It is vital children have access to regular, nutritious, healthy food. In Hackney, too many children are forced to skip breakfast and turn up to school hungry. This is unacceptable and has a significant detrimental impact on children’s concentration and learning. I support the excellent work of the charity Magic Breakfast which works with schools in Hackney to provide healthy breakfast food and expert support. Find out more about their work here.
Only 10% of the required personal protective equipment (PPE) arrived in care homes at the beginning of the pandemic. This put care home residents, frontline workers, and their families at risk. The Public Accounts Committee called out the Government on this in its report this week and I'll continue pressing on the issues with Government procurement.
Business and workers in the creative industries have been hit with the double whammy of COVID-19 and Brexit.
It is vital the March 2021 Budget does not act as a cliff-edge with the large-scale withdrawal of all support for workers and businesses in this industry. I’ll continue working with my frontbench Labour colleagues to urge the Government to ensure support is targeted for those businesses and workers impacted by the COVID-19 restrictions.
The Public Accounts Committee published a report this week on the Government's plan for its long-term environmental goals. The climate emergency requires urgency. The Government must move on from aspirational words and start taking the hard decisions. I'll continue pressing. Read the report here.
Creative industry workers and businesses have been hit with the double whammy of Brexit and COVID-19.
Thank you to Alison McGovern MP, Shadow Minister for the Creative Industries, and all the Hackney creatives who joined today's roundtable on the impact of Brexit and COVID-19 on the creative industries.
Real life examples can make a difference in pressing the Government - please email me to continue feeding in your experience.
This week the Public Accounts Committee scrutinised the Government's plans for achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and ending rough sleeping by 2024. Still lots of work to do.
And I challenged the Minister for Schools over school closures and what plans there are to support pupils with catch-up learning. See my weekly round-up for more details.
COVID-19 infection rates are still very high in Hackney and in London. It's vital we remain vigilant against the virus and stay at home as much as possible.
I remain hugely concerned about the impact on children, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, of a loss of face-to-face teaching. In Hackney we had seen the gap in attainment narrowing significantly; the pandemic is reversing this progress. Students who study practical and artistic subjects at school are also particularly disadvantaged when forced to learn from home.
The UK’s transition period with the European Union came to an end on 31 December.
Four and a half years after the Brexit referendum, and after three years of detailed negotiations, the UK Government finally agreed a deal on Christmas Eve.
Parliament was recalled on 30 December to vote on a hastily drafted bill which would give force to the deal in UK law. We had a total of five hours to debate and vote on this bill before it went to the House of Lords and then finally was given Royal Assent, in the early hours of 31 December.
On this important day normally I meet with others in Hackney and have the privilege of hearing from survivors of the Holocaust. This year, due to COVID-19, I attended a virtual memorial event and filmed a video on this year’s theme “be the light in the darkness.”