My week sadly starts with the funeral of my friend and colleague Jack Dromey who died suddenly just three weeks ago. We were elected together in 2010 and worked on several issues – particularly defending manufacturing jobs during the Brexit negotiations – but he was an outstanding trade unionist for more than 40 years. He’s remembered well in this obituary by Yvette Cooper – I’ll simply recall his warmth, humour and honesty.
I’m expecting a statement sometime this week from Michael Gove on ‘levelling up’ following his announcement yesterday – and I’ll be in there to press the points that I have already made in responding to it. Tomorrow I’ll be questioning Treasury Ministers on the cost of living crisis, and what the Government intends to do about it. You can read more about what I have said on the issue here.
I’m also attending a debate called by my Labour colleague Marsha De Cordova on disability benefits and the Government’s health and disability green paper. I’ll be in the Chamber again on Wednesday for Prime Minister’s Questions, watching Boris Johnson’s continued attempts to wriggle out of responsibility for his rule-breaking and lies – and dragging our democracy through the mud to save his job.
Also this week I’ve a meetings on the Boundary Review Consultation, with the NHS Clinical Commissioning Group and with City Council leaders. On Friday I’ve a Q&A with Mercia School students as part of a programme organised with Parliament’s digital engagement team (find out more here). I’m always keen to welcome schools to Westminster – find out more about visits here.
Finally, a huge thank you to everyone who donated to my Christmas appeal in partnership with Save the Children which closed on Friday. I am extremely grateful for your generosity and we managed to raise almost £8,700 (with gift aid) for children facing starvation in Afghanistan.