[13/12/2021 | No comment]

Last week I spoke in Parliament in a debate on sickle cell disorder. Treatment and support of sickle cell disorder, which predominantly affects people in the BAME community, is not good enough.

A lack of awareness about the condition, along with discriminatory attitudes and inadequate training in parts of the health service leads to some awful outcomes for patients. I set out what the Government need to do to make this right.

I called on the Government to follow up on recommendations made in the excellent “No one is listening report” which looks at the failings in sickle cell care. But the key point I made is that if we want to improve outcomes for people with sickle cell disorder then we must give patients and their families far greater say and control over the support they receive. Giving people affected by the condition more influence over their treatment and the training of NHS staff will drive up standards and play an essential role in achieving the lasting change we want to see in sickle cell care.

You can read my speech here or watch it here

[02/12/2021 | No comment]

Yesterday, the Government published their long-awaited social care white paper, outlining their plans to reform the social care system.

What we needed was a long-term vision that finally put social care where it belonged; on an equal footing with the NHS, at the heart of a modernised welfare state.

But this white paper falls woefully short of the mark. The White Paper doesn’t fix the crisis in social care, let along deliver real social care reform.

And it won’t stop ordinary people from having to sell their homes to pay for care either. Instead, we are just seeing a tax rise on working people to protect the homes of the wealthiest.

Read my full response in Hansard.

[02/12/2021 | No comment]


Yesterday I made a speech in Parliament on Space Park Leicester and the wider space sector. This is a subject close to my heart as there is huge potential for space science and technology to create high skilled jobs of the future, grow our economy, tackle climate change and help keep our country safe.

Space Park Leicester, which I visited last Friday, builds on Leicester’s proud tradition of being at the forefront of the UK space sector. It brings together world leading University of Leicester research with industry in state of the art, high tech facilities. Through its pioneering research the Space Park aims to create 2,500 jobs and generate £750 million for the East Midlands economy. It is also committed to ensuring children and young people from Leicester and the wider East Midlands can get the skills they need to benefit from the jobs the Space Park is creating.

Leicester Space Park is an inspirational place and has a significant role to play if the Government’s National Space Strategy is to be a success.  

I urged the Minister to provide a long- term commitment to support Space Park Leicester, so the ideas and research that are being developed there can be turned into thriving businesses. I also asked him to explain how the Government will support Leicester to develop the skills and training that are central to the National Space Strategy, including higher level vocational qualifications, because making sure people from all backgrounds have the skills they need to secure jobs of the future is integral to boosting economic growth. 

If Space Park Leicester receives the support it deserves, its potential is huge. You can read my speech here or watch it here


[25/11/2021 | No comment]

Today, I spoke to the National Children and Adult Services Conference alongside our Shadow Secretary of State for Education, Kate Green MP.

This event brings together Directors of Children’s and Adult Social Services from councils across England, to discuss common issues and hear from experts in this area.

Ahead of the Government’s White Paper on Adult Social Care – which we’re expecting to be published in the next few weeks – I set out Labour’s key ‘tests’ that we will be holding their plans against.

I want to see the Government present a plan that:

  • Ensures all older and disabled people get the right support when and where they need it;
  • Enshrines the principle of ‘home-first’;
  • Puts disabled people at the heart of their reforms;
  • Transforms support for England’s 11 million unpaid family carers;
  • Delivers a New Deal for Care Workers;

And, fundamentally, allows older and disabled people to live an equal life to everybody else.

Unless the White Paper delivers this, I fear it will end up gathering dust alongside the many other White and Green papers we have seen before.

Read the full speech here.

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