From Preet Kaur Gill MP <[email protected]>
Subject Here's your weekly update John
Date December 10, 2021 5:11 PM
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Dear John,

As the Government asks us to follow tightened regulations once again,
it’s vital that public confidence is maintained. Given the last week in
politics, this is a real worry.

The Omicron variant is a wake-up call to us all that the pandemic is not
over, and we need to act with speed to bolster our defences to keep the
virus at bay. The number of cases has leapt from just 42 last week to 817

It remains vital that we wear masks in public spaces to help keep one
another safe and get our vaccinations as soon as they are available. Having
met with the Chief Executive and the Interim Chair of University Hospitals
Birmingham yesterday, I know that Birmingham’s vaccination rate is not
high enough. So, we all need to encourage those around us to come forward
for their first, second and booster jabs as soon as they can.

However, the Government could also do so much more. Fixing sick pay,
improving ventilation, and properly utilising anti-virals are crucial to
ensuring we reduce the spread of this deadly disease.

It is also an important reminder that no one is safe until all of us are
safe. Ministers haven’t met the commitments that were made this summer at
the G7 to get the vaccine rolled out to other parts of the globe and this
simply isn’t good enough. The Government must do all they can to ensure
that countries with cases of this variant are given the support they need -
whether that’s with genomics, with testing or with their vaccination


This week my inbox has been flooded by constituents telling me that,
despite their politics, they are so angry with the actions of this
Government. While so many of us have been following the rules, it’s
becoming clear that those who are supposed to be leading our country have

As legislators, it is vital that we set a standard and follow the rules we
put in place. But, by leading the cover up of a party in Downing Street,
Boris Johnson has diminished his moral authority and ability to lead the
country in a time of crisis.

489 people died of COVID on the day of the Downing Street Party and with
many making huge personal sacrifices – the Prime Minister should be
ashamed his Downing Street couldn’t even follow the rules.

The British people do not ask their leaders to uphold standards that are
higher than them, but they do expect leaders to follow rules set for
everyone else - to lead by example. This is an issue of leadership. The
Prime Minister has failed.

Now, Labour has called on Boris Johnson to hand over everything his
government knows about parties in Downing Street to the Metropolitan



Like everyone who followed Arthur's case, I was horrified to hear of the
abuse he suffered which led to his murder. As a former front line
children's services manager in Birmingham, this case really affected me
because we would not ordinarily have such detail of the abuse. The CCTV,
voice recordings and messages paint a picture of Arthur’s world. Nothing
can bring him back and I wish more could have been done to save his
precious life.

It angers me when I think of all the services the Government have cut. We
need to have an honest conversation on what this means for our most
vulnerable children. Services are stretched to the absolute limit
particularly early years which provided vital support to many families.

However, we must learn the lessons from this case. Arthur was under
Solihull council which is why I wrote to Birmingham Children's Trust at the
outset to ask them exactly what action they were taking in respect of those
children who had not returned to school during Covid. What work they were
doing with schools to identify the cohort of children who have been absent
for long periods or not returned at all. It’s also unclear what advice
the DfE provided to schools in respect of those children that had not
returned to school.

It is vital that we get answers to these important questions, and I will
now also be asking how many children that have been absent from school,
have had a home visit and have been seen alone if appropriate?

No one should have to endure the abuse and torture that Arthur went
through. We know that a wave of domestic abuse has been cast in the shadow
of the pandemic, and we must recognise that children are victims too.

Yesterday, I took part in ITV’s Central Lobby where this was a key issue
discussed. If you would like to hear more, you can watch the full show in
the link below.



Last week I let you know about the toy donations we were collecting for
children at Christmas as part of Birmingham Live’s #BrumWish campaign. It
was fantastic to visit Edgbaston Stadium and see first-hand the generosity
from all those who made a donation.

I was really pleased to see Birmingham Live, local organisations and of
course, our Labour Party volunteers coming together to see that, at the
very least, we can ensure every child in Birmingham has a gift this

Finally, I was really proud to see the Harborne and Quinton Labour branches
donating over 100 toys to the cause. It truly shows the community spirit
and support from residents at Christmas.

© 2020 Printed from an email sent by Preet Kaur Gill. Promoted by A.J Webb
on behalf of Preet Kaur Gill, both at 56 Wentworth Road, B17 9TA.
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