The Government’s been crashing the economy and causing havoc for all households. I pressed it to support families in receipt of benefits, many of whom are in work (see here). I also raised the case of small businesses, especially hospitality businesses, that are facing uncertainty with their energy bills after March (see here).
The markets have delivered its verdict on the Chancellor’s casino economics with the pound crashing to its lowest value against the dollar.
Compare with Sir Keir Starmer who set out Labour's plans for a publicly-owned GB Energy company, universal breakfast clubs for all primary school children, and how Labour is truly a government-in-waiting
Also my campaign to support dog day-care centres like Hackney's Hairy Hounds.
It’s been a sombre two weeks after the death of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, on the 8 September. All parliamentary business was suspended during the national period of mourning as thousands of members of the public visited Westminster Hall to pay their final respects to the Queen. I was pleased to gather with residents of Hackney to remember Her Majesty, including at a memorial service at St John at Hackney the day before her funeral.
At the beginning of the month, the Prime Minister appeared in front of senior MPs at the Liaison Committee and I pressed him on his meetings with the former KGB spymaster, Alexander Lebedev (see here). This week the Prime Minister wrote a formal letter to the committee in which he stated that ‘as far as he can recall’ no government business was discussed at the social event he attended in Italy with Alexander Lebedev. Clearly this only begs more questions than it answers.
Boris Johnson attended his final Prime Minister's Questions this week and was met with a standing ovation from his MPs who only two weeks ago were calling for him to resign. Conservative MPs have also selected the two final candidates to be the Prime Minister's successor - Rishi Sunak, the Prime Minister's former Chancellor, and Liz Truss, the Prime Minister's current Foreign Secretary, both continuity candidates. We need a general election and a fresh start.
The farce of this Prime Minister and government continued this week. After the Labour Party applied for a vote of no confidence, the Government refused to allow this vote to take place. It then realised that it couldn’t refuse and so has now tabled a vote of confidence in itself for next week. It’s another mess of the Government’s own making. We need a government that is focused on the issues that matter to Hackney, including tackling the cost-of-living crisis.
Boris Johnson has finally resigned as Prime Minister. But despite his resignation he remains in charge as a lame duck Prime Minister whilst the Conservative Party picks our new PM, again. I challenged Boris Johnson at a meeting of the Liaison Committee (the committee of select committee Chairs) this week before he resigned. During the meeting, the number of ministerial resignations and new backbench Conservative MP critics kept escalating.
Seven per cent of deaths of people over 30 in Hackney can be attributed to particulate air pollution. The Public Accounts Committee held a hearing on this issue and pressed senior officials on what steps the Government will take to address this issue. But it's also a reminder of the urgent need to tackle the climate emergency. Whilst air pollution in general has decreased over decades, the level of nitrogen dioxide is breaching local limits in many areas.
Between 2010-2020, the Government reduced funding to NHS dentists by a quarter. Labour called a debate in the House of Commons on access to NHS dentistry and I made the point that the Government is woefully underdelivering on this issue. Difficulties with accessing NHS dentistry has been an issue since before COVID-19 hit. The pandemic has only made things worse and the Government has been too slow to act. I’ll keep urging it to step up and fix this issue.
After two years of lockdown and no travel, it was entirely predictable that there would be an increase in passport demand. There is now a serious backlog in processing passport applications. Labour called a debate in the House of Commons to highlight the issue and press the Government for action. I’ve also been helping constituents get their passports returned in time for funerals, weddings, and holidays but the Government has been asleep on the job. It is not good enough and the Government must urgently step up and fix this issue.