Wansbeck in Westminster 18/04 to 22/04

This week in Parliament, Ian has been representing Wansbeck in Westminster, championing constituents inside and outside of the debate chamber. Once again, it has been an eventful week in politics, and Ian and the Labour Party have been standing up for ordinary people in Wansbeck and beyond.

 

The week saw the inaugural meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group formed in support of the Chennai Six. One of the six men currently detained is Nick Dunn of Ashington, and the group aims to provide as much effective support to the men as possible, as well as their families at this difficult time. Ian has been elected as Vice-Chair of the group, and will work alongside friends and colleagues from all parties as long as the situation requires it.

Ian also met with Rory Stewart, the minister responsible for the implementation of the Flood Re insurance programme. Before the Easter recess, Ian had tabled a question on behalf of a constituent who was concerned by the high insurance costs in Morpeth. Ian raised this issue and also discussed additional problems caused by flooding in Northumberland.

Of the bills before Parliament this week, Ian supported Labour’s amendment to the Bank of England & Financial Services Bill to ensure that a general principle against aggressive tax avoidance was inserted into the legislation. However, the amendment was defeated & Ian then voted against the bill with Labour colleagues. Ian also voted against the end of subsidies for onshore wind farms and voted to recognise as genocide the violence committed by Daesh against minorities in areas occupied by the group.

As a party, Labour have cautiously welcomed the news that the government will take a 25% stake in Tata Steel’s UK operations. Labour MPs from the front and back benches have been urging action on this vital issue for weeks, as the steel industry is a vital national sector. The communities that rely on it cannot be forgotten, and the government must continue to take robust supportive action to support the steelworkers, their families and those in their supply chain who rely on Britain’s steel industry. Comprehensive steps must be taken to ensure a future for British steel, such as measures against energy costs, business rates and working with our EU partners to combat Chinese steel dumping. Total renationalisation should not be ruled out to ensure that this vital industry has a future.

Throughout the week, Jeremy Hunt’s mismanagement of the NHS has been laid bare. Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, Heidi Alexander has continually held Hunt to account, and the revelation that the imposition of a new contract is not within the powers of Mr Hunt shows a crucial government department in disarray. The government has either cynically engineered the crisis by leading doctors, patients and the public to believe that the new contract could be imposed, or Jeremy Hunt is oblivious to his own powers. Ian fully supports the junior doctors and will continue to do so.

On Wednesday, Jeremy Corbyn again exposed the sheer scale of division in the Conservative Party over forced academisation. The division runs into David Cameron’s own county council. However, the only thing many people will remember from this week was Cameron’s disgusting attack on a man who has received death threats for supporting gay marriage and publicly identifying himself as a feminist. It was dog whistle politics of the highest order, and David Cameron demeaned the office of Prime Minister in sinking into the gutter with such attacks.

Are you a constituent experiencing difficulty or do you have a cause you wish to raise? You can email ian.lavery.mp@parliament.uk, call 01670852494 or write to Ian Lavery MP, 7 Esther Court, Wansbeck Business Park, Ashington, NE63 8QZ