Creative industry workers and businesses have been hit with the double whammy of Brexit and COVID-19. I'm organising a virtual creative industries roundtable with the shadow minister to discuss these issues and feed in examples to press the Government. 

The creative industries roundtable will take place on Wednesday 3 February at 4pm. Please email meg.hillier.mp@parliament.uk for further details and to register. 

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At 2:30pm today, I'll be questioning officials in charge of the UK's vaccine rollout.

 

I'll be asking about the Government’s approach in securing potential vaccines, updates on progress, and challenging officials on the early stages of the rollout.

 

Watch the Public Accounts Committee hearing live here

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I have just been briefed by the Director of Public Health for London and senior NHS colleagues.
 
The rate of the virus is very high in London, which is now in a state of emergency. The COVID infection rate is over 1000 per 100,000 people which is much higher than at any time in the last 10 months. In North East London one in twenty people has the virus.
 
This weekend is critical.

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On the 31 December 2020, the Government announced that Hackney primary schools were excluded from the list of boroughs whose school terms were due to be delayed on public health grounds.

This decision did not reflect the advice for London from public health experts. I joined colleagues to call on the Secretary of State for Educaton to urgently reconsider this decision. See the full text of the letter below. 

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My office will be shut over the Christmas period and will re-open on Monday 4th 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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As I write, we still have no idea whether the UK will secure a trading deal with the EU after the 31 December or if we are crashing out with no deal. This past year was supposed to be the transition period in the Brexit process - the period of time in which businesses, consumers, and regulatory agencies had to adapt to the new UK-EU trading relationship. Instead there will be, at best, a few days’ notice. This is completely unacceptable and will mean disruption as businesses adapt to new arrangements.

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I’ve been clear that I oppose this Government’s decision to cut the UK aid budget from 0.7 to 0.5 per cent of GDP. This only saves approximately £4 billion but will have a significant impact in supporting people in need across the world, especially during a global pandemic.

 

I wrote to the Chancellor and urged him to reconsider this decision.

 

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I met with Royal Mail to raise concerns about local postal delays and press for a better service.

Staff and agency shortages as a result of COVID and the additional volume of post are contributing to the delays and missed post. Please let me know of your own experience. A number of households are receiving post on alternate days when there are staff shortages.

Please open the pdf attachment below to read the response in full.  

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