MP’s Report 5th September 2020

I hope you managed to spend some time with family and loved ones over the Summer. After months of pandemic many hoped that August would bring some relaxation and calm. For many, unfortunately, this was not to be. I received heart breaking messages and phone calls from young people devastated by A Level results which did not reflect their hard work, but rather an incompetent Government Department’s algorithmic ineptitude.  Many have also contacted me worried about end of furlough, or desperate because the measures the Government announced to support those impacted by the pandemic, excluded them. There were also enquiries from constituents worried  about which rules to follow when, or how the rules were to be enforced.

Engaging with Disability North

Parliament returned last week and the Prime Minister’s  response to Keir Starmer’s very reasonable questions on these issues, and the multiple U turns and disastrous A level results debacle was met with bluff and bluster. Not reassuring at a time of national crisis.

As a consequence of the many calls and emails I am afraid my office is behind in responding and I apologize if you have not got an answer to your email as quickly as you hoped for. We have taken on another part time caseworker and hope to get back to an average of one week response time/

Backbench and Constituency Role
  • All staff are working from home, whilst I am in Parliament when it is sitting. Surgeries have moved online and attendance is growing, although not all constituents are aware of, or comfortable, online surgeries.
  • I wrote to the Premier League on July 31st regarding their lack of engagement with fans and the collapse of the NUFC takeover and they somewhat unexpectedly responded to my letter mid August.  The response is inadequate and I will be writing to them about it. But I am also presenting a petition this week on greater transparency and fan involvement. As I made clear in my letter to the Premier League that I am not championing any particular billionaire owner, but fans’ voices.
  • We have received number of reports of asylum seekers housed in hotels being attacked on social media and we have received some enquiries about the number of asylum seekers in Newcastle hotels. We have established that there are about 1000 asylum seekers placed in Newcastle by the Home Office. I remain concerned that there appears to be a concentrated effort to stoke up community fears and portray asylum seekers as criminals and illegals.
  • I continue to engage with Ministers or Government Agencies on Mobile Phone Pricing, Safe working practices and Covid 19, Access to the Internet during Lockdown for School Age children, Transgender Rights, Litter, UNISON regarding support for workers at Northumbria and Newcastle Universities, Disproportionate Policing, JAN Trust, Refunds for Newcastle United ticket-holders, Harvey Weinstein, support for Digital Products and Algorithms in the Home Office, with Ipsa on Relocation, with Mobile UK on Data Caps on the Internet and with the Council on Homelessness.

Backing small businesses in Newcastle

Shadow Ministerial and PES Role
  • As Shadow Minister for Post Offices I have been highlighting the plight of subpostmasters wrongly accused and prosecuted by the Post Office. Over the summer I wrote a blog for the Express on this scandal.
  • We launched Our Digital Future, a Labour Party consultation on the kind of digital world we want, and how to protect ourselves from online harms.
  • I have been campaigning on the drop in charity funded medical research which threatens important research and also has stopped the trialling of new drugs and treatments.

Organisation

  • With additional money from Ipsa, we have taken on greater resource to help address the large rise in casework. We hope to get the delay down to one week.

Media

Quoted frequently in local and national media, ITV NUFC interview, 5Live STEM education , Look North Chancellor’s Statement; BA Protest, BEN TV Africa, , Dods G5 podcast,.

Promoting the Petition to Parliament on football transparency

Meetings and visits

Urban Green Newcastle, Excluded UK APPG, APPG City Regions transport, Foundation of Science & Technology, APPG Manufacturing, Adam Collerton & Louise Henry, BAME MP briefing with Mayor of London, Helen Milner – Good Things Foundation, Creative Industries reception, Newcastle Unites, Milton Keynes visits, National Union Journalists BBC regional programming,  Edelman interview re TalkTalk, Stephen Kinsella, roundtable on Quantum Sensing, Tyne Theatre visit, Raspberry Pi – Philip Colligan, Icebraker  – Gavin Starks, The Plug-  Sherrell Dorsey, Sage Gateshead, City Tavern Eat out to Help Out, , Army engagement, Jamie Susskind, Tom Gray, Rolls Royce unite reps, Justfair Tackling inequalities in the NE, APPG Special Educational needs & disabilities, Association of Marshall Scholars, Campaign for Science & Engineering Sarah Main, Vodafone Scott Petty, The World Reimagined, Simon Parkinson WEA, Northern Pride Ste Dunn, Disability North Victoria Armstrong, Jo Greening, Association of British Pharmaceutical Industries,  Professor Clive Badman reshoring generic medicine

Speaking

Nominet Cyber event; Diversity in Theatre, Labour SME BAME Business Roundtable, Black livelihoods in the City, Why BAME voices matter, Parliamentary links Day, Tech for the Future roundtable, Council of Faiths panel event, Foundation for Science  Technology politicisation of Science, BAME online forum, Women in Trade Unions & Politics, Labour Digital Diversifying Data, Labour Digital Innovation Roundtable, Thank you NHS video, Northern Pride video, Black Lives Matter podcast, NUST, IPSOS MP Survey, Association of Marshall Scholars, Campaign for Science & Engineering Sarah Main, Vodafone Scott Petty,

BAME and women’s participation in Data and Tech

The World Reimagined, Simon Parkinson WEA, Northern Pride Ste Dunn, Foundation for Science & Technology interview, Disability North Victoria Armstrong, Jo Greening, Association of British Pharmaceutical Industries,  Professor Clive Badman reshoring generic medicine, Dods G5 podcast, Foundation for Science & Technology podcast, Black Lives Matter podcast, NUST, IPSOS MP Survey, Foundation for Science & Technology interview

 

Questions

Although it is not possible to raise spoken questions in Parliament during recess I submitted or had answered 50 written questions:

),  House Of Commons Tabled Parliamentary Question 2019-21 77614 (21 July), House Of Commons Tabled Parliamentary Question 2019-21 77615 (21 July), 5G: Constituencies (21 July),  Coronavirus Job   (22nd July) Retention Scheme (22nd July), Radio Frequencies: Licensing (23rd July), Telecommunications (23rd July), Telecommunications (23rd July), Mobile Phones(23rd July),  OneWeb(23rd July),   Disclosure of Information: USA (23rd July), Radio Frequencies: Licensing Radio Frequencies: Licensing (23rd July), Trade Marks: Legal Opinion(23rd July),  Newton Fund Medicine: Research(23rd July),  Broadband: Small Businesses(23rd July),  Remote Working: Video Conferencing(23rd July),  Digital Technology(23rd July),  Digital Technology: Taxation(23rd July),  National Infrastructure Commission(23rd July), Coronavirus: Tyne and Wear (24th July), Telecommunications: Huawei (24th July),  Telecommunications (24th July),  Twitter: Hacking(24th July),   Fuel Cells: Research (24th July),  Business: Misrepresentation (24th July),  Railways: Coronavirus (24th July),  Research: Finance (24th July),  Postgraduate Education: Equality  (24th July), Telecommunications (24th July),  Developing Countries: Overseas Aid  (24th July), Electronic Commerce: EU Law (27th July), Food: Labelling (27th July), Satellites: Manufacturing Industries (27th July), Research (27th July), Post Office Horizon It System Independent Review (28th July), Radio Frequencies: Licensing (28th July), Probation: Finance (28th July), Coronavirus: Disease Control (29th July), Demonstrations: Alcoholic Drinks (30th July), Digital Technology: Coronavirus (30th July), 5G: Huawei (31st July), 5G: Safety (31st July), Broadband (03 Aug), Social Security Benefits (03rd Aug), Public Health: Public Bodies (05th Aug) Protective Clothing: Contracts for Services (05th Aug), Coronavirus: Disease Control (11th Aug), Contact Tracing: Computer Software (18th Aug), Coronavirus: Laboratories (18th Aug),  Coronavirus: Protective Clothing (18th Aug),  Contact Tracing: North East  (18th Aug), Voluntary Scheme for Branded Medicines Pricing and Access (20th Aug), Voluntary Scheme for Branded Medicines Pricing and Access (20th Aug), Telecommunications  (01st Sept), OneWeb (01st Sept),  OneWeb (01st Sept),  Contact Tracing: Computer Software  Health: Equality (01st Sept),  Coronavirus: Screening (01st Sept),  ICT: China  Coronavirus: Newcastle Upon Tyne (01st Sept),  Medical Records: Data Protection (01st Sept),  Contact Tracing: Computer Software (01st Sept),  Medical Records: Data Protection (01st Sept),  Telecommunications (01st Sept),  Exports: Fuel Cells (01st Sept),  Postgraduate Education: Government Assistance (01st Sept),  Postgraduate Education: Government Assistance (01st Sept),  Small Businesses: Research (01st Sept),  Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy: Ministerial Responsibility  (01st Sept), House Of Commons Tabled Parliamentary Question 2019-21 83790  (01st Sept), House Of Commons Tabled Parliamentary Question 2019-21 83791 (01st Sept),  Social Security Benefits (01st Sept),  Social Security Benefits (01st Sept),  Digital Technology (01st Sept),  House Of Commons Tabled Parliamentary Question 2019-21 83795 (01st Sept),  House Of Commons Tabled Parliamentary Question 2019-21 83796 (01st Sept),  Economic Situation: Ministerial Responsibility (01st Sept),  House Of Commons Tabled Parliamentary Question 2019-21 83798 (01st Sept),  Research: Coronavirus (01st Sept),  OneWeb (01st Sept),   Innovation Expert Group: Public Appointments (01st Sept),  Research: Equality  Public Sector: Artificial Intelligence(01st Sept), Digital Technology: Training (02nd Sept), ICT: Training  (02nd Sept), House Of Commons Tabled Parliamentary Question 2019-21 84230(02nd Sept),   House Of Commons Tabled Parliamentary Question 2019-21 84231 (02nd Sept),  House Of Commons Tabled Parliamentary Question 2019-21 84232 (02nd Sept),  House Of Commons Tabled Parliamentary Question 2019-21 84233 (02nd Sept),  House Of Commons Tabled Parliamentary Question 2019-21 84234 (02nd Sept),  House Of Commons Tabled Parliamentary Question 2019-21 84235 (02nd Sept),  House Of Commons Tabled Parliamentary Question 2019-21 84236 (02nd Sept),  House Of Commons Tabled Parliamentary Question 2019-21 84237 (02nd Sept),  House Of Commons Tabled Parliamentary Question 2019-21 84238 (02nd Sept),  House Of Commons Tabled Parliamentary Question 2019-21 84239 (02nd Sept),  House Of Commons Tabled Parliamentary Question 2019-21 84240 (02nd Sept),  House Of Commons Tabled Parliamentary Question 2019-21 84241 (02nd Sept),  House Of Commons Tabled Parliamentary Question 2019-21 84242  (02nd Sept), House Of Commons Tabled Parliamentary Question 2019-21 84692 (03rd Sept), House Of Commons Tabled Parliamentary Question 2019-21 84693 (03rd Sept),  House Of Commons Tabled Parliamentary Question 2019-21 84694 (03rd Sept),  House Of Commons Tabled Parliamentary Question 2019-21 84695 (03rd Sept),  House Of Commons Tabled Parliamentary Question 2019-21 84696 (03rd Sept),  Post Offices: ICT(03rd Sept).

 

 

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