Monday 23rd November – This week will be dominated by the Autumn Statement on Wednesday, and I’ll be in the Chamber to hear the Chancellor outline the results of his Comprehensive Spending Review – setting out public spending cuts through to 2020 - and other revisions of his economic plans. Huge cuts are expected to police, local Council and other spending. I’ll also be looking to see what he does in response to the defeat Labour inflicted on him in the Lords over proposed tax credit cuts. I’ve made my opposition to tax credit cuts clear and will be challenging him if his plans don’t protect low paid workers.
On Tuesday I’m taking part in the Business Select Committee inquiry into the Digital Economy, which will focus on how the digital revolution is creating new opportunities for businesses. The Select Committee is also conducting an inquiry into assessing teaching quality in higher education – a theme I’ll be discussing on Tuesday evening in a meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Universities, of which I’m Secretary, with Universities Minister Jo Johnson.
Also on Tuesday, we’ve Foreign Office Questions where I’ll be supporting our shadow team in my role as Parliamentary Private Secretary to our Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn, and later in the day I’ll be speaking in a debate on the closure of HMRC offices which will cost over 400 jobs in Sheffield. In between, I’ll be meeting the Chief Executive of the Northern Health Science Alliance.
I'll be in the Chamber on Thursday for the Prime Minister's anticipated statement on extending RAF air strikes against ISIL/Daesh in Iraq into Syria, to see how far it meets the conditions set out by Jeremy Corbyn and Hilary Benn for Labour support. Then I'll be heading back home for my monthly meeting with Labour members in my constituency.
Back in Sheffield on Friday I’ve meetings with the Lord Lieutenant of South Yorkshire, the Executive Director of S1 Artspace, and the President of Sheffield College Students’ Union. On Saturday I’m running a workshop on successful campaigning with my Labour Party colleague Stella Creasy at a Co-op Party event. Then I’m heading to the Climate Cake Off, to raise awareness of Sheffield Climate Alliance’s #TimeForTheClimate event. Great British Bake Off’s Sheffield star Howard Middleton, the Star’s Julia Armstrong and me will have the very important task of judging the competing cakes!