9th February 2018, My Week in Parliament


100 Years of Female Suffrage
This week, we celebrated the landmark centenary year of some women being given the right to vote.

It was such a proud moment to celebrate the tremendous courage of those brave women who fought so hard for change and the legacy they have left behind.

I am particularly proud that the first women’s suffrage organisation came from Sheffield and as a woman born and bred in Sheffield, I will continue the fight for women’s rights.

As we celebrate these women, we should also look forward to the possibilities for the next 100 years and make 2018 a year of great achievement for women and girls everywhere.

That’s why, to mark the 100th anniversary, Labour have launched a year-long campaign that will celebrate the great achievements of the women suffrage movement and look at how we can take the next steps to achieve full equality for women.

Our challenge now must be to build on past achievements and push for full equality and protection for women: financially, in the workplace, in families and homes and in public spaces.

Sadly, many policies introduced by this Conservative government are turning back the clock on equality for women. Cuts to public services and social security are landing disproportionately on women.

Labour in government will strengthen legislation around sex discrimination and introduce policies to tackle the structural and economic barriers that stop women from reaching their full potential.
I encourage everyone to get involved and celebrate this important date and commit with Labour to taking #TheNextSteps   https://labour.org.uk/page/the-next-step/

In Parliament 

Debate on the Military detention of Palestinian children by Israeli authorities

Wednesday saw a debate on the military detention of Palestinian Children by Israeli authorities. Many of you wrote to me to make representation and I share your concerns.
DCI Palestine (Defence for Children International) revealed the systemic mistreatment of minors by Israeli authorities, from the night time raids by soldiers taking minors at gunpoint to subjecting them to stress positions or solitary confinement when detained. This is clearly appalling and should be stopped immediately.

I raised the specific issue about the US President Donald Trump and his reckless threats that he would stop Palestinian aid, threatening the only survival channel for many Palestinian victims, in particular children.

Meeting with Steel Union Representatives
This week, I welcomed a group of Steel Union representatives from across the UK to discuss the steel industry and how we can sustain pressure on the Government.

It is safe to say the Government has sidelined the steel industry, but we will keep pressing them to ensure steel gets the support it needs to be have a sustainable future and sustain those vital jobs that are so crucial to so many communities in the UK.

NHS Winter Crisis 
On Monday, the Government was asked to make a statement on the NHS winter crisis. This follows a debate in January when MPs unanimously called on Ministers to increase funding for the NHS this year to enable hospitals to resume a full service to the public.

In recent weeks, over 95% of hospital beds have been full, we have seen the highest-ever number of A&E diverts, 50,000 elective operations have been cancelled, and urgent operations have been cancelled too.

Waiting time standards are legal duties contained within the NHS constitution, yet the crisis that our NHS is now in is so deep, and the underfunding so severe, that NHS England has been forced to abandon the four-hour A&E target until March 2019.

I believe the Government is entirely out of touch with the reality of the NHS winter crisis. Ministers should put forward a sustainable, long-term plan for the NHS to ensure it receives proper funding and can deliver the care patients need.


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