The COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective, and the best way of protecting ourselves and our loved ones.

It is vital we all take the vaccine as soon as it is our turn to do so. I've recently had my first jab and it was quick, easy, and pain-free. 

Hackney Council has produced an excellent booklet with further information about the vaccines and Hackney's vaccination centres. Click the pdf link below to read it in full. 

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Too many young Londoners are priced out of citizenship because of the high cost of fees. Currently a young person applying for citizenship must complete five separate costly applications. A single ‘leave to remain’ application costs £2593. This must be renewed every 30 months for ten years.

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Calling all young Hackney creatives aged 18 or under.

Newington Green Meeting House: Revolutionary Ideas project and Hackney Museum are still accepting entries for their Mary Wollstonecraft art project. They are asking students to create a piece of art inspired by Mary’s story and her time at Newington Green.

You have until the end of the month to submit. See here for further details.

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I voted against the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill at the first parliamentary opportunity. This bill was an opportunity for meaningful sentencing reform. There is an all-time record high backlog of more than 56,000 cases awaiting a hearing. Victims of crime are being asked to wait up to 4 years to get to court.

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The Government recently announced an emergency authorisation of a previously banned pesticide that disproportionately affects bees. It is vital our farming practices are sustainable and protect bees – a vital species in our ecosystem. Luke Pollard, the Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, has been clear that Labour does not support this emergency authorisation and has urged the Government to think again.

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Thanks Kazeem and the NHS for giving me my vaccine today. It was quick, painless, and easy.

Please take the vaccine when it is your turn to do so. It's the best way of protecting ourselves and our loved ones.

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The Government allocated £37 billion for Test and Trace and yet despite the unimaginable resources thrown at this project, Test and Trace cannot point to a measurable difference to the progress of the pandemic. Taxpayers are not the Government's ATM machine. We need a clear plan and costs better controlled. The Public Accounts Committee will return to our investigation on this in the summer.

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I remain concerned about the slow broadband in parts of Hackney. With more people working from home, I am pressing Openreach about the not-spots. The average download speed in London is 78.3 Mbps, however in Hackney Central it is as low as 47.4 Mbps, putting it in the worst 30 per cent of areas across the UK. Shoreditch is also in the worst 10 per cent of areas in the UK for people unable to receive good speeds.

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No worker removed from their frontline role should see their career suffer. This applies particularly to workers from black and minority ethnic backgrounds who were removed from frontline duties for their own safety during this pandemic.

I pressed the Minister for Equalities, Kemi Badenoch MP, on this (see above) and have recently received a letter in response to my question. Read the letter by clicking the pdf link below.

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