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Campaign Correspondence

A number of constituents regularly contact me with correspondence generated by a wide variety of campaign organisations. As they are almost always identically worded, I will, in future, put generic responses on my website and refer those who contact me to the website.

No-Deal EU Exit
9 September 2020
A number of constituents have contacted me to raise concerns about a no-deal exit from the EU at the end of the transition period.
I strongly agree that a no-deal approach which the government are threatening would be disastrous for our economy and good standing with the EU and wider world.
I will not support such an outcome.

Workplace Protections for People with Diabetes
9 September 2020
Please click here to view a response from the Minister of State for Business, Energy and Clean Growth, Kwasi Kwarteng, regarding protections in the workplace for people with Diabates during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Gender Equality in Foreign Policy
7 September 2020
Please click here to view a response from Baroness Sugg, Parliamentary Under- Secretary of State in the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, and Special Envoy for Girls' Education, regarding ensuring gender equality at the heart of foreign policy.

Kirkby Neighbourhood Community Fund 2020
2 September 2020
Suez have announced that the 2020 Kirkby Neighbourhood Community Fund is now open for applications. Up to £50,000 is available for community groups developing community, health and wellbeing and environmental projects in Northwood, Cherryfield, Shevington, Whitefield and Knowsley Village.
Applications need to be submitted by Monday 19 October 2020 and the successful projects will be announced at the end of the autumn.
For more information and to download an application form please click here.

Agriculture Bill 2019-21
2 September 2020
A number of constituents have contacted me concerning the Agriculture Bill and to raise concerns about the regulation of food standards in the UK once the transition period ends. I share these concerns and will not support any deal in parliament that fails to provide proper protection.
The Agriculture Bill was last debated in the House of Commons on 13th May, before being passed to the House of Lords. Three amendments were put to the House on 13th May, New Clause 2, New Clause 7 and Amendment 39. I voted in favour of New Clause 2, which relates to imported food complying with UK food standards. Unfortunately this was defeated 328 to 277.
I also voted for New Clause 7, put forward by Keir Starmer MP, which would introduce a Coronavirus emergency food plan. Unfortunately this amendment was also defeated 352 to 221 votes. The Agriculture Bill is currently at the Report Stage in the House of Lords.
A number of constituents are also calling on the government to prioritise an Animal Sentience Law. I have previously raised this with the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and you can view a copy of the response received here.
I will continue to monitor these issues closely and will continue to hold the government to account.

Local Government Funding
2 September 2020
A number of constituents have contacted me to raise concerns about a shortfall in funding for local services. I have raised this matter with the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, and I will put a copy of any response received on this website.

Business and Planning Bill 2020
2 September 2020
A number of constituents have contacted me to raise concerns about planning reforms in the Business and Planning Bill 2020.
I have raised this matter with the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, and I will put a copy of any response received on this website.

Obtaining Refunds for Cancelled Flights
2 September 2020
Please click here to view a response from the Secretary of State for Transport regarding the difficulties many people are facing obtaining a refund for cancelled flights during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Merseyrail Travel Information
27 August 2020
As people are beginning to return to public transport, Merseyrail are reminding passengers of the extra measures they have put in place to keep both passengers and staff safe. Please click here for more information.

West Coast Railway Bank Holiday Disruption
27 August 2020
Network Rail have advised that upgrades are taking place on the west coast mainline. They advise passengers to plan ahead for bank holiday journeys in and around Liverpool over the 29th-31st August bank holiday. You can find out more information here.

British Business Bank's Start Up Loans
27 August 2020
British Business Bank have hit a milestone of issuing 75,00 loans, with 119 being issued in Knowsley worth £1,003,237. To find out more please click here.

International Debt
27 August 2020
Please click here to view a response from HM Treasury regarding internarional debt in low-income countries.

Crisis 'A Home for All' Campaign
27 August 2020
Please click here to view a response from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government regarding the 'A Home for All' campaign by the charity Crisis.

Mahmoud Nawajaa
27 August 2020
Please click here to view a response from the Minister of State for the Middle East and North Africa, James Cleverly MP regarding the case of Mahmoud Nawajaa.

Aerospace Sector
27 August 2020
Please click here to view a response from the Minister for Business and Industry, Nadhim Zahawi MP regarding the aerospace sector.

Supertrawlers
27 August 2020
Please click here to view a response from the Secretary for State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, George Eustice MP regarding supertrawlers.

Environmental Roundtable
27 August 2020
Following a previous online meeting with constituents regarding their concerns about environmental issues, I agreed to host an online roundtable with key stakeholders from Knowsley Council and the Liverpool City Region., which took place on Thursday 6th August 2020. I am grateful that we were able to cover a wide variety of issues including household waste, green development, schools, public transport and the plans by Knowsley Council and the Liverpool City Region to become net carbon zero by 2040. I was impressed by the number of green projects that are being undertaken, and I am confident that they will have a positive impact in our region and to the planet.
Given the current circumstances, I am aware that a lot of constituents are eager to take up more walking and cycling to improve their health and as an alternative to other types of transport. I was pleased to learn the Liverpool City Region has plans to increase the amount of pop up cycling lanes, with hopes to secure funding for more ambitious schemes to create more permanent and semi-permanent cycle lanes. In addition, Knowsley Council has increased efforts to encourage more cycling in Knowsley and build confidence in residents to use these cycle routes. Recent investment has enabled the widening of walkways to include more cycle lanes. You can view a cycle map for Knowsley here, and maps for the wider Liverpool City Region here.

Covid-19 and Blood Cancer
19 August 2020
Please click here to view a response from HM Treasury regarding support for people with blood cancer during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Covid-19 and Child Benefit
19 August 2020
Please click here to view a response from HM Treasury regarding financial support for families through the Covid-19 outbreak.

Reception Baseline Assessment
19 August 2020
Please click here to view a response from Nick Gibb, Minister of State for School Standards, regarding the Reception Baseline Assessment.

As You Write It Competition
11 August 2020
The Shakespeare North Playhouse in Prescot has teamed up with the One Show to create an exciting new writing competition. The competition is open to all children and young people aged between 7 and 16 years old.The final three winners will receive a special award and have their play performed at The Shakespeare North Playhouse when it opens in 2022.
The deadline for is just before midnight on Monday 31st August 2020. For more information please click here.

Write to Work Competition
11 August 2020
Write to Work is looking for new participants to enter its 12 week free writing programme that is specifically for unemployed people who live in the Liverpool City Region. The course will be delivered entirely online in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Over 12 weeks it will deliver specialist writing workshops via Zoom video conferencing, hosted by published writers and industry professionals, all offering their personal insights and tips for succes.
Applications close on 17 August, for more information please click here.

Hong Kong
11 August 2020
Please click here to view the response from Nigel Adams MP, the Minister of State for Asia, regarding the siutation in Hong Kong.

Support for Creative Industries
11 August 202
Please click here to view the response from Caroline Dinenage MP, the Minister of State for Digital and Culture in regards to support for grassroots music venues and the creative industry sector.

Foreign Office Merger
11 August 2020
Please click here to view the response from James Duddridge MP, the Minister for Africa, regarding the merger of the Department for International Development and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, to create the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

Mohammed Ramadhan and Husain Moosa
11 August 2020
Please click here to view the response from James Cleverly MP, the Minister of State for the Middle East and North Africa, regarding the death sentences against Mohammed Ramadhan and Husain Moosa in Bahrain.

Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage
5 August 2020
Application for the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage are open. Deadline Midday 17 August, click here for details.

Refunds for Cancelled Flights
5 August 2020
Please click here to view the response from Chris Heaton-Harris MP, the Minister of State for Transport, regarding refunds for cancelled flights.

Rough Sleeping
5 August 2020
Please click here to view the response from the Luke Hall MP, the Minister for Rough Sleeping and Housing, regarding emergency accomodation for rough sleepers.

Covid-19 Testing
5 August 2020
Please click here to view the response from the Department of Health and Social Care regarding the testing of Covid-19.

Support for Theatres and the Creative Industy Sector
5 August 2020
Please click here to view the response from the Caroline Dinenage MP, the Minister of State for Digital and Culture. regarding the support for theatres and the creative industry sector during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Contacting your GP during Covid-19
29 July 2020
A number of health organisations have contacted my office encouraging people to contact their GP if they are unwell during the current pandemic.
Target Ovarian Cancer have specifically raised concerns with me about the drop in ovarian cancer referrals since March, and they are encouraging woman to contact their GP if they are experiencing symptoms of ovarian cancer.
Symptoms include a bloated tummy; permanently feeling full; needing to urinate more often and stomach pain.
For more information about ovarian cancer and the work of Target Ovarian Cancer, please click here. For more information about cancer symptoms, please click here.

Emergency Grassroots Music Venues Fund
29 July 2020
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has announced the launch of a £2.25 million Emergency Grassroots Music Venues Fund to support grassroots live music venues at imminent risk of insolvency.
This £2.25 million fund is designed to help organisations remain solvent until 30 September, and will be available to a broad range of venues that present live grassroots music events to the public. The fund is opened for applications from this Saturday 25 July 2020 until midday on 3 August 2020. Applicants can apply for funding ranging from £1,000 up to £80,000, to cover operational costs incurred between 4 August and 30 September 2020.
Further information can be found by clicking here.

BAME History Teaching in Schools
29 July 2020
Please click here to view a response from Nick Gibb, Minister of State for School Standards, regarding the teaching of BAME history in schools.

Trade Bill
23 July 2020
On Monday 20 July, the Trade Bill was put to the House of Commons for its third reading.
I had voted in favour of all amendments put to the House: New Clause 4, New Clause 11, New Clause 17 and Amendment 10.
Unfortunately none of these amendments were passed and the Bill will now go to the House of Lords for consideration.
You can view a transcript of the debate here, and view my voting record here.

Universal Credit for under 25s
23 July 2020
Please click here to view a response from the Minister for Welfare Delivery, Will Quince MP, regarding extending Universal Credit to under 25s.

UK Travel Industry
23 July 2020
Please click here to view a response from the Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Labour Markets, Paul Scully MP regarding the future of the UK travel industry.

'Parent Talk'
20 July 2020
Parent Talk is a new and free online support service from Action for Children that is designed to support parents during lockdown.
Support includes connecting parents with trained and experienced parenting coaches, in addition to providing tools which include financial, relationship and emotional advice.
For more information, please visit www.parent-talk.org.uk/happy.

Covid-19 and Social Security Benefits
20 July 2020
Please click here to view a response from the Minister for Welfare Delivery, Will Quince, regarding social secuirty benefits during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Policing and BAME Communities
20 July 2020
Please click here to view a response from the Minister of State for Crime and Policing, Kit Malthouse, regarding policing and BAME communities.

Chester Zoo
20 July 2020
Please click here to view a response from the Environment Secretary, George Eustice, regarding the reopening of Chester Zoo.

Annexation of the West Bank
20 July 2020
Please click here to view a response from the Minister of State for the Middle East and North Africa, James Cleverly, regarding reports about the possible annexation of parts of the West Bank.

Face-to-Face Health and Disability Assessments
20 July 2020
Please click here to view a response from the Minister for Disabled People, Justin Tomlinson, regarding face-to-face health and disability assessments.

University Funding
20 July 2020
Please click here to view a response from the Minister of State for Universities, Michelle Donelan, regarding support for the Higher Education sector post Covid-19.

Support for Asylum Seekers
20 July 2020
Please click here to view a response from Chris Philp, Minister for Immigration, regarding financial support for asylum seekers.

Domestic Abuse Bill
10 July 2020
A number of constituents contacted me about the Domestic Abuse Bill. The debate on the Bill and how I voted on amendments can be found here.

Beauty salons
10 July 2020
I co-signed a letter to the Prime Minister urging him to offer a lifeline to those employed in the beauty industry and unable to work while salons remained and am pleased to note the reopening of salons on 13 July. You can find a copy of the letter here.

Theatres and the Arts
10 July 2020
I supported the campaign for additional support for theatres and the arts and was a co-signatory of this letter to the Prime Minister. While welcoming the support the government has subsequently announced for theatres, many performers and those employed in work supporting the cultural sector, such as technicians, are not included in the package and I continue to press the case for those people.

ExcludedUK
10 July 2020
At the request of constituents, I joined the inaugural meeting of the ExcludedUK All Party Parliamentary Group, which has been established to highlight the plight of self-employed workers who are not receiving government support during the COVID-19 crisis. I have raised concerns with ministers on behalf of many individual constituents and businesses and will continue to campaign for those workers. You can also view a recent report from ExcludedUK here regarding the challenges and impact of exclusion from Covid-19 financial support schemes provided by the UK Government.

Airlines
10 July 2020
I have been supporting airline and travel industry employees, including EasyJet and BA workers and have signed Unite's BA pledge. Staff who work for British Airways deserve better treatment than they have had from the company. That is why I wholeheartedly support the campaign to stop British Airways from Betraying Britain. The same sentiment applies to other airline workers.

Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children
10 July 2020
Please click here to view a response from the Minister of State for Security, James Brokenshire, regarding family reunion for unaccompanied asylum seeking children.

Children's Services Funding
29 June 2020
Please click here to view a response I have received from Simon Clarke, Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government, reagrding funding for children's services.

Homelessness and Rough Sleeping
29 June 2020
Please click here to view a response from the Cabinet Office regarding homelessness and rough sleeping during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Belly Mujinga
29 June 2020
Please click here to view a response from Chris Heaton-Harris, Minister of State for Transport, regarding the investigation into the death of Belly Mujinga at Victoria Station.

Access to Abortion Services

29 June 2020
Please click here to view a response from Helen Whately, Minister of State for Care, regarding access to abortion services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Scope - 'The Disability Report
29 June 2020
Please click here to view a response from Justin Tomlinson, Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, regarding the government's response to Scope's Disabilty Report.

Diabetes and Returning to Work
29 June 2020
Please click here to view a response from Lord Callanan, regarding people with diabetes who are concerned about returning to work.

LFC - 'Stay Safe. Support from Home'
19 June 2020
Liverpool Football Club are encouraging supporters to support the team from home whilst games are played behind closed doors. You can find out more information about the club’s ‘Stay Safe. Support from Home’ message by clicking here.

Arms Export Licences to the United States
17 June 2020
Please click here to view a response I have received from Ranil Jayawardena, Minister for International Trade, regarding the issuing of Arms Export Licences to the United States.

Dominic Cummings
12 June 2020
I recently contacted the Prime Minister stating that Dominic Cummings position was untenable due to his conduct during the lockdown. Please click here to view the response I have received from 10 Downing Street.

PPE for Care Homes
12 June 2020
Please click here to view the response I have received from the Minister of State for Care, Helen Whately, regarding the availability of PPE for care homes. I will continue to monitor this matter closely.

Re-opening Knowsley Safari Park
12 June 2020
I am pleased that the government has agreed to safari parks and zoos re-opening from Monday 15 June, and I am pleased to have played a part in the campaign to persuade the government to do so. You can see the Early Day Motion that I tabled here.

Black Lives Matter
12 June 2020
I am deeply concerned about recent developments in the United States, particularly in relation to the abhorrent murder of George Floyd. I have added my name to a letter that my colleague, Dawn Butler MP, has sent to the government calling for a halt to the export of riot control projectiles and equipment to the United States. You can view the letter here. I have also signed EDM 520 on this. In addition, I have asked the Home Office to carry out an urgent review of systematic racism in the criminal justice system.

EU Trade Deal
12 June 2020
The General Election in December last year effectively confirmed the previous referendum result to leave the EU. That, however, preceded the current COVID-19 crisis which will, inevitably, lead to severe economic consequences and job losses. We already know, for example, from the Office for National Statistics, that the UK economy shrank by 20.4% in April. That makes it doubly important that we get a good trade deal with the EU, otherwise the economic prospects for our country will be even worse. I believe it is right in these circumstances to extend the transition period beyond the end of this year in order to avoid leaving with a deal that would put our economy at even greater risk. That is Labour's position too and we will continue to press for more time to protect our jobs and businesses. Any other trade deals, for example with the US, must ensure that our food standards and workplace protections are protected.

Israel and the West Bank
12 June 2020
I have raised my concerns about the recent actions of the Israeli government with the Foreign Secretary.

Face-to-Face Benefit Assessments
12 June 2020
I have asked the Work and Pensions Secretary to reconsider face-to-face benefit assessments for those with mental health problems.

Work Place Support for those with Diabetes
12 June 2020
As Vice-Chair of the All Party Group on Diabetes, I have been working with Diabetes UK to try and persuade the government to provide additional work place support for those with Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes.

Save our Airports and British Airways
12 June 2020
I have strongly supported the campaigns to protect our airports, and jobs at British Airways.

Re-opening Schools
12 June 2020
I have raised a number of issues about the safety of schools reopening too early. Many thanks to Knowsley Head Teachers, parents and Knowsley Council for letting me know about the practical problems as well as health concerns they have.

Co-Op Report into Retail Crime
12 March 2020
On 4 February, I wrote to Minister of State for Crime, Policing and the Fire Service, Kit Malthouse MP, regarding the Co-Op's report into abuse towards shop workers. You can read his response here.

Eating Disorder Awareness Week Debate
5 March 2020
I was successful in securing a 90 minute debate in Westminster Hall to commemorate Eating Disorder Awareness Week.
I used my speech to highlight three issues: the eating disorder diabulimia for those with type 1 diabetes, the impact of celebrity and social media and finally, access to treatment for those with eating disorders.
You can watch a video of the debate Here as well as view a transcript on Hansard Here.

Make Ends Meet Letter
25 February 2020
I recently signed the Make Ends Meet letter by Alison McGovern MP to the Chancellor and the Prime Minister. This letter is to request them to tackle food poverty in childhood, you can see the letter Here. I will publish any response I recieve.

Eating Disorders Awareness Week
20 February 2020
I recently attended a Beat Eating Disorders event in parliament, which raised awareness of the work the charity do and promoted Eating Disorders Awareness Week taking place between Monday 2nd March and Sunday 8th March.
Beat Eating Disorders is a UK based eating disorder charity who offer support to those affected by eating disorders. Beat Eating Disorders estimate that 5 million people in the UK are living with or are affected in some way by an eating disorder making the work of charities such as Beat Eating Disorders imperative.
For more information about Eating Disorders Awareness Week and the work Beat Eating Disorders do, please click here.

Debate on protection for retail workers
11 February 2020
I recently spoke at a debate on protection for retail workers. You can see what I said here and here.

Treasury Question on the furture of car manufacturing
11 February 2020
During Treasury Questions, I asked a question on if the governmental proposal for phasing out of diesel, petrol and hybrid vehicles to 2035 has factored in potential job loses in the motor manufacturing industry. You can see what I said here

HS2 Question to the Prime Minister
11 February 2020
I recently asked a Question to the Prime Minister about what benefits HS2 will bring to the Liverpool City region. You can see what I said here.

Animal Cruelty Sentencing
4 February 2020
In January I was contacted by a number of constituents regarding increasing the maximum sentence for animal cruelty from six months to five years. On 17th January I wrote to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to call on the government to prioritise this proposal. You can see the response here.

JDRF 'Pathway to Choice' Report Launch
4 February 2020
I recently hosted an event in the House of Commons for JDRF, a leading type 1 diabetes charity, which funds research to cure, treat and prevent type 1 diabetes. At this event, I called for action to boost access to wearable medical technology for people living with type 1 diabetes.
JDRF’s new report Pathway to Choice reveals the barriers to accessing medical tech to better treat the condition. Currently, only a small proportion of people in the UK living with type 1 diabetes use the range of wearable medical devices that are available on the NHS.
Those who do can have their long-term health outcomes boosted. But the proportion of people with type 1 diabetes who are on an insulin pump, for example, varies from over 40 per cent in some specialist NHS services to less than five per cent in others.
Ihave written to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care regarding what action they are taking to improve access to technology for people with type 1 diabetes – and reduce the barriers patients currently face.

Beer Duty
28 January 2020
Please click here to read a response from Simon Clarke, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, regarding beer duty.

European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill 2019-20
20 December 2019
I have been appointed by a resolution of the House of Commons as a temporary First Chairman of Ways & Means (a Deputy Speaker) until the House elects Deputy Speakers in the new year.
That means that I cannot vote on the European (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill at either the Second Reading or during any of the subsequent parliamentary proceedings. Nor am I able to make any further comment on the progress of the legislation, the content of the Bill or proposed amendments as I am required to maintain strict impartiality.

Brexit update
21 October 2019
On Saturday in Parliament, I voted for Oliver Letwin’s amendment to Boris Johnson’s motion. The amendment was carried. This means that Parliament withholds its consent for the deal, unless and until, the withdrawal bill implementing Brexit has been approved by the House of Commons. I voted for the amendment for two main reasons. First, I thought it was a bad deal: it does not provide the assurances I would need to ensure that thousands of manufacturing jobs would not be lost in Knowsley; does not guarantee food and medicine supplies and security; does not provide a trustworthy assurance on workers’ rights and; would fatally undermine the Good Friday Agreement. Secondly, I do not trust Boris Johnson’s assurances. Sadly, he has in his short time as Prime Minister, demonstrated that he cannot be taken at his word. Similarly, I do not trust the Tory Party. On workers’ rights, for example, it was the Tory Party which opted out of the Social Chapter of the Maastricht Treaty, opposed the introduction of the National Minimum Wage under the last Labour government and repeatedly referred to rights in the workplace as ‘red-tape’. Over the coming weeks, the Brexit process will remain uncertain as Parliament considers the relevant legislation. Albeit half-heartedly, Boris Johnson has applied to the EU for an extension. I honestly do not believe that any deal is likely to emerge which meets the concerns I have about how Knowsley and our country will be adversely affected. In the circumstances, therefore, I think it would make sense to put the current deal back to the people, alongside the option to Remain. I do understand the reasons why more than half of the people of Knowsley voted to leave in 2016, but it has become increasingly clear that none of those reasons are likely to be met by this deal. None of us - me included – could have known how complicated and damaging the process of leaving the EU would turn out to be. That being the case, I think it would make sense for all of the us to have the opportunity to confirm whether or not this deal is right for our country.

Staffing, funding and operation of the Railway
17 October 2019
Please click here to read a response from Grant Shapps, Secretary of State for Transport, about the staffing, funding and operation of our railways.

Child Online Safety
16 October 2019
I recently visited St Columba’s Catholic Primary School to discuss online safety as part of Google’s ‘Be Internet Legends’ campaign.
The campaign is aimed at 7-11 year olds and teaches them to use the internet safely in a fun and informative way. Children learn to avoid hackers, phishers and bullies via workshops, assemblies, online platforms and free training resources.
For more information about the campaign please click here.

Albemarle & Bond / Herbert Brown Pawnbrokers
15 October 2019
Please click here for a response from the Financial Conduct Authority regarding the decision by Speedloan Finance Ltd to close their pawnbroker stores, trading as Albemarle & Bond and Herbert Brown.

Giving Tuesday
1 October 2019
I recently met with the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) to hear about the essential role that charities play in bringing communities together.
One way that charities can promote the work they do is through the Giving Tuesday campaign. The Giving Tuesday campaign holds the world record for the most amount of money raised online in 24 hours, and aims to help as many charities as possible and celebrate the causes we all care about.
For more information please visit www.givingtuesday.org.uk and www.cafonline.org.

Alcohol Health Alliance’s ‘What would you choose?’ campaign
27 September 2019
In England, alcohol is the leading risk factor of death, ill-health, and disability for those aged 15-49. Between 2012 and 2017, alcohol-specific deaths have risen by 10% in the UK. I pledge my support for an increase in alcohol duty to help fund health and prevention services. Alcohol causes substantial harms to families and communities across the UK. When asked by members of the Alcohol Health Alliance the stark question – what would you choose? – the answer is clear. I am backing targeted, evidence-based measures aimed at making our communities safer and reducing alcohol harm. For more information, please visit: www.ahauk.org

The National Lottery Community Fund
25 September 2019
The National Lottery Community Fund is now available to fund new projects that bring people together and build strong relationships in and across communities.
In 2018/19, the National Lottery Community Fund awarded over £500 million to community projects.
For more information please visit www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/funding.

Alzheimer's Research UK 'Share the Orange' Campaign
19 September 2019
I am supporting Alzheimer's Research UK’s ‘Share the Orange’ campaign, which aims to raise awareness and improve understanding of the diseases that cause dementia.
The scale of dementia is unprecedented and continue to increase. It is now the leading cause of death in the UK, and without effective interventions, one in three children born in the UK today will one day develop dementia.
Alzheimer's Research UK are calling on the government to commit to a significant increase in funding for Alzheimer’s and dementia research, with a view to bringing about effective treatments people so desperately need and help bring about an end to the crisis of dementia in our society.
For more information about the campaign please visit https://www.alzheimersresearchuk.org/orange.

Brexit
29 August 2019
The events of the last twenty-four hours are deeply disturbing. First, in seeking to bypass Parliament, Boris Johnson is acting in a profoundly undemocratic way. Secondly, there is no constitutional precedent for such action. The last occasion on which anything remotely similar occurred was on 20 April 1653 when Oliver Cromwell forcibly dissolved parliament using armed forces support and subsequently proclaimed himself Lord Protector.
I will not support any action designed to deliver a no-deal Brexit or, for that matter, any deal that does not have parliamentary approval. To do so would be to accept that the government effectively has a free hand to do whatever it wants, which is why I think it is wholly undemocratic.
Even though the Queen has agreed to the prorogation – which automatically occurs when a new session begins with a Queen’s speech, although usually this is just a few days – there are still potential ways in which parliament can assert its rights and I will support any such measures.

Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories
16 August 2019
Please click here to read a response from Andrew Murrison, Minister of State for the Middle East and North Africa, regarding Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Brexit
14 August 2019
I do not believe that a No Deal Brexit would be in the best interests of the people of Knowsley. Indeed, it would lead to economic carnage with significant job losses in manufacturing, particularly in the automotive industry. I will not, under any circumstances, vote for a No Deal Brexit. Nor do I believe that Boris Johnson will be able to negotiate a deal with the EU that would guarantee the workplace rights, environmental protections, food supply and security co-operation we already enjoy as members of the EU. As a former Northern Ireland Minister, I will not support any deal that would imperil the Good Friday Agreement. In addition, I will vigorously resist any attempt by the Tory government to bypass parliament in order to facilitate a No Deal Brexit.

State Pension Age for Women
8 August 2019
Please click here to read a response from Amber Rudd, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, regarding changes to women's State Pension age.

'Give a Day to Policing'
7 August 2019
I will be taking part in the 'Give a Day to Policing' scheme this month.
The scheme gives MP's the opportunity to spend a day with their local police force to see the work they do and challenges they face.
For more information please click here.

Environment Bill
30 April 2019
Please click here to read the response from Dr Therese Coffey, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Environment, regarding the Environment Bill.

Police Commissioner launches search for new Youth Ambassadors
22 July 2019
Merseyside's Police Commissioner is looking for 10 enthusiastic, skilled young people to volunteer to support, challenge and inform the work of her office and the wider criminal justice system.
The role will last for 12 months and is open to those aged between 16 and 24, who live, work or study in Merseyside. Click here to find out more.

‘Has welfare became unfair?- the impact of changes on disabled people'
19 July 2019
I recently attended the launch of a report entitled ‘Has welfare became unfair?- the impact of changes on disabled people'.
The report was funded by the Three Guinea’s Trust and commissioned by the Disability Benefit Consortium, which consists of 80 charities calling for more support for disabled people.
As part of their investigations, it was discovered that disabled people have lost, on average, payments of around £1,200 each year because of changes to the system. People without a disability lost, on average, £300.
For more information, please visit www.bit.ly/DBC_report.

Winston Churchill Memorial Trust - Churchill Fellowships
17 July 2019
The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust (WCMT) runs the Churchill Fellowships, a unique programme of overseas research grants. These support UK citizens from all parts of society to travel the world in search of innovative solutions for today’s most pressing problems. Anyone can apply, regardless of age, qualifications or background. Fellows come from all parts of UK society and all walks of life. The only threshold is that you must be a UK resident citizen aged 18 or over. The only criteria are the power of your ideas and the potential of your commitment to make a difference when you come home.
WCMT are open for applications in 2019 from 16 May to 17 September at 5pm. This is for travels in 2020 and beyond. For more information, click here.

Gender Recognition Act 2004
9 July 2019
Please click here to read a response from Penny Mordaunt, Minister for Women and Equalities, regarding the Gender Recognition Act 2004.

Justice for Windrush Petition
4 July 2019
I have signed Dawn Butler's petition calling on the Prime Minister to resolve all outstanding Windrush cases before leaving office.
Anyone wishing to view and sign the petition can do so here.

Over-75 TV licence concession
2 July 2019
Please click here to read a response from Rt Hon Jeremy Wright MP, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport about the BBC's recent decision to link the TV licence concession for over-75s to Pension Credit.

Renewable Electricity Subsidies
25 June 2019
Please click here to read a response from Chris Skidmore, Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, regarding renewable electricity subsidies for biomass electricity generation.

A New Housing Regulator after Grenfell
24 June 2019
Please click here to read the response from Kit Malthouse MP, Minister of State for Housing, about concerns for building safety after the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017.

Disability Employment
20 June 2019
I am supporting Scope's #WorkWithMe campaign, which encourages businesses to create more inclusive workplaces for disabled people.
A number of barriers prevent disabled people from getting into, staying in and progressing in work, from poor attitudes to inflexible working practices. Disabled people are twice as likely to be unemployed when compared to non-disabled people. This needs to change.
For more information please visit www.workwithme.support.

Carers Week 2019
14 June 2019
I recently attended an event in Parliament to celebrate the valuable contribution carers make locally as part of Carers Week 2019.
The seven charities driving Carers Week 2019 are calling on individuals, organisations and services throughout the country to improve the lives of carers by getting them connected to practical and financial support. They are also calling for a step change in the way society supports those caring unpaid for family and friends.
Thousands of events are taking place across the country this week, and thousands of people have already pledged their support for carers online. To find out more about events or for further information about caring please visit www.carersweek.org.

Bowel Cancer UK 'Time to Test' Campaign
31 May 2019
I am supporting Bowel Cancer UK's 'Time to Test' Campaign, which calls on the goverment to implement a national system of testing all bowel cancer patients at the time of their diagnosis for Lynch Syndrome.
It is estimated that 200,000 people have Lynch Syndrome, which is a genetic condition that dramatically increases the risk of developing bowel cancer by up to 80%. Unfortunately, only 5% of people are aware they have Lynch Syndrome because they have not been tested.
For more information please click here.

Universal Credit Scam
31 May 2019
Healthwatch Knowsley have recently made me aware of a scam being undertaken locally in places such as Kirkby and Prescot.
It is being undertaken by people claiming to be from the Department for Work and Pensions who are calling unannounced at people's homes, and sometimes just approaching people on the street and offering a low cost government loan.
The scammers are registering the victims for Universal Credit using the victims bank details, which they change to their own bank account once the claim is up and running, ensuring they receive the victims UC payments.
Residents are advised to never give money or share personal information with anyone contacing you unannounced, and are advised that low cost government loans do not exist.
For free advice and support, residents are advised to contact Citizens Advice Knowsley on 0300 330 9008. Residents can also report fraudulent activites to Action Fraud or Merseyside Police on 101.

End Child Poverty
29 May 2019
I recently attended an End Child Poverty event in parliament.
End Child Poverty are campaigning for political parties to create child poverty reduction strategies that will release those children in the UK growing up trapped in poverty.
For more information please visit www.endchildpoverty.org.uk.

Mental Health Blog
29 May 2019
I have recently been made aware of a blog created by a young Knowsley resident, in which uses her own experiences to raise awareness of mental health issues, in particular the impact of social media on the mental health of young people.
I have long campaigned about the media portrayal of the so-called 'perfect' body shape, and how this can negatively contribute to people's perception of themselves.
I would encourage anyone interested to visit the blog by clicking here.

Access to Cystic Fibrosis Medication
20 May 2019
I recently signed a cross-party letter to the Prime Minister, marking a year since the Prime Minister called for a "speedy resolution" to access cystic fibrosis medication.

For more information please click here.

Diabetes UK 'It's Missing' Campaign
20 May 2019
I recently attended the launch of Diabetes UK's 'It's Missing' campaign, which calls for new national standards for diabetic emotional and mental health support, and to increase support available locally to people living with diabetes.
Recently published research from the charity revealed that the relentless nature of diabetes can impact people's emotional wellbeing and mental health, ranging from day to day frustation and low mood, to specific psychological and mental health difficulties, such as clinical depression and anxiety. The findings, published in the report "Too Often Missing: Making Emotional and Psychological Support Routine in Diabetes Care", show that diabetes is much more than a physical condition.
For more information please click here.

Letters sent to claimants by the Department for Work & Pensions
7 May 2019
Please click here to read the response from Rt Hon Amber Rudd MP, Secretary of State for the Department for Work & Pensions about letters - form ESA 65B - sent to claimants by the DWP.

Environment Bill
30 April 2019
Please click here to read the response from Dr Therese Coffey, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Environment, regarding the Environment Bill.

Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories
29 April 2019
Please click here to read the response from the Rt Hon Mark Field MP, Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, regarding Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

End DSS Discrimination
26 April 2019
I recently attended an event in parliament, hosted by Shelter, calling for an end to DSS discrimination.
DSS discrimination is the practice of preventing benefit claimants from applying to rent a private property. A recent YouGov survey found that almost a third of people receiving housing benefit said they had been unable to rent a home due to a 'No DSS' policy in the last five years. This equates to hundreds and thousands of private tenants nationally.
Under the Equality Act 2010, it is unlawful to indirectly discriminate based on things like gender, disability or race. 'No DSS' adverts and other exclusionary practices can breach the act via indirect discrimination, as they disproportionately harm women and disabled people, who are more likely to receive housing benefit.
For more information, please click here.

Further Brexit Indicative Votes in the House of Commons
2 April 2019
Below I have listed the four amendments that were selected by the Speaker for division last night. Next to each amendment is the result of the division and how I voted (Yes or No):
(c) Customs Union – Ayes: 273 Noes: 276 (Yes)
(d) Common Market 2.0 – Ayes: 261 Noes: 282 (Yes)
(e) Confirmatory public vote – Ayes:280 Noes: 292 (Yes)
(g) Parliamentary supremacy – Ayes: 191 Noes: 292 (No)

Minimum income requirement for sponsoring a non-EEA national partner
2 April 2019
Please click here to read the response from the Rt Hon Caroline Nokes MP, Minister of State for Immigration at the Home Office, about the minimum income requirement for sponsoring a non-European Economic Area (non-EEA) national partner to come to or remain in the UK under family Immigration Rules.

United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union vote
29 March 2019
Today, I voted against the Prime Minister's Withdrawal Agreement in the House of Commons. MPs voted to reject the Withdrawal Agreement, part of the Prime Minister's EU deal, by 344 to 286.

'Stop Christophobia' campaign
29 March 2019
Please click here to read the response from Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State for the Commonwealth and the UN.

Brexit Indicative Votes in the House of Commons
28 March 2019
Last night, there were a series of indicative votes in the House of Commons. Indicative votes are non-binding resolutions intended to test the will of the House of Commons. In this instance, they were used to try to find consensus on various proposals relating to Brexit, following the rejection of the Government’s draft deal with the EU (first in January by 230 votes and, again in March by 149 votes).

Below, I have listed the eight amendments that were selected by the Speaker for division. Next to each amendment, is the result of the division and how I voted (Yes or No):
(b) No deal - Ayes:160 Noes:400 (No)
(d) Common market 2.0 - Ayes:188 Noes:283 (Yes)
(h) EFTA and EEA - Ayes:65 Noes:377 (No)
(j) Customs Union - Ayes:264 Noes:272 (Yes)
(k) Labour’s alternative plan - Ayes:237 Noes:307 (Yes)
(l) Revocation to avoid no deal - Ayes:184 Noes:293 (Yes)
(m) Confirmatory public vote - Ayes:268 Noes:295 (Yes)
(o) Contingent preferential arrangements - Ayes:139 Noes:422 (No)

You can read more about each amendment on the Order Paper and see my voting record here in Hansard.

Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month
22 March 2019
On 20 March, I attended a special event hosted by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Ovarian Cancer and became a ‘teal hero’.
Too many women die of ovarian cancer. We all have to act to ensure that more women know the symptoms to look out for, are diagnosed sooner and get the treatment they need. That’s why I was delighted to take part in this year’s Teal Hero event to support women with ovarian cancer and their families. Teal is the colour of ovarian cancer awareness, which is alarmingly low in the UK.
Data from Target Ovarian Cancer, which provides the secretariat for the APPG, shows just one in five women can name bloating as one of the key symptoms of the disease. The symptoms of ovarian cancer are:
- Persistent bloating- not bloating that comes and goes
- Feeling full or loss of appetite
- Tummy pain
- Needing to wee more often or more urgently
Ovarian cancer can be devastating. Every year 7,300 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the UK, and 4,100 women die from the disease. Target Ovarian Cancer works to raise the profile of ovarian cancer, spread the word about the symptoms, and train GPs in early diagnosis. Visit targetovariancancer.org.uk to find out more.

Motions relating to the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union.
19 March 2019
On Tuesday 12 March, the House of Commons voted to again reject the Government's negotiated withdrawal agreement in a second 'meaningful vote'. No amendments to the motion were selected by the Speaker and it was defeated in division by 391 to 242. I voted against the Government’s deal.

On Wednesday 13 March, the House of Commons voted to reject leaving the UK without a deal by 321 to 278. The motion, tabled by the Prime Minister, stated [that this House] declines to approve leaving the European Union without a Withdrawal Agreement and a Framework for the Future Relationship on 29 March 2019; and notes that leaving without a deal remains the default in UK and EU law unless this House and the EU ratify an agreement." This motion rejected leaving without a deal on March 29 2019. The Speaker selected two amendments to the motion.
Amendment (a) altered the motion to reject the UK leaving the EU, at any point, without a deal. This amendment passed by 312 to 308.
Amendment (f), would have called for an extension to enable more time for a managed no-deal exit. This amendment was defeated by 164 to 374.
The motion as amended was put to a vote and approved 321 to 278.

On Thursday 14 March the House of Commons debated a motion on extending the Article 50 period. Alongside Labour colleagues, I abstained on the division for a second referendum. The official People’s Vote campaign argued that the timing was not yet right and urged MPs not to support the amendment.

The Prime Minister’s motion to extend the Article 50 period stated [that this House]:
(1) notes the resolutions of the House of 12 and 13 March, and accordingly agrees that the Government will seek to agree with the European Union an extension of the period specified in Article 50(3);
(2) agrees that, if the House has passed a resolution approving the negotiated withdrawal agreement and the framework for the future relationship for the purposes of section 13(1)(b) of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 by 20 March 2019, then the Government will seek to agree with the European Union a one-off extension of the period specified in Article 50(3) for a period ending on 30 June 2019 for the purpose of passing the necessary EU exit legislation; and
(3) notes that, if the House has not passed a resolution approving the negotiated withdrawal agreement and the framework for the future relationship for the purposes of section 13(1)(b) of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 by 20 March 2019, then it is highly likely that the European Council at its meeting the following day would require a clear purpose for any extension, not least to determine its length, and that any extension beyond 30 June 2019 would require the United Kingdom to hold European Parliament elections in May 2019.
This motion was approved by 412 to 202. I voted for this motion.

My voting record for divisions relating to the European Union Withdrawal can be found here.

Accident & Emergency (A&E) NHS waiting times.
7 March 2019
Please click here to read a response from Stephen Hammond MP, Minister of State for Health about A&E NHS waiting times.

Over-75 TV licence concessions
1 March 2019
Please click here to read the response from Margot James MP, Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries regarding the over-75 TV licence concession.

Northern Health Science Alliance: Tackling Health Inequalities
21 February 2019
The Northern Health Science Alliance (NHSA) is a partnership of eight leading universities, eight leading NHS Hospital Trusts and the four Academic Health Science Networks of the North of England, established to improve the health and wealth of the region by building on an internationally recognised life science and healthcare cluster.
Health for Wealth: Building a Healthier Northern Powerhouse for UK Productivity was commissioned by the NHSA to look at the relationship between the North’s poorer health and its poorer productivity. You can read a copy of the report here. The report makes a number of recommendations to central government and Northern Powerhouse local and regional stakeholders. Most notably, the NHSA are asking the government to commit invest proportionally more in health, and research funding, in the North of England.

Ambulance Staff Pensions
20 February 2019
Please click here to read a response from Stephen Hammond, Minister of State for Health, regarding the retirement age for ambulance staff.

The Environment Bill
15 February 2019
Please click here to a read a response from Therese Coffey, Under Secretary of State for the Environment, regarding the Environment Bill.

NSPCC 'Close the Loophole' Campaign
14 February 2019
Please click here to read a response from David Gauke, Secretary of State for Justice, regarding the NSPCC's 'Close the Loophole' campaign, which calls for the definition of 'position of trust' under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 to be extended to cover a range of jobs or voluntary posts, where people aged 18 or over may come into contact with 16 and 17 year olds.

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards System
13 February 2019
Please click here to read a response received from Caroline Dinenage, Minister of State for Care, regarding the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards System.

Neonatal Care and Parental Leave
12 February 2019
Please click here to read a response received from Kelly Tolhurst, Minister at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, regarding support for parents of babies receiving neonatal care.

World Cancer Day
8 February 2019
I recently attended an event, hosted by Cancer Research UK, to promote World Cancer Day.
Every year, 920 people are diagnosed with cancer in Knowsley, and 1 in 2 people in the UK will be diagnosed with the disease at some point in their lifetime. World Cancer Day is an opportunity for people, organisations and countries to work together, raise awareness and take action to beat cancer.
For more information, please click here.

Mental Health and Housing
7 February 2019
I recently attended a parliamentary event bringing together people living with mental health problems, parliamentarians and representatives from Mind, to discuss mental health and housing.
Organised by mental health charity Mind, the event saw the launch of a short film called ‘Beyond Bricks’, in which three people with mental health problems describe the serious impact poor housing can have on our mental health. Around one in four people will experience a mental health problem in any given year, and research by Mind found more than two in five people with mental health problems, living in social housing, have seen their mental health deteriorate as a result of where they live.
To view ‘Beyond Bricks’ please click here. For more information about Mind, please click here.

Build Sound Minds
5 February 2019
I recently joined young people and mental health experts from leading charity, Action for Children, to support the parliamentary launch of Build Sound Minds – a campaign to help children and teenagers build good mental and emotional wellbeing.
A third of 15 to 18-year-olds assessed by Action for Children were found to be suffering from mental health issues. Pupils in need of support have been taking part in the Blues Programme, the first ever UK-wide early help intervention for teenage depression. The campaign aims to improve children and teenagers’ mental health by providing families with accessible information, tools and tips.
For more information click here.

NHS Waiting Lists
1 February 2019
A number of constituents have contacted me about NHS waiting lists. I raised my constituents' concerns with the Department for Health & Social Care. Please click here to read the response from Stephen Hammond, Minister of State for Health.

Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill 2017-19
29 January 2019
A number of constituents have contacted me about the Immigration Bill. You will know by now that I voted against the Immigration Bill at Second Reading. Although we were defeated, there will be opportunities to make amendments at Committee Stage. If the Government does not make suitable changes, I’ll vote against it again at Third Reading.

Royal College of Nursing - 'Fund Our Future'
25 January 2019
Please click here to view a response from Stephen Hammond, Minister of State for Health, regarding the Royal College of Nursing's 'Fund Our Future' campaign.

Electrical Safety in Social Housing
24 January 2019
I recently attended an event in parliament, hosted by the Electrical Safety Roundtable (ESR), for the launch of pioneering guidance to improve electrical safety in social housing.
The ESR brought together over 25 social housing providers to develop a new Code of Practice for improving electrical safety in social housing, in response to complaints that there was no formal guidance available. The ESR has released a leaflet to alert tenants to the dangers of electricity and the importance of regular electrical inspections, together with a short summary document outlining the key recommendations of the Code of Practice.
These documents can be downloaded for free by clicking here.

Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill
24 January 2019
A number of constituents have been in touch with me about this Bill which is currently going through the House of Commons. I have raised my constituents' concerns about the weakening of rights with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, and will post a copy of any substantive response that I receive on my website.

Big Energy Saving Week: 21st -27th January 2019
23 January 2019
This week, Citizens Advice has launched its annual campaign ‘Big Energy Saving Week’ to raise awareness of how to save money on energy costs.
Visit their website here to see what financial support you are entitled to.

Vote of no confidence in Her Majesty's Government
21 January 2019
On 16 January a vote of no confidence in Her Majesty's Government took place in the House of Commons. Despite voting for it, the motion was defeated by 325 to 306.

Brexit

16 January 2019
I voted against the EU Withdrawal Agreement in the House of Commons last night.
In 2016, I campaigned and voted for a ‘remain’ vote in the referendum. The assertion from some people that a no-deal Brexit is in the UK’s best interests, is not a position I share. There is now mounting and convincing evidence that such an outcome would cause enormous damage to jobs, businesses, security co-operation and chaos between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. My only reservation is in regard to the sequence of events. Now that Parliament is in a strong position to influence the outcome, it is important to work through all of the options before I think we can get to the point at which a further referendum will able to attract the support of enough MPs.
You can read more about my position in my speeches, during the Brexit debates in the House of Commons on 5 December 2018,10 January 2019 and 14 January 2019. You can also find out how other MP's voted last night by clicking here.

Universal Credit Changes
16 January 2019
Please click here to view a response from Amber Rudd, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, regarding changes to Universal Credit.

NHS long-term plan and waiting lists
11 January 2019
A number of constituents have contacted me about the Government's long-term plan for the NHS. I have raised my consituents' concerns with the Secretary of State for Health and will post a copy of any substantive response that I receive on my website.

Finance Bill
9 January 2019
I am a co-chair of the Finance Bill and, as such, I am unable to add my name to any amendments, speak or vote on any proceedings.

Universal Credit
7 January 2019
A number of constituents have been in touch with me about the roll-out of Universal Credit. On 17 December, I raised my constituents’ concerns with the Secretary of State for the Department for Work & Pensions and will post a copy of any substantive response that I receive on my website.


Archive:

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Early Day Motions::

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