NEWS THIS WEEK – from Diane Abbott, MP for Hackney North & Stoke Newington
10 Nov 2016
Orgreave: A shameful government decision which ignores the need for truth & justice
Labour was appalled at Home Secretary Amber Rudd’s recent statement that there will be no Inquiry into police actions at Orgreave.
The victims and their families have been treated shamefully by this government. The campaigners were led to believe only that there was debate on the form of Inquiry, but Amber Rudd and Theresa May have led them up them up the garden path.
The South Yorkshire Police chief constable is in favour of an inquiry, as are many stakeholders, and of course the campaigners themselves.
The current and previous Home Secretaries both indicated that an Inquiry would be granted, and Labour stands with the campaigners and will not rest until there is a full Hillsborough-style Inquiry.
* You can read a report with further information here, my article for The Huffington Post here and about Jeremy Corbyn’s response here
Reports show that in some areas of the UK 47 percent of children are living in poverty and half a million emergency food parcels have been distributed by foodbanks in six months
A recent report from the End Child Poverty Coalition showed that in some areas of the UK 47 percent of children are living in poverty.
Responding to the report, Margaret Greenwood MP, Shadow Minister for Employment and Inequalities, said, "Over half of those living in poverty are in working households. It’s clear that low pay, insecure work and the lack of affordable housing are taking their toll on UK families and the children of this country are suffering as a result,” adding that "That’s why Labour is calling for the full reversal of damaging cuts to Universal Credit which will leave 2.5 million working families on average £2,100 worse off.”
Meanwhile a report from the Trussell Trust has shown that half a million emergency food parcels have been distributed by foodbanks in six months.
As Debbie Abrahams MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions said “this is a damming indictment of the Tory Government’s failure [and] it is clear that delays in benefits payments and changes to eligibility are a major cause behind this increase.”
Labour would scrap the punitive sanctions regime and transform our social security system, ensuring that it is there for everyone in their time of need.
If Jeremy Hunt wants to support doctors and nurses to deliver a world class service he needs to start with the finances
Jonathan Ashworth MP, my successor as Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Health, has been doing a great job holding Jeremy Hunt to account for the deepening crisis facing our NHS and in arguing that whilst Jeremy Hunt is right to say we’ve got to be supporting doctors and nurses to deliver the highest quality healthcare in the world, with student nurse bursary cuts and picking a fight with junior doctors, the reality is that the Tory Government just aren’t doing that.
As Jonathan put it, “If Jeremy Hunt wants to support doctors and nurses to deliver a world class service he needs to start with the finances.”
* Jonathan has also written on why The Tories must not use Brexit to harm the NHS which can be read here
Labour won’t block article 50 – but don’t expect a blank cheque
Last week was not a good week for the government. On Thursday the high court ruled that the prime minister was acting unlawfully in seeking to use prerogative powers to invoke article 50, and reminded her that only parliament can make or repeal laws.
Keir Starmer MP, Shadow Minister for Brexit, has argued in response that the government should come clean and put the basic terms of its Brexit plan to the Commons for scrutiny.
* You can read his full article on the issue here.
Prevent: Responding to the Open Society Justice Initiative’s report
A recent report from the Open Society Justice Initiative on Prevent had disturbing findings. In a response in my capacity as Shadow Home Secretary I have noted that “Up to 2014, nearly 4000 people had been referred to by the police on suspected extremism, most of them under Prevent, and the fact that most of these referrals go nowhere should raise alarm bells.”
We need a genuine anti-terrorist strategy engages with communities, but Prevent has fanned the flames of suspicion and mistrust. This strategy has not been effective and needs a rethink.
* You can read by recent blog on Prevent here.