Monday 26th October – The crisis in the steel industry has dominated the headlines over the last fortnight and this week we’ve got Ministers in front of the Business Innovation and Skills Select Committee, along with representatives of the industry and trade unions. I’ll be pushing for real action to protect the future of the industry and support steel communities. Then, on Wednesday, I’ll be in the Commons Chamber for a special debate on steel secured by Labour. We’ve also a special debate that I’ll be joining, backing junior doctors in their battle with Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt over changes to cut their working conditions. As you can see here, I have signed Early Day Motion 539, which supports junior doctors.
People often ask why there aren’t more MPs in the Chamber for debates. The answer is that so much of our work, scrutinising legislation and holding the Government to account, is in select committees and legislative committees away from the main chamber. I’m now on the Committee considering the Immigration Bill, and we’re considering it line by line for two days a week for four weeks. I’ve been working on amendments around labour market enforcement, so the Bill doesn’t help unscrupulous employers exploit workers -; it’s an issue I’ve spoken about before, as you can see here.
As Chair of the APPG on Students, and the MP with the most number of students in my constituency, higher education is an important feature of my week. Today I’m speaking at an event on ‘Widening Access to Postgraduate Study and Fair Access to the Professions’, launching a report from the University of Sheffield. I’ll also be at a meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery, who are meeting with a delegation of the Council of Europe’s Group of Experts on Action Against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA).
On Thursday evening I’ll be back in Sheffield at a local meeting to welcome the new registered supporters who have joined the Party since the General Election. Local membership has swelled to 2,700, which is great. On Friday I’m pleased to be chairing the launch of Sheffield Labour Friends of Palestine and the Middle East. Justice for Palestine is an issue I’ve regularly raised in Parliament, for example here. We’ve a range of speakers, who’ll be outlining how Labour members can get more involved in campaigning on the issue.
Then, on Saturday, I’ll be out knocking on doors of unregistered voters to get more people signed up to the electoral register. The Tories’ cynical and rushed changes to voter registration could mean that up to two million people fall off the electoral register -; just as the Government holds a review of Parliamentary boundaries. If you would like to get involved with helping get people onto the electoral register please email paul.blomfield.mp(at)parliament.uk