A varied and busy week, ending with a superb victory for Sadiq Khan in London!
Fantastic victory for Sadiq Khan and Labour in the Mayoral and London Assembly election!
I am sure all Holborn and St Pancras CLP members join me in congratulating Sadiq on his fabulous victory in becoming the Labour Mayor of London.
A triumph of hope over fear; unity over division; a mayor for all London.
We also join in congratulating Andrew Dismore who was returned with a convincing majority as our Labour Assembly Member.
Congratulations, of course, also due to Holborn & St Pancras’ Tom Copley for his successful return as an Assembly Member.
All very well deserved indeed.
This wasn’t achieved without a huge effort and the wonderful enthusiasm of our members. Thanks to everyone who did so much to make this possible.
We contacted over 18,000 people during the campaign – a fantastic achievement!
Over the weekend our team in Regents Park were joined by Labour Students – just one of the groups that came to join us.
Elections like this are more than just a chance for the people of Camden to choose who will represent them; important though this is.
It is also an opportunity for those of us in Parliament or on the Council to spend time talking to residents across the constituency. I had some really fascinating discussions with people I met on the doorsteps. It is all part of ensuring that our Labour Party is truly ‘connected’ with local people and aware of what concerns them.
What an effort! I visited campaign rooms all across the constituency.
It was just wonderful to see the results of all the planning and hard work and the teams going off to knock up. This was the scene in Highgate.
On the polling stations across the constituency our members were taking numbers and keeping up a Labour presence – often with no other party around.
It was also good to have Frank Dobson joining me in the afternoon and evening.
The campaign elsewhere.
In the final few weeks of the elections across the UK, I went to Swansea, Basildon, Bristol and Plymouth to work with our Labour colleagues there.
In Bristol I campaigned with our inspirational Mayoral candidate Marvin Rees, who found out today that he has won! Well done Marvin and his brilliant campaign team.
And in Plymouth we had several well organised teams out last weekend fighting the battle to keep control of their council and to keep up their great work in the area.
Child refugees to come to Britain
Back in Parliament, I am delighted that David Cameron has finally given in to calls for Britain to accept unaccompanied refugee children from Greece, Italy and France. This initiative – led by Alf Dubs – was something I strongly supported.
You may recall the children that I met when I went to Calais to see the ‘jungle’ refugee camps. These were with their mother – but many were not.
I have been raising this question in Parliament at every opportunity and I am delighted that the government have finally given into the pressure – even though we must keep a wary eye on how this is implemented.
It is worrying that the burden of helping the refugees has fallen so unfairly across the country. Some councils have taken their fair share, but others have not.
On Tuesday this was discussed in a debate in Westminster Hall. I led for Labour - and made just this point.
“Swansea has rehoused 843 asylum seekers, whereas neighbouring Carmarthenshire has rehoused none and neighbouring Neath Port Talbot has rehoused only one. Middlesbrough has taken 917, whereas Redcar and Cleveland has taken just 10 and Hambleton has taken none. Glasgow, as I mentioned, has got 3,000, East Renfrewshire has got none and Renfrewshire has got just four. There are clearly big differences across the country.”
It is really important that this is addressed and that sufficient funds are made available so that refugees are welcomed by local communities.
You can see the full debate here: https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2016-05-03/debates/1605032000003/AsylumSeekerDispersalPolicy
Dignity in Dying.
Yesterday, I led an Interfaith Leaders’ debate about assisted suicide hosted by Rabbis Jonathan Romain and Dr David Goldberg. Wide ranging and interesting views all round in support of a change in the law.
I went to the launch of the Kentish Town Neighbourhood Plan; then onto help the collection at the Brunswick Centre for the food bank; and then onto the reopening of the Holly Lodge Community Centre.
More about all that next week.
I am pleased to report that we have finished the Bill Committee scrutiny of the Investigatory Powers Bill. After five solid weeks working through 233 clauses and 10 schedules, I am glad of a break – even if only a short one – before we pick up the fight again at Report and Third Reading.