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[26/11/2020 | No comment]

The Government have announced that Leicester will now be in Tier 3 of local restrictions. I’ve published a joint statement with Jon Ashworth, MP for Leicester South, and Claudia Webbe, MP for Leicester East, outlining what must be done to help our city throughout this challenging time.

Leicester has been in lockdown for longer than anywhere else in the country, and it will be extremely difficult to hear that we are in the highest tier. It has been exhausting and frustrating for many people, and lockdown has caused huge strain. The Government must act to give people in Leicester the help and support they deserve.

Read the full statement here.

Read coverage of the statement in the Leicester Mercury.

[19/11/2020 | No comment]

Today I met with the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain, following concerns of worker exploitation in Leicester’s textile factories. IWGB work across a wide range of areas to represent mostly low-paid and migrant workers, and areas of the workforce that have been under-unionised and under-represented for too long.

We discussed the barriers facing trade union membership among workers, and how we can overcome these. It is so important that workers are engaged with a trade union, so they can be empowered to speak up against issues like poor working conditions, minimum wage violations, and insecure employment contracts.

I look forward to working more with trade unions locally to end the exploitation of factory workers in Leicester’s garment industry.

 

[19/11/2020 | No comment]

I secured a Parliamentary debate earlier this week on worker exploitation in Leicester’s garment industry. We know that there are failings across the industry, and in particular among factories supplying Boohoo. 

The debate focused on three main areas: the failure of Boohoo to take action following allegations of poor working practices, the failure of shareholders in Boohoo to hold the company to account and make changes to their investments, and the failure of the government in bringing forward proposals that could lead to change in this sector.

I also highlighted the great work that Leicester City Council are doing on this, including appointing a co-ordinator to bring together the national enforcement bodies, and working closely with community groups to give workers the courage to speak out.

I will continue to work on this important issue and fight for a better deal for garment workers in Leicester.

You can read my full speech on Hansard, watch it on Parliament TV, and find media coverage of the debate on City AM, The Telegraph, and the Leicester Mercury.

[16/11/2020 | No comment]

I recently held a virtual event with the Federation for Small Businesses (FSB) and local business owners to mark Leicester Business festival and discuss the immediate and long term challenges facing small businesses in Leicester.

It was great to hear from the business owners, to discuss the problems they have had and what further support they think is needed.

Some businesses raised concerns about struggling to access Kickstart support and government Bounce Back Loans, as well as wanting more clarity on Discretionary Grant Funding available through local councils.

I would like to thank the FSB for their fantastic work supporting small businesses throughout this pandemic, and helping to keep our economy working.

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