It’s been a very busy start to 2018 – here I’ve outlined my contributions in parliament since the beginning of the year which I have not yet shared on my website.


1. Universal Credit

On Tuesday 9th January I took part in a Westminster Hall debate on the effects of Universal Credit on the private rented sector.

I raised the case of some constituents who were denied benefits for six months due to confusion around their change over to universal credit. They were then told by the DWP that they would only be getting four weeks of backdated payments. It was only after my office intervened that they were given the full backdated payment and avoided being evicted from their home. You can watch my contribution here.

The move to universal credit has been disastrous for many families across the country and my office has dealt with over 30 cases of people having to wait weeks to receive their first payment.

You can watch my question here.


2. BBC Equal Pay

Also on 9th January, I raised the issue of BBC equal pay.

The BBC website has reported that since 2011 so few equal pay cases have been formally recorded as having a successful or an unsuccessful outcome at tribunal that the Ministry of Justice has both figures at 0%. We know that these figures do not reflect the reality and that a large proportion of cases are either withdrawn or settled away from tribunal. I asked the Secretary of State whether he agrees that this method of reporting prevents us from having a true understanding of the actual figures involved.

You can watch my question here.


3. Mental Health in Prisons

On 10th January I took part in a Westminster Hall debate on Mental Health in Prisons.

The average cost of a new prisoner is £119,000 a year and the ongoing cost is in excess of £40,000 a year. I therefore believe it is exceptionally important to invest in mental health provision before people end up in prison. Making sure we assess the numbers who are in prison and having accurate records means we are able to do that beforehand.

You can watch my question here.


4. Temporary Accommodation

Also on 10th January I raised the issue of voter registration in temporary accommodation at Cabinet Office questions.

Over 75% of the almost 200 families who have contacted me about their housing issues in temporary accommodation are not on the electoral register, meaning vast swathes of our residents are losing their right to vote in elections. As this Government continue to fail when it comes to housing, I feel ministers should look in to this issue as a matter of urgency to ensure as many residents are able to exercise their democratic right come election time.

You can watch my question here.

5. Knife Crime Epidemic

On 11th January I raised the issue of youth violence during business questions.

On New Year’s Eve, another four young men were tragically stabbed and killed in London. I asked the Minister when the Government will publish its serious violence strategy and urged that the Government look at the root causes of youth violence as part of that strategy.

You can view my question here.


6. County Lines

On 17th January I took part in a debate on County Lines Exploitation.

I asked the minister whether databases are being shred and there is cross-working among the different areas, and how the Government will ensure that manage that better.

You can view my question here.


7. Knife Crime Epidemic

Most recently, on 18th January I raised the issue of knife crime again during business questions.

In 2017, 80 people were stabbed and murdered in London, and there were 37,000 knife-crime offences-an increase of 26%. This is an epidemic which demonstrates that the current approach is not working, and a new approach is needed. We need a cross-departmental debate in Government time on how to tackle the root causes of youth violence.

You can watch my question here.

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