It was great to hold an advice surgery for the first time at the new Community Café in Pen-y-Cwm/Ebbw Fawr Primary school last month, as well as also holding a surgery in Brynmawr alongside
Cllr Jules Gardner.
If you, or someone you know, wants to speak with me but could not make it, please get in touch via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call my office on 01495 313167.
I was pleased to chair a roundtable on the importance of 5G
infrastructure in the UK.
Modernising and upgrading our digital infrastructure will be key
in the delivery of Labour’s future industrial strategy.
Rolling out superfast gigabit internet to all parts of the UK is vital, with increased coverage in Blaenau Gwent being something I am continuing to push for.
One of the biggest ongoing campaigns I have taken on over the last few years has been helping those affected by the British Steel pension scandal. I have also been pushing for improvements to be made to those financial watchdogs and regulators that so badly missed the mark while pension sharks plundered the savings of steelworkers across South Wales.
As we await progress on the new Financial Services and Markets Bill, I asked the Leader of the House for a statement on how Parliament will ensure better scrutiny of our financial
regulators and better protection for consumers.
It is important that the war in Ukraine does not become background noise, that we do not
succumb to fatigue around reports of the ongoing atrocities being committed by Putin’s forces.
I recently asked a question in the House about the long range weapons being supplied to Ukraine by the UK.
We must continue to support Ukraine. As I said when I addressed the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe in Vienna earlier this year, there must be justice and reparations must be paid. Russia and its oligarchs must pay the price for its brutality and it must rebuild what it has destroyed.
It was a privilege to help mark the first anniversary of the
Menopause Mandate campaign in Parliament last month.
I have been very happy to support this campaign, pushing for
important improvements to be made around the menopause and employment.
My colleague and friend Carolyn Harris MP has been a fantastic champion on this topic, carrying out tireless work to push for changes that will make a big difference to so many.
Six Mile Run
I had a fantastic morning at Parc Bryn Bach, taking part in the Hospice of the Valleys’ Six Mile Race.
I would like to thank all the other runners that turned out to help raise funds for this great local charity and also thank the hospice’s
fundraising team and the marshals, including Gerald Jones MP, for their hard work.
Last week’s local election results in England were very encouraging for Labour.
We are now the largest party in local government, surpassing the Conservatives for the first time since 2002.
We are winning back support in places previously lost and gaining seats across important electoral battlegrounds.
That being said, this is not the time for complacency
There is clearly an appetite for a Labour government, but we must not rest on this.
We cannot waste a day ahead of the next general election.
We will continue to offer a positive alternative, providing reassurance that there is a better way and that, with a Labour government, we can build a better Britain together.
The issue of Voter ID cast a shadow over the local elections.
As I have said many times now, I believe that the changes brought in by the Conservatives amount to no less than voter suppression.
I raised it again in Parliament a week before polling day, mentioning the huge number of people who still did not have suitable ID ahead of the election. I asked if the Minister agreed that voter suppression was
already under way. Judging by her response, it appeared that I struck a nerve.
I also met with the Electoral Commission recently and told them how angry I am that these plans have come to fruition. I also quizzed them about the gaps in their plans to tally those turned away from polling stations.
When knocking doors in the run-up to polling day I encountered numerous people who said they didn’t plan on voting because they didn’t think they had suitable ID. This means that there will inevitably be many people who wanted to vote but didn’t, who will not be recorded as
being “turned away” because they never went to the polling station.
I am concerned that the forthcoming Electoral Commission report will not paint a true picture of what occurred and, despite the good results for Labour, I am still very concerned about the ongoing impact of this insidious plan ahead of a general election.