It’s always a bit risky to predict what a week in politics holds. I thought last week would be a bit lighter on Brexit until I got to Westminster. Then I found myself leading for our front bench (see my speech here) last Monday in response to an Urgent Question from Bill Cash as the Tories continue to rip themselves apart on Brexit and risk the country’s future. Then on Wednesday, I wound up (see here) in the debate in which we forced Ministers to publish economic analyses of Brexit options.
As far as I know as I write, today I’ll be going to the weekly meeting of the Shadow Brexit team, tomorrow I’ll be talking to a group of architecture students from the University of Sheffield who are visiting Parliament, and then later tomorrow speaking in a debate about Government proposals to limit free school meals for families with net earnings of less than £7,400 – cutting meals for 7,000 Sheffield children.
On Wednesday I’ve meetings on gambling addiction organised for constituents, going to an event celebrating NHS staff, and attending a briefing hosted by Lord Dubs about immigration detention. I’ll also be speaking in a Westminster Hall debate about the detention of Palestinian children by Israeli authorities, where I plan to raise the case of imprisoned teenager Ahed Tamimi whose family I met when I visited the West Bank.
I’ll be back in Sheffield on Thursday where on Friday I’m meeting local family lawyers, to talk about the lack of rights for cohabiting couples, and I’ll be taking part in a video about the change in the law I secured with Sheffield Citizens Advice that ensures that some terminally ill people who were waiting up to eight weeks to receive extra benefits now receive them immediately.
On Saturday I’ll be holding one of my regular advice surgeries with constituents and then I’ll be heading to Bramall Lane to see if the Blades can get our season back on track with three points against Leeds.
Parliament will be having a ‘half-term’ recess from Thursday until Tuesday 20th February, so I’ll be working in Sheffield catching up on meetings – ranging from the Bishop of Sheffield to the Head of Museums Sheffield – and visits. I’ll also be celebrating the Chinese New Year with the Sheffield Chinese Association.
‘My week ahead’ will return on the 19th February.