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.
 

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This week, the Prime Minister faced a vote of confidence by his MPs. Although a majority of Conservative MPs voted in support of the Prime Minister, over 40 per cent confirmed that they do not have confidence in his leadership. This is a damning indictment of a government in shambles, with eyewatering backlogs in the immigration system, the NHS, and the courts.

 

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Transport for London has announced a new consultation that will impact bus routes 254, 279, 242, 135, 56, 236, 205, 214, 26, 277, 78, 47. 

Buses are a vital lifeline for many in Hackney. As a mode of transport, it is a lot cheaper than the train or tube - these are just not an affordable alternative for some. I am keen to promote cycling but this is not an option for many Hackney residents who will continue to rely on the bus.

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The UK must act against the ongoing crackdown on pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong. I have signed a letter calling for the Government to undertake an audit of the UK assets of Hong Kong and Chinese officials who have been linked to gross human rights violations. I am urging the Government to introduce Hong Kong specific sanctions list. 

 

Click the link below to read the letter in full. 

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The Sue Gray report was published in full this week. It makes for damning reading as it outlines in detail the boozing and partying at multiple parties in the heart of government during lockdown. It concludes that both the political and official senior leadership must take responsibility for the partying and rule-breaking culture at the heart of government. Read the full report here.

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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.
 

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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.

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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.

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