This week in Parliament, Ian has been representing Wansbeck in Westminster, championing constituents inside and outside of the debate chamber. Events in Westminster have been in the headlines, and Ian and the Labour Party have been standing up for ordinary people in Wansbeck and beyond.
One of the highest profile constituency cases I and my staff have dealt with has been that of Nick Dunn, one of the crew of the MV Seaman Guard Ohio. He and his colleagues have been imprisoned in India for 1,000 days. Due to the tireless efforts of the friends and family of the ‘Chennai Six’, I was delighted to join Lisa, Nick’s sister, in submitting a petition to Number 10. Signed by 372,000 people, it shows the desire and need to get these men home.
Also in Parliament this week, I voted on Labour’s opposition day motion to ensure that EU Nationals already resident in the UK can continue to lead their lives free from the threat of removal. Our democracy is a sacred thing, and at the heart of the British character is a respect for others. It’s why we are a charitable nation, it’s why we support international development and it is why it is wrong to use people who have lived, worked and settled here as bargaining chips. Andy Burnham was right to raise this issue, and I am proud to be a part of a party that stands up for those under threat.
I was delighted to welcome Ashington High School to the Commons and to take some extremely well thought out and incisive questions from students who were eager to learn more about the workings of the mother of Parliaments. School visits are one of the true highlights of my position as an MP. The opportunity to speak with young people and let them know that no matter their background, their voice has a place in politics is a truly wonderful thing.
Politics isn’t the only place where voices from different backgrounds need to be heard, and I was delighted to be contacted by Channel 4, drawing my attention to their apprenticeship scheme. The creative industries have always needed an influx of people from around the country with a variety of life experiences. If you are interested, or know someone who may be, direct them to http://4talent.channel4.com/get-involved/work-programmes/apprenticeship-programme.
Also in Parliament this week, I voted with the Labour Party on the Wales Bill and the Energy Spending Priorities: Investors and Consumers Bill. Unfortunately, on both occasions, Labour was outvoted by the government.
The main political event of the week was the release of the Chilcot report. Despite the passage of time, Iraq remains a stain on our national conscience and will be for a very long time. It has affected our international standing and our voice on the global stage. Jeremy Corbyn, a principled opponent of the war from the outset was absolutely right to begin to rebuild public trust in the Labour party on the issue. By meeting the bereaved families, Jeremy has underscored our dedication to a more peaceful world. Those families remind us of the true cost of the conflict and why lessons must be learnt.
Are you a constituent experiencing difficulty or do you have a cause you wish to raise? You can email email@example.com, call 01670852494 or write to Ian Lavery MP, 7 Esther Court, Wansbeck Business Park, Ashington, NE63 8QZ