From Stephen Kinnock MP <[email protected]>
Subject September 2021 Newsletter
Date September 20, 2021 12:43 PM
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My latest newsletter is out now!

** September 2021 Newsletter

** WRU Summer Camp

It was great to visit Aberavon Quins RFC and meet those who've been taking part and running the Welsh Rugby Union and Ospreys in the Community summer camp.

After a tough 17 months of lengthy lockdowns, the camps have given over 5,000 young people across Wales the opportunity to get out and enjoy playing rugby. The summer camp really demonstracted the power of rugby and sport in bringing people together.

It was completely free, removing barriers to sport and the team have provided lunched to combat holiday hunger. The WRU have also donated boots to the Quins, which is another barrier preventing youngsters from getting involved in rugby.

Huge thanks to all who have made this possible.

** CAESAR Challenge Project

It was great to spend a morning with young people taking part in the CAESAR Challenge Project. They were being put through their paces at the old docks before going kayaking and canoeing. I joined in with their paddle training before they launch their boats onto the water. I was delighted to see for myself the skills and confidence they have gained in kayaking and canoeing, and the friendship and support for each other that has built-up from being on the project.

I was also pleased to add my signature, alongside the Chair of YMCA Port Talbot Keith Priddle, to the young people’s agreed principles of engagement.

CAESAR Challenge is a wonderful project creating opportunities for young people to build confidence and self-esteem, and to develop a range of personal development skills including the outdoor challenge programme which culminates in a two-day expedition. The project involves activity sessions in paddle sport, navigation, first aid, camp-craft, bush-craft, physical fitness/nutrition and cooking.

** Beauty Bank Donation

I spent a busy few days in Aberavon delivering vital donations to Briton Ferry Foodbank, Thrive Women’s Aid and Skewen Salvation Army Foodbank, who all do a wonderful job supporting the most vulnerable in our community.

The items were donated by Beauty Banks, a fantastic organisation who want to put an end to hygiene poverty by supplying personal care and hygiene essentials to those who are unable to access or afford them.

** Brunel Dock

It was great to meet with members of the Briton Ferry Brunel Dock Trust and walk around the Grade II listed area. Since becoming MP I’ve supported the group and seen how passionate they are about restoring and rejuvenating the Brunel Dock, so it was good to catch-up with them and talk about their plans to regenerate and repair the dock.

Brunel has left a huge legacy in the area so we then went over to Jersey Park to chat with the Friends of Jersey Park about Brunel’s legacy there.

** This Month In Parliament
Article in the South Wales Evening Post on cancelling the Universal Credit cut
Standing against the Tories’ twin attack on hard working people
In Parliament Labour politicians have been fighting tooth and nail for working families against the double-whammy bombshell of cuts to Universal Credit and an increase in national insurance. As a result, over 2.5 million working families stand to lose over £1,000 a year. Now, as we recover from the pandemic, we need to encourage enterprise and hard work. We should not be hitting those workers and families who are doing the right thing. It should never be forgotten that, because wages are so low under the Tories, almost half the families affected by the Universal Credit cut are in work.
Standing up for British Industry
I appeared at Community Union’s conference to talk about the work of the Steel group in Parliament which I chair. I set out the group’s key priorities – including to make sure the transition to greener steel is well thought through and that the workforce are supported through the changes. I also spoke at an Industry Forum event on why we need a modern manufacturing renaissance – with steel at its heart – if Britain’s economy is to become more resilient and stand more firmly on its own two feet.
Standing up for the values of Jo Cox
I paid tribute to my late, dear friend and colleague, Jo Cox, in a debate celebrating her legacy. Jo was a fantastic MP and was always passionate about enhancing our communities and believed in working together with international partners to achieve change. It was a privileged to also welcome her sister, Kim Leadbeater, to the Commons as the newly elected MP for Batley and Spen.
Standing up for British values and interests overseas – including in Afghanistan
The world has been deeply shaken by the scenes in Afghanistan. The US and UK governments have serious questions to answer about the planning and preparation for the withdrawal, including why they went along with Donald Trump’s dreadful plan to have an end date for withdrawal which the Taliban could use to their advantage. UK government ministers then failed when it mattered most – disappearing on holiday and failing to pick up the phone, and then failing to put communication systems in place to adequately support British nationals with family in Afghanistan. The focus must now be to get all British nationals – and those Afghans vulnerable to Taliban reprisal because they have supported the British military – as well as those who have embraced our liberal values and who now qualify as vulnerable people.

We must not let these political failures detract from the incredible and brave work our military have done in Afghanistan. No terrorist attacks on the West has been launched from Afghanistan during the past 20 years, and our forces helped offer women, girls, LGBT+ people and ethnic minorities the liberty and opportunities that they would never otherwise have had.

As the Shadow Minister for Asia and the Pacific I spent much of August and September working with the Shadow Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy to make sure we were alerting the UK government to the right problems and potential solutions via letters and questions in Parliament. Labour is now pushing for an inquiry into the failures of the past 18 months since the Doha Agreement was signed between Trump and the Taliban.

In other international politics, I spoke alongside the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the National Unity Government of Myanmar on why democracies must stand together against the murderous military junta in Myanmar. I also spoke at events in Newcastle and London on why the UK government and UK businesses must put more pressure on China to end the forced labour of the Uyghurs in Xinjiang.

** Media Highlights

I appeared regularly in the media in August to keep the public up to speed with events in Afghanistan, including Good Morning Britain, BBC Breakfast ([link removed]) , BBC News, Sky News ([link removed]) , ITV News, GB News and That’s TV.

I was also on radio programmes such as BBC 4 Today ([link removed]) , LBC ([link removed]) , Times Radio and Talk Radio, talking about Afghanistan.

I spoke about how the handling of the Afghanistan withdrawal has been chaotic and disastrous, and the importance of getting Brits and the brave Afghans, who’ve supported our military and aid work, out of the country.

** Contact Details

You can get in touch with us by calling the office on 01639 897660.

Alternatively please send an email to stephen.kinn[email protected] (mailto:[email protected] )

We are not currently operating a drop-in surgery in the office, but you can book a call-back or Teams appointment with a caseworker, Monday to Friday, by completing this form [link removed]

Check my website and Facebook page for details of my next advice surgery.
All the best,

Stephen Kinnock
MP for Aberavon

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MP for Aberavon
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