It’s been a busy final week in Parliament before summer recess began on Friday. I started the week by welcoming the South Wales Police Special Constabulary to Parliament, along with colleagues from across the South Wales Police area to celebrate the Special Constabulary receiving the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. I was delighted to attend this event and hear from the Commons Speaker, who kindly hosted the event at Speakers House, and Chief Officer of the Special Constabulary, Dale Cartwright. This is a wonderful achievement & recognises the valuable work Special Constables do to keep our communities safe.
On Monday evening I voted no confidence in the Prime Minister and his politically corrupt Government in a vote that took place in Parliament. I spoke about the chaos the Conservatives have imposed on our country through their ineptitude, be it passport waiting lists or the cost of living crisis, we are being let down. The vote of no confidence would have challenged Tory MPs to stick to their words and put the country first. Instead they decided to enable Boris Johnson to cling on to power until a new leader is elected.
This week also saw the Tory leadership candidates narrowed down to just two candidates, Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak. Both candidates have served in Boris Johnson’s cabinet, and have contributed to the chaos, sleaze and scandal of the Tory UK Government, and would just be more of the same of what we’ve endured under Johsnon. A new leader is not going to fix anything. We need a fresh start for Britain.
On Tuesday, I spoke in a Westminster Hall debate on the cost of living crisis in Wales. With prices continuing to rise and more energy bill hikes set for the Autumn, I know constituents are increasingly worried about how they are going to make ends meet this winter. The cost of living crisis in Wales is being compounded by the UK Tory Government’s mishandling of the economy. From imposing the highest taxes in generations, to slashing Universal Credit uplifts & denying Wales of the funding it deserves as a result of HS2 being classed as a project that benefits Wales, they are rigging things against us. We need a UK Labour Government that would work effectively with the Welsh Labour Government to secure people in Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney the best deal.
I recently visited Ysgol Rhyd Y Grug where the students showed how they are leading the way on tackling climate change. On Wednesday I asked the Minister during COP26 questions what lessons he could learn from the action of young people to prevent deforestation, and when the UK Tory Government will follow the Labour Party’s lead on Net Zero. The extreme heat we experienced earlier in the week shows there is no time to delay, we need to see urgent and committed action from the UK Government to make a difference.
On Thursday I spoke/hoped to speak in Parliament about UK Government delays in dealing with MP’s correspondence. As we reach the end of the parliamentary term, ministers have been really slacking on responding to questions and we are seeing considerable delays across multiple Government departments. Dealing with constituency casework on behalf of the people I serve is a key priority for me as an MP, so it’s really frustrating that Government delays are affecting how quickly I can respond to constituents.
In one urgent case, I waited 59 working days for a reply from the Department for Work and Pensions. In another, I waited 58 working days for a response from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. One constituent has suffered as a result of an error at the DWP where his details were mistaken with a family member. His benefits have been stopped and attempts to resolve matters have been unsuccessful. I wrote to the Secretary of State on 23 May and I am still awaiting a response. This is on top of the eye watering delays at Her Majesty’s Passport Office, UK Visas & Immigration, and the DVLA. I pressed the Government on how they will take action to address such disrespectful behaviour.
Now that Parliament has gone into recess I will be working hard in the constituency and supporting residents with any issue they may have. I’ll also be attending lots of events in our communities. The Weekly Round-Up will take a break over summer and return in September when Parliament is sitting again.
As ever, if there are issues you want to raise with me as your local MP, please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling on 01685 383739.