This week in Parliament, Kate has been representing Blackburn in Westminster, championing constituents inside and outside of the debate chamber. Events in Westminster have been in the headlines, and Kate and the Labour Party have been standing up for ordinary people in Blackburn and beyond.
After the summer recess, MPs returned to Parliament this week. It’s been a summer remarkable for speculation over the future of the Prime Minister and the energetic campaigning of the Labour Party. As a result of the summer’s events, a Labour government is now a matter of when, not if
On Wednesday, the Royal College of Nursing and UNISON demonstrated outside Parliament as part of their #scrapthecap campaign. Nurses have been hit hard by the government’s austerity 1% pay cap on public sector workers policy. It affects staff retention and drives nurses into hardship; some being forced to use foodbanks. I was delighted to see so many Labour colleagues supporting the nurses and I look forward to the next Labour government ending the policy. This policy, in addition to the loss of bursaries is resulting in a major struggle to recruit new nurses; and with retirements we are now seeing a shortfall of 4000.
I was glad to see Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party, raise the issue of the McDonald’s strike. These are workers who have to live with insecurity and low pay. They are striking for a fair wage, secure jobs and a right to union representation. These are not unrealistic or unreasonable demands. They are simple demands from workers for a better working conditions. Unfortunately, Theresa May chose to lay the blame, bizarrely, at the feet of the last Labour government. The Tories have been in power for 7 years. She needs new excuses and clearly does not care about the workers at McDonald’s and their struggle for fairer treatment.
As you will see from the picture above, I was delighted to show my support for Breast Cancer Now’s Wear It Pink campaign day which will take place on the 20th of October. Over 50,000 women each year are diagnosed with Breast Cancer every year in the UK. It’s a really important cause and if you would like to take part, head to wearitpink.org to find out more.
As has been widely publicised, many constituents contacted me expressing their anger and outrage at the violence toward the Rohingya in Myanmar, which is worsening by the day. Reports that are emerging are truly disturbing and extremely worrying. I wrote to Boris Johnson to express my hope that he will contact his counterparts in Myanmar and ask them to fulfil their moral and ethical obligations. No country should repress its own citizens, and the reports emerging from Rakhine state raise concerns of ethnic cleansing and genocide. The international community must be absolutely vocal in its condemnation of these events.
Finally, I have recently joined the APPG on Oral Hormone Pregnancy Tests. It is believed that 1.5 Million women took the drug Primodos. Primodos was first introduced into Britain in 1959 by Schering, and withdrawn from sale in 1978. From 1975, the product carried warnings. As early as 1967, articles appeared in journals positing a relationship between HPTs and certain forms of birth defects.
Campaigners want a full inquiry into both Schelling and the Committee on Safety and Drugs (est. 1963, then becoming the Committee on Safety of Medicines and then the Commission on Human Medicines). I’m glad to add my voice to that of other MPs in supporting those affected by Primodos in their fight for a full inquiry.
Are you a constituent experiencing difficulty or do you have a cause you wish to raise? You can email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 0125452317 or write to Kate Hollern MP, Richmond Chambers, Richmond Terrace, Blackburn, BB1 7AS