The Sue Gray report was published in full this week. It makes for damning reading as it outlines in detail the boozing and partying at multiple parties in the heart of government during lockdown. It concludes that both the political and official senior leadership must take responsibility for the partying and rule-breaking culture at the heart of government. Read the full report here.
The Prime Minister offered a partial apology but defended his actions by insisting it was an “essential duty” and “appropriate” to say goodbye to departing colleagues. But this was during lockdown. How can it be right to say goodbye to colleagues and not to dying relatives? The Conservative Party’s backbench MPs should do the honourable thing and remove him.
The next day the Chancellor came to the House of Commons and announced Labour's policy of a windfall tax on oil and gas companies to support struggling households facing a cost-of-living crisis. It proves the package of support unveiled earlier in the year was not enough and that the Government doesn’t understand the reality of people’s lives. It is welcome the Government has finally accepted Labour’s argument that a windfall tax on the profits of oil and gas producers is the fairest way to pay for a package of support. But it should never have taken the Government this long. I’ll keep pressing the Government to see the urgency of the situation and provide better support for struggling households.
The Public Accounts Committee grilled senior official from the Home Office about the impact of delays in immigration, visa, and asylum cases. These delays are causing havoc for many and separating families from each other whilst also costing them a lot of money. This is a government that also wants to cut over 91,000 civil servants, which would only make things worse. I’ll keep pressing the Government to fix this issue.
And next week will be the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations with celebrations taking place across Hackney. It’s going to be great to celebrate in person and I look forward to seeing many of you at the festivities.