From Stephen Kinnock MP <[email protected]>
Subject November 2021 Newsletter
Date November 25, 2021 2:35 PM
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** November 2021 Newsletter

** Standing up for the British steel industry at Prime Minister’s Questions

On 27 October, I urged the Prime Minister Boris Johnson to take immediate action to support the steel industry through the energy price crisis.

Steel is a national strategic asset, a foundation industry and the beating heart of Port Talbot. It is also a vital part of the green economy needed for electric cars and wind turbines. The British steel industry needs investment to support innovation and the exploration of technologies to decarbonise. We need to invest now to save money in the long-term. This is essential to create green jobs, build a more resilient economy, and ensure Britain can stand on its own two feet. This was recognised in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s (BEIS) 05 November report on the steel industry's future which called on Ministers to establish a new Steel Sector Deal that brings forward investment decisions on decarbonisation and finally deals with long-standing issues which make UK steel uncompetitive.
The UK government is completely failing to stand up for the British steel industry with no help offered by the prime minister or the chancellor in the Budget. At PMQs, I highlighted how the bickering between UK Government departments prevents us from tackling climate change and protecting the steel industry. Sky-high electricity prices are holding us back and making UK steel uncompetitive. Therefore, we need a wholesale energy price cap for the sector.

The Labour party have pledged a £3 billion Steel Renewal Fund/ Green transition fund to make British Steel carbon neutral as part of a just transition that protects British jobs. Our £3 billion steel renewal fund will change the game completely. It will ensure a just transition to cleaner, greener production methods by sustaining and creating highly skilled steel jobs and strengthening proud steel communities like Aberavon.

** Surgeries and Street Surgeries

This month I held Surgeries in Taibach and Cwmavon, where I spoke with residents about issues affecting them. I also held a street surgery in Cwmavon, which allowed me to chat with constituents about their concerns and views on the local area. Thank you to everyone who took the time to talk with me. My next surgery will be at St Marys Church, Skewen, on Saturday 27 November.

** Richard Burton 10k

On 7 November I ran the 39th Tata Steel Richard Burton 10k. I was delighted to be part of this iconic local race – the first since the start of the Covid-19 Pandemic - and had the opportunity to meet some of the other racers. I seem to be adding a minute every year, finishing in 54:45 -a real sign of age! This fantastic community event would not be possible without the hard work of the organising committee and volunteers.

Before the race, we held a minute of silence to remember all those impacted by the blast furnace explosion on 8 November 2001. My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of those involved, including Stephen Galsworthy, Andrew Hutin and Len Radford, who tragically lost their lives.

** UK Parliament Week

At the beginning of this month, I was delighted to visit Baglan Primary School, Sandfields Primary School and Ysgol Cwm Brombil to meet students to mark UK Parliament Week 2021- an annual series of events that aim to inspire interest in Parliament, politics and democracy and encourage young people and the public to engage with our democratic system and institutions. After being quizzed by the students on my role as their MP, I had the opportunity to talk to them about the issues they care about most. The students also shared some of the activities they've completed as part of UK Parliament Week, including some excellent displays by the children at Baglan Primary.

** Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday

On Remembrance Sunday, I attended the Port Talbot Parade and Remembrance Services at the Cenotaphs in Memorial Park, Taibach and Britton Ferry War Memorial. This year marked the 100th anniversary of the Royal British Legion. I laid wreaths to show my gratitude to all those who have served and continue to serve in our armed forces. To remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the service of our country, I also placed a Rememberance tribute in Parliaments Constituency Garden of Remembrance on behalf of Aberavon.

On Armistice Day, I was also honoured to be part of Poppies to Paddington – in which wreaths were sent from towns and cities across the UK to be laid at the war memorial on Platform 1 at Paddington Station.

** This Month In Parliament
Debate on the proposed Inquiry into the UK’s involvement in Afghanistan
On Thursday, 04 November, I participated in a Backbench Business debate on a proposal for an inquiry into the UK’s involvement in the NATO-led mission to Afghanistan. During the debate, I took the time to praise the British and American servicemen and women, and those from other allied countries, who worked around the clock in unimaginably difficult circumstances to stand up for the values that we as a nation hold dear by evacuating British nationals, along with the brave Afghans who have supported UK operations in Afghanistan and who have stood up and campaigned for the values that we cherish and hold dear. I argued that an inquiry must prioritise the political failures of the Trump-Taliban Agreement & withdrawal. Although a wide-ranging inquiry into Britain’s role in Afghanistan is important, it will also be time-consuming and may take two decades. Justice delayed is justice denied, so we must prioritise and use the time as effectively as possible.

The Menopause Bill
In the commons debate on 26 October, I supported Carolyn Harris MP's Menopause Bill. The Bill is a hugely important piece of legislation that would cut the cost of Hormone Replacement Therapies (HRT), improving patient access and tackling menopause taboos and stigmas. It will allow patients in England to be entitled to free HRT prescriptions, in the same way, patients in Scotland and Wales are. The debate showed how much this matters in the everyday lives of so many.

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund
I chair the Shared Prosperity Fund – the replacement for the EU’s Development Funding which disadvantaged areas of Britain had access to before Brexit, including South Wales. Unfortunately, the UK Government are reducing the national budget by £1.5 billion compared to what we would have received between 2021 and 2026 from the EU. Lat week I held a call where 103 organisations delivering local projects across Britain came together to raise concerns about the way the new system is being set up by the UK government and the level of bureaucracy involved for local charities.
Welsh Cavalry
I was honoured to meet the Welsh combat regiments who are doing hugely important work here in the UK and all over the world, from Estonia to Kurdistan, helping to keep our country safe and secure. They are the pride of Wales.

** Media Highlights

ITV Wales Sharp End, 01 November 2021

As the Climate Change Conference, COP 26, got underway in Glasgow, I spoke to ITV Wales’s Sharp End to discuss the importance of the British Steel Industry for the transition to net-zero. I highlighted how steel must be part of the solution for tackling the climate crisis and the urgent need for government action to ensure a just transition that protects jobs and the planet.

Link to video ([link removed])
The Guardian - Labour needs big ideas to win voter back, report warns, 17 October 2021

The Observer covered a report published by Renaissance - the voter engagement initiative that I chair which aim to help move the Labour party back into government.

I told the Guardian: “We found that specific policy proposals did little to break through the cycle of cynicism, because politicians are assumed to break policy promises and they don’t address the fundamental issue of the voter needing to understand Labour’s identity and wider motives before they give the party a hearing.”

The Observer’s Toby Helm wrote: The analysis by Renaissance, a new group chaired by the frontbencher and MP for Aberavon, Stephen Kinnock, finds that people who had voted Labour previously, but switched to the Conservatives in 2019, will not be convinced to return to the fold by new Labour policies, but instead want big ideas and themes spelling out what the party actually stands for.
Link to article ([link removed])
The Political Party with Matt Ford – Show 251, 04 November 2021

On 4 November, I went on the Political Party with Matt Ford Podcast to discuss Renaissance's report into Labour's former voters. I highlighted the need for a modern manufacturing renaissance which would go a long way towards building the resilient, more productive Britain we need with green jobs and levelling up at the heart.
Link to podcast ([link removed]) - New report calls on Labour to set out 'clear identity' to win voters back, 19 October 2021 published an article on the Renaissance report into ex-Labour voters and wrote:

“Renaissance, spoke to 60 former Labour voters across England and Wales; each voter supported Labour in either 2015 or 2017 but switched to the Conservatives in 2019.

Kinnock launched Renaissance earlier this year because he felt it was up to the wider Labour movement to help put forward solutions to bring people back to Labour “and once again give them reasons to feel that Labour is their natural home”; adding that Keir Starmer and the Labour party cannot do this alone.”
Link to article ([link removed])
On The Wight – Island Labour hear from Stephen Kinnock MP on a range of topics, 3 November 2021

On The Wight, published a story on my virtual meeting with the Isle of Wight Labour members. I spoke about the findings from Renaissance's report into winning back the trust of former Labour voters. As part of the meeting, I discussed a range of subjects, from proportional representation in Parliamentary elections to developments in Asia and the Pacific and their relation to global politics, particularly regarding ongoing talks about crucial environmental issues.
Link to article ([link removed])

** Contact Details

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All the best,

Stephen Kinnock
MP for Aberavon

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MP for Aberavon
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Port Talbot, Neath Port Talbot SA12 6LF
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