From Jo Stevens MP <[email protected]>
Subject News from Your Labour MP Jo Stevens
Date November 5, 2019 4:07 PM
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Update on my work in Parliament and the constituency 

Update on my work in Parliament and the constituency

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Thank you for reading my November newsletter.

Last month my team and I held ten advice surgeries including specialist immigration clinics. Due to the upcoming General Election on Thursday December 12th, the current Parliament will be dissolved on Wednesday, there will no MPs and I will become your Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Cardiff Central. I hope to be re-elected as your Labour MP to represent you in the new Parliament.

If you have an open case with my office, Parliamentary rules mean that I and my team can continue to assist you with it if the matter cannot be put on hold until after the election – I will however be unable to take on any new cases during this time unless it is an emergency. Please contact Jenny Rathbone (your Welsh Labour Assembly Member) using [email protected] or if your query relates to a Council matter, one of your local Councillors as they may be able to assist you and you can obtain their contact details here. ([link removed])

** Brexit, the Queen's Speech and the General Election

Over the past few weeks, we’ve had nothing but games from the Prime Minister and the Government regarding Brexit. We were told that they would be bringing Johnson’s deal back before the House, only for that to be pulled. We’ve seen the PM attempting to blackmail Parliament with the return of his withdrawal Bill, constant calls for a General Election, and even threatening with the Government ‘going on strike’ and pulling the planned Budget for November 6^th.

Now that the Prime Minister has had his request for an Article 50 extension approved by the European Union and the danger of no-deal has been postponed until January 31^st, the Labour front bench agreed to a General Election. I have always believed we needed a referendum to solve the current crisis, but unfortunately, we are heading to a General Election instead.

I wrote in Politics Home about how the PMs sham of a Queens Speech was nothing more than pre-election propaganda show, with our police forces and public services left to pick up the pieces after 10 years of Tory austerity. You can read my article here. ([link removed])

** DCMS Committee

We’ve had a busy, wide ranging month on the Committee.

Administration of Football Clubs

Our DCMS Select Committee held an evidence session into the governance of football clubs, following the sad demise of Bury FC. The aim of the evidence session was to consider the effectiveness of current regulations, the football clubs owners’ and directors’ test, and what needs to be done to strengthen football governance in light of what happened to Bury.

Football is currently awash with ‘bad owners’ and there’s more disquiet from fans than ever – it’s time we made football work for fans once more. You can read more and watch the evidence session by clicking here: ([link removed])

The Future of English Cricket

Our Committee’s attention turned to cricket, as we held an evidence session on the future of English cricket.

Following an incredibly successful summer, the focus of the day was to assess how we can get more people playing and watching cricket building on the incredible successes of both the men’s and women’s international teams.

Questions to the Chair and Chief Executive of the England and Wales Cricket Board, to the Cricket Supporters’ association and to stakeholders in the game included the need for free to air TV coverage, the ECB’s new competition ‘the Hundred’, participation and the huge gap between pay for women and men professional players.

My questioning focused on the new Hundred ball competition. More specifically the cost of the competition, whether counties and supporters had a direct input into the creation of the concept, the big disparity in pay between the men’s and women’s players, the future of T20 cricket and the effect of the competition for grassroots funding and participation. You can view my questions by clicking here. ([link removed])

Nicky Morgan – Secretary of State

A big part of our DCMS Committee work is scrutinising the work of the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. This month, the incumbent Secretary of State Nicky Morgan faced questions from us about a variety of issues – my questioning focused on the awarding of a £100,000 Government grant to Jennifer Arcuri’s company ‘Hacker House.’. Jennifer Arcuri is the woman who disclosed that she gave Boris Johnson technology lessons in the early hours of the morning. I pointed out that the company appears to have bogus links to the UK after it was registered to a ‘virtual office’ in Central London, where even the UK phone number rings through to the USA. I was clear to the Secretary of State that if the £100,000 of public money had been obtained through deception by including false information on the grant application form, then the evidence should be referred to the police for a criminal investigation. You can read a good run through of this evidence session in the Guardian here:
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My Question to the Prime Minister

Last week I used my PMQ to ask the Prime Minister to suspend Conservative Party Assembly Candidate for the Vale of Glamorgan, Ross England, following revelations that in the words of the trial judge, he had ‘single handedly and deliberately sabotaged a rape trial by referring to the victim’s sexual history against the Judges instruction’. The trial had to be abandoned, a new trial had to take place and the Defendant who was a friend of Ross England, was convicted of rape. The Tories then selected Mr England as a candidate and refused to suspend him even after the allegations came to light. Following my question to the Prime Minister, Mr England was eventually suspended – but serious questions still remain as to whether the Chair of the Welsh Tories, and indeed the Secretary of State for Wales (his former employer) knew about this information before he was selected.
You can watch my Question here. ([link removed])
Requesting an Urgent Statement on Government action for those left in hardship due to being wrongly moved from Employment Support Allowance to Universal Credit

Some of my most severely disabled constituents receiving Severe Disability Premium have been left in hardship due to being wrongly moved from Employment Support Allowance to Universal Credit.

Earlier this month I asked for the Secretary of State for Work & Pensions to come to the House to give an Urgent Statement on what she’s doing to resolve this before Parliament is again suspended next week.

You can watch my question and the response from Leader of the House Jacob Rees-Mogg here. ([link removed])
The effect of losing freedom of movement on our universities

Here in Cardiff Central we have three fantastic & vibrant universities – it’s such a shame to see the international standing that they’ve worked so hard to achieve being damaged by the Government’s isolationist, backward looking policy of ending freedom of movement.

I regularly hear from university staff and academics concerned about the effect this reckless policy is having on the reputation of our fantastic universities.

I raised this in a debate about the ending of freedom of movement on this point. You can watch my contribution here. ([link removed])
Asking the Attorney General to release the Government’s Prorogation Legal Advice

After the last prorogation was ruled unlawful in the Supreme Court I demanded that the Government release the legal advice that led to it. I asked the Attorney General to do that.

You can watch my Question and the Attorney General’s response here. ([link removed])
Colombia Free Trade Deal – My Question to the Secretary of State for International Trade

Despite the 2016 peace agreement murders of trade unionists, human rights defenders and community leaders continue in Colombia in large numbers.

I asked the International Trade Secretary to confirm that the UK will not sign a free trade deal with Colombia until it complies with its human rights obligations.

You can watch my question here. ([link removed])
Divesting Parliament Pledge

I became one of the 300+ cross-party MPs who pledged to divest Parliament. As MPs we have a duty to lead from the front in the fight against the climate emergency – for Parliament to draw its pension fund from carbon intensive industries is not only countering efforts but sends out all the wrong signals. It’s time to review pension funds of this type and instead opt for responsible investment, with the goal of phasing out fossil fuel investments.

You can read more about this campaign by clicking here. ([link removed])
‘Sorry We Missed You’ Panel with Oxfam Cymru

Last weekend I joined lots of people at Chapter to watch ‘Sorry We Missed You,’ the new film by Ken Loach about precarious (exploitative) employment. It’s stark, thought provoking but also tender. I’d recommend it.

Afterwards, I joined a panel chaired by Rachel Cable, Head of Oxfam Cymru, for an audience discussion. Thanks to Unite Community branch for organising it.
Show Racism the Red Card's Wear Red Day 2019

Once again this year I and my office team got our red shirts out to celebrate the work of anti-racism charity Show Racism the Red Card for their annual wear red day.

Show Racism the Red Card do some brilliant work in raising awareness of racism in sport and wider society and champion education schemes to combat it. I am proud to be the Chair of the Show Racism the Red Card All Party Parliamentary Group, they are an exceptional educational charity.
No to Voter Suppression

11 million UK citizens haven’t got a passport or driving licences. 3.5 million don’t have access to any form of photo ID. This month I joined the Labour campaign to say no to voter suppression. It’s vital we make it easier for people to vote, not put more barriers up to stop people from having their say.
Backing the 'Bloodwise' Campaign to Stop Delays to Blood Cancer Diagnosis

I’m proud to be supporting a campaign to reduce the number of blood cancer patients who experience potentially life-threatening delays to diagnosis.

Last month I met with representatives from the blood cancer charity Bloodwise in Parliament on Wednesday (16 October) who have launched a new report into the issue.

A significant number of people in Cardiff Central are affected by blood cancers like leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma. Delays to diagnosis can have a huge impact on mental health, treatment options and chances of survival, so it’s vital that urgent action is taken to help save lives.

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