MP’s Report: June 16th to July 13th 2018

Dear Newcastle

Saturday’s ‘Big Meeting’ was a welcome day of solidarity, sunshine and brass bands, all the better for the huge crowd, and taking place on Bastille Day. Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite for all and particularly to the World Cup winning French Blues, although I would of course have preferred Three Lions to bringing it home…

Durham Gala

We have an unusually predictable hot weather in Newcastle but Parliament is once more convulsed by Brexit uncertainty as the Brexit White Paper is published at the cost of two Cabinet members and a small slew of junior Minister. Attempts to spin this as Theresa May taking back control of her cabinet have largely failed, even before President Trump’s recent ‘highest kind of special’ interventions. The Trade Bill comes back to the commons this week and has further highlighted Tory divisions and the lack of a credible, coherent approach to a customs union and single market. The Prime Minister’s credibility is even weaker than before but there are no contenders for the leadership who appear to have the requisite support. Still trying to close down Parliament early is an extreme and extremely worrying reaction. I have constituents who cannot predict when they will see their own children thanks to zero hour contract jobs – the sight of MPs voting themselves an early recess to keep the Prime Minister in a job will cause understandable disgust.

At the same time both with less debate, the Chancellor continues austerity measures which adversely impact our services from policing to waste disposal.

In Newcastle (Gateshead) we launched the Great Exhibition of the North. In my third Prime Minister’s Question this year I sought to highlight both the Great Exhibition and the work of local artists and the Government’s abandoning of real engineering investment. The Prime Minister’s response hinted at the Cabinet meeting which has now been announced for Newcastle on Monday 23rd July.

At the launch of the Great North Exhibition of the North

Backbench and Constituency Role

  • For the team’s AwayDay we had a litter pick and gardening session in Leazes Park – as well as pizza in the new café there. The friends of Leazes Park are in great need of volunteers if anyone has any time.
  • I visited Newcastle’s Sexual Exploitation Hub and saw the great work they are doing there.
  • Spoke five times from the back benches:
    • In Housing, Communities and Local Government on local government cuts in Newcastle (18 Jun 2018).
    • In Attorney General Questions on Support for child sexual exploitation victims in Newcastle (21 Jun 2018).
    • In Digital, Culture Media and Sport Questions on plans to secure the legacy of the Great Exhibition of the North (21 Jun 2018).
    • In Education Questions on the closure of the Discovery School in Newcastle (25 Jun 2018).
    • In Prime Ministers Questions on the Great Exhibition of the North and engineering jobs (4 Jul 2018).
    • Asked eight written questions.
    • I am engaged in correspondence with Ministers on Housing, Primary Health Care, Litter and Long Term Support for Victims of Operation Sanctuary.

The Rocket in Discovery Museum part of the Great North Exhibition

Shadow Ministerial and PES Role

  • Completed a Long Read which should be published in the Independent online this week setting out the relationship between Brexit, the Customs Union and the Industrial Strategy.
  • Large number of speaking engagements including on Cyber Security policy, the future of the Internet and Inclusivity in Higher Education.
  • Spoke once from the frontbench in an Urgent Question Debate on Airbus’s Brexit risk assessment


We have an intern from the US, Nichole Bloom from Berkeley for six weeks.


Quoted regularly in local media and nationally including the Victoria Derbyshire Show, Sunday Politics on Northern Powerhouse and Research Fortnight Interview

More in Common celebration in Elswick Park

Meetings and visits


Meetings (Organisation/Name)

Richard Ravitch, Centre for Entrepreneurs / Matt Smith, Huawei UK Summer Reception, Henry Jackson Society Dinner – Tackling Online Extremism, Windrush 70 Reception,

Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) Parliamentary Reception, Mischief Makers Summer Reading Challenge, Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank (CYBG) / Jamie Maxton, Universal Credit and Financial Abuse: exploring the links, BAME Labour: Windrush 70th Anniversary Reception, African Union Day Reception, Help for Heroes: Westminster Station, Astra Zeneca / David Boyd and Laura Mann, Dalmore Capital / Alistair Ray, We Are Where We Are Baltic Reception, Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank (CYBG) / Anthony Thomas, US Embassy economic analyst / Michael Martins, Private Viewing – Stephenson’s Rocket, Quayside West development project / Scott Royal, Nick Moody and Ben Sykes, More in Common Eid Event, NGI Great Exhibition of the North Launch dinner and Opening Event, Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers union (RMT) Picket Newcastle Central Station, North of England Reserve Forces & Cadets Association Train Naming Ceremony, The Great Get Together, Great Exhibition of the North: Lauren Laverne’s Great Northern Soundtrack,

Celebrating the 70th anniversary of the NHS

The National Farmers Union (NFU) Reception, Kapersky / Adam Maskatiya, Sebastian Mathews and Carl Thomas, Diversity and Inclusion in STEM APPG, ABB Parliamentary Reception, 100 years of Gingerbread, Single Parents Equal Families panel, Breakfast Briefing: Ofcom Chairman and Chief Executive, Parliamentary Links Day Lunch, CDC / Graham Wrigley and Andrew Palmer, Match Internet Safety Strategy / Morgan Cauvin and Tom Newham, IDEMIA Augmented Identity Reception, Sign the Sikh Genocide Book of Remembrance, TUC Reaching Young Workers Innovation Project, Carbon Capture Storage Association Reception, Launch of the Ownership Effect Inquiry findings, WEA / Nigel Todd, Anne Staines, Susan Hylands and Mike Rugg, Global Policy Institute / Michael Lloyd, Bobby Robson – More Than A Manager Screening, , Curios Festival, SAP Software UK / Chris Francis and Callum Finch, Federation Master Builders report launch mandatory licensing, UK Parliament Teacher Ambassador Programme Reception, FSB Summer Reception, Jewish Women’s Aid / Michaela Vyse and Hilda Worth, Aviation Reception, Breast Cancer Now’s Scientists drop-in research fair, NHS70 Parliamentary Awards Ceremony, Alliance for Intellectual Property / Robert Magowan, Eddy Leviten and Kelly Hudson, Pharmacy2U / Mark Livingstone and Gary Dannatt, This is Engineering Reception, Teacher Institute Reception, New Commission on Collective Voice event, Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition Soiree, Alliance for Intellectual Property’s Annual Summer Reception, Greys Monument Street Stall NHS 70th, , Value of Everything talk, Jennie Formby, Trip Advisor / Véronique Corduant, Water UK Parliamentary Reception, Tribune Group meeting, Women in Industrial Strategy Dinner, , Barnardo’s and Constituent Schools anti-bullying bunting, APPG Manufacturing Group, Summer Parliamentary Reception, Which? & Federation of Small Businesses – ‘Save our Cashpoints’ drop-in, Electrical Safety First’s “Register My Appliance” drop-in, British-American Parliamentary Group, Care & Support Alliance / Mili Patel, Faraday Institution for Energy Storage / Peter Littlewood, Peter Bruce and Matt Howard, Boeing’s UK Aerospace and Innovation Reception, Premiership Rugby Community Awards, Tech UK Annual Dinner,

Curious Festival at the Live Theatre

BioIndustry Association Members, Dementia Industry Group / Ian Smyth and David Thomas, Mark Simpson, Mary Robertson, The Lehman Trilogy opening night performance, Northumbria Water Innovation Festival, Personal Support Unit of Newcastle Combined Court / Jessica Layfield and Rose Lee-Gough, MS Society report launch, AXA Driverless Pod drop-in, Urban Transport Group Reception,                                                                                                  Launch of Careforce – Celebrating Careers in Care, UN Refugee Agency & national Theatre Reception, Which Way North Exhibition, HSBC Apprentice Graduation Ceremony, All Party Writers Group Summer drinks Reception and Award Ceremony, Arthritis Research UK Reception


Friends of Leazes Park, Emmanuel College Economics Society, Evidence Week, Parliamentary Links Day Keynote Address, Chair APPG Stem & Diversity, The Big Debate The Future Economy: Threat or Promise?, RUSI Panel on Ditchley Foundation Conference on making the Internet safer, Newcastle College Public lecture series: Women in STEM, Human Rights in Practice and Language Training, Durham Women’s Gala, Teachers’ Institute Keynote Talk, Burges Salmon Industrial Strategy roundtable dinner, Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan: ‘The Work of an MP’, The Cyber Security Summit: ‘Addressing the latest cyber threat landscape and government strategies’, Bishop’s House Garden Party, Monument Labour Pizza and Politics Party, Newcastle Sexual Exploitation Hub, Leazes Park litter pick, Nunsmoor Centre Community Diversity Event, Keynote UCL Inclusive Engineering Education: ‘Exploring what it means and how you can do it’


Durham Women’s Gala

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