After a busy morning visiting a Macmillan Coffee Morning at St George’s Hospital, followed by my regular catch up with the hospital’s Chief Executive Miles Scott, and the opening of the newFirst Touch charity garden, I’m now back in Parliament to vote on the UK’s involvement in air strikes against ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) in Iraq.
There is no more important decision a country can take than to commit our armed forces to military action and I can assure you, as your local MP, this is not a decision that I take lightly. Please be assured that I will carefully consider the arguments on both sides of the debate before voting. I will be sure to keep you updated on this, but in the meantime please don’t hesitate to get in touch to share your views and concerns.
Labour’s plan for Britain’s future
Earlier this week I headed to Manchester for the Labour Party Conference, where we as a party set out our vision for Britain’s future. In his speech, Labour Leader Ed Miliband outlined six national goals for the next ten years, which included increasing the minimum wage to over £8 per hour, supporting as many young people into apprenticeships as currently go to university, building more housing and creating a world class 21st century health care service that has time to care, with 3,000 more midwives, 5,000 more care workers, 8,000 more GPs and 20,000 more nurses.
As Shadow Justice Secretary I also spoke at conference. I spoke about the local heroes who inspired me to go into politics, such as Britain’s first Asian head teacher, Ernest Bevin’s own Naz Bokhari, and then Burt Luthers, the first ethnic minority councillor in Tooting (who sadly passed away recently). I also spoke about the importance of standing up for our Human Rights Act and protecting access to justice, as well as our commitment to give the right to vote to 16 and 17 year olds. I even challenged the government to stop stalling and consider lowering the voting age for the General Election next year. You can watch my full speechhere (starting at 1hr 29mins) or read it here. Why not let me know what you think?
The Romany is returned to the community
Since my last update I am delighted to share the good news that the sale of the Romany Scout site, in Wandsworth Common, to the local community is now complete. We have come such a long way since I was first asked to get involved in the campaign, when the threat of development emerged back in May.
It has been a pleasure to offer my support to the campaign over the last five months and I am really pleased that together, councillors from both main parties, residents, scouts and myself were able to get our message through to the tennis club and the developer, and they listened. Now the site has been returned to the community, long may it continue to be used by local residents young and old, just as it has for more than fifty years. Click herefor more information on the campaign.
Until next time.