On the rising threats by the regime in Iran, I asked the Foreign Office Minister how the UK is building relationships with civil society in Iran as these people may go on to lead the country. I got a fairly positive, but unspecific response. At a second Urgent Question session I asked whether the Government would remove study visas from the family members of regime members living here far from the restrictions in Iran, and particularly those imposed on women. Again, nothing specific in response, but you never know!
A debate on Sewage Discharges enabled me to express horror at Thames Water’s continued pollution of the Thames, and condemned the failures of the Government, OFWAT and the water companies in addressing this growing national problem.
I led for Labour on a debate about the lack of opportunity for Scrutiny of Trade Deals by Parliament and stakeholders. Climate change, animal welfare and human rights issues, not to mention the impact on UK businesses, are all essential issues in trade negotiations which mean trade deals need adequate scrutiny throughout the process. I said this Government fails to strike ambitious trade deals that support British business, British values and economic growth here.
London by-laws mean there is a default ban on 'pavement parking', and I know it works. MPs and Council across the rest of England have long demanded a similar law, and I challenged the Transport Secretary to deliver a plan. “When Parliamentary time allows” was the response.
Local councils such as Hounslow have a statutory duty to assess and care for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children placed in local hotels by the Home Office. Many of these children are clearly 13 or 14 years old, and on one day alone 72 arrived in hotels in the borough. I asked the Levelling Up Housing and Communities Minister what meetings he had had with affected boroughs about the additional support they need to meet their statutory duty to these vulnerable children.
I wrote to the Health Minister about prescriptions for gluten free foods being removed from the NHS lists, after a constituent with a severely gluten-intolerant child wrote to me.
Constituents from Armenia are increasingly concerned about the conflict with Azerbaijan, so I wrote to the FCDO on their behalf.
Ongoing issues on the Hounslow loop line led me to write to Network Rail about ongoing engineering work and the disruption it is causing.
Over 100 constituents wrote to me concerned about the Government’s plan to sell Channel 4, so I demanded a rethink from the Culture Secretary – which seems to have worked!