These are such strange and worrying times for our country. Who could have thought we would find ourselves with a Prime Minister unable to confirm he would uphold the law? When Parliament recessed in July Boris Johnson had been Prime Minister for only one full day. He spent the summer trying to take advantage of the lack of Parliamentary scrutiny to bully, bluster and bribe the British people, MPs and the European Union into his vision of an extreme no-deal Brexit Britain. His decision to use the Queen to prorogue parliament until October 14th united people in disbelief and outrage. The demonstrations across the country and huge turnout in Newcastle show how deeply this ‘smash and grab’ on British democracy is felt. Jeremy brought opposition parties together in combined effort to ensure we block a no deal Brexit. Boris Johnson’s response was further threats – to chuck out of the Conservative party MPs who opposed him and try to call a General Election. It is astounding that we now have the Prime Minister ranged against the majority of MPs, the majority of the British people, the vast, vast majority of business and almost all our international friends and allies in pursuing a 31st October hard right Brexit, do or die.
National Citizenship Service at West End Food Bank
I and almost all Labour MPs have pledged to do all we can to prevent a no deal Brexit and its disastrous economic implications for the North East. Johnson’s fawning on Trump during the G7 demonstrate the kind of Trade Deal we can expect from this Government, one that wrecks our NHS, our environment, our food standards and our farming. We need a General Election to deliver a Labour Government, but we will not fall into the trap of supporting a General Election that is a trojan horse a no deal Brexit.
Brexit chaos and turmoil is preventing progress on other huge challenges we face from climate change to social care. I believe only a final say referendum can enable us to move on, as I argued in my Independent Blog
Backbench and Constituency Role
- Recess was very welcome after the madness of the last week of Parliament and I took advantage of the time to make more constituency visits and take part in local activities.
- The Home Office refused to return to Newcastle a constituent with Stage 4 cancer deported in error as a UK court had confirmed. After a social media campaign, with a tweet that received over 5000 retweets, the Home Office agreed to bring him back and he is now receiving treatment in Newcastle.
- Peter Duncan was tragically murdered in Eldon Square in an unprovoked attack. I engaged with Northumbria Police and the family of the murder victim to ensure that appropriate support and resources were available.
Probation Service visit in Newcastle
- On Correspondence many of the Ministers have changed so I continue to engage with Ministers or Government Agencies on Leasehold, Litter, Long Term Support for Victims of Operation Sanctuary, Newcastle United Finance, Weinstein and Ipsa, Relocation and Ipsa, use of Algorithms in the Home Office with the Council on Kittiwakes and Homelessnes and with LNER on Disability Access
Shadow Ministerial and PES Role
- I continue to meet with business organisations on the implications of a no-deal Brexit as the first Brexit deadline approached.
- Brexit is severely impacting capacity to develop policy in other areas but I continue to work on science and industrial strategy.
Independent blog on Brexit. Video messages on Transport in the North East, Peter Duncan’s death and Brexit.
Newcastle Best Ever Summer: Street Games in Cowgate
Meetings and visits
Pavilion Court Summer Fayre, Dippy the Dinosaur at the Great North Museum, Street Games, Northern Group, Osbit, Councillor Ged Bell & Michelle Percy Newcastle City Council re Grainger Market, NCS Food Bank visit, Tim Goodill Cassini films, Newcastle Probation Service, Chris Drinkwater Social Prescribing, Amrit ADP Architecture, Exhibition of Photography: Settling on Tyneside, Fenham Association of Residents Best Ever Summer Wildlife Activities, Deliveroo, Bizspace Press & Partners Day, Phil Rosenberg Board of Deputies of British Jews, Paul-Olivier Dehaye, Fenham Association of Residents Bird Watching Walk.
Dippy at the Great North Museum
NINEE’s 8th Annual Igbo Day/New Yam Festival.