In the speech, Emma paid tribute to Alan Johnson the former MP for Hull West and Hessle and spoke of the ‘friendliness and compassion’ of the people of Hull and Hessle, before expressing how proud she is to represent a constituency with a rich revolutionary past and bright future ahead of it.
As a newly elected member of the Education Select Committee, Emma focused her speech on education and its transformative capabilities, but she also spoke of how the government’s education policies are not working for all children.
Emma also spoke about how, ‘politics cannot be the preserve of the rich, powerful and privileged,’ and continued by holding the government to account for their political choices which have seen Hull College and local Sure Start centres have their funding decimated, harming the opportunities of the children and young people in Hull and Hessle, and stated that she will be fighting for fair funding for Hull City Council.
The speech finished with a rallying call for Labour MPs and a declaration that Emma will not let her constituents down.
In the speech Emma said:
“[The] pressure that schools face is manifesting itself with pressure on children. Now the prime minister thinks that schools can solve the mental health crisis facing our children. The mental health crisis that HER government’s education assessment system helps to fuel!
“We should not be making our schools learning factories that churn out compliant, unquestioning ‘units for work’, we want our children to be creative, to question, to enquire, to explore and to think independently – especially during this era of ‘fake news’.
“I am honoured to be a Patron for The Warren in Hull which gives support to marginalised and vulnerable young people and one of the things I would like my legacy to be is that I encouraged and inspired so many other people to get involved, people who were also told their opinions didn’t matter because everyone matters equally.
“The political choices made by this government to cruelly cut benefits – especially to disabled people, to under invest in education, to under invest in our NHS and to deny our public sector workers a pay rise are making people suffer. I am here to represent everyone in Hull West and Hessle, not just those who voted for me and not just those on the electoral role but everyone, and I will be their voice and I will hold this government to account for their decisions. I stand here with my colleagues on the opposition benches to say there is an alternative, because austerity is a political choice and one I will always choose to oppose.”