Work on the investigatory powers bill continued and the London Mayoral campaign rolls on. That, and more, this week.
The Investigatory Powers Bill – deep into committee
The IP Bill is now at the committee stage where we are going through 260 clauses line by line - literally! This means a full days preparation every Monday and Wednesday; a full day in Committee every Tuesday and Thursday and fitting everything else into Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It's going to be a 6 week process!
We are nearly into the final strait – with May 5th looming up ahead. And our teams on the ground have been doing a wonderful job.
We've made good progress in Holborn & St. Pancras, speaking to some 5,000 voters in recent months. We'll be needing to speak to many more in the coming few weeks to polling day.
With my leg still playing up I have been a bit limited in what I can do on the doorstep, but I have been to the Sadiq Khan HQ, to work the phone bank.
Three MP’s were also there – Chris Efford, Karen Buck and Lisa Nandy – with a roomful of Labour members. This campaign really is engaging everyone in the party – from parliament to the grassroots.
We also held a campaign briefing session at the Ossulton Tenants and Residents Association in Somers Town this week.
Andrew Dismore came along and we had support from Amy from London region.
Around 25 members participated and were taken through the finer points of going out to win the vote for Sadiq and Andrew.
It would make such a difference having a Labour mayor in city hall – a real platform for Labour ideas in action!
Meanwhile, I think the prize for youngest Sadiq supporter must go to Miriam!
You can’t quite see her (she’s the one in the pram).
Her mum, Sarah Sackman was on the streets, getting the vote out, just weeks after Miriam was born. Thanks to both of them – and to Gill Black, who has been doing a great job mobilising our members.
The ugly face of prejudice
Our party has rightly refused membership to one applicant following clear evidence of antisemitism.
My CLP can be proud of the way they handled this difficult situation and the strength they showed in upholding our core principles.
Wider reports from colleagues and Labour parties across the country show that sadly this is not an isolated incident.
But I believe we need do more to support CLPs facing this challenge. We also need to reassure voters, supporters and Party members that we will do everything possible to root out and remove anyone using antisemitic, racist or discriminatory language.
This should include looking at whether existing Party rules could be strengthened to make it easier to expel or refuse membership on these grounds.
Refurbishing Lauderdale House
On a more pleasant note, I was very pleased to be able to host a reception in the House of Commons for those working to refurbish Lauderdale House.
The building is a vibrant hub for the Highgate community, used by 65,000 people a year. But it is still a building dating back to 1582, when he was the home of another Mayor of London, Sir Richard Martin.
It is currently closed for refurbishment – due to open later this summer.
At the launch we had the privilege of a 'mini-play' in which local actors reminded us of the association between Lauderdale House, free speech and jury trial. I know Lauderdale well because when I first moved to North London I was a 'gardenless' member of the community and, as intended by Waterlow, used Lauderdale gardens ( set up for the 'gardenless' of Camden)
The week ahead
As I write I'm sitting on a train to Colchester as part of my immigration fact finding visits. Then we press on to Ipswich and Cambridge where Daniel Zeichner (MP for Cambridge) will host us. More on that next week.