The Government have continued to plumb ever deeper depths in recent weeks; Suella Braverman was sacked as Home Secretary, her legacy from the role one of inciting hatred and violence in the UK, whilst David Cameron was farcically brought in as Foreign Secretary via the House of Lords.
The Supreme Court ruled this week that the Government’s ill-conceived Rwanda immigration policy was unlawful on the grounds that Rwanda is not a safe country for asylum seekers. Rather than admit defeat, the Prime Minister is resolute in wasting more money, time and resources determined the immoral scheme will eventually come to fruition.
The polls are showing how little patience and respect the British public have left for this Conservative Government and the Supreme Court’s ruling shows how urgently we need a mature and nuanced approach to resolving complex problems. Labour are ready to serve and end the chaos we have seen.
Mohammad Yasin MP
Constituents get in touch
- Animal welfare
- Food waste
Since my last newsletter my office has opened 1,007 cases, 125 of which are casework and the remaining 882 relating to campaign and policy.
As the situation develops in Gaza, constituents have continued to contact me with their concerns about the unfolding humanitarian crisis.
Animal welfare continues to be a priority for many of my constituents. Following Guy Fawkes Night and Diwali, my inbox has seen number of emails calling for tighter regulation of fireworks. Constituents have also contacted me about the proposed ‘XL Bully ban’ and reform of Breed Specific Legislation.
On environmental issues, many constituents have been asking me to support mandatory food waste reporting. It is clear there is a long way to go in tackling food waste, and that we are not adequately distributing the food we produce. I remain concerned that the water, energy and space used to grow food that is not eaten is more than our environment can take.
In the constituency
Religious groups in Bedford have voiced their security concerns during these times of increased tensions as the situation unfolds in the Middle East, so I met with Bedfordshire Police who state they are actively monitoring the safety of all communities and places of worship and I urge that should anyone find themselves in an emergency situation, please call 999 or report any non-emergency incidents of crime via 101 or online.
I attended a vigil for peace on Silver Street earlier and spoke about the humanitarian emergency in Gaza. I reiterated my condemnation of the killing of 1000s of innocent Palestinians from the bombardment of the Israeli army and the urgent need for a ceasefire.
I attended the Armistice Day Parade at Riverside Square, the Bedford Pipe Band Remembrance Service and laid wreaths in Bedford and Kempston. I was honoured to meet with veterans, and service men and women. My Labour colleagues and I are immensely proud of our Armed Forces personnel, and their invaluable contributions to our country.
Recent engagements in the constituency have included attending and speaking at the Refugee Support black history month refugee inclusion awareness project, who carry out crucial work in the community. I met with management committee members of Guru Ravidass Gurdawara, to discuss wider issues in the community. I attended St Andrew’s Church ‘Green Fair’. There was a host of activities including a pumpkin growing competition. The theme of the event meant refreshments were made from local, seasonal produce, and the various stalls offered fairly-traded, recycled products.
It was a pleasure to help open a brilliant new business premises in Kempston – ‘D Gelato’, who offer excellent desserts including takeaways. I enjoyed a Macmillan Cancer Support fundraising event, where a lot of effort was put into fundraising for the community.
I visited King’s Oak school, to see their onsite farm and discuss the school’s work and the challenges facing education with leadership and engaging with students about the role of Parliament and politics. I also visited Daubeney Academy and met with leadership. I raised my concern about the potential closure of the school and pressed for the priority to be on improving the school itself which has been invaluable for many families in Kempston. Closing the school would only create more problems and I will continue to support parents in their campaign to keep the school open.
It was a pleasure to visit the 13th Bedford (St Andrews) Brownies group as part of their participation in UK Parliament Week 2023. We spoke about what an MP does, how parliament works, what they liked (or not) about the town they lived in and what rules or laws they would like to see.
I stopped by the East Bedford Primary Care Community Support coffee morning at Christ the King Church Hall on Harrowden Road, a free event is hosted on the first Thursday of the month from 10am to 12pm for residents to access support and information from any of the wide range of organisations and charities attending.
Get Set UK who are delivering the Refugee Employability Programme (REP), a new government-funded initiative designed to support the successful integration of refugees into the local community. The team work with refugees, helping them become more self-sufficient in the UK. Thank you for inviting me to see the programme in action.
It was a pleasure to attend the 13th annual Festival of Lights community event, organised by BIC (Bedford Indian Community) and held at the John Bunyan Centre. The event aims to bring together communities, promoting cohesion.
Clarence House (run by One Housing) is five years old this year. The homeless hostel has a team of support staff available 24/7, including specialist support officers to assist residents with a range of complex needs and I was pleased to visit again.
I met with the National Audit Office (NAO) to discuss their upcoming report on East West Rail due in December. We talked through the remit of their report and my view that it is important that other subjects such as the communication to residents by East West Rail and the implementation of the Need to Sell scheme are examined. Whilst they are limited in extending the scope of the report I am pleased that the NAO have committed to finding a way to include and reference the concerns and feedback they have received from resident groups regarding East West Rail and hope that this will build a case for further scrutiny. I have also put in a request to the Chair of the Public Accounts Select Committee to examine the subject of East West Rail once the NAO’s report is published.
Not before time, Suella Braverman has been sacked for the second time as Home Secretary. Only a year ago she was sacked for a serious security breach which broke the ministerial code and today she was sacked for gambling on a national security issue for her own personal ambitions, stoking violence and undermining the police – 9 of whom were injured that day.
It’s truly shocking. But if the answer to this is David Cameron, we really are in trouble.
It’s extraordinary and desperate that Rishi Sunak is resurrecting the career of David Cameron by making him a Lord so he can appoint him as Foreign Secretary.
This is Cameron, the Prime Minister who brought us austerity and waltzed off the scene after the Brexit referendum, which tore our country in two and caused enduring pain and chaos.
He also still has serious questions to answer over the Greensill lobbying scandal.
November in Parliament
07/11/23: King Charles III delivered his first King’s speech, announcing the legislation that Parliament will work on until the General Election.
It was a skinny programme. 21 Bills were announced, fewer than in any Queen’s Speech for almost a decade.
Of the 29 bills announced in the 2022 Queen’s Speech, over a third (10) have not been completed this session, with many abandoned or never even introduced.
Given that the Commons finished early on almost half of sitting days during the past 18 months, it’s clear this is a visionless Government, clean out of ideas and running on fumes after 13 years of failure.
13/11/23 Response to King’s speech: Building an NHS Fit for the Future
LUHC Select Committee
08/11/23: LUHC opened its inquiry into Financial distress in local authorities. This inquiry examines the current landscape of financial resilience in local authorities in England, what lessons can be learned from the recent issuers of section 114 notices, and how the various responsible bodies are fulfilling their responsibilities to ensure effective and sustainable local government: https://rb.gy/jgsuq9
15/11/23: LUHC launches inquiry into Children, young people and the built environment: https://rb.gy/7351hc
Education Select Committee
16/11/23: launched inquiry into strengthening financial education: https://shorturl.at/dpGT1
14/11/23: Teacher recruitment, Training & Retention oral evidence session. The outgoing Chief Inspector of Ofsted, Amanda Spielman, and Schools Minister Nick Gibb were questioned by the Education Committee on Ofsted’s Work with Schools.
I focussed my line of questioning on teacher workload and mental health and wellbeing in schools. I also asked if the DFE would publish their evidence base for the effectiveness of their Behaviour hub scheme in schools, since an expected interim report has been delayed. The School’s Minister Nick Gib has since stood down in Rishi Sunak’s reshuffle.
Signed Early Day Motions
Plastics in the world’s seas
Sir Mike Penning (Hemel Hempstead)
That this House notes that according to the UN there will be more plastic in the sea than fish by 2050; calls for the Government to publish a strategy for promoting a circular economy in respect of plastics, including setting targets and measures for the elimination and recycling of single-use plastics; further calls for the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to establish a task force to develop proposals to encourage the use of reuse and refill models of packaging, to report annually to Parliament on the implementation of the strategy, to ensure that UK targets for the elimination and recycling of plastic packaging are more demanding than equivalent targets set by the EU, and to require manufacturers and retailers to pay for the cost of recycling plastic; calls for Government to set annual targets for reducing the quantity of plastic waste that is incinerated; further calls for the Secretary of State to publish a plan for banning the export of plastic waste by 2027, make provision for the purpose of reducing the cost of recycling plastic, including measures to encourage the standardisation of plastic packaging, give powers to the Office for Environmental Protection to enforce legislation relating to plastic pollution, and make provision for the purpose of encouraging the development of sustainable alternatives to plastic packaging; and calls on the Government to publish a plan for the use of fiscal policy to incentivise investment in recycling infrastructure and sustainable behaviour by consumers and retailers.
Section 21 evictions
Jon Trickett (Hemsworth)
That this House urgently calls on the Government to proceed with their 2019 manifesto promise to abolish section 21 of the Housing Act 1988, otherwise known as no fault evictions; condemns the number of delays in bringing forward a proper legislative ban in the last parliamentary session; urges the government to strengthen the Renters (Reform) Bill in regard to no fault evictions; notes that section 21 evictions are increasingly used by landlords, with the ONS finding that threats of eviction using section 21 notices rose by 69 per cent, while instances of actual evictions more than doubled, rising by 143 per cent; further notes media reports which show that 40 families a day have been threatened with no-fault evictions since the Government undertook to ban them in 2019; highlights the huge pressure on social housing with over one million waiting for a home; condemns the Government’s failure to fulfil its promise to ban no fault evictions, especially with the added urgency of a global pandemic and then a cost of living crisis; further condemns the fact that vulnerable people are potentially being made homeless; welcomes the statement by Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State on 15 February 2023 that the Government will legislate in this Parliament to abolish Section 21 no fault evictions; and urges the Government to stop delaying and to act now.
Myalgic encephalomyelitis research and treatment
Clive Lewis (Norwich South)
This House commends current research being conducted by the Quadram Institute on the Norwich Research Park that builds on recent evidence that conditions like myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), and Long Covid, have a basis in the immune system; notes that ME (sometimes known as ME/CFS) is a severely debilitating condition thought to affect up to 250,000 people in the UK and that symptoms include widespread pain, extreme tiredness and an inability to concentrate and that the causes of ME are not known and there are no effective treatments; commends the funding provided by the charity Invest in ME Research to the Quadram Institute to run the only current clinical trial in the UK for ME; believes it is necessary to establish a Centre for ME Research, building on excellent biomedical research, to act as a hub for research and treatment of ME; and calls on the Government to support and promote such a specialist Centre to help develop effective treatments.
I submitted a written question to the Department of Health and Social Care on the supply of medication for epilepsy, HRT, and ADHD. My question and the Minister’s response can be seen below. It’s important that continued supply chain issues are resolved so that patients can access medication when they need it. Supply chain security needs to be a priority of any Government. https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/…/2023…/882
I signed a cross-party letter to the PM on the Israel-Gaza conflict urging him to undertake that our Government fulfils its obligations under the Geneva Conventions, condemn the killing of all civilians and supports all measures required to prevent further killings.
These must include:
- An immediate humanitarian cease-fire by all belligerents.
- The release of all hostages.
- The presence of independent, international observers on the ground in Israel and Gaza.
- Providing unrestricted aid to civilians in Gaza – fuel, clean water, food, medical help and supplies.
- Protecting the human rights of both Israelis and Palestinians, including guaranteeing the right of forced transferees to return home.
- Working with partners for a definitive resolution of the conflict realising the Palestinian right to self-determination and mutual security for both peoples.
I signed a joint letter to the head body of the Solar industry, Solar Energy UK, calling for an industry standard level of compensation for communities affected by large solar developments.
I signed a letter to the Health Secretary requesting he contacts all families missing out on Healthy Start payments.
I signed an open letter to the Prime Minister in support of the campaign to ban trophy hunting imports.