Westminster is still dominated by the fallout from the EU referendum -; and the leadership crises in both main parties. I’ve written to all the constituents who’ve contacted me on both issues – get in touch if you want my views. This week, I’ll be trying to challenge Ministers on the consequences of ‘Brexit’, and seeking replacement funding to offset the loss of EU grants -; as I did last week when I pressed the Prime Minister to replace lost EU grants for Sheffield City Region and urged Universities Minister Jo Johnson to defend research funding.
Tomorrow I’ll be at the weekly meeting of the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee where we’ll be discussing our inquiries into the digital economy and exports, as well as the programme ahead following the referendum result. Later I’ll be attending the AGM for the All Party Parliamentary Group on Motor Neurone Disease, of which I’m Vice-Chair. MND is a devastating disease into which the Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SITraN) is conducting world leading research. The report of the Chilcot Inquiry will be published on Wednesday and I will be in the Chamber for the expected statement by the Prime Minister.
I’ve repeatedly pushed the Government on tackling low pay and abusive employment practices. On Wednesday I’m meeting with Government Minister Nick Boles to press for tougher action to force domiciliary care companies to pay for travel time. The meeting follows a debate that I led in Parliament in March. Care workers do amazing work, but they’re too often undervalued and underpaid. I want to change this and would be keen to hear from anyone who has experience of the problem.
I’m also meeting with Network Rail Chief Executive Mark Carne to discuss the latest delay to Sheffield’s tram-train system, which I have described as becoming the ‘never never’ project, the Council for the Defence of British Universities, to discuss the Higher Education and Research Bill, and having a question and answer session with pupils from Birkdale School as part of their visit to Parliament.