Parliament has returned with the Autumn and it is the same subjects which are occupying Westminster minds – Tory infighting, Brexit and the economy. The Labour Party Conference showed a party united and determined to achieve a ‘jobs first’ Brexit, putting the economy first. The Prime Minister’s disastrous speech to Conservative Conference overshadowed the economic consequences of the Government’s bungled negotiations with business confidence draining away from an incompetent Cabinet. As Shadow Minister for Industrial Strategy I meet regularly with businesses who just want some certainty over the kind of Brexit we are moving to, and who are re-considering investment decisions.
Discussing the importance of Public Transport at Labour Conference
Jeremy Corbyn’s speech at Brighton set out a wide ranging responsible and radical agenda, based on raising living standards, transforming the public sector, building houses and ensuring technological change works for the many. We have committed to building one million houses over the lifetime of the next parliament. The Conservatives on the other hand promised to build 5000 houses per year – Newcastle’s share would be 15. That would not make a noticeable dent in the housing waiting list.
At Labour conference I spoke at 22 events and produced a short video summary here: https://www.facebook.com/chi.onwurah/posts/1723654777659164
At one of my surgeries a constituent raised with me that she had spent £30 in calls to the Universal Credit helpline in one day. I was therefore particularly pleased when Jeremy raised this at Prime Minister’s Questions, forcing a u turn by the Government.
Speaking out against the horrors of Universal Credit
Backbench and Constituency Role
- Conference recess was again an opportunity to catch up on local groups and projects including Freedom City and the Great Exhibition of the North, both of which will bring visitors and investment to the city.
- Participated in a short parliamentary delegation to the Gambia to train the new Gambian MPs in parliamentary procedure and representative democracy.
Shadow Ministerial Role
- At conference there was a great deal of interest in industrial strategy, obliging me to one day attend three breakfasts, three lunches and three dinners in order to meet demand for engagement from business, universities, third sectors and others. I did not eat at every event though!
- We continue to work on our industrial strategy missions and an industrial strategy tour.
Media, Organisation & visits
- The Westminster office welcomed a student from North Carolina and a new apprentice started in the Newcastle office
- Quoted regularly in local media and nationally including Daily Politics, Radio 5 Live PMQ’s panel.
Meetings and visits (to 13th October)
Victoria Cross Memorial Unveiling , David Bourn Genetics Service, Canonical, Ewan Gaffney, British Screen Advisory Council, BAPG, Susan Scurlock Primary Engineer, Denton Bank Allotments, operation sanctuary discussion, Northumbria Police, Jeffries Briginshaw British American Business, BVCA, Adult Education APPG, Rob Grieg & Tracey Jessup Digital Service, National Education Union, Whale & dolphin conservation, UK & Sustainable Finance, EEF, Northern Railway, Newcastlecan, MP & City Council meeting, INEX tour semiconductors, Moorside Allotment show, Newcastle Unites, Good things Foundations, Deep Mind, Carbon Connect, Fujitsu, Cho Oliver, Yodlee, City Lit Mental Wealth Festival, Royal Photographic Society & Siemens Awards, APPG Football, British Museum, APPG Hadrian’s Wall, Private rented sector APPG, Peter Cardwell, EU citizens’s right to remain in the UK post Brexit event, Mind, Office for Students, Coreo Cyber Security, Charlotte Holloway, Science Museum Sir Mark Walport celebration, London International Shipping Week dinner, How2, Environment Agency, Gambia Delegation, Ombusdman Service, NGI Kathie Wilcox & Carol Bell, RNIB blindfold walk, Professors Chris Day Newcastle University Vice-Chancellor & President, Royal College of Nursing, Cifas, Google, Westminster Africa Business Group, Santander Growth Capital, Chris McDonald Materials Processing Institute, NE1 Welcome Students of the World, British Academy Songwriters, Composers & Authors Awards, Science Museum, North East Times , Adam Collerton Freedom City, Tyne & Wear Citizens, Northumbria Police, Mr Whitfield & Mr Cobb, International Rescue Committee Home Coming Tour, Enterprise Car Hire, Anchor Riverview Lodge, Hatton Galley launch, Jacqui Miller-Charlton Newcastle Film Festival, Which, How to be Strong Online, Bpas, Margaret Heffernan & Robert Phillips Digital Economy, Heart UK, APPG Race & Community & APPG Sex Equality, Parliamentary Jazz Awards, ITV Pride of Britain Awards, ESOL Strategy for England, WASPI, Royal Society of Biology Week , EEF Industrial Strategy, Free Movement after Brexit, Institute for Innovation & Public Purpose launch
Fans Supporting Foodbanks
Speaking Engagements (to 13th October)
Black History Month First Division Association/Parlireach/Network, Introducing David Olusoga Black & British: A Forgotten History, BAME into Leadership conference, Girls Network workshop, University College London BME Black Politics, Fans supporting foodbanks St James, Howard Elcock memorial, International Data for Policy conference, Labour Party women in Newcastle, UK-IGF , AFBE Women in Engineering
- Institute Development Studies Future work
- Friends of Bangladesh
- Royal Society roundtable breakfast
- Labour Industrial Strategy Roundtable
- Speak UPP/HEPI, My Brighton Hotel BN1 1GE
- Fabian Artificial Intelligence panel
- Prospect roundtable
- UK-Africa Trade & Investment after Brexit
- Fujitsu Fringe
- IPPR Panel Carbon at heart of Northern Economic Growth
- LSE Fringe Mind the skills gap
- House Magazine RIBA CIOB RICS
- Alliance for Free Movement
- Progressive Capitalism panel discussion
- Harnessing Data & digital Tools
- Fabian manufacturing technologies
- Policy Exchange Why doesn’t Britain have its own Apple/Google
- New Statesman & Raytheon Securing the Future: Cyber
- Labour Energy Forum Clean Industrial Strategy
- Newcastle University New Statesman Devolution, Metro Mayors & Industrial Strategy
- SERA Rally The Green Transformation
- Progress & Advertising Association An Advert for Brexit