Apologies to one and all for the delay getting weekly updates out: having missed a few weeks, calling it a weekly update seems a little bit far-fetched. My only mitigation is that I have been extremely busy.
My shadow cabinet Brexit role is keeping me busy to say the least! Last week David Davis made his third statement on Brexit. No one can accuse him of not being willing to come to the dispatch box, it’s just that he never actually says anything when he does!
Meanwhile I have been travelling throughout the UK talking to political leaders, trade unions, businesses and the public about Brexit. I was in Belfast for two days where very clear concerns about the possible impact of Brexit on the peace process were spelt out to me; reinforced when I went to Dublin the next day.
Last week I was in Wales with Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones in Cardiff and then with workers at Load Lok in Merthyr. Later the same day, I held a packed Cardiff Central CLP meeting with Jo Stevens MP, our fantastic Shadow Secretary of State for Wales.
Yorkshire next last Friday, where I met local businesses, held a public meeting and gave a lecture at York University on the impact of Brexit on policing and security.
This week has seen no let up: I was in Berlin with Ed Miliband and the SPD general secretary, Katarina Barley, on Monday and Tuesday. And I am typing this update on the Eurostar on my way to Brussels for meetings with the EPLP, European trade unions and representatives of the Council and Commission.
Last week I attended the opening of the Crick Institute. The Queen conducted the formalities and we were shown a fantastic video of the anti-cancer research going on there. In total 2,000 people with
work there on important research in what is – I think – the biggest research centre of its kind in Europe. It was good to see so many Camden people there including Frank Dobson in good form.
Air quality continues to be a big concern. It’s bad enough already and HS2 threatens to make it worse. So it was good to attend and speak at Camden’s air quality summit – and agree action points to take forward. Also good that Kentish Town ward held an open meeting about ‘air quality’ last week.
Locally the CLP has been very busy. Three fundraising dinners, a busy GC and several campaigning days. Last Saturday was wet and cold, but we had a determined team our in Highgate in good spirits. This weekend, we have another of our family friendly meetings on Sunday morning.
Finally, it was very sad to see the passing of June Grun, a long-standing party member in Gospel Oak (picture in her famous scooter below). We will remember her fondly this Sunday.
More next week…