Dear Newcastle March 2018

Dear Newcastle

The Beast from the East brought levels of snow we haven’t seen in years, causing havoc on the roads and shutting schools. Many thanks to all the emergency and public services which continued to function despite the severe weather. Main roads were gritted but many side streets were impassable.

Unveiling of the plaque to Frederick Douglass in Summerhill Square

In parliament we are suffering from another ‘big freeze’ as internal wrangling mean in the Cabinet means there is still so much uncertainty around our Brexit position that it is difficult to plan for private and public sector alike. Labour has moved to better define what a ‘jobs first Brexit’ means, securing wide ranging support for our commitment to a comprehensive customs union. Many business organisations welcomed Jeremy Corbyn’s speech on Labour’s Brexit position.

Elsewhere the UK faced a number of challenges on the global stage firstly with the attempted assassinations in broad daylights in our streets using nerve agent of a retired Soviet Spy and his daughter and secondly with regard to the US President’s proposed steel tariffs. It is notable that European Union countries have been supportive in both cases.

In Parliament I raised the problem of plastic waste which, together with fly-tipping and litter more generally, blights the lives of far too many of my constituents. The Minister was dismissive and I shall be writing to invite her to Newcastle to see the problem for herself.

More positively, I was proud to speak at the unveiling of the plaque to Frederick Douglass in Summerhill Square. International Woman’s Day was celebrated in Parliament and Newcastle highlighting the contribution of women and some of the challenges faced.

Constituency Role
  • The serious case review into sexual exploitation in Newcastle was published with a number of recommendations, I have asked Ministers when they will be responding to it.
  • Sadiq Khan visited Newcastle and I arranged a business roundtable with him.
  • As a member of the British American Parliamentary Group I welcomed a delegation of Congressmen (they were all men) for a two day conference,
  • I spoke five times from the backbenches,:
    • Plastic waste in Newcastle (8 March 2018)
    • Operation Sanctuary Report Victims and Witnesses: Court Experience (6 March 2018
    • Data Rights (5 March 2018)
    • The manufacture of mechanised infantry vehicle programme in Newcastle? (5 March 2018)
    • Investment in Newcastle start ups (27 February 2018)


Industrial Strategy meeting at the Mining Institute

Shadow Ministerial Role
  • Rebecca Long Bailey joined me for a well attended Industrial Strategy roundtable in Newcastle at the Mining Institute on February 15th  
  • With Jeremy Corbyn’s support I launched Labour’s support for International Women and Girls in Science day with a video naming my engineering:
  • Over recess I visited a number of research institutions including Imperial College and the Natural History Museum to discuss Innovation with them.
  • In the Westminster Office we have an US student on placement, Fadima, whilst AJ is our living wage intern.

Quoted regularly in local media and nationally including a number of International Women’s Day profiles such as:

I wrote a blog for the New Statesman on tech:


Newcastle Students for Global Health discussing NHS underfunding


Meetings and visits

Meetings (Organisation/Name)

International Regulatory Strategy Group / Vivienne Artz, Imperial Invention Centre, I-HUB Incubator tour, Natural History Museum visit, 48 Group Chinese New Year Dinner, Bill Hall, Trade Union & Life Long Learning WEA / Anne Hansen & Linda Hobson, Northumbria Law Student / Salma Asghar, Karen Laws Fox, Tyneside Cinema Chief Exec / Holi Keeble, Breeze Creatives / Zoe Anderson, Gosforth Empire Bowls Club, The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers 50th Birthday celebration, Posters in Parliament 2018 reception, Citizens Advice Parliamentary Event, ‘Come On In’ to Fairtrade Fortnight, British-American Parliamentary Group (BAPG) opening reception, BAPG Congressional Conference ‘The world Economy & International Trade, BAPG Congressional conference lunch, BAPG Congressional Conference ‘Defence & Security co-operation/foreign policy, BAPG conference reception, BAPG visit to Chevening House Kent, Latif Solicitors 15th Anniversary Event, Commonwealth Parliamentarian’ Forum reception, City of London Community & children’s Services Committee dinner, Deb group / Dr John Hines, Unite & Back Heathrow Parliamentary reception. CAMRA’s celebration of beer & pubs, Babcock Parliamentary Dinner, Northern Roots / Adam Collerton,

Sadiq Khan in Newcastle to discuss cooperation and business links with London

Scientists for Labour, Foundation for Science debate on the modus operandi for UKRI, Coalition for a Digital Economy (Coadec), NatWest / Alison Rose, Business stakeholder meeting with Emily Thornberry, Italian senator and Massimo Mucchetti President of the Industry Committee lunch, UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose, Students for Global Health / Joanna Marsden and Safiah Fardin, Northern Labour Women’s Network International Women’s Day 2018: Farewell and Forwards discussion & Tea, Songs and Stories of the Great War (1914-1918), Tuspark Newcastle / Colin Tan, Panel event AMPG Research & Development in the Industrial Strategy, Deeds Not Words – How To Reach a 50/50 Parliament, BVCA Chairwoman’s Dinner, The Association of Circus Proprietors’ of GB reception, A celebration of UK/Israel Science cooperation, What Women Want 2.0 report – International Women’s Day 2018,

PLP International Women’s Day reception, Women in Innovation reception for International Women’s Day, Pearson Engineering / Craig Priday, TDI Sex offence Charity / Deborah Jenkins


Alternative Models of Ownership ’21st Century challenges, Industrial Strategy Roundtable Newcastle, Africa Security Forum event, Host and Chair Meet the Entrepreneur, Sadiq Khan Business Meeting & visits in constituency, Northern TUC LGBT Forum roundtable, Unveiling of plaque for Federick Douglass, Chair meeting Emma Wade Smith Department of Trade and Industry & Africa APPG, Scientists for Labour, UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose Taxing the Internet Giants, Newcastle University Women’s Network, AV Festival, SME4Labour parliamentary reception, Meet the Entrepreneur: Investing in UK R&D, British Chambers of Commerce Annual Conference – Panel ‘The Future of Work’, Irish Centre International Women’s Day evening event, Kenton Ward Summit, Panellist UN Women HeForShe Arts Week, African Science Academy Gala Dinner,



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