I kicked off this week by getting out on the Labour doorstep in Newport West to campaign for our fantastic Welsh Labour candidate for next Thursday’s By-election, Ruth Jones. Ruth is a proud Newportonian and has three decades’ experience working in our wonderful NHS. I have complete confidence that she will be a true champion of her constituents if she is elected on 4th April and, crucially, will continue to stand up for Newport East as her predecessor, our much-missed friend and colleague, Paul Flynn, did for 32 years.
It’s vital that we all come together to help get Ruth over the line. We must ensure that we don’t let the Tories in through the back door. If you’ve got any spare time over the next week – particularly on polling day next Thursday – please do head over to Newport and knock on some doors with our brilliant Welsh Labour team. You can find the full list of campaign events and RSVP to let the team know you’re coming by visiting: www.ruthjones.wales/events.
Back in Westminster, earlier this week I had the pleasure of hosting the General Mills and Global Food Banking Network reception in Parliament. As I’ve said many times before, I dearly wish we weren’t in a situation where, in 2019, hundreds of thousands of people are having to rely on food banks. Sadly, that’s the reality that nearly a decade of Tory austerity has led us to. Indeed, the problems with hunger and food poverty we have across Swansea East has led to me operating a make shift food bank from my constituency office.
During my speech at the event, I was pleased to highlight the work of all of the many volunteers who tirelessly help those who need it most at food banks across our country. I also underlined the need for us all to work together and start building a future where people don’t have to resort to such means. People across our communities need stability and security in their lives and right now, they’re simply not getting that.
On Wednesday, I was pleased to talk about another issue which is very close to my heart: the scourge of modern slavery. During my speech in Westminster Hall, I highlighted the plight of many vulnerable women who have previously been trafficked, exploited and stripped of their rights. I also stressed the need for the government to do much more to support the victims of modern slavery as well as preventing this vile practice from happening in the first place. I’m pleased that ministers appear to want to tackle this issue, but it’s time for their rhetoric to be matched with meaningful action.
Lastly, just yesterday, I held a meeting of my new Gambling Related Harm All-Party Parliamentary Group, where we discussed our key priorities: tackling online gambling and the very real dangers this activity poses. Indeed, we’ve launched a cross party Inquiry into this issue to see what we can do to prevent any more individuals from falling into the vicous cycle of gambling addiction. Just like with my campaign to reduce the maximum stake on Fixed-Odds Betting Terminals [FOBTs] to £2, I’ll be sure to keep constituents up to date with how my important work on this issue develops.
As always, if you have any issues or concerns to raise with me as your local MP, please do get in touch with my constituency office on 01792 462054 or email me via carolyn.harris.mp@Parliament.uk.