THANKS FOR READING MY OCTOBER 2022 NEWSLETTER. IT’S BEEN YET ANOTHER
NEW TORY PRIME MINISTER
Only last month, I was writing about the appointment of a new Prime
Minister. Some things never change.
Following Liz Truss’ short and chaotic time in Downing Street, the
Tories crowned Rishi Sunak as Prime Minister without him saying a
single word about how he would run the country and without anyone
having the chance to vote.
This is the same Rishi Sunak who as Chancellor failed to grow the
economy, failed to get a grip on inflation, and failed to help
families with the Tory cost of living crisis.
And it’s the same Rishi Sunak who broke Covid laws, held a USA Green
card whilst in government and whose family avoided paying tax in this
country whilst he put up taxes 15 times in 2 years on everyone else.
With his record - and after Liz Truss comprehensively beat him over
the summer - it’s no wonder people have had enough. He promised to
govern with integrity, yet one fo the first things he did was to
re-appoint a Home Secretary who just 6 days earlier had been removed
from her post for security breaches and breaches of the Ministerial
The Conservative Party has lost its mandate to govern. They can sack
this Chancellor or that Prime Minister, but the damage is done. The
Tory crisis made in Downing Street is being paid for by households in
Cardiff central and across the UK.
We need a general election, so you get a say on the future of Britain
– and the chance for a fresh start with Labour.
Agree? Sign my petition
TORY ECONOMIC CHAOS
Families in Cardiff Central face an eyewatering jump in mortgage
repayments next year as a result of the Conservatives crashing the
Analysis by the Labour Party using Bank of England data showed that
homeowners coming off two-year fixed term mortgages in October 2022
are set to pay £500 a month more on average after the Tory
government’s disastrous mini-Budget handed unfunded tax cuts to the
Further investigation has found that the number of people coming to
the end of fixed rate mortgages and having to find a new mortgage on
those higher rates, is around 1.8 million people out of a total 6.8
million mortgage holders – or one in four of all mortgage holders in
The Chancellor said that growth requires “confidence and
stability” yet it’s clear that the Tories can’t provide this.
They caused the problem and they’re not capable of fixing it.
What we need now is to restore financial responsibility at the heart
of government. And we need a serious plan for growth that puts working
people first. That is what Labour will bring.
Listen to my thoughts on BBC Wales' Sunday Supplement here
BACK FRACK OR SACK
Fracking is a dangerous fantasy - it would do nothing to cut energy
bills, it costs far more than renewables, its unsafe and deeply
unpopular with the public.
If the Conservatives cared about cheaper energy and energy security,
they would back Labour’s clean energy sprint for home-grown
Last week, Labour put forward its own plan to ban fracking for good,
giving every Tory MP who opposes fracking a chance to put country over
Conservatives, including Rishi Sunak, voted against the ban, contrary
to their own manifesto commitment. This followed appalling scenes in
the House of Commons, where backbench Tory MPs were allegedly
manhandled and intimidated to vote against our motion. This week,
Sunak’s spokesperson said fracking wouldn’t go ahead. This is
In Wales, our Welsh Labour government has already banned fracking and
the next UK Labour government will establish Great British Energy, a
publicly owned renewable energy company that will take advantage of
the opportunities that clean, green power brings and turns them into
good, secure, high-paid jobs supporting our target for clean
electricity by 2030 and making the UK energy secure. Wealth created by
the company will be returned to the public.
This month has seen two Tory Welsh Secretaries. I’m on my third
Welsh Secretary since the summer. In this month’s Welsh Questions, I
challenged the UK Government on the lack of progress on Freeports in
Wales because of their chaos.
The UK Government’s original approach had been to ignore devolution
and impose a freeport on Wales. The Welsh Government put a stop to
that and to the harm to the environment, workers’ rights and
Wales’s finances that this would have caused.
You can watch my questions in full below:
Question 1 [[link removed]]
Question 2 [[link removed]]
DIWALI CULTURAL FESTIVAL
It was a real pleasure to attend the 17th Diwali Cultural Festival at
St Fagan’s National Museum alongside my Labour colleague and Heath
Councillor Julie Sanghani.
Organised by Cardiff’s India Centre, the event was a vibrant
celebration of the arts, culture and food of the Indian subcontinent
interwoven with Diwali’s message of the triumph of good over evil. A
really happy occasion, full of colour and fun.
SUPPORTING LOCAL BUSINESSES
Local businesses have been under huge pressure during the pandemic and
during the Conservative cost of living crisis. Increased supply costs,
rocketing energy bills and labour shortages are all causing problems
for many local businesses.
So it was great to visit MABLI, a young and growing Cardiff based
businesses which exports beautiful knitwear around the globe.
I met the founder, Lisa Roberts, to hear about how the business she
started in her front room has grown with the support of Business
Wales and Barclays Business UK. In amongst the uncertainty and
instability of the economic crisis it was really good to see a young
Take a look at their work here [[link removed]].
TRADE UNION CONGRESS 2022
This month, I spoke at the TUC’s annual conference in Brighton on
behalf of the Labour Party. With record wage squeeze, rocketing
inflation, higher mortgages and rents, working people are finding it
harder and harder to manage.
The Tories’ answer to this is to attack peoples’ rights and
protections at work. It’s the wrong answer. Security at work is the
bedrock for aspiration and opportunity, and you can’t grow the
economy if people are wracked with fear about the future because they
have no protection to stand up for their rights at work. Respect and
security at work goes hand in hand with higher productivity and
That’s what Labour’s New Deal for Working People is all about and
that’s what I spoke about in my speech.
Labour will give people rights at work from day one. We’ll end fire
and rehire, ban zero-hour contracts, extend parental leave, strengthen
flexible working and provide better protections for pregnant women,
statutory sick pay for all and more.
AROUND CARDIFF CENTRAL
COST OF LIVING ADVICE DAY
A big thank you to all the organisations that attended my
cost-of-living advice day in Adamsdown. In total, 14 organisations
attended, giving support to local residents on a range of areas from
housing and benefits to energy and water bills.
If you were unable to attend or need further support, please visit my
dedicated cost-of-living support hub here
WELCOMING STUDENTS TO CARDIFF
Following Freshers’ Fayre, I caught up with existing and new members
of Cardiff Labour Students to welcome them again to Cardiff Central at
a Q & A session at Cardiff University. So many turned up, we had to
find a bigger room!
I got a proper grilling with some very searching questions.
REOPENING THE GLAMORGAN CANAL
The Dock Feeder Canal has been paved over for more than seven decades.
In February, work began to restore the iconic waterway which travels
down Churchill Way in the centre of town.
The project will see the canal re-opened and turned into a green
public space with outdoor seating and an amphitheatre-style
performance area. I joined local Labour Councillors Dan De’Ath and
Peter Wong for a sneak peak on the progress. I think it’s going to
look incredible when it is completed and completely regenerate that
part of the city centre.
A NEW PARK FOR CARDIFF
Like my grandma, Millicent Mackenzie, Wales’ first female professor,
had to obtain special permission to continue working after she got
married. Prof Mackenzie was also the first ever woman to stand as a
candidate in a general election (for the Labour party) in 1918.
The achievements of pioneering women are grossly under-represented
in our public spaces. Cardiff Labour Council’s decision to name
Cardiff Central’s newest park after Mackenzie will help to redress
this historic imbalance.
Construction work on Parc Mackenzie, which will be behind the National
Museum of Cardiff, between Park Place and Museum Avenue, an area
formerly known as University Lawns, started this month.
Read more about the plans here
CARDIFF SALAD GARDEN
I met with Sophie Dunan and volunteers at Cardiff Salad Garden to
hear how their project has combined growing and selling fresh cut
salad leaves, with working to promote positive mental health and
wellbeing and sustainability.
Salad is grown and picked and distributed to local restaurants, cafes
and homes by bicycle. The project has helped to inspire community
gardens elsewhere in South Wales and Cardiff Salad Garden have been
awarded a National Lottery Fund grant to expand their work.
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