It is two years since the murder of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter protests that followed. See below for an update on my work in fighting for racial justice.
Figures released this week show inflation reaching nine per cent in April whilst for the poorest household this figure is closer to eleven per cent. This means the price of weekly essentials (like food, energy, and transport) is going up, hitting the poorest households the hardest. Already one-in-two Hackney children live in poverty when housing costs are taken into accounts – struggling Hackney families are being pushed to the brink. The Government’s response is to bury its head in the sand. It is refusing to see the urgency of the issue.
After much delay, the Government has announced plans to introduce legislation to ban conversion therapy. However, it has confirmed that trans conversion therapy will not be included in the ban. Any form of therapy to convert people away from being who they are, whether they are gay, lesbian, bisexual or trans, is wrong.
I wrote to the Minister for Equalities to press him to ban conversion therapy in all its forms. Click the link below to view his response. I will continue to press the Government on this issue.
The Big Plastic Count kicks off today. Join me and take part in the UK’s biggest ever investigation into plastic waste.
The UK produces more plastic waste per person than almost any other country in the world (only the US is worse). If things do not improve, then the global amount of plastic waste is set to double by 2040.
Parliament returned this week and began with the Queen’s Speech, which sets out the Government’s legislative agenda for the next parliamentary session. It was delivered by Prince Charles this year who announced the Government’s plans for 38 new bills. Sadly many of them are just headlines with no detail – like levelling up. I spoke in the Queen’s Speech and highlighted the real poverty in Hackney, which levelling up does not address. Hackney is the seventh most deprived borough but is only in the ‘priority two’ group in the Government’s Levelling Up Fund.
The Government unveiled a number of bills at this year's Queen Speech aimed at 'levelling up' the country. However, levelling up must include inner city boroughs like ours. Hackney is the seventh most deprived local authority area in the country, but the Government is choosing to prioritise more affluent areas in its levelling up agenda.
Valerie’s law is a proposal named after a constituent, Valerie Forde, who was brutally murdered with her 23-month-old daughter, Jah-zara, by her ex-partner. Valerie’s law would mandate specialist cultural competency training for police officers, relevant government agencies, and domestic violence safehouse staff so that black and minority ethnic women affected by domestic abuse are appropriately supported.
The Prime Minister has been referred to the Privileges Committee of the House of Commons, which looks into allegations that MPs have misled Parliament. This is the first time a sitting Prime Minister has ever been referred to the committee. Even the Prime Minister’s own backbenchers were lining up to criticise him for his shameful behaviour partying during lockdown.