Leicester has unacceptably high levels of in-work poverty, and too many of our workers are being undercut by greedy bosses. The fact that hard work no longer guarantees a secure life is an unforgivable breakdown of our basic social contract.
Boohoo must urgently release a full, transparent list of its supplying factories in Leicester. It is appalling that the exploited labour of our residents is helping to finance extravagant corporate salaries. We can no longer tolerate billionaire company owners making vast profits on the back of the working class.
Sectoral collective bargaining is long overdue to raise wages, reduce inequality, prevent the undercutting of terms and conditions, enable effective enforcement of rights and more importantly enable the voices of workers to be heard.
The scandal of workplace exploitation must no longer be ignored. Nobody in Leicester or across the UK deserves the indignity of being paid under the minimum wage.
I recognise that this is an incredibly difficult time for Leicester residents who continue to face restrictions that other parts of the country do not.
Your sacrifices are paying off, as our number of weekly cases have dropped by over 30%. Yet sadly, the most recent figures show we recorded the sixth highest number of cases for a local authority. Our city had more Covid-19 deaths than any other part of England and Wales in July. According to figures from the ONS, 24 people in Leicester tragically died – as opposed to 92% of local authorities which registered less than 10 deaths.
This is a tragic reminder of the government’s failure to keep our city safe. Yet we cannot let the progress we have made go to waste. By remaining vigilant, the bustling Leicester that we know and love will be back as quickly as possible.
The latest government announcement for Leicester here.
As I say in this story, this is the latest example of the inhumanity which the Home Office has hardwired into our immigration system.
After effectively being found institutionally racist by the Windrush lessons learnt review, the Home Office must halt it’s fanatical scapegoating of migrants.
And the government must stop trying to distract from its awful coronavirus record with this divisive, damaging rhetoric.
Brilliant to catch up with @faresharemidlands at the Northfields Adventure Playground off Gypsy Lane. The work being done by the Adventure Playgrounds in Leicester is vital and their partnership with FareShare is brilliant. We must all play our part in food reuse and the redistribution of food and tackle food insecurity.
I stand in full solidarity with all those who are exercising their legal right to claim asylum. Britain First and other hate groups represent the very worst of our country. They must not be given any platform to legitimise their vile anti-migrant discourse.
It is ludicrous to suggest that a small number of vulnerable migrants pose a threat to our security, economy or social life. Asylum seekers do not arrive in the UK to leech off the state – Asylum Support Allowance is a mere £37.75 per week. It is also far from the case that the UK is overwhelmed with asylum seekers, with Germany, Spain, Italy, Greece and France registering far more asylum applicants.
The right for different communities and cultures to live side by side has been fought for by generations of struggle. It is up to all of us today who oppose racism to continue this fight against all forms of hatred and bigotry.”
Check out my comments in this The Morning Star article here.
It is crucial that we focus on the reason why we are seeing the dehumanising discourse surrounding migrants and asylum-seekers raise its ugly head once again.
We have a government that has overseen the worst coronavirus death rate of any European country as well as the worst recession since records began.
Sadly, the Tories know that, to distract from their litany of failures, they simply have to ratchet up their “tough on immigration” rhetoric, such as by talking about militarising the channel crossing, and the right-wing sections our media landscape will lap it up.
We cannot let this government off the hook. We must stand shoulder to shoulder in solidarity with the victims of this brutal discourse, and we must ensure that this floundering government is held responsible for its appalling record.
Read the full article here.
I have been contacted by many of my constituents regarding the attempts of British Gas and Centrica to use the covid-19 crisis as a smokescreen to downgrade their working conditions. As we face the worst recession on record, it has never been more important for us to stand up for workers’ rights. You can read my letter to Centrica on behalf ofLeicester East constituents here.
Happy Ganesh Chathurthi. Stay safe and have a great day. I hope it brings new beginnings and renewed strength, truth and goodness.
The economic impact of the Coronavirus on the country has been devastating and we have felt it even more so in Leicester East and across Leicester, due to the continued extended lockdown. I know that the impact has been uneven and particularly harsh for some more than others.
I really want to hear your story and views on how this has impacted you.
I would appreciate if you could take a moment to fill in my survey using the link here so that I can better assist you and everyone across the constituency so that no one is left behind.
Congratulations to all receiving their GCSE results today. It’s been a tough year. You can be proud of your achievements.
You have the opportunity to change this world; to end the climate injustice, race & class inequalities and transform society so that it works in the interest of the majority not the wealthy 1%.
So I am quoted as saying in this article, I am pleased that, thanks to the hard work of Leicester’s health workers, council and residents, incident rates have been declining article across our city. Yet they remain considerably higher than the national average.
While I know how difficult this extended lockdown has been, I urge Leicester residents to keep up the hard work by following the continuing safety measures. We cannot risk undoing the progress we have made.
The Government were initially supposed to make this announcement on Friday – then it was Monday, then Tuesday. The people of Leicester have made tremendous sacrifices. We deserved clarity and transparency – not dithering and confusion.
The Government has been forced to U-turn on their rigged algorithm for A-Level Results. This is a victory for the young people who fought for their futures. I am proud of all students across Leicester who campaigned today (in the rain!) and all weekend. You have powerfully made your voices heard.
The Tory govt thought they could get away with downgrading working class students. It was your resistance and challenge that forced the change.
I thoroughly enjoyed volunteering with Islah Trust at Northfield Neighbourhood Centre and Human Appeal where we were packing and delivering emergency food parcels to those in need. I cannot praise these organisations enough for their hard work and commitment over this time.
During the Black Lives Matter movement, we’ve rightly seen renewed calls for our schools to teach the true brutal history of the British empire and the legacy of imperialism, colonialism and racism which continue today to have generational impact.
The Sotik Massacre of 1905 is one of the most appalling massacres in the sordid history of the British Empire. If we are to end the scourge of institutional racism and the destructive legacy of colonialism, it is vital that young people are taught the true history of race relations. I have written to the Education Secretary urging him to ensure that this atrocity is included in the national curriculum.
You can see my letter to Gavin Williamson here.
Happy Indian Independence day to everyone celebrating in Leicester East!
For months, our government has claimed that the UK will have a “world-beating” Test and Trace system to combat the virus.Yet instead, they have presided over a failed and possibly corrupt programme which prioritises the enrichment of private corporations over the protection of our communities. Leicester is a prime example of the success of local public health led systems. The government must introduce a fully nationalised system which empowers local authorities to protect our communities.
You can read my latest article for The Independent here.
Thousands of UK residents with No Recourse to Public Funds have already been driven into destitution during the Coronavirus crisis. The government claims to be ‘protecting public funds’ by preventing vulnerable migrants from accessing basic benefits. Yet they do not exhibit this same frugality when handing out wasteful, multi-million contracts to private companies, or enabling multi-billionaires and corporations to evade tax.
As we embark on the deepest recession since records began it is crucial that all residents, regardless of their immigration status, must be able to afford to stay safe during this pandemic. Otherwise we risk creating a forgotten underclass of vulnerable migrants.
Leicester is home to many workers with NRPF, for whom it is impossible to survive without attending work – often in unsafe conditions. The government must ensure that all migrants have automatic access to resources without fear of detention or deportation by abolishing the NRPF provision.You can read my letter to Priti Patel here.
Wishing everyone in Leicester East who is celebrating over the next two days a happy Janmashtami. Some Temples are now open in Leicester, with social distancing measures in place. Stay safe, and enjoy your celebrations.
As I say in this article, the coronavirus crisis has shown that the people who really matter and keep our society ticking are not billionaires and the super-rich, but nurses, carers, cleaners, checkout attendants and many more essential frontline workers.
We can no longer live in a society where health workers are underpaid, frontline workers are undervalued or our NHS is starved of funding.
I stand in full solidarity with all trade unionists and NHS workers who will be out tomorrow to call for the fair and equitable treatment that health professionals deserve. We must oppose the conservatives’ attempts to pit sections of the working class against each other with their divide and rule public sector pay strategy.
This crisis has shown that the people who really matter and keep our society ticking are not billionaires and the super-rich, but nurses, carers, cleaners, checkout attendants and many more essential frontline workers. This must be reflected with a significant restructuring of our economy along the lines of justice, with pay-rises for those who we clearly cannot live without. We can no longer live in a society where health workers are underpaid, frontline workers are undervalued or our NHS is starved of funding.
You can read my letter to Matt Hancock here.
It was a pleasure to join The Kenyan Governors, His Excellency Hon. ProfessorChepkwony, His Excellency Hon. Stephen Sang to discuss the historical injustice of theSotik Massacre of 1905, and to commemorate the assassination of Tribal Leader, KoitalelSamoei.I call on the British Multi-Nationals, and their Kenyan subsidiaries to implement thehistoric ruling of the Kenya Land Commission in 2019.
We can no longer tolerate billionaire company owners making vast profits on the back of the working class. The time has come to put people and health before private profit –that means decent jobs, workers’ rights and an end to exploitative labour in Leicester’s garment industry.
You can read my full article in Labour List here.
These are despicable racist comments from a Conservative politician are part of abroader attempt to divide our communities, which have been under significant strain and have made many sacrifices during lockdown.By failing to condemn Mr Whittaker, the Prime Minister once again demonstrated his personal tolerance for racism. The government should be ashamed at their inflammatoryattempts to deflect from their own failures.Read my full article here.4th
You can read my full article in Labour List here.
This article tells us what we already know: that racial and class inequalities, coupled within adequate government support, mean that working-class people, migrants and minority ethnic communities are at greater risk both of being exposed to Covid-19, and suffering its worst effects. It is impossible for impoverished people to comply with guidance on self-isolation and social distancing.
It is not just morally imperative, but in the best public health interest of everyone in our country that all our basic needs are met.
home neglect, testing delays, insufficient data and much more – the government has failed to adequately protect our communities.
We must not allow this government to create scapegoats for their disastrous handling oft his pandemic. Our diversity is our strength – and we must reject these divide and ruletacticsRead the full article here. 3rd Aug
With over 30,000 people in the Polish community in the vibrant City of Leicester it is soimportant to me to ensure all of my content is translatable to those who do not haveEnglish as a first language. Here is the video from Jonathan Ashworth, Liz Kendall andmyself with a message of Solidarity during the difficult extended lockdown in Leicesterduring the Coronavirus pandemic with Polish and Slovak subtitles.
Wishing everyone an auspicious Raksha Bandhan as we celebrate the unbreakable bond of love between a sister and a brother. No matter our gender we should always be therefor each other as we embrace the new normal stay home, stay safe.
Our vibrant city of Leicester has a wonderful community of people from Bangladesh. I would like to give a big shout out to Bangladesh Youth & Cultural Shomiti (BYCS) who provide an array of information, advice and guidance, including National Careers Services and Social Welfare Services and provide learning and employment services to help local residents and workers gain new skills and qualifications
Here is the video that I proudly produced with colleagues Jonathan Ashworth and Liz Kendall with Bengali subtitles.
We stand in solidarity with Leicester City over this time.