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Weekly update - 26 August

This week students across the constituency have been receiving their GCSE results. After what has been a difficult and disruptive few years, no matter the outcome, I hope all of our students are proud of what that they have achieved. I’d like to take this opportunity to wish all a massive congratulations!

These results come just one week after A-level and BTEC results were shared. These have been more concerning as I know that some students are still waiting on results. This is understandably worrying given how this could have a drastic impact on a student's next steps. I have had a number of worried parents contact me about this and I am happy to support anyone who needs help in contacting schools and exam boards.

Instead of getting a grip on the situation we’ve also had virtual silence from the Education Secretary. Our zombie government is content to sit by as our kids’ futures are threatened. But this isn’t acceptable. We need to know what ministers are doing to resolve this right now.


Winter worries as cost-of-living continues to bite

It is clear to everyone that the Conservative’s cost of living crisis is unsustainable. As the weather changes and we begin turning on the heating more, people are worried about how they’ll get through this winter. Indeed, many people simply won’t be able to turn on the heating at all.

Meanwhile, the Conservative Government continues to put the profits of oil and gas giants before the interests of the British people. Giants who tell us they have ‘more cash than we know what to do with’.

Instead of continuing down this path, we can do something about it. Labour would stop energy prices rising this winter by freezing the price cap, preventing prices rising further and saving households across our constituency the equivalent of £42 million. This plan would be paid for through properly taxing oil and gas producers and closing loopholes waved through by the Tories.

That isn’t all. After 12 years of a Tory Government that has failed to secure Britain’s energy security, we need a proper plan for the future. That is why Labour would invest in home grown, clean energy to reduce our reliance on expensive foreign gas and, because our homes are some of the worst insulated in Europe, we’d implement a mass rapid home insulation programme to get bills down long-term.

I believe Britain deserves better than the path currently etched out by the Tories, and only Labour can give deliver the fresh start our country needs.


Deeply concerning revelations in Johal’s case

This week I was deeply concerned to learn of the revelation that it was information passed by Britain to India that led to Johal’s unlawful arrest, arbitrary detention, and subsequent torture. The Foreign Secretary at that time was Boris Johnson and only he could have signed off the transfer of such information.

The revelation has huge implications, showing the UK Government turning against one of its own citizens. My fear is that if it can happen to Johal, it can happen to any Briton travelling overseas.

Lawyers acting for Johal are now taking the UK Government to court over this, with a complaint lodged at the High Court. With Britain bound by international obligations, including the UN Convention Against Torture, the UK Government must act transparently and cooperatively during this case. That must include Boris Johnson coming clean about whether he played a role in the authorisation of sharing intelligence when he was Foreign Secretary.

Disappointingly, the two candidates to replace Boris Johnson, which includes the current Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, have been silent on Johal’s case. Their silence over a British National arbitrarily detained and tortured abroad cannot wash and I call on them to urgently speak out for his immediate release.

My thoughts remain with Johal’s family and friends, whom I wish to reassure that I will continue urging the UK Government to push for Johal’s release.


Commonwealth Games equipment giveaway

The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games saw incredible sporting action, record ticket sales and viewing figures, and shone a spotlight on our talented region and people.

Now, the organising committee of the Games, working with Sport England, is looking to give away more than 16,000 sports items used at our Games.

The items, which include bikes, martial arts mats, weights, T20 cricket equipment, basketballs, boxing gloves and weights, as well as general equipment, such as cones and bibs, are being made available to local sport and community groups across the West Midlands.

The community giveaway will support our shared goal to create a lasting community impact in the West Midlands, by supporting people to be active beyond our Games.

Not-for-profit community-based organisations, such as local voluntary groups, schools, sports clubs, Community Interest Companies (CICs) and social enterprises that deliver community-based projects, that seek to tackle inactivity and promote the physical and mental benefits of leading an active life, are encouraged to apply.

A full catalogue of the equipment for the community giveaway will be made available on Sport England website for groups and clubs to look at and apply for.

In addition, some of the high-performance equipment from our Games – such as temporary performance sprung flooring that created the netball and 3x3 basketball courts, as well as the boxing ring and high-performance Judo mats - is being distributed amongst national sports bodies.

This means that, alongside the separate community giveaway, these sports bodies will be able to repurpose some of their high-performance equipment into communities that can benefit the most from it.

Community groups and schools have until 19 September to get their application in and can apply through the Sport England website.


Looking for your next role?

Fancy working in Parliament? I’m looking to recruit a Personal Assistant based in London to join my dynamic team. I’m looking for someone who is well-organised, with a strong attention to detail who can support with diary management and assist in the writing of speeches and compilation of briefing packs. If you’re interested, I would strongly encourage applicants of all backgrounds to apply. For more information, please see the full role profile below. Closing date is 6th September.

Preet Kaur Gill MP

Birmingham Edgbaston covering Bartley Green, Edgbaston, Harborne and Quinton

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