What a journey the Lionesses had this summer! Although it wasn't the result we wanted, our fantastic team can hold their heads high in pride for their performances and spirit. A World Cup final following on from a European championship win last year is an incredible record and I am sure we will be right up there again in four years.
My family were firmly glued to the sofa all tournament and many spirited debates were had about England's best player. My eldest and I were firmly Team Lauren James, while my youngest maintained throughout thaT Russo is our star. Either way, very well done once again to the Lionesses and congratulations must go to Spain too for a well-played final.
Congratulations to all the students who have received their A level results – and to the teachers, staff and schools that have helped get them there.
Whether our students are going on to university, apprenticeships, further training, or joining the workforce, they have all made us proud with their hard work, dedication and resilience.
This year was particularly challenging. For many pupils, this was their first experience of exams in a formal sense, after GCSEs were suspended during the pandemic. Grade boundaries were also raised to return to 2019 levels.
However, our students and schools excelled, with a number of Tooting schools exceeding the London average of 30% A*-A grades – itself a pass rate that is the highest in the country. London schools are still benefitting from the London Challenge investment of the last Labour government.
Our Tooting students and our Tooting schools and staff are something to celebrate.
We are so proud of you.
Police forces across England are set to stop attending many incidents concerning mental health under a new National Partnership Agreement: Right Care, Right Person.
The Government's announcement leaves far too many questions unanswered and fails to tackle the root problem of lengthy NHS waiting lists in mental health services. I have written to the Health Secretary, Steve Barclay, asking him to come clean on what action he is taking to tackle mental health waiting lists.
Read my full letter here:
Over recent weeks, I have been appalled at the Tory's unworkable, unethical plans to house asylum seekers on a barge in Dorset.
The Government failed to listen to well-founded concerns or even carry out basic checks of the water supply, which was contaminated with Legionella bacteria, putting both asylum-seekers and staff at-risk.
The Tories have serious questions to answer about the safety of this project and should stop wasting taxpayer's money pursuing headlines and instead fix this broken asylum system.
Recently, I have received many emails about the climate emergency and how a potential Labour government would respond to it. We are facing a climate crisis and urgent action needs to be taken to avoid it. UN reports have shown that existing policies are not doing enough to avert cataclysmic climate related events, and we are already seeing historic weather activities causing floods, wildfires and droughts around the world.
A Labour government would put climate change at the heart of our agenda to help build a better Britain. Labour would deliver zero-carbon power by 2030, insulate 19 million homes and establish a National Wealth Fund to help create over a million jobs in green industry. Labour will make the UK a clean energy superpower to cut energy bills and improve national energy security.
As an A&E doctor and mother, I am incredibly concerned about the impact of poor air quality in our local area. I see many people attending hospital with breathing difficulties directly linked to toxic air, which contributes to thousands of premature deaths every year. It is my belief that it is the right thing to do to adopt enforceable targets and bring in preventative measures to tackle air pollution. As such, I am supportive of the ULEZ expansion coming to Tooting.
However, I also acknowledge its impact on people’s budgets. I called on Sadiq to expand the scrappage scheme support – which he delivered on without Government support despite money being provided for similar schemes in other cities. Furthermore, I am pleased that he has further expanded the scheme, and information about the scrappage scheme can be found here. Wandsworth Council have also announced support through the Wandsworth Sustainable Travel Fund, details of which can be found here. The expansion of ULEZ was also mandated by the Government as part of the TfL bailout deal during the height of the pandemic – so they wanted the expansion to go ahead as well.
The current housing market is incredibly difficult to get into as a first-time buyer. In our local area especially, house and rent prices are daunting, and sadly the Tories are not doing enough to provide support for people or help increase the housing supply.
Labour have set out an ambitious plan for housebuilding targets to help supply the need for housing and provide security to people and their families. This would include relaxing planning restrictions to let local authorities and examining green Belt areas that could be used to build on. I fully support Labour’s ambition to have 70% of people owning their own home.
Many people have got in touch with me recently about the Government’s proposed ban on electric shock collars for dogs. As an animal lover myself, it is my firm belief that the UK should lead the world in animal welfare standards which would mean no animal would be made to endure unnecessary suffering.
All pets deserve the utmost protection, and I’m pleased that the legislation introduced has been approved by the House of Lords. However, I’m also pleased that there will be an exemption for those with protected characteristics who have a legitimate need to use collars that produce sounds, vibrations, and other non-shock signals.
At the start of August I hosted GMB Southern in Parliament.
Unions play such a crucial role in supporting workers and ensuring our workplaces maintain the highest standards for safety, pay and conditions. I really enjoyed talking to the staff about the work they do: representing individuals and groups, helping people through disputes, and pushing for legislative change that keeps the UK’s workplaces reflective of our values and aspirations.
If you haven’t already: join a union – they are there for you.