Getting children back to school safely and putting a plan in place for any
disruption, must be the government's top priority,
Labour has repeatedly called for every child to be safely back in school by
September, but it has taken the government until now to realise that it has
failed to reassure parents and teachers.
Their slow and chaotic handling of school reopening puts the education and
wellbeing of a generation of children at risk.
We need to see a credible plan for getting children back in the coming
weeks to ensure pupils and staff are safe and feel confident.
But the government's latest last minute u-turn on face coverings in
schools, is one in a long line of u-turns which smacks of an incompetent
government asleep at the wheel and not in control.
Instead of a summer of chaos, our schools needed the government to provide
proper guidance and a plan to implement it.
In the absence of any leadership from this government, I’ve been
impressed with how proactive Birmingham City Council and our Shadow
Education Secretary, Kate Green, have been in supporting schools and
Despite the government passing the buck and outsourcing its responsibility
once again, I’m pleased that many schools and headteachers here in
Birmingham have stepped in to provide much needed certainty to parents.
The government now needs to learn from its mistakes and get the promised
test, track and isolate system working and have plans in place for any
PUBLIC HEALTH GUIDANCE FOR BIRMINGHAM SCHOOLS 
BORIS JOHNSON RISKS BETRAYING COMMUNITIES WHICH HELPED GET HIM ELECTED
IF HE FAILS TO PROVIDE TARGETED SUPPORT
Three in four jobs in the struggling automotive sector are in places the
Prime Minister promised to protect. Like here in the West Midlands, where
54,000 people work in the automotive industry – a third of the entire
country’s automotive workforce.
The outlook looks bleak with the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders
estimating job losses in excess of 10,000 and production to fall by a
The government's refusal to recognise that some sectors and areas have been
hit harder than others risks further job losses - a betrayal of many of the
communities which helped get Boris Johnson elected.
Labour is calling for targeted support for the sector and its supply chain,
and calling on the government to fast-track measures from the Automotive
Sector Deal or Road to Zero strategy, with a focus on green jobs and
READ MORE 
EDGBASTON CRICKET GROUND DRIVE-THROUGH TESTING CENTRE CLOSED
Birmingham's drive-through coronavirus testing centre at Edgbaston Cricket
Ground closed this week despite our city recently being put on Public
Health England's watchlist, meaning our city requires enhanced support.
I joined colleagues in writing to Health Minister Lord Bethell to call for
accessible replacement drive-through sites in Birmingham to be found.
You can read our joint letter in full HERE , or listen to my interview
with BBC WM by clicking the button below.
LISTEN TO MY BBCWM INTERVIEW 
INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT NEWS
MORE EVIDENCE THAT FCDO IS A TAKEOVER
The government's incompetence and bluster has been laid bare again this
week with the announcement of the leadership team, tasked with setting the
strategic direction of the new FCDO department, one week before it is due
to be up and running.
This is despite the Prime Minister's announcement of the new department
back in June.
The makeup of the new team, who have little development experience, shows
that development is being sidelined by this government and provides further
evidence that this a takeover by FCO.
READ MY REACTION 
WILD POLIO WIPED OUT IN AFRICA
A bit of good news this week with the World Health Organization's
announcement on the end of wild polio in Africa.
This is a clear victory for international collaboration and cooperation and
shows what can happen when the UK leads on global efforts to eradicate
diseases around the world.
READ MY STATEMENT 
DFID LIFTED MILLIONS OUT OF POVERTY. NOW THE TORIES ARE SHUTTING IT
In 1997, Labour created the Department for International Development, which
lifted millions out of poverty and improved the lives of children across
These are all achievements the British people can be proud of.