Monday 2nd November – I’m setting off for Westminster a little later than usual on a sitting Parliament week, because I’m speaking at a conference on ‘Working on the Edge of Society: Migrants in Illegal, Precarious or Exploitative Work’ at the University of Sheffield’s Law School. As a Trustee of Focus on Labour Exploitation (FLEX) and a member of the committee that is tasked with scrutinising the Immigration Bill (more on this below), it’s an issue high on my agenda.
I’ll be back in Parliament this afternoon to welcome the constituents who are visiting Westminster for one of my bi-yearly Parliament Trips. I launched these back in 2010 when I first became an MP as one way to make Parliament a little more open and accessible -; it includes a tour of Parliament, the chance to watch the Commons in session and a Q&A with me to reflect on the day. (Do contact me if you’re interested in coming on future trips). I’ll actually be in the Chamber after 3pm to hold Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith to account. From the bedroom tax to benefit sanctions and cuts to ESA to tax credits there is certainly a lot to hold him to account about.
I’m still spending two days a week on the Public Bill Committee scrutinising the Immigration Bill line-by-line. It’s Week 3 and so far I have raised points on a variety of issues covered in the Bill, including on labour exploitation. You can read information about the Immigration Bill here and my views about it here. This week I also have a series of meetings, including with Martin Doel, the Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges, Professor Julia Goodfellow, President of Universities UK and the Bishop of Sheffield. And I’ll be in the Chamber on Wednesday for PMQs – if you haven’t seen it already, have a look at this clip from the last PMQs, in which David Cameron refused to answer Jeremy Corbyn’s simple question on tax credits six times!