There can be no doubt that 2016 will go down as one of the truly defining years of the 21st century. It has been an incredibly busy year nationally with the victory of Sadiq Khan in London and the EU referendum, but also internationally with events such as the refugee crisis and the election of Donald Trump.
Throughout 2016 I have been busy doing the usual work of an MP in my weekly surgeries, which have given me the chance to meet with so many residents of Holborn & St Pancras. Furthermore I have been working closely with the HS2 campaign groups to fight for the best possible scheme for everyone in our constituency.
I am now the Shadow Secretary of State for exiting the European Union. The government’s decision not to undertake any preparations whatsoever for a vote to leave has left the country without a plan and the government without a direction. The role of the opposition is crucial and I am pleased to say that I have a wonderful team and we have much to do in 2017.
In a final look back over 2016, I have pulled together some of the most interesting images of the year, ranging from the Calais migrant camp to some of the campaigning drives we have all worked so hard on.
All the best for the festive season and good wishes for the year ahead!
In January I made an unforgettable trip to the refugee camps of Calais. No one should have to live in such conditions, especially some of the children I saw who were the same age as my own.
I met with some of the refugees who told me their stories, including a mother with four children who explained why she had to flee from Afghanistan.
A large section of our Asian community come from Bangladesh so I was pleased to have the opportunity to visit earlier in the year. I attended a service commemorating those who died in the country’s war of independence.
In May there was the successful mayoral campaign for Sadiq Khan, who became London’s first Muslim mayor. He visited Camden several times, including this trip to Drummond Street.
And thanks to the students and so many others who came out to support him!
Later in the year we worked just as hard on the campaign to remain in the European Union. Here in Camden the vote was overwhelmingly to remain – but sadly this was not true across the country.
More widely I visited to Dudley in the West Midlands to hear the concerns of pensioners about issues of migration and refugees.
And a group of us went to Sittingbourne in Kent, to support our friends in the local Labour Party with their campaigns.
More locally, I had the chance to see the progress of Crossrail, deep below Tottenham Court Road.
We have also done a lot of work with Camden Council on the acute problem of air pollution, including campaigning on the streets and in schools.
I made a visit to Hatton Gardens to see the work of the hugely talented jewellers. I learned that many of them are struggling to keep their studios as the property prices are forcing them out of the area.
I had chance to meet and speak to some of the nurses on UCH’s innovative new cancer ward.
I also met with residents in Arlington House, which is providing decent accommodation for some of Camden’s homeless and most vulnerable.
And finally not forgetting the Holborn & St Pancras Christmas Party!
We have had a very busy year from start to finish, but are all looking forward to seeing what 2017 will bring!