The Home Secretary cannot answer basic questions about how much taxpayers' money will be spent on sending victims of war and persecution to Rwanda. 

These plans are shameful, unworkable, and will not break the business model of people traffickers and smugglers.

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The Prime Minister and Chancellor have both been fined by the police for partying during lockdown. It beggars belief that when we were unable to visit dying relatives or even spend Christmas with our loved ones there were boozy parties going on in the heart of Government. The Prime Minister has failed to own up to his own involvement in these events, preferring to deflect responsibility to others.
 

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The Government finally published the much-delayed Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) review, which you can read here. Large headline funding figures were briefed to accompany the publication of the report, but much of this is not new funding.

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From 6 April people with biometric residence cards, biometric residence permits, and frontier working permits will have to prove their status online to work or rent in the UK. From this date, physical copies of these documents will no longer be accepted. However, many people struggle to use the online system. It is typical of the Home Office to have set up a system that does not understand the interactions that people will have to have whilst proving their status.

 

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The Government finally published the much-delayed Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) review, which you can read here.

New proposals include digitising paperwork so parents can receive speedier extra support for their children and a greater focus on early intervention with an additional 5,000 early-years teachers trained to become Special Educational Needs co-ordinators (Sencos).

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I spoke in a debate about support for black victims of domestic abuse and urged the Government to support Valerie’s law. This proposal is 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.

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This week the Chancellor delivered his Spring Statement. He unveiled an increase in the threshold for paying National Insurance and a tax cut in two years’ time. These announcements do nothing to help people struggling now. I challenged the Chancellor and the Chief Secretary to the Treasury directly on this. See here and here.

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I challenged the Chancellor on the Government's inability to tackle COVID loan scheme fraud during pandemic. The Chancellor claims he had to act quickly at the start of the pandemic, but with even just a short pause for better planning and preparedness, some of estimated £26 billion paid out under fraudulent claims would have been saved. The money lost to fraud would have mitigated the rise in National Insurance contributions that will hit on 1 April. This comes at the worst possible time with rising prices and soaring inflation creating the perfect storm for households. 

 

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I was appalled to read the City & Hackney Safeguarding Children Partnership’s review into the incident with Child Q. This was a young black girl who was on her period and was strip-searched by police officers at her school without an appropriate adult present because she allegedly smelt of cannabis. Read the report in full here.

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After a recent IT refresh a local tech business, Logixal, asked for help in distributing over 100 pieces of high-quality PCs, monitors, mice, and keyboards. I put them in touch with Hackney youth groups and organisations that work with young people, including the Gascoyne and Morningside Youth Club, Evergreen adventure playground, the Pedro Youth Club, Mouth That Roars, and Tropical Isles.

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