Vicky Foxcroft MP

Labour Member of Parliament for Lewisham Deptford

Latest News

Latest News


Find out what I have been up to recently in Parliament and in Lewisham, or read my latest blog posts below.

Zarka Iqbal, a student at Prendergast Hilly Fields, recently spent a week doing work experience with me. Here, she shares her thoughts on selective schooling and argues why our comprehensive school system needs protection. 

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A Student Perspective: Protect Our State Schools

Zarka Iqbal, a student at Prendergast Hilly Fields, recently spent a week doing work experience with me. Here, she shares her thoughts on selective schooling and argues why our comprehensive... Read more

Lots of people were recently in touch with me about the Homelessness Reduction Bill, a Private Member's Bill which seeks to increase local support for homeless people and those threatened by homelessness.

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Meeting with constituents during the Homelessness Reduction Bill mass lobby in Parliament.

The Homelessness Reduction Bill

Lots of people were recently in touch with me about the Homelessness Reduction Bill, a Private Member's Bill which seeks to increase local support for homeless people and those threatened... Read more

Kayla Sh'ay was recently elected as Young Mayor of Lewisham, the first female Young Mayor Lewisham has had for ten years. Tekisha Henry was elected as Deputy Young Mayor and third and fourth places went to Destiny Chapman and Riley Jhanji who will represent Lewisham at UK Youth Parliament.

 

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Here I am, just about squeezing into a photo with new Young Mayor Kayla Sh'ay (left) and Deputy Tekisha Henry (right), while they were on the campaign trail in Deptford a few weeks back.

New Young Mayor of Lewisham

Kayla Sh'ay was recently elected as Young Mayor of Lewisham, the first female Young Mayor Lewisham has had for ten years. Tekisha Henry was elected as Deputy Young Mayor and third and fourth... Read more

This morning I spoke at a South east London Chamber of Commerce event to highlight the crucial role the business community has in the success of an area. 

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Photo Credit: Warren King
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Speaking to South East London Chamber of Commerce

This morning I spoke at a South east London Chamber of Commerce event to highlight the crucial role the business community has in the success of an area.    Photo... Read more

On Thursday 13th October I made the difficult decision to take part in a Commons debate on baby loss and give a speech about my own experiences. I wrote the below article for The Guardian (which appeared in the online edition on 18/10/16) to explain why I decided I had to speak. Hundreds of people from across the country have since been in touch with me to share their stories. 

You can read the debate (including my contribution) in full here.

Baby Loss Debate 13/10/16

On Thursday 13th October I made the difficult decision to take part in a Commons debate on baby loss and give a speech about my own experiences. I wrote the... Read more

The 2016 Annual General Meeting of Deptford First will take place at 19.00 on Thursday 27th October at All Saints Church, New Cross.

Deptford First is a local charity which awards small sums of money to groups and individuals in the Lewisham Deptford constituency. At the AGM we will formally elect new trustees and officers. I am standing to be the new chair.

 

Deptford First AGM

The 2016 Annual General Meeting of Deptford First will take place at 19.00 on Thursday 27th October at All Saints Church, New Cross. Deptford First is a local charity which...

The European Commission (EC) announced in 2013 that it would restrict the use of neonicotinoids to crops that are not attractive to bees and other pollinators after the European Food Safety Authority concluded that 3 commonly used neonicotinoid pesticides pose an unacceptable danger to bees. The Coalition Government initially opposed the ban.

I appreciate there are many reasons for the decline of pollinators, including habitat loss, climate change and pests and diseases. However, I also appreciate that more evidence has appeared since the ban - including the recent study to which your email refers – which emphasises the risk of neonicotinoids to bees. The Government cannot continue to ignore the threat to bees from neonicotinoids and I support the current European-wide ban because I believe it is a proportionate response to the evidence.

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The EC is currently reviewing the evidence on neonicotinoids and is expected to complete its assessment by January 2017. Before the referendum on UK membership of the European Union, the Government said that it would base its view on future regulation on all the available scientific evidence.  I am pleased that the Government now seems to have an open mind with regards to considering the evidence, especially given its previous opposition to the ban.

However, I am concerned that many environmental protections are at risk following the outcome of the EU referendum and I am aware that organisations such as 38 Degrees have raised concerns about the potential use of neonicotinoids after the UK has left the EU. Until the UK does leave the EU, EU law will still have effect in the UK and the Government has said that current arrangements for our environment - including in relation to the ban on neonicotinoids - will remain in place until we leave. I believe the Government needs to set out its strategy for the future and how it will protect the provisions of important directives. I also believe it is vital to take a science-led approach to pesticide use and to consider how best to support farmers, protect wildlife and reverse the decline of pollinators.

While the Government is providing £900 million through its Countryside Stewardship scheme, which offers payments to farmers for taking actions for pollinators, I am concerned by the low-uptake of this scheme. I believe the Government must take measures to restore farmers’ fragile confidence in it. I am also concerned that the way in which the Government is implementing the new ‘greening’ requirements of the basic payment scheme will not deliver improvements for pollinators in the farmed landscape and I would like to see more effort from the Government in creating better farm habitats and in assessing alternatives to neonicotinoids and providing more support to farmers with Integrated Pest Management.

Finally, the Government has delayed publication of its 25 year plan for the Environment and its 25 year food and farming plan. I believe these plans are vital in order to set out a long-term approach to farming and the environment and to build stability across the whole of the UK. I hope that the Government will publish both plans as a matter of urgency.  

As requested by many of my constituents I wrote to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to pass on their concerns. I have now received a response from George Eustice, Minister for Food, Farming and Marine Environment. In his response Mr Eustice states that: 

"The British people have voted to leave the European Union and DEFRA is focused on implementing that decision. There is no immediate change to our position following the result. We are currently still a member of the EU and we will continue to engage with EU business as normal and be engaged in EU decision-making in the usual way. Once Article 50 is invoked, we will remain bound by EU law until the withdrawal agreement comes into force. Once we have left the EU we will continue to pursue a science-led approach to pesticide policy."

Whilst Mr Eustice's response does not tell us anything new, I hope the Government will keep its promise to pursue a science-led approach to pesticide policy. 

Protecting Bees from Neonicotinoids

The European Commission (EC) announced in 2013 that it would restrict the use of neonicotinoids to crops that are not attractive to bees and other pollinators after the European Food...

Since I was elected last May, eight young people have lost their lives needlessly to youth violence and knife crime in my constituency. Lewisham Deptford is not alone in this pattern of violence - between April 2015 and April 2016, the Met Police reported that more than 1600 young people were victims of knife crime across London. This doesn’t even touch on the instances that go unreported.

Recently I watched Channel 5’s Ganglands documentary and I was heartbroken to see much of the programme dedicated to young people who have lost their lives in Lewisham Deptford.

I have met with many of the families and young people involved in this broadcast. Their stories spurred me into setting up the Youth Violence Commission, a cross party response to the rise in violent crime we have seen not just in London, but in cities across the UK. Over the past two years London has seen a 16% rise in violent knife crime – a trend we all have a responsibility in reversing.

South London Press Column - 23/09/16

Since I was elected last May, eight young people have lost their lives needlessly to youth violence and knife crime in my constituency. Lewisham Deptford is not alone in this... Read more

The refugee crisis in Europe is perhaps the biggest humanitarian crisis we have faced as a continent since World War II and more should be done to protect those most vulnerable: the unaccompanied refugee children who are living alone in camps across Europe.

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The Refugee Crisis - Reunification of Children

The refugee crisis in Europe is perhaps the biggest humanitarian crisis we have faced as a continent since World War II and more should be done to protect those most... Read more

Since becoming an MP in May 2015, I have received hundreds of letters, emails and tweets about the state of transport in our constituency. Across Lewisham Deptford, from New Cross to Hither Green, residents continually suffer overcrowded trains, delays, cancellations and generally poor service.

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Campaigning for better transport in Lewisham Deptford

Since becoming an MP in May 2015, I have received hundreds of letters, emails and tweets about the state of transport in our constituency. Across Lewisham Deptford, from New Cross... Read more

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