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[17/07/2014 | No comment]

daily pol 2

On Wednesday 16 July I appeared on the BBC’s Daily Politics programme alongside former Conservative minister Ken Clarke. We discussed the Government’s reshuffle, Britain’s position in Europe and fracking, as well as Prime Minister’s Questions. You can watch the programme again here.

[17/07/2014 | No comment]

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I recently met four teachers at Fullhurst School, who are part of the Teach First scheme. Teach First trains and supports young people to become inspirational classroom leaders in low-income communities.

It was brilliant to hear Molly, Alex, Dave and Tom talk about why they had joined Teach First and their passionate commitment to transforming children’s lives. Like me, they believe that how much you achieve in life should not be determined by your background or how much your parents earn.

Teach First has proven really successful at Fullhurst and I am determined to do everything I can to support more Teach First teachers in primary and secondary schools across Leicester West.

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my priorities »

Jobs, skills and training »

[17/07/2014 | No comment]

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Local employers tell me they need employees with the right skills to grow their businesses, and our future economic success depends on making sure this happens.

That’s why I’m backing Labour’s plans for new, gold standard Technical Degrees. These will give young people the opportunity to progress to high-level training and further qualifications and get excellent vocational skills.

Making such courses available will help give the forgotten 50% of young people in Leicester West who don’t follow the traditional academic route to university the chance to succeed, and help build the high-skill, high-wage economy we need in future.

Caring for older people »

[17/07/2014 | No comment]

health qs

After the appalling scandal at Winterbourne View, the Government promised to stop people with learning disabilities being sent to Assessment and Treatment Units for long periods of time. At Health Questions in the House of Commons I challenged Ministers to explain why they have spectacularly failed.

2,600 people are still in ATUS, including 150 children; more people are going into them than are coming out, and over half these patients are still on anti-psychotic drugs or being subject to physical restraint.

I called on Ministers to set a clear, non-negotiable 2 year deadline to end this practice once and for all. You can read the exchanges in the Official Report here.

[04/07/2014 | No comment]

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On Tuesday 1st July I helped host the TUC’s NHS lobby of Parliament. A large group of NHS workers from across the country came to Westminster to put pressure on the Government to give NHS workers a fair pay deal.

NHS staff from the East Midlands told me about the huge pressures they are facing, including problems of low morale, and how the Government’s broken promise on pay has made recruiting and retaining staff even more difficult.

Pay restraint in the NHS is essential and will have to continue, including under a future Labour government. However, I believe this can and should be done in a fair way with lower paid workers relatively protected and higher paid workers taking a greater share of the pain.

That is not what is happening under this Government. David Cameron’s top-down, backroom NHS reorganisation has wasted £3billion. Some senior managers have received six figure pay-offs, and 4,000 managers who were initially made redundant because of the reorganisation have since been re-employed elsewhere in the system. The Government’s cuts to nursing posts and training places have also lead to soaring costs for temporary and agency staff. NHS Foundation Trusts spent £1.4 billion on temporary and agency staff last year – 160% more than they planned – and the total agency staff bill for the NHS as a whole was £2.4 billion.

I am determined to do everything I can to fight for a fair deal for NHS staff, and expose what is really happening in the NHS under this Government.