The UK Government responded to a recent Justice Committee report, Prison 2020, that they would produce a new prison strategy. However, when I pressed the Prison’s Minister on when this strategy would be published she couldn’t tell us even a rough date. I worry that we are seeing more can kicking on prison reform and safety.
I also pointed out that the £156m spending pledge by the government on prison refurbishment is welcome, but it falls far short of the £900m backlog of maintenance issues. Unsafe prisons increase volatility of prisoners and increase reoffending rates. We urgently need investment into our justice system.
Only last month did we witness the collapse of the oldest travel company in the world. When the figures were scrutinised it became clear that the CEOs took huge pay packets before the collapse of the company. We have also seen the collapse of Carrillion who faced exactly the same issue: high executive pay and a risky approach to managing the business.
Over two years ago the UK Government published a Green Paper – a document that sets out their plan of action – on corporate responsibility. Since then hardly any action has been taken. That’s why I pushed the minister for assurances that action would be taken as too many people’s jobs are being put at risk.
The minister said that they have implemented some voluntary measures and believe that because executive pay has slightly fallen they need not take anymore action. The longer the UK Government let large corporations off like this the more frequent a collapse like Thomas Cook will happen.
I asked the Secretary of State this week if he has, or intends to, undertake an impact analysis into the Governments Brexit proposals.
This week the Brexit Secretary had to state for the record, during a House of Lords Select Committee, that goods leaving mainland GB for Northern Ireland will need to fill in customs documents – effectively placing a border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.
Sadly, the Minister could not state if he had undertaken an impact assessment or whether he would in the future. I am deeply concerned that the UK Government continues to tell the public to trust them, but does not give us any information on the impact of their policies.
I am supporting a campaign to reduce the number of blood cancer patients who experience potentially life-threatening delays to diagnosis.
I met with representatives from the blood cancer charity Bloodwise in Parliament on Wednesday 16 October who have launched a new report into the issue.
The charity’s report highlights NHS data that shows three in 10 people with blood cancer are only diagnosed when their symptoms need emergency treatment.
The charity fears this shows that people are dying needlessly because opportunities to pick up blood cancer sooner are being missed. Just 40% of people with blood cancer live for three years or more if they are diagnosed via emergency admission to hospital, compared to 77% of those diagnosed via a GP referral. Read more “Supporting Bloodwise charity”