From Stephen Kinnock MP <[email protected]>
Subject May 2022 Newsletter
Date May 18, 2022 12:48 PM
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My latest newsletter is out now!

** May 2022 Newsletter

It was such a pleasure to welcome Zhana Maievska and Olha Samsonenko into the community in Aberavon.

The courage and determination of the Ukrainian people continues to be an inspiration. Putin’s attack on Ukraine is an unprovoked and unjustifiable outrage with tragic consequences for Ukraine and its people.

Labour stands unshakably with NATO allies in providing military, economic, diplomatic and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine as it defends itself from Putin’s illegal invasion.

The government have made shamefully slow progress on Ukrainian refugees. The British public have shown strong support, but shambolic Home Office bureaucracy is letting everyone down.

I had a great time attending Afan Arts Port Talbot Youth Theatre launch at Ysgol Cwm Brombil. I'm a big supporter of Youth Theatre, which encourages creativity and develops soft skills and confidence. It was great to meet the aspiring future stars of the screen and stage.


This month I watched Aberavon RFC Wizards vs Newport Rugby at the Principality Stadium for the Welsh Rugby Union Premiership Cup Final. An incredible atmosphere and some fantastic rugby.


It was such a pleasure to be invited to Port Talbot Mosque to break the fast (at 8.25 pm, precisely). I received the warmest of welcomes and the most wonderful hospitality. I had some really interesting conversations with the Imam and friends.


This month I had an excellent advice surgery at Margam Community Centre. It was great to speak to constituents about local issues.


It was great to visit The Business Community at Glan Afan. What an incredible place! Such a perfect spot for starting up and scaling up your high street business. Huge thanks and congrats to Viva Port Talbot for playing such a key role in making this happen!


This month I knocked doors in Briton Ferry East, Coedffranc Central, Tonna and Aberavon. Lots of good feedback and support for the Labour Party and our fab Welsh Labour candidates!

I also knocked doors in Bridgend and the Vale of Glamorgan where we received a great response on the doorstep, people knowing that Labour is on their side.

Whilst it is disappointing that Welsh Labour has not retained overall control of Neath Port Talbot Council, I want to congratulate all the councillors who were elected or re-elected.

We are proud of the positive Welsh Labour campaign we have run, based on a practical plan to tackle the cost-of-living crisis that has been created by the UK Conservative government in Westminster.

Negotiations between representatives of those elected have now begun, to determine the composition of the Council’s leadership team.

Labour Party members, activists and supporters must keep working hard to regain support, to demonstrate that we are on your side, and to advance a plan to deliver the security, prosperity, and respect that the people of Neath Port Talbot deserve.

** This Month In Parliament

Passport delays

Brits are set to miss out on summer breaks. Funerals and weddings due to unprecedented 10-week delays at the Passport Office. I wrote to Kevin Foster MP – the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Safe and Legal Migration - before Easter, asking why plans weren’t in place for the inevitable rush post-restrictions.

The Minister has responded in detail, which I thank him for. But having moved from a 3-week to a 10-week processing target, it is concerning that in some cases even the 10-week target is now being missed.

A government that fails to plan plans to fail.

I made these points firmly in the Chamber on behalf of the Labour front-bench on 12 May.
Homes for Ukraine: Visa Application Centres

I spoke at a debate in the House of Commons on Homes for Ukraine: Visa Application Centres. Ukraine is on the frontline of the fight for the values that we in Britain hold dear: democracy, liberty and self-determination. It has therefore been truly inspiring to see 200,000 British households willing to open their doors to Ukrainians—largely women and children—who are fleeing Putin’s barbaric war. Somehow, though, the Home Secretary has managed to turn this inspirational story of British generosity into a bureaucratic nightmare. Many stories are emerging of children being denied visas, preventing families coming.

The Opposition of course welcome the two visa routes that the government have opened, but we have grave concerns that the Home Secretary’s poor leadership has meant that the ambitions and generosity of the British people are not being matched by a government who seem to be more interested in chasing headlines than fulfilling practical tasks and duties.

Cock-up not conspiracy, apparently?
The Local Elections results across the UK sent the Conservatives a clear message about the cost-of-living crisis – yet the Queen’s Speech offers struggling households nothing.

The 05 May local elections saw the Conservatives lose almost 500 council seats across Britain as the public delivered its verdict on the Conservative government’s performance in Westminster. Voters expressed their dismay at the Chancellor’s refusal to either get a grip on rising inflation or to offer families support through the cost-of-living crisis. The Welsh people recognise the uncomfortable fact that Rishi Sunak is presiding over a low-growth, high tax economy.

This week’s State Opening of Parliament provided the Conservatives with an opportunity for a reset – to bring forward legislation to tackle rising household bills, to grow our economy, to cut rising crime in our communities, and to reduce our reliance on hostile foreign states.

Yet Boris Johnson’s Queen’s Speech offered none of this. It fell utterly and spectacularly flat.

Despite the opening sentence of the speech containing a government promise to ‘help to ease the cost of living for families’ there was nothing of the sort to be seen. With household energy bills rising by £700 per year and inflation outstripping wages, we needed a Queen’s Speech that tackles the crisis we face head on. Instead, the Conservatives are pushing ahead by raising taxes on working people.

Labour would scrap the national insurance rise, and we also have a clear plan to put money back in people’s pockets. We would reduce energy bills by as much as £600, expand the Warm Homes Discount, and support those businesses that are hardest hit. This would be paid for by a windfall tax on the spiralling record profits of oil and gas giants who, by the admission of BP bosses themselves, “have more money than we know what to do with” and are effectively “a cash machine”.

Labour would also plan for the long-term. There is too little in the UK overnment’s new agenda which actually gets to the core issues that underpin the cost-of-living crisis – low growth and alack of resilience in the economy after 12 years of Tory neglect.

A wasted decade has left our economy weakened and unable to deal with shocks. The Tories have become the party of high taxes and low pay, because they are the party of low growth.

Rather than focus on how government can partner with business to grow the economy across the UK, the bills put forward point towards the type of deregulation under Margaret Thatcher which has led us to the deeply unequal economy we have now, whereby wealth is concentrated primarily in London and South East England. So much for ‘levelling up’ Britain. Indeed, the Levelling Up Bill itself is so weak that fails to paper over the canyon sized cracks that have been caused by low growth and inflation. It has become clear that the promise to bring prosperity to all parts of the UK no longer appears to be the centre-piece of the Tory agenda.

Labour has a plan to build a better post-Covid economy, to drive growth and truly get our economy firing on all cylinders, with a commitment to buy, make and sell more in Britain and a promise to fund 100,000 new start-up businesses. A modern manufacturing renaissance – which new tech, green industry and twenty-first century steelmaking at its heart – would not only drive growth and level-up Britain but deliver the good, meaningful, well-paid unionised jobs which you can build a family on. Contrast this approach to work and good jobs with the Conservative’s axing of the long-promised Employment Bill, which was expected to outlaw the type of dreadful business practice which saw 800 P&O Ferry workers sacked and replaced by foreign workers paid less than the minimum wage. Labour would outlaw this immediately.
My constituents in Aberavon know better than most that steel, manufacturing and our critical national infrastructure form the basis for our economic resilience and national security. We are now seeing the results of a decade of Tory neglect to our energy market, and the consequence has been an over-reliance on Russia gas and Chinese state ownership of Hinckley Point nuclear power station.
This is another reason why Labour’s make, buy and sell more in Britain policy is so critical. We need to build a more resilient Britain that can stand more firmly on our own two feet. This should start with a commitment to more onshore wind generation – again, a missing part in the Queen’s Speech jigsaw.
But perhaps the most striking area of Conservative neglect has been on law and order. The Conservatives cut 21,000 neighbourhood police officers over a decade and our communities have paid the price. Since 2019 alone crime is up 18% but prosecutions are down 18%. The number of arrests has dropped by 35,000. Anti-social behaviour is rife and fraud is soaring. Under the Tories, criminals have never had it so good.

The government’s ‘Victim’s Bill’ has now been promised in four Queen’s Speeches and three manifestos yet is still only in draft form, while the new Public Order Bill seeks not to target dangerous criminals, but to criminalise protesters.

Labour is demanding action now, with a visible police hub in every community and new neighbourhood prevention teams to support victims. We would also increase the use of community payback schemes to make sure offenders pay back the communities they have harmed.

From tackling the cost of living, to reducing crime, to growing the economy, the people of Wales deserve better than this incompetent and indifferent Conservative administration.
Nationality and Borders Bill

The Government passed the Nationality and Borders Bill into law, which will make it harder to tackle people smuggling, and do nothing to either prevent dangerous crossings by small boats in the English Channel or reduce the growing asylum waiting lists which are costing taxpayers £4m per day in hotel Bills.

Labour would reduce the waiting lists by investing a fraction of the money being spent on hotel bills into processing. We’d get replace the Returns Agreements lost by Boris Johnson in his botched Brexit negotiations and make get the safe and legal routes (including for Ukrainians and Afghans) working.

The Government’s threat to send migrants to Rwanda plan has not yet led to a decrease in numbers of refugees crossing the English Channel. Labour views the plan as unworkable, un-British and potentially extortionate to the tax-payer.
East & South East Asians for Labour

I was honoured to address a meeting of East & South East Asians for Labour on the need to ensure that the UK Government provides British National (Overseas) Hong Kongers with a warm and well managed welcome. Hong Kong needs the free world, and the free world needs Hong Kong.

** Media Highlights

South Wales Evening Post – Freeport deal sparks hopes for economy, 13 May 2022

I was quoted in the South Wales Evening Post speaking about the announcement that Wales is to get its own freeport. I welcomed the agreement noting “I welcome the announcement confirming that the Welsh and UK governments have agreed to establish freeports in Wales, on condition that they are closely aligned with the policies and values of Welsh Labour and that they will deliver good value for money. There can be no doubt that Port Talbot is well placed to win the competitive process for designation as a freeport, and as always I stand ready to support any initiative that has the potential to bring jobs and economic development to our area.”

BBC Radio Wales, 10 May 2022

I went on BBC Radio Wales to discuss the state Opening of Parliament and the Conservative's failure to bring forward legislation to tackle rising household bills, grow our economy, cut rising crime in our communities, and reduce our reliance on hostile foreign states. Not only has this Conservative government lost its moral authority to lead, but it is also presiding over a low growth, high tax economy. We need a windfall tax on oil & gas firm profits to reduce household bills and genuine government support for a modern manufacturing renaissance.

Times Radio, 8 May 2022

On Times Radio, I spoke about the positive impact of Keir Starmer’s leadership on the local election results across the UK. Labour gained control of a number of councils in the 05 May local elections, including Cumberland and Southampton. The 2019 elections were a low point for us, but Keir’s leadership has turned Labour around with a clear focus on how we would tackle the cost-of-living crisis. Keir has really made us a force to be reckoned with across the country.

Mirror Online - British steel for underwater cables bringing electricity to Devon from Morocco, 19 April 2022

There was a great piece in the Mirror Online on the relaunch of the UK Steel Charter, which I spoke at. More UK firms are committed to buying British steel, including XLCC, who will make wires for a new £16bn scheme carrying electricity under the sea from Morocco to cut emissions. They quoted me saying that steel is “an industry of the future” and “at the cutting edge of making, buying, and selling more in Britain.

Channel 4, 12 May 2022

I went on Channel 4 to discuss the growing security concerns about the Conservative Party taking millions of pounds from donors with links to the Kremlin. One of the Conservative Party's biggest donors, and its former treasurer Ehud Sheleg, is suspected of secretly funnelling hundreds of thousands of pounds to the party from a Russian bank account –– according to a report filed to the National Crime Agency. In 2019 Conservative MP Brandon Lewis threatened me with lawfare for asking Questions on the matter.

** 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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Port Talbot, Neath Port Talbot SA12 6LF
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