Today marked the first time the new Prime Minister was tested in the Commons. Boris Johnson MP has now completed the creation of his cabinet and it is the most right wing government I have seen in over 30 years. He has appointed a Home Secretary who supports the death penalty, a Foreign Secretary who has called feminists obnoxious bigots and a Housing Minister who doesn’t believe that children should learn about LGBT+ relationships. But the one thing that unites this grisly cabinet is that they all want a no deal Brexit.
That is why I asked the new Prime Minister if, instead of bluff and bluster, he could tell the Commons what the tariffs would be on sheep meat, planes and cars in the event of no deal. I was hoping that the Prime Minister would live up to the seriousness of his new job and provide detailed answers so we could have an informed debate. Instead, the bluff and bluster returned. We were told we just needed to trust in him and believe that it will all turn out alright in the end.
This is a worrying example of a man who is more persuaded by his own ego than everyone else. When we look back at all the Prime Ministers of the past they took decisions because they thought them to be in the national interest. I fear that the only interest our new Prime Minister cares about is his own.
A number of constituents have contacted me in recent weeks raising the extremely important matter of persecution of Christians and people of other faiths around the world.
I wrote to the outgoing Foreign Secretary about this and received a response that stated that the UK Government was working to implement sanctions on nations that persecute people of faith in accordance with the new UN Security Council resolutions.
I asked the Church Commissioner – who is not a member of the UK Government but someone who represents the Church in Parliament – what discussions she has had with the UK Government about these sanctions.
It is of the utmost importance that people of any faith are free to practice their religion. We only have to look to Syria to see the plight of Christians or Myanmar to see the destruction of the Rohindra Muslims to see that persecution is all around us. We must stand up for our values of openness and respect to ensure human rights are universal.
This week my colleague for Stretford and Urmston secured a debate on the female offender strategy as we mark its first year anniversary of being drafted.
I wanted to focus on three main points within my contribution: the lack of a women’s centre in Wales; the lack of data sharing between the Ministry of Justice and the Welsh Government; and the need to rethink how we rehabilitate female offenders.
I was able to raise my report into prison education in Wales, which I was asked to investigate last year, and note how the limited access to Welsh language resources for female offenders from Wales. Moreover, my review found that there was a lack of knowledge on how women returning from prison to Wales will reintegrate with society.
I also raised my concerns that the number of drug and alcohol treatment orders issues. The number of these treatment orders, which ensure that we tackle the root causes of crime and not just the consequences of crime, have halved in recent years. The longer we go without finding solutions to the problems driving people towards crime the longer we will see reoffending taking place.
The debate was much needed and as the new government is formed we need them to take female offender reform seriously and get a grip of the reoffending rates.
This week I attended a parliamentary event to pledge his support for the ‘Any Disability’ sign campaign.
This newly launched symbol has been designed to be easily recognisable and represents a range of both visible and invisible disabilities. It has been designed by Lucy Richards, in partnership with the Scottish charity the Life Changes Trust.
One of the catalysts for the creation of this sign was the horrendous abuse a young person received whilst queuing for a disabled toilet. Grace Warnock, who has Crohn’s disease was abused because her condition, like many others, is not visible. Read more “Supporting ‘Any Disability’ campaign”