Thank you to everyone who voted in the recent general election, which saw a result that very few people predicted.
Theresa May is much weakened and the Conservatives are now effectively in a coalition of chaos with Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party, a party with very concerning policies on women’s rights, LGBT rights and climate change, at a cost of £1bn – money that they spent the election campaign arguing wasn’t available.
During the election I promised to continue to represent the strongly pro-Remain views of residents across my constituency. Last week I voted for an amendment to the Queen’s Speech designed to keep staying in the European Single Market and the Customs Union on the negotiating table.
The Care Quality Commission has just released its latest report on King’s College Hospital. The report showed some very welcome improvements, but the huge underfunding of the Lib Dem-Tory coalition government still means that overall the Trust was rated as Requires Improvement. I will shortly be meeting with the Chief Executive and will continue to lobby the current Tory government to provide the resources that our hospital urgently needs.
Education funding was a huge issue during the general election campaign. Local parents were furious that the Tories were determined to force through further cuts to our great schools. The message across Southwark was very clear – fund every one of our schools properly and don’t put our young people’s future in jeopardy.
Just recently new government statistics were released showing that the number of truly affordable homes at social rents funded by the government have been cut by 96% since 2010 when the Lib Dems and Tories voted to slash funding for social housing. Southwark’s Labour council is working hard to deliver new council homes, but we need a government committed to providing the funding to allow this happen everywhere and for Southwark’s programme to be accelerated.
Yesterday I was really pleased to speak at the third Dulwich and West Norwood Speaks Up for the Climate meeting that I initiated shortly after being elected in 2015 following an excellent discussion with a series of passionate local campaigners on climate change. It is critical that we do not allow Donald Trump and the DUP’s climate change denial to derail our work to tackle climate change.