On Tuesday 20th February I spoke in a debate in Westminster Hall about funding for UK basketball. You can watch clips of my speech here and here, and read about the debate on Sky Sports News or in The Times. I said: This debate comes at a tough and rough time for urban, inner-city communities in our country. Local authorities have had their money slashed by up to 40%. The idea that they could invest in courts and facilities is, I am afraid, pie in the sky. In a constituency s
On Monday 19th February the Prime Minister gave a speech on higher education and further education which included a commitment to 'parity of esteem' between university and technical education.
I wrote an article for FE Week arguing that I would be more likely to believe the Prime Minister is the Government had not cut FE budgets by 40% since 2010 and that technical education does not need a review, it needs funding and stability. I have copied an extract from my article bel
On Thursday 15th February I was a panellist on BBC Question Time from Yeovil, talking about a range of subjects including foreign aid, processed food and education.
The first question was about the Oxfam aid scandal, and I defended our international aid commitments whilst arguing that aid requires significant reform away from the colonial model of Westerners arriving in countries in their jeeps. Our colonial and imperial history means that we have a moral duty to the poore
On 8th February I spoke in an Urgent Question called following the decision of the Bermudian government to repeal same sex marriage. You can watch my question here. The Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson's acceptance of this decision means that our Government stands on the wrong side of human rights and equality. I said: "The first slaves were brought to Bermuda in 1620: oppressed, segregated and discriminated against. That is why leaders such as Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu and
On February 5th I asked the Housing Minister a question about post-Grenfell safety tests on tower blocks. You can watch the question here. I said: The Minister says that he is “in conversation” with a number of councils. After Grenfell, the Secretary of State said that he would leave no stone unturned and take every precaution in relation to anyone living in a building with similar cladding. On 22 June, the Prime Minister said that every resource would be made available. Why
On Friday 2nd February I was delighted to visit Ada, the National College for Digital Skills in Tottenham Hale. You can read more about Ada here. Ada is nurturing Tottenham's talented youngsters and is one of the leading tech and digital education centres in the country. I am very pleased to have this national treasure in Tottenham and the young people that I spoke to today were clearly excellently equipped to launch their careers in the tech sector.
On Thursday 1st February I wrote an article for The Guardian: 'Arresting kids won't stop knife crime. Police should target the men in suits'. In response to a surge in knife and gun crime, the media and political focus has been on young people. I argued that knife crime is not being driven by youths, but by organised criminals and gangsters. Young people falling into the wrong crowd in Tottenham, Salford or Croydon know nothing about the trafficking of tonnes of cocaine acros
At Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday 31st January I asked a question about knife crime and the impact that cuts to border forces and police cuts are having on the ability of our police to crackdown on gangsters and organised crime: Last Sunday in my constituency, Reece Oduleye-Waters, who was just 17, was stabbed, with life-changing results. The knife crime that is happening across our country is not being driven by minors and young people; it is being driven by gangste
On Friday January 26th I organised a joint letter to the National Audit Office from Members of Parliament from across our political parties calling for an urgent investigation into BBC non-disclosure agreements, legal fees and pay-offs to silence victims of harassment and discrimination.
You can read about the letter here.
It is totally wrong for taxpayers’ money to be spent on legal proceedings and out of court settlements that serve to silence victims and cover up wro
On Friday 26th January I delivered the keynote speech at a Reform conference on higher education policy: Diversifying the Elite - the responsibility of universities. I argued that universities have a responsibility to take social mobility seriously, and that any discussion about social mobility, widening participation and fair access has to be concerned about entrenched privilege. Our higher education system must be in the business of systemic change rather than piecemeal cha