Parliamentary Update: 11th - 15th April

This week, I voted against the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses (Amendment) Regulations 2016. As a party, Labour is concerned at this attempt by the government to water down protection for agency workers. An attack on the rights of any worker is an attack on the rights of all workers, and the fact that the government has chosen to go after a group who are already in low paid, insecure work should be an indication of their motivation. I also opposed the Finance Bill at Second Reading, as did my colleagues in the Parliamentary Party. The bill will now pass to the Committee stage, where Labour colleagues will continue their opposition.

I also voted against Tory education plans as part of an opposition day debate. I pledged to oppose it, and the Labour Party remains unified on this issue. This policy means the forced academisation of schools across the country, with no heed paid to achievement or situation. It is an attack on the teaching profession, local democracy and the upheaval it will cause will threaten the life chances of a generation. I made my position clear earlier this month, and it can be read in full at -, and will continue to inform constituents of my position on issues in this fashion.

The Labour Party continues to stand in solidarity with the steel industry in Britain. While Sajid Javid continues to claim the government are doing what they can, my colleague Angela Eagle has exposed how woefully underprepared the government have been. Redcar was ignored, and Port Talbot was set to be until the media storm became unbearable for the government. It again underlines the priorities of the Tories in government, to focus on enriching the wealthiest in society while failing to support a staple industry that is of paramount importance to our future. . In my column in the News Post Leader I said that the steel industry is a vital part of our industrial heritage, and that the government are failing steel communities in exactly the way they failed mining communities.

Outside of the Commons chamber, I had the privilege of chairing the Justice For Colombia meeting on Tuesday. Colombia’s Trade Union movement has had to face some of the most repressive conditions ever seen. Research by Justice For Colombia has revealed that assassination and murder lead to 2 activists per day being killed. It is a situation that ought to be the subject of international outcry.

I look forward to continuing to represent Wansbeck next week, and will continue to stand against this government, one of the most divisive in history.

If there are any issues that you are passionate about, or you are experiencing difficulty relating to central government, then please do contact Ian’s office by email (, phone (01670 852494) or post (7 Esther Court, Ashington, NE63 8QZ)