I signed and voted for Yvette Cooper MP’s amendment to the Finance Bill, making it harder for Government to allow a No Deal Brexit without Parliament having a say.

I am clear that a No Deal Brexit would be a disaster for our economy. As Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, I have repeatedly raised concerns about No Deal.

On 8 January, the Government was defeated by seven votes.

This amendment makes Parliament’s opposition to a No Deal Brexit clear and provides legislative safeguards to prevent a No Deal Brexit.

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Parliament and the country should not be forced into the choice the Prime Minister is offering – that we should vote for any deal, however bad for Britain, or risk crashing out.
 
The Prime Minister has come back from Brussels with a withdrawal agreement that is incoherent and has no detail on the future relationship with the EU. I am also very concerned about the impact on Northern Ireland.
 

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The Government repeatedly claims that employment rates have risen and more people are in employment than ever before. But too many of these jobs are low paid, with limited prospects.

Many employers of low paid workers do not provide training, so their workers are trapped in low income work.

I asked the Minister for Employment about plans to help people who work in more than one low income job get support to secure training and development.  

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On Monday 7 January the Government launched the NHS Long Term Plan.

The Public Accounts Committee has repeatedly inquired into the sustainability of the NHS and made recommendations to the Government about the creation of a sustainable long term plan for the NHS.

I will continue to challenge the Government on this and monitor whether the Government measures up to its promises.

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The Department for Transport has recently spent £13.8 million on a contract with a ferry company, that has no ferries.

I have repeatedly raised concerns that the Department for Transport is not prepared for Brexit.

I’m concerned about the legality of this contract and I am interrogating further.

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During the recent Liaison Committee hearing I questioned the Prime Minister on austerity and the economic impact of Brexit.

The Prime Minister claims austerity is coming to an end. However, all evidence suggests that the UK will be economically worse off after Brexit.

You can read the full transcript from the hearing here.

 

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We have a 'No Second Night Out' shelter in Hackney, funded by the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan. 'No Second Night Out' focuses on helping those who find themselves rough sleeping on the streets of London for the first time.

If you see a rough sleeper alert Street Link via their app or website here. Street Link will help connect people to services and get them support. 

You can donate money to the London Homeless Charities Group on the GoFundMe page here

 

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On the 17 December the Secretary of State for Education annouced funding for children with special educational needs and disabilities. 

This is a big concern to parents in Hackney. I am asking Hackney Council to let me know what impact this will have in Hackney.

Please click here to see the Secretary of States statement. 

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Media this month has included BBC Radio 4’s Any Questions.

Sky’s Sophy Ridge programme to discuss the impact of a no deal Brexit on the UK and various other press and radio.

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I visited local mental health arts charity ‘Studio Upstairs’. The Hackney-based charity runs art therapy sessions which support people with mental illness to explore their creativity. It’s celebrating its 30-year anniversary in December.

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