NEWS THIS WEEK – from Diane Abbott, MP for Hackney North & Stoke Newington

15 Nov 2016

It’s deeply disturbing that the Home Secretary would deny an inquiry into Orgreave before reviewing all relevant evidence
This week The Guardian (see here) reported that Amber Rudd did not review evidence before denying an Inquiry into Orgreave.
It is deeply disturbing to learn that the Home Secretary would deny an inquiry into Orgreave before reviewing all the relevant evidence. There are serious allegations which Amber Rudd cannot simply brush away. Campaigners, the wider public and Parliament will not let this rest.

  • You can read my recent piece on why Labour will overturn the Tories’ disgraceful decision to deny an Orgreave Inquiry here

A Labour Government will scrap the disgraceful bedroom tax
The Government faced embarrassment over the bedroom tax last week, when the Supreme Court ruled in favour of Jacqueline Carmichael, saying she could not share a bedroom with her husband because of her disabilities, and Sue and Paul Rutherford, the grandparents of a severely disabled child who needs an additional room for the child's overnight carer.
Responding, Debbie Abrahams MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, said: “I would like to pay tribute to all the families for their tireless work on bringing this issue to court. The true cruelty of the Tories bedroom tax has been exposed in today’s judgement,” adding that “the bedroom tax is a cruel and unnecessary policy. It is widely despised by the British public, who see it for what it is; a callous attempt to punish low-income, social housing tenants.”
A Labour Government will scrap the disgraceful bedroom tax - ending the misery faced by thousands across the country.

Teresa May needs to catch up - The Conservatives have presided over ballooning inequality
Responding to Prime Minister Teresa May’s speech this Monday, Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party said:
“Theresa May is trying to catch up with a changing world the Conservatives do not understand. 
“There can’t be a globalisation that works for all without taking on the billionaires club that controls this rigged system. 
“The Conservatives have presided over ballooning inequality. They’ve given tax cuts to the richest 1 percent while the incomes of 70 percent have stagnated or fallen.
“Labour will take on the interests holding our country back. We will invest to rebuild and transform Britain, so no-one and no community is left behind.”
  • You can read Jeremy Corbyn’s speech this weekend responding to Donald Trump’s election here.

NHS crisis deepens – Tories have no answers 
Under the Tories, hospitals are facing financial crisis while patient care suffers. The latest combined performance data from NHS England show that:
  • Too many people are waiting too long in overcrowded Accident and Emergency departments.
  • The ambulance figures show that some of the most seriously ill emergency patients are waiting way beyond the target time.
  • The number of days lost to delayed discharges from hospitals is at a record high.
Yet all the Tories offer is further cuts and outsourcing to private companies, with news breaking last week that Virgin Care has been handed a £700m contract to provide community health and care in Bath and North East Somerset over the next seven years.
As my Shadow Cabinet Colleague Jonathan Ashworth put it, “The Tory mishandling of the NHS is nothing short of a disgrace: people are waiting longer, A&Es are in crisis, social care is being squeezed and staff morale is plunging.”
This Conservative Government is taking our health service backwards. These figures are bad news for patients and the Government needs to take urgent action.
  • Labour is holding a national campaign day of action for the NHS on October 26 – you can sign up for email updates and pledge to take part here.

Refugees – Reports of children’s hunger strikes very worrying
It has been reported this week that three Afghan children are going on hunger strike to protest being held in France when they have relatives in Britain.
In response, I issued a press release saying “These reports are deeply disturbing. Amber Rudd should investigate them as a matter of urgency.
“The break-up of the refugee camp in Calais has driven the issue off the headlines. But the crisis is unresolved.
“The Government must tell all these children and all refugees entitled to be here when they can expect to be admitted. There has already been too little done to support vulnerable children, and too much harm done to them.”
  • You can read my recent Guardian article on the refugee crisis and “how unless they stop passing off refugees as somebody else’s problem, this government will go down as the one that watched while thousands suffered” here.

back ⇢