Even before the American Election result 2016 had been a year of unprecedented political upheaval – the referendum, leadership challenges, resignations, a new Prime Minister and the challenge of uniting the country and winning a positive exit from the European Union which protects jobs and opportunities. The election of Donald Trump has further increased uncertainty. Mr Trumps statements during the election campaign and indeed long before it were a cause of real concern not only for many groups in America and across the world and indeed for global security and climate change, given the power which the Presidential office holds.
In the days after the election constituents of all ages came up to me to express shock, concern and real fear. As well as global concerns there are many implications for the UK’s foreign and domestic policy, on everything from trade to interest rates. As always, different groups will seek to use the uncertainty to their own advantage and I am particularly concerned that the Government will Mr Trump’s election as further justification for taking Britain down a race to the bottom in terms of working rights, wages and skills. We must not let that happen.
It is important to remember that Trump did not win the popular vote and he won many states by the narrowness of margins. His victory t is a challenge to all of us in politics to represent the real interests of working people, and to deliver a bold vision for a future which works for everyone.
Civic Voice and North East War memorial project volunteers
Nissan’s renewed commitment to manufacturing in Sunderland is a cause of real celebration for all of us who value manufacturing. But we do need to make sure other manufacturing jobs are protected in a Brexit deal that works for the North East. The region’s Health and Sustainability Plan revealed a £1Billion funding gap when health and social care are integrated and no plans from Government to close it whilst further plans for cuts to welfare payments put the burden on the poorest amongst us. Theresa May may claim to have abandoned George Osborne’s failed austerity economics but we in Newcastle are certainly not seeing any increased investment in skills or services as a consequence.
We received more positive news on the arts and culture size, winning the competition to host Great Exhibition of the North and a significant grant from the Arts Council to celebration Martin Luther King’s 1967 visit to Newcastle.
Bingo at Slatyford Tenants Club
Shadow Ministerial Role
- Working with economists like Mariana Mazzcato and others I am developing a mission based approach to Industrial Strategy which will deliver a strong, positive industrial vision for our future which will deliver a strong, positive industrial vision for our future.
- I spoke from the frontbench on 20 October in the Back Bench Business Debate on Industrial Strategy. I asked question to Minister in the Commons Chamber on Innovation (8 Nov)
Backbench and Constituency Role
- I spoke from the backbench on 27 October (Cybercrime), on 25 October (Topical Questions -austerity), 18 October (trade with Africa), 13 October (Baby loss), 13 October (Church schools) , 13 October (topical question – rural broadband) 13 October (Food labelling).
- I called a Westminster Hall debate on Martin Luther King’s 1967 Visit to Newcastle (1 Nov)
- Stage debut on Northern Stage in ‘the Suppliant Women’
- Jeffri Ramli shadowed me in Parliament.
Media, Organisation & visits
- Sarah Pine announced she was leaving us after two months to go and work for Jon Trickett. Despite her short time with us her contribution will be much missed. She will be recruiting her own replacement and a job advert is on my website
- We have a new intern from the LSE, Megan, who is already making a great contribution
- Quoted regularly in local media and nationally. Appeared on radio and television and re Nissan and MLK debate.
Meetings and visits
Digital Economy Briefing BBC Charter renewal, TSB Community Partner congratulating The Peoples Kitchen, Equitable Life EMAG & APPG, Food Standards Agency, The UK Statistics Authority, Usdaw Respect for Shopworkers Week, ‘I’m With Her’ Hillary Clinton, Biology Week, Angola APPG briefing by UK Ambassador, Black History Month ‘Racial slavery to metropolitan freedom’, Duke Ata event, MLK meeting, North East Contemporary Visual Arts Network Baltic, Bigg Market development, Jude Kirton-Darling MEP, Women of the Year Lunch, Highways England, Suade regulatory technology start up- Diana Parades, Chief Superintendent David Felton, CBI, Dell, Human Trafficking Foundation Anti-Slavery Day Media Awards, Jersey Finance, Discussion on Free Movement, Championing NE Young People event, Royal Africa Society Sheila Ruiz & Richard Dowden, British -American Parliamentary Group, Black Poppies: Britain’s black community and the Great War, Black History Month event, Sky News, Breakfast Roundtable with Dr Mustafa Barghouti, Irish Festival event Wildcats of Kilkenny, Mark Henderson Homes for the North, John Jenner & Mark Senior, An Intelligent Future? think tank, South Africa- The Art of a nation exhibition, Stand Up for Bus Passengers, Macmillan World’s Biggest Coffee Morning, Reception on Women’s Economic Empowerment, Transport for the North, Diwali celebration, Ursula Huws employment rights in the digital economy, ABB Parliamentary Reception, Olivier Theatre, Pictfor panel Parliament & Internet Conference, Globe Gallery ‘A Slice of Life’, Sage Gateshead, Sir Leonard Fenwick, BHM interview, Joe McDonald healthcare data. Peter Stark on Engineering, Hindu Temple, APPG on FinTech AGM, Practical Action launch Poor People’s Energy Outlook, Tyneside Cinema- Oreet Ashery Revisiting Genesis Exhibition, Big Bang at Parliament(Engineers Week), Renewable & MHI Vestas Offshore Wind Receptions, National Autistic Society Employment Gap, Buses Bill Reform Dinner, Preview Screening, Whites Vs Blacks: How Football Changed a Nation, Robert McNamara-Moneysupermarket, Maria Contreras-Sweet-US Small Business Administrator, Dr Sarah Main-Campaign for Science and Engineering, National School Meals Celebration, National Pensioners Convention Lobby, National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society, showcase of Amazon Echo, Royal College Ophthalmologists, Patchwork Foundation awards, Business Council for Africa, Charles Delalonde-EDF, Open Data on parking, NECC Northumbria & Durham Annual Dinner, Thomas Peutz-Tyneside Cinema, MLK meeting, Newcastle College ESOL students, North-East War Memorial project volunteers, CAMRA Lobby , Respublica Tomorrow’s Engineers Week reception, , Huxley Summit, The Restart Project, Mixed Blessing Book Reading 1916 Centenary, Slatyford Bingo, Guy Pilkington Clinical Commissioning Group re Sustainability & Transformation Plans, Lyndsey Britton-Ignite, North Benwell Youth Project AGM, National pathology Week Celebration, Discovery School visit, Emily Cox-Virgin Money, Polly Browning-Edward Lloyd Trust, Peter Macdonald-Autism Works Social Enterprise, Dame Allen’s school visit, Paul Rickeard-Dioceses of Durham & Newcastle. Kali Puja Celebration, Hilton School Remembrance Day Commemoration.
- Canning Street School presentation of Rasberry Pi computers
- NATLECA Towards an ESOL strategy, Interview with on, Speak Up week of action climate change, Rally for Europe, OSCON open source conference Open source & the Forth industrial age, Cybercrime & Corporate Reputation panel IPSOS MORI, CPA UK – Trade in the Commonwealth, Building Gigabit Britain 2016 INCA conference ‘ Digital Infrastructure for Economic Growth’, Are We Safe? TV Panel Discussion Studio 44 North, PMQ panel with BBC, APPG Adult Education, ISPA Panel Cyber security, Community Foundation Launch Small Grants Scheme, Northern Stage -The Suppliant Women, Pictfor CEO Forum, Panel Speaker Arup Connect Culture Network, BBC Radio on US Election, Campus North Digital Girls in Tech, Look North Toon Beef interview, Freedom City 49th Anniversary Event.