The Government is currently undertaking a review of the alcohol duty system with changes due to come into effect in February 2023. Under current proposals, the duty on draught beer and cider served in pubs will be cut by 5 per cent. However, this will only be applied to alcohol sold in containers of 40 litres or more. Many small producers use 20 litre or 30 litre containers when supplying to pubs or other drinking establishments.

 

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The Government’s actions have caused a huge injustice against those falsely accused of cheating on English language tests for visas. Its disregard for the impact on people’s lives and reputations is shameful. Many lives have been ruined.

Many have gone to court and proved the Government wrong, but at great cost to themselves and the British taxpayer. The simplest, fairest, and most cost-effective solution for everyone is to allow those accused of cheating to re-sit the test.

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Private renting is unaffordable for too many in Hackney.

I’ve seen children grow into adults unable to move out of the family home because they cannot afford private rents, even though they working in good jobs with good salaries.

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It was a delight to visit Hackney New Primary School which, due to the pandemic, is the first time in a while I’ve been able to visit a school. As ever, the pupils spoke eloquently about the issues that matter to them, particularly on the climate crisis. I encouraged them to remain involved in politics and write letters so that their voice can be heard.

My visit also included a first-class demonstration of the musical education offered at Hackney New Primary School and the rooftop garden managed entirely by pupils. 

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The energy price cap increase will hit struggling Hackney families hard. It comes after a decade of dither, delay, and poor planning of Britain’s energy sector by this Government.

The Chancellor's response forces households to pay later for today's high energy bills and gambles on energy prices falling in the future.

There is also little detail on how parts of it will be rolled out. I'll keep pressing for answers.

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Not one English river is in a healthy condition, with none meeting good chemical standards and only 14 per cent meeting good ecological standards. It is a shameful record that England has the worst river quality in Europe.

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It is vital our curricula in schools reflects the rich diversity and history of our country. The contribution of people from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities must be celebrated in schools.

I wrote to the Secretary of State for Education after receiving a letter from a year 7 student in Hackney, who raised concerns about the lack of diversity on the GCSE English literature curriculum. Click the pdf link below to read the response in full.

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My office will be shut over the Christmas period from 1pm on Friday 24 December and will re-open on Tuesday 4 January. During that time my emails and phones will not be monitored daily. 

For urgent assistance, please see below for a list of services that should be able to offer assistance.

I hope you all have a safe festive period.

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I've prepared a festive video as my Christmas e-card this year (see above). Please feel free to share with your friends and colleagues.

I hope you have a safe festive period.

Best wishes for Christmas and the new year.

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