As 2016 draws to a close and we reflect on a year that has included Sadiq being elected our Mayor of London, the murder of our colleague Jo Cox and the result of the referendum in June, it is the London vote that we must draw heart from. We must remember that London rejected hate and division and we must now stand together as a party and a country against the rise in xenophobia and hate which has seen a 57% surge in hate crime since the Tories’ Brexit referendum in June.
My Year in Parliament
In Parliament I have voted against Trident and air strikes in Syria, challenged the Foreign Office to take action to prevent Saudi Arabia bombing Yemen with UK bombs, highlighted the importance of aid, fought the Tories’ attacks on the most vulnerable members of society, pushed for diversity, successfully campaigned to save the Land Registry, forced a u-turn on apprenticeships and stood against the Tories’ disastrous Brexit plans.
I have also been proud to play a part in forcing the government to u-turn on PIP cuts, u-turn on tax credits, u-turn on child refugees, u-turn on closing women’s refuges and u-turn on forced academisation.
I have been honoured to be given the Patchwork Foundation Award for MP of the Year and the Tell Mama Anti-Hate Crime Parliamentary Upstander of the Year Award.
But in these dark times it is clear that we still have plenty to do. We must stand together as a party against the Tories and their hateful policies that attack the poor, the disadvantaged and the dispossessed. As we enter 2017 we must as a party give a voice to the voiceless and stand against the recent surge in hate which 2016 has seen.
My Year in Tottenham
My 2016 local campaign focus has been protecting our NHS services. First I wanted to tackle access to GP services so I called a debate in Parliament regarding GP access. I am pleased a new surgery has now opened at Tottenham Hale and additional funding has been secured for three new surgeries across Haringey, but the fight to ensure that everyone is able to see a GP when they need to goes on.
Next I wanted to tackle the scandal that we still have such inappropriate inpatient mental health facilities at St Ann’s Hospital and that the new hospital requires national bureaucratic approval. I called another debate in Parliament and led a delegation of local MPs to meet the then minister. I am keeping up the pressure on the Secretary of State for Health to push for the new hospital we desperately need.
In 2016 it also became clear that our local acute hospital was in meltdown but the Tories had taken no action to solve this. I led a delegation of local MPs to meet the minister responsible and eventually NHS Improvement sent in a team of experts to provide North Middlesex with the support it needs. This is an issue I continue to monitor very closely as we wait for the results of the full CQC inspection.
As we enter 2017 I will continue fighting Brexit, rising levels of hate and intolerance, pushing for diversity, tackling prejudice and fighting for the services we desperately need. I will also continue to lead my independent review into potential bias in the criminal justice system and intend to publish my final report next summer.