The Public Accounts Committee looked at the Asylum Transformation programme, which is the Home Office's plan to deal with the 173,000-case backlog in asylum claims. We also took evidence on the accommodation provided for asylum seekers. At the same time, the House of Commons was voting on the Illegal Migration Bill. I voted 18 times in favour of amendments to improve the Bill, such as one that placed restrictions on the removal of LGBT+ people to countries where they may be persecuted, and another that required the Bill’s provisions to align with international law. However, due to the Government’s majority these were rejected. This is an immoral, badly worded, and unworkable piece of legislation, but unfortunately it looks like it will pass all its parliamentary stages next week. See here for further updates.
I also pressed the Health Minister on behalf of a number of constituents who’ve been diagnosed with brain tumours. Currently there is a real shortage of neuro-oncologists in the NHS. I asked the Minister whether the recently announced NHS workforce plan will include more support for neuro-oncology. There is a lot of work that must be done and I’m pleased the Minister is keen to work cross-party on this issue. See here for my question and his promising reply.
And I was really pleased to attend the De Beauvoir Association’s excellent Party in the Park last weekend. It was great to chat to residents, the De Beauvoir Women’s Institute, the local vicar, and many others.