Another week in Westminster over with and quite a lot accomplished…
I have had meetings with the Trade Unions Congress (TUC) to discuss worker’s having the ‘right to learn’ in their jobs, I attended the demonstration for the PCS Union in support of our striking workers at Interserve, a couple of cross party meetings, an interview with FE Week and two debates about apprenticeships, as well as being able to hold the Prime Minister to account over HS2 and rail improvements in Hull.
Monday always starts with a bang, because as soon as my train arrives at King’s Cross station I have to hustle through the bustling crowds to the Underground (Victoria line then Jubilee line if anyone is interested) enroute to Westminster. I go straight to the office with my luggage put the kettle on for a cuppa and start the day around 11am.
I met with the TUC soon after to discuss how we can better facilitate people learning new skills, and furthering themselves in the workplace including having a ‘right to learn’. This would be a scheme where employers would allow time for employees to learn new skills relevant to their workplace, maybe management or a qualification which would allow them to be promoted. The benefits would be obvious for both employee and employer.
A few phone calls, a meeting with the Parliamentary Labour Party and I left the office around 8pm.
Tuesday morning started at 8am by joining the PCS strike action outside parliament with Interserve workers to demand better work conditions, I was joined by lots of other Labour MPs showing our support.
I was standing with the cleaners, porters and workers from the Foreign Office who are striking for better pay and rights.
Hopefully with a bit of pressure Interserve will relent.
I then moved onto a APPG meeting with ITV, a quick hop to Safer Internet Day 2020 helping to improve the internet for our children and young ones before moving into the House of Commons to ask Boris Johnson about rail improvements in Hull.
I am sure you agree with me when I say I don’t believe he treated the question with due amount of respect, and to be honest I’d be surprised if he even knows where Hull was. Seriously though, it is just not good enough to disregard such important issues. Hull needs more rail improvements to help with congestion and to improve our daily commutes.
After this I moved on to the Apprenticeship Levy:
The Apprenticeship Levy debate was a great opportunity for me as a new Shadow Education Minister to make recommendations to the government to improve the current levy which is failing small medium enterprise’s (SME’s) and our young people.
I then popped across to the Education Centre to see a school that had come all the way down from Hull to see me. The children were so lovely, thank you so much for the visit!
Wednesday started with a visit from a group that is working towards lowering the cost of assessing children’s needs through innovative digital solutions, allowing schools and colleges to quickly diagnose such conditions as dyslexia, dyspraxia etc. This would allow quicker adaption of more suitable teaching methods and improve pupils experiences in schools.
This was followed by a lovely interview with FE Week, in which we talked about my childhood, growing up and how I have come to the position I am today. It was a great wander down memory lane and brought up some wonderful stories from my past.
A few more meetings later in the evening before I finished for the day.
Thursday I started with an interview for the Sunday Times which I’m looking forward to reading, this was my first interview for the Sunday Times. Should be a good read, hopefully!
I followed this up by attending the days business questions in the House of Commons, a few more meetings before the second debate on apprenticeships, this time raised by my wonderful colleague Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi MP for Slough, the abridged version is below:
This was followed by a burst across the city to catch my train back home to Hull.
Feeling a little more refreshed Friday I was back in the constituency office in the morning trying to decipher and analyse what the governments cabinet reshuffle was all about from last night. It seems that Boris Johnson is quite prepared to sack anyone that doesn’t bow to his command and promote others that are quite unproven as long as they do as he demands.
Anyway, Friday consisted of me going out and about in my constituency talking to our community members, the council and also marking the essays for the A63/Princes Quay naming competition, this competition has seen some wonderful entries from schools and children across Hull and I am looking forward to the final results!!!
So that was the week that was. As ever if you need me, please do email my office and get in touch. Have a great weekend everyone and I shall see you on Monday!