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This week saw the delivery of the Gracious Speech from Her Majesty the Queen to Parliament. The Queen’s Speech in normal times is used by a government to put forward its legislative programme for the year ahead. But these are not normal times.

The Speech delivered a wish list of laws, none of them achievable as the government has a majority of minus 45. That means that there is no chance of many, if any, of these uncosted promises being implemented in the near future.

I my response to the Speech I noted there were some grounds for cross-party cooperation. Issues like ending trophy hunting of wild animals and bringing the Northern Ireland Assembly back online.

But there were many other aspects of the Speech which deeply worried me.

One was a proposal to introduce voter ID. This would mean that no one would be allowed to vote without government recognised identification. Now, if you just glance at this you may not think there is a problem. But when you look at the details you quickly see how this is actually a proposal to suppress the vote.

25% of the UK population doesn’t have a driving licence and/or passport. Currently, a passport costs £85 and a driving licence costs £34 (plus £10 more if you can’t apply online). This means that the most vulnerable people will be locked out of voting. Age UK has said that these proposals are ‘crazy’ and the Electoral Reform Society has pointed out that electoral fraud is minuscule and these policies are like a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

I also was deeply disappointed that no announcements were made on introducing laws to protect shopworkers from violence at work. 115 retail staff are attacked a day just for doing their job. We cannot continue with the madness of people being scared of going to work for fear of attack.

There was also no news on legislating on air weapons. The UK Government launched a review of air weapons on the 12 December 2017. That review closed in February 2018. We still haven’t had a response from the UK Government. I have constituents who have put in efforts to providing evidence for this review because they have lost loved ones. The discourtesy of the UK Government towards these families is appalling. We need action on protecting people from harm from air weapons.

I also raised concerns about the government’s plans on immigration. The most concerning are the words on Irish nationals. Since 1922 the UK and Republic of Ireland have operated a Common Travel Area. This means that Irish nationals can travel and work within the UK. When in government, we secured this even further in the Good Friday Agreement. This ensured that those who wanted to identify as Irish, British or both could do in Northern Ireland. Removal of the 1922 agreement would deeply divide communities in Northern Ireland and undermine lasting peace.

In all, this was a uncosted wish list by the Government. There was an opportunity to deliver radical policies to help people get on in life. Sadly, this was an opportunity missed.

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During Home Office questions my colleague Yvette Cooper MP asked the Home Secretary how many police officers would be recruited to increase our ability to tackle extremists and their terrorist activities. No answer was forthcoming so I used my question to ask the Home Secretary once more how many officers would be employed and when.

Not only did the Government frontbench feel that it was appropriate to snort at the call for more police the Home Secretary said it wasn’t the most important aspect of tackling terrorism. As a former Security and Policing Minister I can tell you that the number of bobbies on the beat in communities really does make a difference.

It is also important to remember that when the Home Secretary was running for leadership of the Tories he pledged to recruit another 20,000 officers. Miraculously now that he is no longer a candidate for the leadership he has forgotten this pledge despite the fact he occupies the one job in government where he could recruit more police.

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In my Topical Question to the Secretary of State for Justice I asked if he believes that the Local Government Association were right to point out that the slashing of youth justice funding is having a detrimental impact upon our community safety.

Youth justice grants, which fund council youth offending teams, have tumbled from £145m in 2010-11 to £71.5m in 2018-19, according to the Local Government Association.

Councils have already set their budgets for 2019-20 but are still awaiting their allocations for youth justice grants, making it “extremely difficult” to plan services aimed at preventing gangs and violent crime, the LGA said.

The group, which represents 370 councils in England and Wales, called for funding to at least be maintained at last year’s levels.

Instead of getting a proper answer I merely received platitudes. This is not good enough, especially with violent crime rising so quickly across England and Wales.

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The rise in violent crime, and knife crime, across the UK is deeply worrying. Young people are dying on our streets due to gang violence and the increased number of people feeling they must carry an offensive weapon.

When we saw a rise in knife crime in 2009 I took immediate action as the Counter-Terrorism and Police Minister. We appointed the Chief Constable of Warwickshire Police to head up a cross-departmental taskforce. This focused minds and ensured that we had a laser focused strategy.

The Secretary of State spent most of today saying that it was everyone’s responsibility to take action, whilst simultaneously ensuring that the blame for this did not rest at his, and his government’s feet. Let’s be clear, a reduction of over 20,000 police officers since 2010, painful cuts to local councils and chronic under-funding of education has laid the foundations for this crisis.

Action needs to be taken now that empowers our police to take tough action on those harming our communities and gives local authorities the resources they need to prevent gang violence from even beginning.