I met with a Minister to press the case of unsafe cladding on buildings in Hackney. The good news is that from the 9 January there are now six high-street lenders offering mortgages on properties with cladding. But there's not enough movement on high insurance costs and a lack of skilled workers to carry out the works that will be required to remove unsafe cladding – I’ll keep pressing.
 

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The Government that was clapping nurses during the pandemic now wants to sack them. It says the new trade union legislation introduced this week is to guarantee minimum service standards but doctors and nurses are striking precisely because they can’t guarantee those minimum service and safety standards during the normal course of work. The bill is only at its first parliamentary stage but I will vigorously oppose it alongside my Labour colleagues.
 

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Hackney needs more properly affordable homes. Children are growing up in severely overcrowded or temporary accommodation – and the idea of owning a home is for many a pipe dream.

 

See me challenge the Government on what it will do to help councils build more affordable housing.

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A stable, secure, and affordable roof over your head is a basic necessity in life. It supports you in getting work, in studying, and is vital for good health. And yet so many in Hackney live in severely overcrowded conditions with little hope of securing a house they need at an affordable price. We need more social housing. I raised this with the Treasury this week (see here) and pressed the Minister on this.

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This week I challenged the Prime Minister on his Government's immigration policies and the backlogs in the Home Office. 
 
The Public Accounts Committee questioned senior officials at the DWP on value for money in the Restart Scheme, a job support programme set up in the wake of the pandemic. Our report will be published in the new year.
 

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As Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, I’ve been closely following the Government’s procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE) during the pandemic. This week Parliament agreed that the Government must provide to the Public Accounts Committee all papers relating to the award of contracts to PPE Medpro. That contract is now under investigation by the National Crime Agency but the Committee will still look at these papers before deciding what further action to take.
 

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