My first week in my new job as a Shadow Minister on Exiting the European Union saw a Government statement and Labour-led debate on the issue – with the Government struggling to explain their negotiating position as the uncertainty that they’re creating causes growing economic damage. This week we’ll be in the chamber on Thursday, challenging David Davis, Secretary of State for Brexit, to come out with something more meaningful than “Brexit means Brexit”!
It’s also the final sessions of the Higher Education Bill Committee, on which I’ve been serving since before the summer. This week I’ll be proposing changes to the legislation to make sure that students fleeing persecution aren’t prevented from studying because of their immigration status and to make sure that postgraduate research students are also properly protected in the new system.
I’ll be following up on some of the issues that came up in my recent community consultation, the Big Conversation, in a number of meetings this week. With other local MPs, I’ll be meeting Sir Nigel Knowles, Chairman of the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership to talk about their plans on economic regeneration and the impact of losing EU funding; I’ll be chairing a meeting of the Labour Campaign on Electoral Reform; and I’ll be meeting a constituent as part of a lobby on the Homelessness Reduction Bill.
Other events I have this week include a parliamentary reception organised by the Motor Neurone Disease Association, an issue I follow closely as Vice-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on MND; the Anti-Slavery Day Media Awards 2016 organised by the Human Trafficking Foundation and APPG on Modern Day Slavery/Human Trafficking; the mission group for ‘modern universities’ Million + to talk about higher education; and attending a stakeholder event organised by the Tuberous Sclerosis Association about their research efforts and the #Fight4Treatment campaign, on which I’ve pressed the Government.
Back in Sheffield on Thursday evening, I’ll be talking to University of Sheffield Labour Students and then going on to Labour’s City Branch to discuss what happens next in Europe. On Friday I’m speaking at conference to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the South Yorkshire African Caribbean Business and Enterprise Training Centre (SYAC), meeting with constituents and holding my monthly catch-up meeting with local Councillors. Then I’m taking a day off on Saturday to travel up to Bradford to support the Blades bid to pick up another three points!