regarding policing activity to tackle County Lines criminality in Bedford and Kempston.

In Westminster

The pandemic has exposed the digital divide across the UK, with approximately 9% of children without access to a laptop, desktop or tablet to access remote education, including in Bedford. I continued to work with the Lord Lieutenant on Bedford laptop drive.

Whilst I welcome the infrastructure investment, I am concerned by the news that the East-West rail investment connecting Oxford to Cambridge will be used by diesel trains. The Government declared a climate emergency, as did Bedford Borough Council. New infrastructure projects need to be based on clean energy – I wrote to the Transport Minister to raise this but haven’t yet received a response.

There are widespread concerns that some communities, especially Black Asian and minority ethnic communities are showing vaccine hesitancy. I joined with a number of other Asian MPs across the political divide to record a video to share on social media.

It has been an ongoing source of frustration that the Government have refused to publish local level vaccine data, and missing ethnicity data has been an avoidable obstacle in the challenge of overcoming vaccine hesitancy, but I’m aware that hard work is going on at grass roots community level working with the CCG to allay any fears and to combat untruths to ensure as many people as are eligible take up their opportunity to be vaccinated.

I would have hoped to share the Health Secretary’s responses to my letters in January about vaccine delays and the issue of data, but I have not had the courtesy of any replies.

I raised the concerns of the dental profession in Parliament over the impact of Covid.

In a huge U-turn following sustained opposition by me and Bedford Borough, the Home Office pulled their plans to open accommodation on the Yarl’s Wood IRC site for asylum seekers.

HCLG Select Committee

The HCLG Select Committee held sessions on local government financial sustainability and section 114 notices and on the impact of Covid-19 on homelessness and the private rented sector. The Committee has also told the Government it has not gone far enough in compensating the victims of the cladding scandal.

I made the following representations recorded on the Hansard:

26th January – HOC Chamber: Educational Settings – Remote learning 

3rd February – HOC Chamber: Support for University Students, rental accommodation 

11th February – HOC Chamber: Future of Health and Care, Emergency dental treatment 

Monthly Round up Dec 20/Jan 21

I am sure we all share a great sense of relief to see Joe Biden and Kamala Harris sworn in as President and Vice President of the United States this week, finally bringing Donald Trump’s divisive and regressive administration to an end, giving hope for improved human rights in the US and abroad and getting back on course in tackling the climate emergency.

I am also delighted that, after initial supply delays, hundreds of Bedford and Kempston residents and health workers have now received their first vaccines.

I know that this is otherwise a very difficult time, as we are once again in a national lockdown, with schools closed and an uncertain timescale ahead before restrictions are lifted, and I hope we are all able to support each other to get through the winter with the promise of better to come this Spring.

In the constituency

We are living through extraordinary times – dominated by the Government’s response to the ongoing Coronavirus crisis. Constituents are contacting me about a number of issues arising from the current situation. The matter of school closures, protecting staff across settings, ensuring the safety and viability of Childminders other Early Years providers and the treatment of University students all appear repeatedly in my inbox.

I have also received letters from people who are worried about the civil liberties aspect of lockdowns, whether this is in direct opposition of restrictions, concerns about the detail of the government guidance and the possible future implications of refusing a vaccine.

The long-term effects of Coronavirus on specific industries, most specifically in their instance – hospitality are still an issue of major concern. We are hearing from several campaigns to cut Beer Duty, support pubs and the wider entertainment and hospitality sectors.

The after-effects of Brexit are hitting home and concerns about the Trade Bill and Food Standards in the UK, The Environment Bill and changes to environmental protections and standards after Brexit are causing real concern. I am also hearing from many constituents on the matter of free movement around Europe for British citizens who may live or work abroad.

In the last two weeks my inbox has seen an influx of messages relating to the scandalous free school meals provision by external providers and the impact of removing the £20 UC uplift.

Many constituents have written regarding Covid-19 vaccines with various queries and concerns about the roll out in Bedford and Kempston, and with many advocating for different key worker groups to be prioritised.

I am in regular contact with the Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group to discuss the roll-out of Covid-19 vaccines in Bedford Borough and it was an honour and very moving experience last Friday to witness the extraordinary efforts of so many coming together providing the smooth delivery of vaccines at the Guru Nanak Gurdwara.

Constituents have written about cancelled NHS procedures, housing and benefits issues, and to bring areas of Bedford and Kempston experiencing antisocial behaviour to my attention.

Parents have told me how their home-schooling efforts are being hindered by lack of access to laptops, and so together with Susan Lousada, the High Sheriff of Bedfordshire, we are coordinating a drive for second hand devices, which can be quickly refurbished and distributed to those who need them. Keep an eye on my social media for more details.

I have also been contacted by local businesses struggling to access grants, financial support or the reduced rates to which they believe they are entitled.

My team and I have been attending meetings and raising concerns about the development of temporary accommodation for 200 asylum seekers on the site of the Yarl’s Wood Immigration Detention Centre.

Last week, I met with David Michael MBE, Labour’s Police and Crime Commissioner candidate, who would bring a wealth of experience to the role, and I wish him the very best with his campaign.

On January 11th I put together a public health message to reach our diverse communities who may not have a good understanding of the English language. It’s vital that everyone in our communities is reached.

In Westminster

On 30th December I chose to abstain on Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal. I promised not to vote for a Brexit deal that was not in the interests of the people of Bedford and Kempston, but I also could not allow an even worse and hugely damaging no deal, because the deal falls well short of what his party promised the British public.

We were promised the exact same benefits, frictionless trade; that it would be the easiest deal in history and that the United Kingdom would remain on the same footing with the EU.  MPs were given just hours to try to scrutinise one of the most important pieces of legislation in our history. It is a deal which under any honest reading is a substantial downgrade of the UK’s relationship with the largest trading bloc in the world with significant consequences for businesses, jobs, workers’ rights and protections, food standards, our freedom of choice and our economy, or no deal.

On 7th January I wrote to the Health Secretary regarding the delay in the delivery of the Covid-19 vaccine stock to Bedford and Kempston. I asked him to explain the reason for the delay and what actions will be taken to ensure that future stock is not delayed.

Last week I wrote to the Education Minister calling for teachers and school staff to be offered vaccines as soon as possible, if they are to honour their claims that schools will be last to close and first to open, and am pleased there are signs of this happening.

HCLG Select Committee

This week, we held an important session on the impact of COVID19 on homelessness and the private rented sector. At another meeting this month, we held another session on the future of High Streets and a session on leasehold reform. The Committee have also written to the Secretary of State Robert Jenrick seeking clarification on non-disclosure agreements in funding applications for building safety works.

I made the following representations recorded on the Hansard:

15th December – HOC Chamber: Question to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on Royal Mail price hikes and the temporary air carrier surcharge 

16th December – HOC Chamber: Immigration Rules: Supported Accommodation

17th December – HOC Chamber: Local Authority Funding

6th January – HOC Chamber: Nursery School Funding 

14th January – HOC Chamber: Transition Vouchers for Small Businesses

18th January –  HOC Chamber: Free School Meals 

Monthly Round Up – Nov/Dec 2020

This has been a monumental week, witnessing a triumph of human endeavour as members of our society received their first dose of what promises to be a highly effective vaccine against Covid-19 – something we perhaps only dared dream would be possible. With December comes the anticipation of Christmas, and I fully appreciate just how different this festive season will be for many this year. Unfortunately, cases are rising again steeply in Bedford after moving out of lockdown and into tier 2, and I hope we are all able to find the balance between enjoying the season whilst keeping each other safe.

In the constituency

As we approach the end of this extraordinary year, I would like to sincerely thank the efforts of my team, who have handled an astonishing 13,092 emails into my office email address alone in 2020 so far, opening 6.5k new cases and keeping on top of correspondence. I am impressed and grateful that despite emails into the office doubling from previous years, constituents have continued to receive prompt responses and committed support with their issues. Since my November update my team opened 544 new cases and 159 of these are new casework.

My constituents in Bedford and Kempston continue to engage with a wide range of issues – challenging me and calling for action on a variety of topics. The Chancellor’s spending review in November has given rise to a large volume of work with constituent’s questioning the Government on their spending allocations and other priorities.

This month, the health, social care and public sectors have been at the fore with constituents writing in support of pay rises for Nurses and other workers, expressing their concerns about the impact of lockdown upon patients with dementia and their families, and questioning the current Government’s approach to addressing a Cancer backlog.

Environmental issues are always a matter of concern and this month I received significant correspondence on the efficacy and scope of the Environment Bill as it passes through Parliament, as well as more specific issues such as ending Peat Burning and Sea Blasts – both of which have worrying detrimental environmental effects.

As we navigated a second national lockdown, constituents continued to express concerns about inconsistencies in the Government’s approach to restrictions and their devastating impact on areas such as hospitality. In particular, a campaign to save local pubs features heavily in my inbox.

Brexit is ever present – this month I received many emails and letters relating to the Internal Market Bill following its amendment by the House of Lords.

The last week of November and early December saw a torrent of correspondence on the matter of significant cuts to the UK’s Foreign Aid commitment. I have assured concerned constituents that I will continue to oppose the decision to reduce the UK’s aid budget.

I’m aware of significant additional costs faced by school leaders making their schools Covid-19 secure from PPE, cleaning costs, to paying to cover absent staff. Schools are also face loss of normal income through hiring out their premises, and combined this is leading to very difficult decisions. I await a response having written to the Chancellor on this topic ahead of last month’s Spending Review.

Universal Credit has been in the spotlight recently due to loopholes and fundamental flaws in its design and I urge anyone who feels that they or someone they may know may have been underpaid due to pay date clashes and double counting, or any disabled students unlawfully refused a work capability assessment, to please get in touch with my office for advice.

In the constituency, I was pleased to meet last week with the new CEO of the Kings Arms Project Kirstie Cook, to hear to hear about current work and future plans to support those without homes,  in particular meeting the challenges of the pandemic but crucially what may follow.  I was pleased to also meet with WASPI National Campaign Manager Linda Jack regarding next steps to redress this injustice.

As it hasn’t been possible to visit schools as I would under normal circumstances, I’ve been very pleased to be invited to school events online, where I’ve met with students answering questions about politics and leadership. Earlier this month I was delighted to virtually attend the Bedford College Achievements Ceremony and I congratulate ALL students and pupils in Bedford and Kempston across every school and college for their resilience and commitment to their studies during such a tough and uncertain year in education. Likewise, my sincerest thanks to all those working in the sector.

I was also pleased to be invited to the first meeting of a group established to discuss Health Inequalities and the Black Community, and I am certain that this will be an extremely important and useful forum for change in Bedford and Kempston.

Thanks to NHS and care too…

In Westminster

I made the following representations recorded on the Hansard:

18th November – HOC Chamber: Question to the Prime Minister on Government failures for the disabled

19th November – HOC Chamber: Financial Support for the Sport Sector on the furlough scheme

30th November – HOC Chamber: Question to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on the Universal Credit uplift

The HCLG Committee  published its report on the Building Safety Bill which was drafted following the Grenfell Tower fire. In our report, we urge the Government to guarantee that leaseholders will not have to pay, come up with alternative proposals for financing the remediation work, explore ways of making building companies pay for fixing problems they created.

I voted against the Government’s decision to strike out the Lords amendment to the Internal Markets Bill to override the Brexit divorce deal and break international law which had been removed in an historic defeat in the House of Lords. Despite all but 1 Tory MP supporting the measures, they were in fact dropped by the Government the next day.

The Government presented parliament with a vote to agree to its flawed tier system or to risk no restrictions at all. So, I abstained to express my concerns at the government’s measures as they stand but not to leave us in the reckless position of having no measures at all to keep the virus under control.

I joined pupils at The Hills Academy to be part of Be Internet Legends livestream assembly -a fantastic virtual event, part of a wider campaign offering primary school teachers across the UK the chance to download and be virtually trained on a free PSHE Association-accredited curriculum pack and a new teaching module on digital wellbeing.

I supported letters to the Government on inadequate levels of Statutory Sick Pay, to extend the free school meal provision to children from low-income families – for those on Universal Credit and those who have no recourse to public funds, a Letter asking the Government  to protect free-to-use ATMs in the hardest to reach places, a letter to the Chancellor regarding the Small Breweries’ Relief (SBR) scheme, a letter supporting Sue Ryder’s campaign to introduce a paid, statutory right to bereavement leave, a letter to support the end to the import and sale of fur in the UK, a letter ahead of the Spending Review asking the Chancellor for an increase in local authority funding and a letter to the Health Secretary  calling for NHS parking to be free for staff, a letter to support farmers rights in India and a letter to the Home Secretary asking for the deportation flight to Jamaica to be halted. Although the deportation went ahead, there are reports that an estimated 37 fewer people were on the flight than planned, including people that the Home Office has now acknowledged may be victims of modern slavery.

On the launch of Disability History month, I asked the Prime Minister why his Government has let down disabled people so much during the pandemic. 6 out of 10 people killed by Covid-19 is disabled. Yet during this pandemic, disabled people have seen their care cut back, struggled to isolate without sufficient support, and been excluded from the government’s shambolic communications.

Monthly Round Up – October/November 2020

We are now approaching the second week of this second national lockdown, and I appreciate that these are tough times for all, as we make huge personal sacrifices to protect the NHS and save lives. A glimmer of real hope this week came with the news of a vaccine – subject to it passing the final stages of approval – representing an extraordinary feat of human achievement.

In the constituency

Since my previous update my team have opened 721 new cases. 156 of these were casework, with the remaining relating to policy and campaigning issues.

As with the first lockdown, my office received a surge in enquiries at the announcement of the second lockdown, with many constituents writing with a particular focus on wishing to see gyms, places of worship or outdoor sporting activities remain open during the lockdown, whilst many people were opposed to schools and colleges staying open. Some constituents opposed the lockdown altogether.

At the end of October, appalled by the tragic deaths of migrants in the channel, I received many emails from constituents, and I have promised to continue to bring whatever pressure I can to bear upon the current Government to reinstate refugee resettlement, which was suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In recent weeks, many constituents have written to share their concerns that after a decade of austerity, our fire and rescue services have been left in a perilous state, requiring urgent investment.

I await a response from Barclay’s Bank to my recent letter to the Chief Executive, following meeting with several managers who talked me through the planned closure of their Kempston branch. I’m deeply disappointed with this decision, which sees essential, convenient face-to-face banking disappear for residents of Kempston, and which I believe will put further strain on local post offices, and the town centre branch. The elderly and most disadvantaged who either cannot or would prefer not to bank electronically will suffer the most, and I have urged Barclay’s Bank to reconsider this decision.

At the end of October, I met with members of the Bedford Blues RFC Board of Directors to the current crisis they are experiencing a result of the pandemic and cancellation of Championship rugby. I followed up with a letter to the Chancellor and a Question in the Commons to the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport requesting  a £1 million support package to ensure the club will still be there for us at the end of this dreadful pandemic.

In Westminster

I made the following representations recorded on the Hansard:

5th November – HOC Chamber: Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Questions on Bedford Blues RFC

9th November – HOC Chamber: Work and Pensions Questions on small and medium-sized enterprises 

Early in November I voted against the controversial Overseas Operations Bill. The main purpose of the Bill is to provide greater legal protections to Armed Forces personnel and veterans serving on military operations overseas but the final drafting breaches the Armed Forces Covenant by preventing British Armed Forces personnel from holding the Ministry of Defence to account when it fails to properly equip personnel, or when it makes serious errors that lead to death or injury of British forces overseas. The Bill does not reflect British values of fairness and justice nor meet the necessary standards for investigations, welfare and legal protections for forces personnel or international law.

The Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee held the opening session of its new inquiry into supporting high streets after Covid-19.In a report published last year, the Committee highlighted the challenges facing high streets and town centres due to strong competition from online competitors, an unfair taxation regime and fragmented ownership of commercial properties. The Covid-19 pandemic has placed even greater pressures on businesses with many having to adapt to new ways of operating or not being able to open at all.

I supported Labour’s Motion to extend school meals in the holidays during the pandemic for children eligible for free school meals. The Government rejected Labour’s motion only for the Prime Minister to do another screeching U-turn on the issue following Marcus Rashford’s campaign.

After supporting Keir Starmer’s calls for a circuit breaker lockdown, to make use of the half term when schools were at home, which the PM described as a “disaster”, I supported the Government’s U-turn to introduce a second national lockdown. We learned from the first lockdown that dithering costs more lives and jobs and I hope the Government uses this time to finally fix it’s test, trace and isolate system to begin to bring infection rates under control.

Although necessarily scaled down from original plans to commemorate Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day this year, I attended small services on both days to honour the memories of men and women whose service and sacrifice secured peace and freedom 75 years ago, and all who have served to defend our way of life.

Monthly Round Up September/October

As we find ourselves getting to grips with the Government’s new three-tier Covid-19 restrictions, I know that this will be an enormously challenging and unsettling time for all. Whilst there is no short-term prospect of a return to normality, I hope you are staying as well as possible and continuing to look out for each other through this continued crisis.

In the constituency:

The return to school led to a presumably predictable rise in tests, and as in other parts of the UK, constituents shared their experiences with me of outrageous delays both in finding tests and receiving results.

As ever, constituents have written to me on a broad range of issues, although the after-effects of Brexit and the current coronavirus pandemic dominate – encompassing concerns about the passage of several significant pieces of legislation; the Agriculture, Trade and Overseas Operations Bills. Constituents in Bedford and Kempston are hugely concerned about protecting Animal Welfare and Food Standards in post-Brexit Trade deals. I am also seeing many letters and emails about the need to protect the creative and hospitality industries and their employees from the financial effects of Covid-19 as well as people seeking clarification about the ever-changing lockdown rules.

I’m seeing very long waiting times for Universal Credit claimants trying to get responses to their complaints, waiting up to a year for a decision maker to look again at a payment decision, which should take a matter of days or weeks, and with the Department for Work and Pension’s own ‘Independent Case Examiner’ experiencing an unacceptable and extraordinary backlog of around 18 months. I continue to be contacted by many constituents who are rightly very concerned about the restrictions of visits to loved ones in care homes and hospitals, and I have met with representatives of local care homes sharing their experiences of a multitude of issues including that costs of PPE have doubled and will soon be unaffordable, and that slow Covid-19 test results have meant staff don’t know if they are safe to work or not, amongst others.

On the advice of the speaker, my staff continue to work from home wherever possible and I will carry on holding my weekly surgeries virtually, with constituents able to book in between 3-5pm on Fridays via Zoom. Email the office on to book in.

In Westminster:

Conference Season was very different this year because of Covid with Labour swapping the seaside for a virtual world. Labour’s online event, Connected, ran over 4 days whilst Parliament was still in session and featured a strong keynote speech from Keir Starmer. ( In the HCLG Select Committee this month, we focussed on Pre-legislative scrutiny of the Building Safety Bill and building materials in response to the Grenfell Tower Tragedy. The Committee launched a new inquiry to investigate Government proposals to reform the planning system and relaunched its inquiry into the impact of Covid-19 on tenants, landlords and rough sleepers.

Notable votes in Parliament included the Internal Market’s Bill which despite opposition sailed through Parliament with its infamous undermining of the EU Withdrawal Agreement – showing the
Government’s intention to break international law. MPs did not get a chance to vote on amendments to the Coronavirus Act extending the government’s emergency powers. Speaker Hoyle said the Government were treating Parliament with “contempt” by rushing through new powers to tackle coronavirus without debate but he was unable to select any amendments ahead of a vote on the renewal of the powers to avoid “undermining the rule of law”.

In the Agriculture Bill, I voted for amendments to require imported food to meet domestic legal standards from 1 January. All but 14 Tory MPs (none of them in Bedfordshire) struck down a Lords amendment to the Agriculture Bill to force trade deals to meet UK animal welfare and food safety rules. The Government also voted down Labour amendments to the Fisheries Bill to enshrine in law a commitment to keep fishing quotas within the sustainable limits advised by scientists and an amendment aimed at banning supertrawlers from marine protected areas was also defeated by 331 votes to 197.

I’m deeply concerned about the latest CQC report into the East of England Ambulance Service Trust which has again gone into special measures. I’ve had two meetings with the CQC, government
ministers, this week including a representative from the EEAST. The Trust has endured serious problems for the last decade and the feeling amongst MPs is that the Trust area is simply too big
and unwieldy.

I made the following representations recorded on the Hansard:

29th September – HOC Chamber: Questions to the Secretary of State for BEIS, on the job support scheme:
1st October – HOC Chamber: Questions to the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, on food standards:
12th October – HOC Chamber: Questions to the Education Minister, on pupils from disadvantaged pupils:
15th October – HOC Chamber: Question to Health Secretary about blood test shortages:

Monthly Round Up – August/September 2020

In the constituency

In August we saw the Government forced to U-turn after putting the futures of students undertaking their A-Levels in peril thanks to Ofqual’s results algorithm, despite warnings from experts. Several young people, parents and teachers in the constituency wrote to me with their concerns. This is far from resolved, with students who have fallen through the net still trying to battle for the grades they deserve, and with a potential crisis looming for next cohort of examination students if the Government doesn’t take urgent action.  The Government must address the disparities in how the time out of school has been spent, with the most deprived students hit disproportionately hard.

Constituents have written on a number of environmental issues, including the illegal killing of hen harriers and other birds of prey on the UK’s grouse moors, and calls to ban supertrawlers and other destructive industrial fishing from UK Marine Protected Areas once the UK leaves the EU Common Fisheries Policy. Constituents have shared their concerns that the Government’s proposed planning reforms for housing and infrastructure must not be at the expense of nature and the climate. Constituents have written regarding their wish to see an Animal Sentience law legislated, and those who wish to see a ban on the sale of real animal fur in the UK.

Another local issue that several constituents are understandably concerned with is the continued closure of many of Bedford and Kempston’s leisure facilities, operated by Fusion Lifestyle. Bedford Borough Council have this week advised me that they are hopeful of being able to announce the reopening of some further services within the next few weeks.

Constituents have written and are appalled by the Government’s Internal Markets Bill, and many have contacted me to share their views on the EU negotiations and future trade deals.

Many constituents wrote to me as they wish to see this Government commit to resuming, and increasing the funding, for the refugee resettlement scheme. I have also been contacted by constituents keen that furlough and business support schemes are extended to prevent a potentially catastrophic number of jobs being lost and business going under.

In the diary

In recent weeks I have met with Kevin Bolt, the Chief Executive of bpha, the largest local housing association; one of our regular opportunities to discuss housing sector key issues and challenges. I also met recently with SpectaculArts, a local organisation, hearing how they have responded both to the Covid-19 crisis and the Black Lives Matter movement by refocussing their plans on bringing Bedford communities together through the arts and education.

It has been great to see constituents embracing technology through these challenging times, and I was delighted to virtually attend a surprise 90th birthday party hosted by the Retired Caribbean Nurses’ Association. And whilst the culture and entertainment sectors have been dreadfully hard hit through this crisis, I was pleased to attend and support The Place Theatre’s innovative Table Top Swap Shop in August, which was a carefully planned and fully socially distanced event.

Also in August, making the most of the fair weather and opportunity to meet with people outdoors, I visited a number of  local businesses to speak to business owners and workers first hand to better understand the challenges they have faced to date due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and what issues they anticipate on the horizon, including when we end the transition period and fully leave the EU.

Following Bedford being named one of 101 towns that could bid for up to £25million from Central Government for a Town Deal last September the Board, of which I am a member, will be asked to recommend submission of the Town Investment Plan to the Government when we meet next on 12 October.

On the advice of the speaker, my staff continue to work from home wherever possible and I will carry on holding my weekly surgeries virtually, with constituents able to book in between 3-5pm on Fridays via Zoom.

In Westminster

Since lockdown, I have participated in a virtual parliament but I made the decision to physically return after recess ended in September. I haven’t been drawn in the ballot yet to speak and because of social distancing measures in the chamber it’s not possible to spontaneously ask questions, but some of my notable actions include:

  • The Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee, which continues its inquiry into devolution in England and on Monday 7 September took evidence on health and fiscal devolution.
  • On Monday 14 September The Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee began taking evidence as part of its pre-legislative scrutiny of the draft Building Safety Bill, starting with fire safety and construction industry representatives.
  • I added my name in support for the cross-party letter to the Chinese Ambassador AmbLiu Xiao Ming, signed by over 140 MPs & Peers expressing horror and absolute condemnation of the oppression of the Uyghur Muslims in China.
  • I attended the report launch of the first UK-wide citizens assembly on climate change.
  • I voted for the Government to abandon its one-size-fits-all withdrawal of the Coronavirus Job Retention and Self-Employment Income Support Schemes. I had my speech ready for the debate, but time ran out and I wasn’t called.
  • I voted for Labour’s amendment to the Fire Safety Bill, requesting that the Government put into law the official fire safety recommendations made during phase one of the Grenfell inquiry. The Government voted it down.
  • I voted against the Government’s Internal Markets Bill to try and prevent the Government from instigating new legislation that will override key parts of the Brexit withdrawal agreement, risking the collapse of trade negotiations with Brussels.


Monthly Round Up – July 2020

In the constituency

Since my previous update my team have opened 971 new cases, with the office inbox alone receiving almost 1,700 emails in June, which is the highest I’ve ever seen since becoming an MP. 318 of these were casework, with the remaining relating to policy and campaigning issues.

What is notable during these times is the sheer breadth and diversity of the issues and concerns that have prompted constituents to get in touch, with many sharing concerns about the annexation of the West Bank, amendments to the Domestic Abuse Bill, writing in support of banning fur imports, in support of the cross-party amendment NC17 led by Yvette Cooper MP which seeks to ensure that all NHS and social care workers whose visas are due to expire before January 2021 can have their visas extended for one year for free, and regarding opposition to the government’s plans to introduce Reception Baseline Assessment (RBA) this academic year for young children starting school.

Constituents have written in smaller numbers but across a very broad range of issues, including: concern for local high rates of covid-19 here in Bedford; calling on more support for the arts and theatres; for certain types of businesses to reopen (where there were clear contradictions in the Government’s lockdown easing strategies); against the threatened redundancies at British Airways; for and against changes to Sunday trading hours; regarding the Government threatening to back track on the Gender Recognition Act (GRA); requesting that places of worship be reopened; general concern about children’s education; making Black British history mandatory in the national curriculum; calling for a green recovery post Covid-19; concerned about the government’s proposals to remove support for heat pump technology; wishing to see the Brexit transition period extended; supporting a pay rise for NHS workers; to protect the NHS in trade agreements; regarding the suspension of Marston Vale train services; urging the Government to put a deadline on removing dangerous cladding from buildings; and regarding a Universal Basic Income, amongst many more.

Individual casework this month has included constituents contacting us with issues where employers are not furloughing staff, or paying staff according to the scheme, alongside many other issues.

I’m delighted by the news that Grange Academy in Kempston has been awarded £2.26 million funding for new classrooms. I visited Grange Academy in January and was shocked at the state of repair of some of the temporary classrooms. That month, I asked the Prime Minister to urgently review the funding formula for capital and revenue, so that schools for children with special educational needs and disability are not disadvantaged simply because they have fewer pupils. I hope the follow up letter highlighted their plight and made the Government rethink the rejected first bid. Congratulations to the headteacher, Catherine, the Governors and the Trust who fought hard to get the funding and carried on fighting despite the setbacks.

In June I met with a consultant from AECOM, who won the tender to support Bedford’s investment plan to hopefully secure up to £25million from the Government’s Towns Fund. I’ve spoken with Bedfordshire Police’s Chief Constable Garry Forsyth raising several issues brought to my attention thanks to the momentum that is building from the Black Lives Matter movement. I participate in a weekly Bedfordshire Resilience forum, where key stakeholders discuss the local impact of Covid-19 as the crisis continues and we enter new phases, and my team and I have joined meetings to discuss specifically the impact of Covid-19 on the Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities. I was pleased to meet recently with local constituents at an innovative virtual lobby to discuss climate change.

The interim report of the deep dive into Bedford’s high rate of covid-19 was recently published, and at last Pillar 2 testing is also being included in the Government’s published data, giving us a better picture of cases locally. I raised this at Prime Minister’s Questions, and it was shocking how long it took for this vital data to become available. I am pleased that the rate in Bedford does now appear to be dropping, but we have some way to go.

I am holding weekly surgeries, with constituents able to book in between 3-5pm on Fridays via Zoom. More details on my Surgeries page.

In Westminster

Whilst shielding continues, I have continued to join Westminster virtually.

I supported eight new clauses covering four areas in the Domestic Violence Bill: the rough sex defence; the DPP review of prosecutions lowering charges; the non-fatal strangulation issue; and anonymity for victims.

I’m very pleased that in light of this, the Government introduced a new clause which puts into statute law that defendants cannot argue rough sex as their defence.  That obviates the need for a DPP review of charging and the issue of anonymity for the deceased will no longer be a problem as the evidence of sexual violence in their relationship will be irrelevant and therefore inadmissible. I‘m pleased that the Minister agreed to keep the issue of non-fatal strangulation under review.

I was also a named supporter on a Loan Charge clause in the Finance Bill to stop retrospective law costing lives and tackle tax evasion. At least seven people have taken their own life after receiving a huge and unfair retrospective tax bill they could never hope to pay back. I’m sad to say the amendment was not pushed on to vote but I will continue supporting the Loan Charge APPG to fight this unjust tax.

I made the following representations recorded on the Hansard:

8th July 2020 – HOC Chamber: Question to the Prime Minister (Care Homes)

7th July 2020 – HOC Chamber: Coronavirus

2nd July 2020 – HOC Chamber: Railways – Passenger Confidence

24th June 2020 – HOC Chamber: Question to the Prime Minister (Pillar 2 tests)

23rd June 2020 – HOC Chamber: Windrush Compensation Scheme

22nd June 2020 – HOC Chamber:  Higher Education Institutions: Covid-19

10th June 2020 – HOC Chamber: Sub-Postmaster Convictions

As more businesses are opening again, with many of us starting to be able to enjoy the easing of lockdown measures, please remember we must continue to be vigilant to keep ourselves and others safe. Please contact my office if we can offer you any assistance.