Since the Referendum result, I have received over 1200 emails from constituents, the vast majority of whom – like me – voted to stay in the EU and are now concerned about the next steps forward. My own view, at present, is that Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, which starts the exit procedure, should not be invoked without a vote in the House of Commons. Before any such vote takes place, MPs and my constituents are entitled to know the basis upon which the government intends to proceed. The process should not therefore be rushed and it certainly should not start straight away. Leaving the EU will also require repealing the European Communities Act 1972, which again is a matter for Parliament. Before that happens, my constituents have the right to know the terms on which the government seeks to withdraw from the EU and the type of relationship the Government suggests we should have with the EU in future. Again, I believe there should be a full and open public debate about this before any vote in Parliament is taken. Given the huge public concern about this, I will be holding a public meeting along with Council leader, Sarah Hayward, at 7.30pm on Thursday 14th July in Camden Town Hall to discuss the way forward. I hope you and as many local residents as possible are able to join me.
Apologies for no update last week; I was leading for Labour on the Investigatory Powers Bill and with over 400 amendments to deal with I had my hands full. Happily the Bill finished in the commons on Tuesday night and is now with the Lords. I am glad to report that we got very significant concessions out of the government, including a review of the so called ‘bulk’ powers, an overarching privacy clauses and protection for trade unions. Continue reading
What a week! Fighting to get the government to take 3000 stranded refugee children from Europe, the Hillsborough inquest verdicts and the suspension of Ken Livingstone. Before I get down to explaining what’s taken place over the last week I just wanted to share with you this photograph from the Primary Career Conference organised for 26 schools at the British Library. What an inspirational, fun event! Helping these pupils begin to think about their futures…more below. Continue reading
Most of my Parliamentary work this week has centred on the Investigatory Powers Bill, which is still grinding its way through its committee stage – clause by clause. Rather than detailing this important but technical work I thought I would let you know about the rest of my week: my tour to Colchester, Ipswich and Cambridge (mentioned in my previous diary) fighting HS2 and meeting some really inspiring members of our community! Continue reading
On Friday I was in the East of England – as part of my tour to hear from and discuss issues concerning immigration and refugees, who are part of my brief. I’ve been to Scotland, Northern Ireland and across the North of England. Other destinations are in the planning. It’s been fascinating and I have learnt a great deal. But I thought I would share some images of what one day includes. Hectic and tiring, but well worth it! Continue reading