Paul Blomfield MP

Member of Parliament for Sheffield Central

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It is welcome news that some of the Sheffield-based BIS roles have moved to the Department for Education and so will remain in Sheffield. I called on the new Education Secretary to guarantee this after the Government reshuffle. 

But it’s not enough. The new Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy seems intent on pressing ahead with moving other staff to its London policy headquarters, which is ludicrous. I’ve written to the new Business Secretary, Rt Hon Greg Clark MP urging him to think again and to use the opportunity to increase the new Department’s presence in Sheffield.

If the new Prime Minister Theresa May meant it when she said she wants a country that works for everyone, she can start by ending the madness of requiring policy-makers in the Business Department to live and work in London.

The reality is that many of the talented BIS staff based in Sheffield have already moved on, which is a huge loss to policy-making. But I will keep pressing the Government to recognise the value of involving those who live and work outside the capital in the policy-making process. It's right for our city, for the quality of decision-making and for the country’s public finances.

Some BIS Sheffield roles saved but not enough

It is welcome news that some of the Sheffield-based BIS roles have moved to the Department for Education and so will remain in Sheffield. I called on the new Education...

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Parliament is now in recess until September so I’m home in Sheffield for the next five weeks, following up on casework, meeting constituents, organising visits that were difficult to fit in while Parliament was sitting, and catching up with emails that I missed during the EU referendum campaign and its aftermath – as well as taking a couple of weeks break. 

I’ll also be preparing for my annual community consultation, the Big Conversation, in September and getting ready for the Public Bill Committee which will be scrutinising the Higher Education and Research Bill line-by-line as soon as Parliament’s back. With both our universities in my constituency, and more students than any other MP, I spoke out against the Bill at its Second Reading and will have a lot more to say as a member of the Bill Committee.

In my spare time I’ll be campaigning for Owen Smith to be the next leader of the Labour Party. I’ve set out my views here on why I’m backing Owen, as someone that I believe has the values and ability to unite the Party and lead an effective challenge to the Tories. Find out more about Owen’s views and priorities here

My office will be open throughout the weeks ahead, so please get in touch if you have any issues or concerns you’d like me to act on as your MP – and enjoy the summer!

Parliament’s in recess, but there’s lots happening!

Parliament is now in recess until September so I’m home in Sheffield for the next five weeks, following up on casework, meeting constituents, organising visits that were difficult to fit...

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Lots of people have been getting in touch about the Labour leadership contest so I thought I’d share this note I’ve sent out to Sheffield Central party members today:

I’m following up on my recent email on the Party leadership.

As I said previously, I don’t think we should be having a leadership election now and deeply regret the divisions that it’s created in the Party. But we can’t change what’s happened and now have to find a way forward.

We need to unite Labour and build a strong team to take the fight to the Tories - who have been renewed under Theresa May’s leadership.

The choice we face in the Party leadership election is vital.

Lots of people have written to me and said that we must maintain the strong principles and values on which Labour was founded - and I agree.

That’s why I backed Owen Smith to be the next Labour Leader as soon as he said he was willing to stand.

Owen not only speaks out against austerity, but has a plan of action too.

He wants wage councils to end low pay in sectors like hospitality and retail, a £200 billion ‘New Deal’ to create jobs and invest in communities, and a new ‘Clause 4’ in our Constitution to make tackling inequality Labour’s defining purpose.

He believes in strong public services and would renationalise the railways. He wants an ethical foreign policy, with a War Powers Act to put decisions like going to war in Iraq under effective scrutiny.

He’d reverse the Tories’ abolition of the Climate Change Department and he’d offer a second referendum on EU membership, or an election, to give people a chance to decide on Brexit when they’ve seen the detail.

Crucially, Owen also has the communication and leadership skills to work with others to put these things into action.  A leader without the power to put words into action does nothing to help those who need it most.

And I’ve seen how effective he is in Parliament.

As Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, Owen led the campaigns that secured major victories to reverse Tory plans for cuts to disability benefits and tax credits for low-paid workers. As part of Labour’s health team, he fought the Tories’ plans to privatise the NHS tooth and nail.

Owen has what it takes to be not just a radical Labour Leader, but a radical Labour Prime Minister.

At his campaign launch last weekend, Owen talked about his plans and you can see some of his speech here - or you can read more about his background, his values and his ideas here.

But this election is about much more than who leads us. Labour’s future is at stake. There are some on both the right and left who are prepared to risk splitting our Party, leaving us broken on the margins of politics. I am not. It would be a betrayal of the people we represent and whose lives can be transformed by a Labour Government.

I hope you’ll agree that we need to find common ground, unite the Party and prepare to win the next election. That’s why I’m backing Owen Smith as our next Leader – let me know if you’ll support him too, or sign up for his campaign here.

With best wishes

Paul

 

 

 

Why I’m backing Owen Smith for Labour Leader

Lots of people have been getting in touch about the Labour leadership contest so I thought I’d share this note I’ve sent out to Sheffield Central party members today:


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