This week we heard about how a record 6 million people are waiting for NHS
care and they are waiting longer than ever before, often in pain and
After a decade of Tory mismanagement, the NHS went into the pandemic with
record waiting lists and staff shortages of 100,000. It’s not just that
the Tories didn’t fix the roof when the sun was shining, they dismantled
the roof and removed the floorboards.
In fact, they have come up with a plan that sees patients paying more in
tax but waiting longer for care.
I find this deeply concerning and have written to the health secretary
about waiting times in Birmingham. My constituents are being made to wait
far too long for things that should be straightforward, like getting a GP
appointment. However, significant staff shortages mean this problem
continues to worsen and the Government has no plan to address it.
The last Labour government reduced waiting times from 18 months to 18
weeks. The next Labour government will secure the future of our NHS,
providing the staff it needs to treat patients on time.
MORE MUST BE DONE TO TACKLE FOOD INSECURITY
In one of the richest countries on Earth, no one should go hungry. Yet
millions of people in the UK are struggling to feed themselves and put food
on the table. Now, hard-working families are bracing themselves for the
biggest drop in living standards in thirty years with petrol, food and
energy bills are all skyrocketing. People have been left to choose between
putting food in the fridge or money on the meter and while working families
deserve security, prosperity and respect, they aren’t getting it. And,
this isn’t just because of Covid or global problems.
Despite having years to prepare for Brexit, the incompetent Conservatives
have failed to make Brexit work that’s resulted in labour shortages and
supply chain disruption causing increased prices for basic food items.
Even before the Covid19 crisis hit, it was estimated that over eight
million people in the UK regularly had trouble putting food on the table,
half a million people used foodbanks and one million people lived in food
deserts where it is impossible for people to buy healthy food. Trussel
Trust figures show that the number of children eligible for free school
meals has increased in Birmingham by 30% since 2016. But this unsustainable
rate is entirely unsurprising when we have a government that have cut
Universal Credit to 6 million families, increased National Insurance
Contributions and have failed to tackle rising energy bills.
Tackling hunger was a founding cause for the co-operative movement, and for
me, as a Labour and Co-operative MP, this remains as vital today as it did
then. That’s why I am proud to stand alongside my Labour colleagues in
calling for the Government to set out a national strategy for food
including how it intends to ensure access to high quality, sustainable,
affordable food for all and meet the Sustainable Development Goals to end
hunger by 2030.
YOU CAN WATCH MY VIDEO HERE 
MAKING AN INTERVENTION ON EXEMPT ACCOMMODATION
This week in Parliament there was a Westminster Hall Debate on exempt
accommodation. I joined with other Birmingham MPs in a debate on exempt
accommodation. In my intervention, I spoke about the impact many properties
are having on their neighbours, the rising levels of crime many of these
types of accommodations attract and the lack of support that vulnerable
people who are housed her receive.
Most importantly, I raised the exploitation and criminality that is taking
place with these properties and the need for urgent reform to this sector
– something which can no longer be delayed. This is something which all
Labour MPs are absolutely in agreement with.
YOU CAN WATCH MY FULL INTERVENTION HERE
MEETING WITH UN HUMANITARIAN RELIEF CHIEF ON AFGHANISTAN
The situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating at a dizzying pace. The 22
million people in Afghanistan are in danger of starvation and the country
is facing the imminent prospect of economic collapse.
This week, I met with UN Humanitarian Relief Chief, Martin Griffiths, to
discuss the vital steps that our government need to take to show real
leadership and avoid a catastrophic humanitarian disaster.
APPLY TO JOIN MY TEAM!
I’m recruiting two roles in my constituency office in Edgbaston, looking
for a constituency assistant and a constituency caseworker. Edgbaston
constituency covers Harborne, Bartley Green, Quinton, Edgbaston and part of
North Edgbaston. If you have a passion for helping people and want to join
my brilliant team, please take a look at the job description and apply.
Constituency casework – closing date 22 February 2022 Find the job
profile and apply here 
Constituency assistant – closing date 18 February 2022 Find the job
profile and apply here