This week the Public Accounts Committee challenged Home Office officials over the ludicrous suggestion asylum seekers may be sent offshore for processing.

This is inhumane, probably illegal, and serves as a worrying signal of this Government's attitude to how it treats those fleeing persecution. I’ll continue speaking out against this.
Also this week marked six months since the Coronavirus Act became law, which meant Parliament had a chance to review this legislation. I supported an amendment, drafted by the Joint Committee on Human Rights, that would have allowed for the renewal of these powers but also called on the Government to pass new legislation on lockdown restrictions. Read the full amendment and further details here.

Unfortunately, the Speaker declined to select any amendments to the Government’s motion for procedural reasons (the motion was not one that could be amended). But he recognised the Government’s approach to scrutiny on this issue was entirely unsatisfactory. I’ll continue working with my frontbench Labour colleagues to hold the Government to account and to continue pressing for greater transparency, clarity, and accountability from the Government. See the Speaker’s full statement here.  

Yesterday also marked the start of Black History Month. In Hackney we celebrate our rich and diverse history year-round, but for the start of this month Hackney Council has worked with local community groups to prepare an excellent programme of activities. See here for further details.