It was fantastic to be out in the gorgeous Peak District to support my friend and High Peak's next Labour MP, Jon Pearce. We first visited the Glossop Arts Project to see the amazing work they do, using art to support young people's mental health - of course, we had to indulge in the offer of a free toastie and cuppa too!
On the doorstep afterwards, we spoke to so many people fed up with the Tories, both locally and in Westminster. There are council elections coming up in May and Labour has every chance to take full control of the council here! The views were incredible, the people lovely, and I can't wait to be back!
Fresh off the back of our trip to South Wales yesterday, Luke Pollard MP and I continued to take the fight to the Tories today, this time in Reading.
We kicked off the day with a doorknocking session in Reading West, another Tory-held marginal seat where it is essential Labour wins at the next general election. We were delighted to be joined by my colleague, Matt Rodda, MP for Reading East, who took us to a community-run cafe to show the empowering work that local people are doing on a daily basis.
Reading is a great example of what Labour can do in power - the town's carbon emissions have been reduced by 70% in the last 12 years and the Council is currently investing £88 million in over 300 new social housing homes across Reading.
Today, my friend Luke Pollard MP and I visited the lush landscape of South Wales in order to continue our fight to put Keir Starmer in 10 Downing Street.
We visited Barry Island (cue many Gavin and Stacey references!) in the Vale of Glamorgan seat and Chepstow in Monmouth - two vitally important areas that Labour needs to win to form a government. Labour took control of both Vale of Glamorgan & Monmouthshire Councils after the May elections and I greatly enjoyed campaigning with local members, building on that momentum in order to elect two new Labour MPs at the next election.
Of course, a trip to Barry Island would not be complete without a wander down the beautiful seafront, complete with ice cream. Lloniannau!
Tooting Bec Athletics Track reopened this summer after a successful community campaign against its closure. It was great to be at their official reopening along with local Councillor Judi Gasser.
It was great to meet some young athletes and see the wide range of facilities that they offer, including a seven-a-side football pitch, an eight lane track, and a state of the art fitness centre. I am so grateful we have this brilliant resource on our doorstep in Tooting.
The fantastic facilities at Tooting Bec Athletics Track will be vital in helping Tooting’s children become the Olympians of tomorrow. I have no doubt that future Team GB medalists are already training here and I look forward to seeing what they all go on to achieve.
Today, I spoke with GMB and Royal College of Nursing frontline NHS staff at St George’s Hospital to hear their views on the Government’s latest pay offer.
The last 18 months has impacted our beloved NHS immeasurably, and staff have made significant sacrifices in order to save lives.
I stand in solidarity with my NHS colleagues. They deserve far more than just claps. They need a proper pay rise.
It was a pleasure to get out on the doorstep with our Greater London Authority candidate for South London, Candice Atterton, today!
Alongside Candice and Ruth Cadbury MP for Brentford and Isleworth, it was a privilege to visit Hounslow Youth Counselling Service. The post-pandemic recovery must have young people at its heart, so it was fantastic to spend the morning hearing about the great work taking place in Hounslow to support and champion young people’s mental health.
With her background in youth work and youth justice, Candice is determined to focus on support and opportunities for young people.
I have no doubt that she will be a great addition to Mayor Sadiq Khan’s Labour Team in City Hall!
Today, Trans Visibility Day, is a day that we celebrate each trans and nonbinary person, whether you choose to be visible or not, and reaffirm our commitment to stand against discrimination, bigotry and all forms of trans exclusionary behaviour.
When wider society discusses trans issues, too often trans people have to deal with vitriolic and discriminatory language which has a profound impact on wellbeing.
In October 2020, I organised and chaired a roundtable with leading trans charities to discuss mental health, discrimination, and how we can work together to tackle it.
I will always be an ally of the trans community. As MP for Tooting and Shadow Minister for Mental Health, I want to be a voice for everyone - including the LGBTQ+ community - and I will continue to uphold LGBT+ Labour’s 10 pledges, which I signed up to during the 2020 Labour leadership race, outlined below.
The MP for Tooting has been working in her local hospital where doctors and nurses are already dealing with cases of covid-19. She warns that many of those being treated are in their 30s and 40s.
Dr Rosena Allin-Khan is the MP for Tooting but she is also a practising doctor in A&E.
She regularly goes in to do shifts in her local hospital St George's and has been in contact with her colleagues.
This Sunday she took a record down for Mirror readers about the situation faced by nurses, doctors and others on the frontline in the fight against coronavirus.
She said her latest shift had been a "deeply, deeply eye-opening" experience with previously fit and healthy people in their 30s and 40s "attached to machines, fighting for their lives".
And she has been deeply critical of the approach taken by the government in tackling the spread of the deadly virus.
"The Prime Minister has been blase about this from the start, waiting for others to make decisions so he doesn't have to. It is costing lives," she said.
Mirror Diary - Sunday 22 March6.30am – Leaving the HouseOn the way to work in A&E, to help out the real heroes of the frontline – the NHS staff who work day-in, day-out to keep us all safe. I am a bit apprehensive after seeing the stories that are being reported about Covid-19 and having spoken to colleagues across the country, but we need to come together at times like these for our communities.
7am – Reporting for DutyJust finished handover, which is when the day shift gets given notes on the patients who have come in overnight. There’s a very real sense that the number of cases are growing extremely quickly, something that will present a real challenge in the coming days and weeks. Some of the sickest patients that have been admitted have been young – they’re in their 30s and 40s, previously fit and well, but now fighting for their lives in Intensive Care (ICU).
There was a lot of talk in January that this was a virus just like the flu that only affects older people – that simply isn’t the case. There’s a real sense of apprehension ahead of the shift – we’re all expecting a rocky road ahead in the coming days.
8am- Protective EquipmentThe first part of the shift was spent looking for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – these are masks and aprons that keep those working on the frontlines safe. While we’d all rather be treating patients, we have to ensure that we are adequately protected so we don’t spread the infection between patients.
Frontline staff across the country are scared. We’re scared that we’re going to lose patients – we have spent years training to save every life that we can. We are scared of passing this deadly virus onto our loved ones because we don’t always have the PPE that we so desperately need. We’re scared that that if we aren’t properly protected, that we run the risk of spreading the virus between patients.
It’s vital that people practice social distancing measures properly – crowded areas will only add to the number of cases, and the number of people being admitted into hospitals across the country. In the coming days and weeks, difficult decisions will be made by my colleagues in ICU about who gets a ventilator – it’s that serious.
Midday – Resus overwhelmedThe whole of resus is full of patients with respiratory problems – this is the part of A&E where the sickest patients go. Patients are arriving breathless, with crackles so fine in their lungs, you can hardly hear them.
Their X-rays show white lungs where normally, they would look clear and black, full of air. Major trauma, such as heart attacks and victims of car crashes, are now being moved into paediatric A&E. The situation around Covid-19 is clearly getting worse by the day.
The talk amongst the team is that we feel that we will be overwhelmed in the coming days. I’m going for a refresher course on ventilators for staff – they’re also training new staff on how to use ventilators. The talk is, of course, feeling quite bleak as the day goes on – but this is what we’ve all been trained for.
4pm – Leaving A&EJust leaving A&E now – it’s been a difficult shift and a difficult Mother’s Day. At times like these, we must think about our loved ones - if we want to protect those dearest to us, we must stay indoors.
I’ve just called my husband and asked him to let our daughters know that they won’t be able to cuddle me and give me their handmade presents when I get home.
Instead, I’ll be getting straight in the shower and throwing my clothes in the washing machine – it is our duty to protect the ones we love. If we all work together, keeping our communities safe, we can, and we will, save lives.