As Parliament headed into recess, and we advance towards the next General Election, the message remains clear; people are fed up, the Conservative Government has made a monumental mess of things and only Labour can deliver the better Britain we deserve.
The recent by-elections in England show that there is an appetite for change. The most recent polling tells us that we remain on a firm footing.
This summer families are continuing to be hammered as a consequence of the Tories economic failures.
The country is buckling under 13 years of Conservative mismanagement, and it is families that are paying the price. For example, in Blaenau Gwent, 5,700 families are facing an annual mortgage increase of £1700.
Rent costs are rising, and food and energy prices remain sky-high.

People are worse off, our public services have been pushed to the brink and nothing is working better than it did 13 years ago.
Neighbourhood policing has been hollowed out. Criminals are getting away with it and victims are being let down. Years of underfunding has left the NHS on its knees.
Labour has a five-point plan to make a better Britain for all of us. You can read about it in detail here.
Broadly we want to:
– Secure the highest sustained growth in the G7, with good jobs and productivity growth in every part of the UK making everyone, not just a few, better off.

– Make Britain a clean energy superpower, to create jobs, cut bills and boost energy security.

– Build an NHS fit for the future.

– Make Britain’s streets safe, raising confidence in the police and criminal justice system to its highest levels.

– Break down the barriers to opportunity at every stage, for every child.

People across Britain are crying out for a long-term plan to give Britain back its future. These missions will do just that.

Safe Hands
I spoke in Parliament about a Blaenau Gwent constituent who had got in touch with me about losing a chunk of his life savings to now-dissolved funeral plan company Safe Hands.
He is one of 46,000 customers who lost a combined total of £60m.
An investigation into what happened is still under way, but the details we know are alarming.
The Treasury and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) were warned about Safe Hands as early as five years before they collapsed
I wrote to the FCA with a Freedom of Information request regarding any correspondence that took place between the FCA and the Treasury, and the FCA and Safe Hands, between 2015 and 2022.
The FCA took five months to issue a response that amounted to explaining that this information was “confidential” and could not be shared.
I fear that those with oversight may have acted too slowly and potentially failed to prevent a massive rip-off of the British public, this time vulnerable people saving for their own funeral to avoid placing a financial strain on family members.
It has been reported that Safe Hands plan holders will receive at most a fifth of their money back. This is not right. If found to be due, those who lost out must be adequately compensated for the failures of the UK’s regulators or the failures of the Treasury.

Armed Forces
I questioned the Prime Minister during his statement on the NATO summit, to once again ask about the decimation of our armed forces under the Conservative Government.
The MOD has confirmed further intended cuts to our military, reducing the British Army to its smallest size since the Napoleonic Wars.
Labour would scrap plans to shrink the overall size of the army and implement a stockpiles strategy in response to warnings that, as things stand, our troops would run out of ammunition in a matter of days in a conflict.
Cutting costs here is another example of a Government trying to paper over cracks formed through its own chronic mismanagement of the budget.

Cymru Creations
It was a pleasure to welcome Tredegar’s Cymru Creations to Parliament recently.
It’s great to hear about the team’s continued brilliant work, especially taking on their first film and media apprentices including Sophie Hill, the first woman to secure a film apprenticeship in our valleys.

It was good to hold a busy surgery in Tredegar Library a few weeks ago, with my next surgery scheduled for Ebbw Vale Library on Friday, August 18th at 4pm-5pm.
Please come along if there’s anything you wish to speak with me about in person. If you can’t make it, you can always drop me an email at or by calling 01495 313167

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