View from Westminster: A week can be a very long time in politics

News Desk (30 October, 2019) Columnists

Heading to the polls in December for the first winter election since 1974

26745MP Helen Hayes.

The last few weeks have been a chaotic and unpredictable time in parliament, with the Queen’s speech, Boris Johnson’s Withdrawal Agreement Bill and votes on the next general election, writes Helen Hayes, MP for Dulwich and West Norwood…

A week can be a very long time in politics, but as I write this column in advance of Thursday’s paper being printed, it seems that Boris Johnson has reneged on his ‘do or die’ pledge that the UK would leave the European Union on 31 October with or without a deal.

Johnson has form on broken promises – we know in Southwark that his promise not to close any police station without opening another was meaningless, as were his commitments not to prorogue parliament and to maintain environmental and employment standards as part of any Brexit deal.

It also seems likely that the country will be heading to the polls in December for the first winter election since 1974, with the opportunity for us all to have our say on this dreadful Tory government and the appalling impacts of the austerity that they and their Lib Dem partners have inflicted on our communities over the past decade.

I was delighted recently to receive the very strong endorsement of Labour Party members in my Dulwich and West Norwood constituency to fight the next election as Labour’s candidate and I am looking forward to setting out Labour’s vision for housing, school funding, the environment, investment in our youth services and ending the hostile environment, to the electorate both in my constituency and in the marginal seats which Labour needs to win in order to oust the Tories.

I will be fighting on my record of representing the strongly pro-Remain residents in my constituency and Labour’s commitment to a People’s Vote (in which I will campaign to Remain) to resolve the issue of Brexit once and for all, to build 100,000 truly affordable homes with secure tenancies every year by the end of the next Parliament, to deliver a fair tax system where big businesses and those who earn the most pay their fair share of taxes and for a truly transformational Green New Deal to tackle the climate emergency and deliver a fairer, greener future for us all.

I hope every Southwark resident will have their say in the election – do make sure you register to vote now.

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