This week, the unworkable Rwanda bill passed its third reading.
The Tories are in total chaos about this failing scheme which is costing the British taxpayer £400m, with more promised, despite not a single asylum seeker having been sent to Rwanda. It’s ridiculous that more Home Secretaries than asylum seekers have been sent to Rwanda.
Crazier than that is the fact that the Government has now been forced to admit that it’s “lost contact” with 85 per cent of the 5,000 people earmarked for removal to Rwanda. That's 4,250 people missing – where are they all? They’re certainly not in Rwanda.
The Home Office Permanent Secretary says there is no evidence that the Rwanda scheme will work as a deterrent, and the former Home Secretary and former Immigration Minister say that this bill won’t work. Even the Prime Minister himself doesn’t believe in this gimmick. He had to be talked out of scrapping the whole thing. He didn’t think it would work.
It’s time the Conservatives admitted that this deal is just a costly and damaging distraction. Only Labour has a serious plan to reform the asylum system:
1. Crackdown on criminal smuggler gangs, through new Cross-Border Police Unit and deeper security cooperation with Europe
2. End hotel use, clear the Tory asylum backlog, and speed up returns to safe countries
3. Reform resettlement routes to stop people being exploited by gangs
4. New agreement with France and other countries on returns and family reunion
5. Tackle humanitarian crises at source helping refugees in their region
This week, in my role as Shadow Minister for Primary Care and Public Health, I’ve been campaigning for more measures to tackle youth vaping. Since Labour voted on an amendment to the Health and Care Bill to crack down on vapes being marketed to children, the number of 11-17 year olds vaping regularly has more than trebled. That’s over 140,000 British children becoming addicted to nicotine.
What’s shocking is that, due to a legal loophole, vapes marketed at 0% nicotine can be sold to children. Analysis conducted by Inter Scientific of 300 products seized by various trading standards around the country found that 88% were non-compliant with UK regulations - and 35% contained nicotine despite being marketed at 0%.
Labour is committed to tackling this epidemic in youth vaping. We will crack down on the companies peddling vapes to children and ban the marketing of vapes, regardless of nicotine content, to under-18s.
I raised these concerns in Parliament:
And I spoke to the The Sun:
There is also evidence emerging showing that grooming gangs are using vapes to exploit minors. This is deeply disturbing.
Labour will introduce tough new laws to stop gangs exploiting children and come down hard on anyone marketing vapes to under-18s.
I spoke to The Mirror:
Medical Devices Regulations Debate
This week, I spoke in a regulations amendment debate pertaining to In Vitro Diagnostic Devices.
From catching killer diseases early to preventing infections, the medtech companies make a huge contribution to our NHS, and our vibrant life sciences sector in the UK. Labour supports the amendments to secure continuity of supply for the critical medtech sector.
This week, it was great to meet with Future Advocacy to discuss Movember and the important issue of men's mental health.
Around three quarters of those who take their own lives are men. Labour's mission will be to reverse the number of rising suicides, so fewer lives are needlessly lost.
This week in Parliament, it was great to visit Alcohol Change’s event for their Dry January campaign.
For 14 years, the Government has had no joined-up plan for health and has been unwilling to lead on issues like alcohol harm. Labour will reform the NHS, shifting the focus to prevention, so that people can live healthier and happier lives.
It was also great to see the British Liver Trust in Parliament this week. The liver has a remarkable ability to repair itself and, if diagnosed early, liver damage can be reversed.
Labour will use our Fit for the Future fund to purchase the latest MRI and CT scanner technology, accelerating the earlier detection of liver disease and cancer.
Sir Tony Lloyd MP
I am deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Labour's Sir Tony Lloyd, MP for Rochdale, this week. Tony was a very kind colleague, much loved by all who were lucky enough to know or meet him. My thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.
Tesco Winter Food Collection
It’s great to hear that customers in Birmingham, Edgbaston donated 2,491 meals to the Tesco Winter Food Collection in 2023. Thank you to all who donated.
Tesco will continue to provide support during the school holidays, offering Free Kids Meals in their cafés on presentation of a Clubcard and any purchase 60p or over.
Next Tuesday, 23rd January, the MHRC will be visiting Leigham Drive, B17 8AT, in Quinton. The centre will be open between 7am and 12:30pm, so please do come along if you’re local and have bulky household waste to dispose of.
If you would like to support me campaigning and join me doorknocking, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Preet Kaur Gill MP
Birmingham Edgbaston covering Bartley Green, Edgbaston, Harborne and Quinton