This week (12-18th February) is Heart Unions week in which we highlight and celebrate the important work that trade unions do every day to offer people a voice at work. I’m showing love to our public sector workers who are working with their unions to end the pay cap in the public sector.
On Saturday I popped down to "The Place" in Fallowfield for Hate Crime Awareness Week. It was useful to speak to local residents about what hate crime is and how to report it. A big thank you to all involved!
On February 9 I met the students and staff of St Agnes Primary School. It was a very inspiring visit. I’m so proud of the work they’re doing with Unicef on the rights of refugees. I was also able to give them the letter I received from the Immigration Minister in response to their video on Refugee Family Reunion http://twitter.com/Afzal4Gorton/status/962004415761797121
I Joined Louise Haigh on the front bench for Labour's response to Police Grants debate on February 7 to press the government on its plans to push through another £100 million real terms cut to our police. With 21,000 fewer officers, 17,000 fewer police staff, and 6,000 fewer PCSOs than in 2010, the Government is putting the public further at risk. The first duty of government is safety and security of citizens, yet ministers provided just half of the funding counter-terror chiefs requested to meet the demand.
On the centenary of women's suffrage it is important to remember us of the hard won nature of the struggle to extend the franchise and the value of participatory democracy to all groups in society. We still have some way to go before our parliament is fully representative of the country it serves, and marking the centenary both highlights the progress we have made to date and the distance we still have to travel on the road to full representation. To mark the occasion I wrote an article for Eastern Eye pointing out the need for British Asian women in particular to make their voices heard https://www.easterneye.eu/vote-women-centenary-asian-women-must-make-voices-heard/
On Kashmir Day (February 5) I spoke at an event to celebrate Kashmir as well as highlight the ongoing struggle for self-determination. It was great to see so many people turn out to express solidarity with Kashmir including Moston councillor and Labour National Executive Committee member Yasmine Dar.
On February 2 I visited the Google Digital Garage on King Street. The "Garage" provides free digital coaching for everyone in Manchester as well as essential career building mini-courses such as "How to build a CV" and "How to write a Cover Letter"
I had a very productive meeting with the Chief Crown Prosecutor, Martin Goldman, Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor, Ian Rushton and Head of Complex casework, Howard Gough at the Crown Prosecution Service on Jan 26. We covered a wide range of topics from terrorism prevention to joint enterprise and community engagement.
It was great to see the Town Hall lit up in purple last Friday in support of the WASPI - Women Against State Pension Inequality Campaign. I stood alongside The Lord Mayor, fellow Labour MP’s, local councillors and trade union colleagues from across Greater Manchester in solidarity with #WASPI women and their demands for a fair pension. Special thank you to Wendy from Greater Manchester WASPI for organising this great event.