Parliament returns today after the half-term recess, although still working largely online, and the main business is the Prime Minister’s statement on easing lockdown measures this afternoon. In contrast with his catastrophic ending of previous lockdowns it looks as if he’ll be taking a more cautious approach, but I’ll be looking for the detail on schools and also the plans for universities.
Before that, I’m meeting with the Chief Executive of UK Research and Innovation to discuss a key recommendation from our Students APPG report ,on the need to extend postgraduate studentships so research can be successfully completed, and I’ll continue focusing on higher education issues when I join a Universities UK roundtable later in the week.
I’m hoping to speak in favour of an amendment to the Fire Safety Bill on Wednesday which would ensure leaseholders are not forced to pay for cladding and building safety faults in high-rise flats; something I’ve been campaigning on for some time and on which I wrote to Housing, Communities and Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick recently. I’ll also be discussing the issues at a joint meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Groups on Fire Safety & Rescue and Leasehold & Commonhold Reform.
Tomorrow I’m planning to be question Matt Hancock on child mental health, although I’m low on the ‘call list’ for oral questions to the Secretary of Health and Social Care, but later in the week I’ll be questioning Liz Truss on the Government’s international trade policy.
I’ll also be meeting with the Chair and CEO of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Trust, catching up with local councillors, joining an online meeting with local Labour members – and receiving the first dose of my Covid-19 vaccine!