• Maria Eagle MP’s Public Advocate Bill

    I was proud to co-sponsor my Merseyside Labour colleague Maria Eagle MP’s Public Advocate Bill. In public disasters it would give bereaved relatives access to independent advocacy to help them get answers and justice.

    Public disasters with tragic consequences, such as the Grenfell fire and Hillsborough inflict such trauma and distress for the bereaved family and friends. This bill will offer voice to the bereaved when dealing with officials – helping them gain truthful and meaningful results.

  • a new deal for leaseholders

    I support Labour’s new deal for leaseholders.

    It is estimated that between 4.3 and 6.6 million properties in England are owned on a leasehold basis – this means that one in four homeowners own the right to live in the property but not on the land it sits on.

    If charges are unfairly increased, it is a finically crippling situation for many leaseholders – including hundreds of people in new build properties across St Helens borough. The structure of this system needs to be much more transparent, and fundamentally change.

  • St Helens Council losing a further £8.8 million

    It is unacceptable and unfair that St Helens Council is losing a further £8.8 million of central Government grant support for the next two years, while at the same time having to cope with increased demand on services.

    Councils provide essential services from education and social care to waste disposal and road repair. These Tory cuts mean it is increasingly difficult to provide these services and this will have a negative impact on residents in St Helens borough.

    The Government needs to reverse these cuts that are damaging our schools, communities and essential infrastructure, and instead invest in our communities.

  • visiting the NATO Baltic air-policing mission

    I joined a cross-party Parliamentary delegation to Estonia to visit the NATO Baltic air-policing mission, currently led by the Royal Air Force. It was good to see at first hand the important work being done to uphold international law, security and democratic values.

    We also spent time with the UK Ambassador in Tallinn and at the Estonian Ministry of Defence.

    As always it was good to meet servicemen and women from St Helens and the North West, all of them missing home and their families but doing a vitally important job.

  • mandatory life sentences for those who cause death by dangerous driving

    I spoke in the House of Commons to support my colleague Marie Rimmer MP and the petition presented to Parliament on behalf of the family of Violet-Grace Youens.
    It calls for mandatory life sentences for those who cause death by dangerous driving. I fully support the Youens family, as do the people of St Helens.

  • fundraising for Racing to School’s

    I was delighted to support Racing to School’s fundraising dinner in Westminster which raised over £35,000 for the charity. The APPG for Racing & Bloodstock – which I co-chair with Laurence Robertson – took on Racing to School as our nominated charity.
    This fantastic cause delivers outdoor learning activities for young people at racecourses, studs and trainers’ yards across the country. Last year I joined them for a day long programme with young people at Haydock. They also work with young people with special educational needs and those from inner city, rural and deprived areas.
    Initiatives to introduce disadvantaged young people to racing are really important to me, and I was delighted to be involved in supporting this worthy cause.

  • Adoption UK’s new report, Adoption Barometer

    I was delighted to host the official launch of Adoption UK’s new report, Adoption Barometer, in Parliament.
    Politicians, adoptive parents and a range of professionals gathered to discuss Adoption UK’s report on modern-day adoption. It looks at the Government’s performance on support for adoptive families, education for adopted children, and provides insight into all stages of the adoption journey.
    St Helens borough has significantly more ‘looked after children’ than the North West and England as a whole.
    Adoption can be a rewarding and life-changing experience for all involved, and this excellent report from Adoption UK is a great resource for all those considering adopting.

  • Sir Kim Darroch

    Sir Kim Darroch’s forced resignation as British Ambassador to the US is outrageous & unprecedented.
    At today’s urgent session of the Foreign Affairs Committee, I asked the Permanent Secretary of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office how damaging the consequences are for diplomatic relations with the United States.

  • ‘Let’s Talk Loneliness’

    I am pleased to support the new public-facing Government campaign ‘Let’s Talk Loneliness’. The campaign aims to reduce the stigma around feeling lonely and raise awareness. Many of us experience loneliness, and it is essential that we feel able to talk about it.

    Loneliness is increasing throughout our society – recent research shows that 74% of us have experienced loneliness and have not told anyone about it and between 3 and 9 million people report feeling always or often lonely.

    Information is available on the Let’s Talk Loneliness website where you can see toolkits and supportive videos and messages. One way in which we can tackle loneliness is by coming together and sharing our experiences of loneliness with those around us.

  • ‘Mortgage prisoners’

    ‘Mortgage prisoners’ are people who don’t meet the mortgage affordability test and are unable to re-mortgage, despite currently paying higher rates. This situation leaves many trapped having to pay more for their mortgages than those that are financially better off. This is an unacceptable situation for the estimated 200,000 ‘mortgage prisoners’ suffering real financial hardship in the UK.
    I have joined the All Party Parliamentary Group on Mortgage Prisoners to add my support to find a solution to this issue, which affects many of my constituents in St Helens North.
    The Financial Conduct Authority has published a consultation paper, which includes proposals to help those trapped in this awful situation. This is to be welcomed, but the plans to change mortgage affordability rules are currently optional for mortgage providers, not an obligation. Voluntary agreements are a step forward, but more must be done.

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