This week we saw the publication of the Sue Gray report into the events that took place in Downing Street during Coronavirus restrictions. The report’s findings were shocking, detailing serious failures of leadership that led to multiple examples of unacceptable behaviour, at several events. It confirmed that the most senior leaders in government attended these events that “should not have been allowed to happen.”
The details are stark. Five months ago, the Prime Minister told Parliament that “all guidance was followed completely in No. 10.”
Yet we now know he attended numerous events, at least one of which the police have handed out fines for, deeming it illegal. We know that just before Boris Johnson cancelled Christmas for millions of people an event was held in Downing Street in which staff drank “excessively”, which others in the building described as a “party”, and that cleaners were left to mop up red wine the next day.
So many people across our constituency have contacted me to say how they were unable to attend the funerals of family members, went months without seeing loved ones and had their lives turned upside down by the pandemic restrictions.
This is what make it so hard to read the report without concluding that the government treated these immense sacrifices with utter contempt.
As our community begins to feel the crippling effects of the cost of living crisis – families need to know that they have a government that is on their side, entirely focused on what people need. That is why I have written to my neighbouring Conservative colleagues across the West Midlands imploring them to call on Boris Johnson to resign. While I understand this will not be easy for many of them, it is the right thing to do.
Sue Gray’s report lays bare the rot that has infected 10 Downing Street under this Prime Minister. The buck must stop with him and it is time to restore integrity and credibility to Number 10.
Labour forces the Tories to U-Turn on cost of living
Five months ago, Labour first called for a windfall tax on oil and gas profits to lower energy bills across the country. Since then, we have called for this action more than 250 times in the press. Yesterday, the government finally announced a U-turn and set out how they would at long last be implementing this policy. It is now clear about who is winning the battle of ideas in Britain. Where Labour leads, the Conservatives follow:
Labour pushed for the windfall tax. They’ve adopted it.
Labour said the buy now pay later scheme was wrong. Now they’ve ditched it.
This is a chaotic and rudderless Conservative government whose policies rarely last more than a few months.
Today, we should have had an Emergency Budget to spike the hike in National Insurance, cut small business rates, provide help for energy intensive firms and ensure that every pound of taxpayers’ money is spent wisely.
But the really crucial question is, where is their long-term plan for growing and protecting our economy? We need to fix the causes, not just the symptoms of the cost of living crisis.
That’s why Labour has a plan for our long term energy security, and a long term plan to grow the economy.
The Chancellor claims that a total of £37bn in cost of living support he is providing this year but most of that just compensates for the £35.4 billion of personal tax rises he has announced over the next two years.
West Midlands Ambulance Service on the brink of collapse
Staff of West Midlands Ambulance Service have warned how the service is only a few months away from the brink of collapse. This is a worrying development and is just the latest call for much-needed help from our NHS.
Last month, the ambulance service said at least 72 people in the West Midlands had died in the past year because ambulances did not get to them in time. Following these reports, I wrote to the health secretary, Sajid Javid, who is a fellow West Midlands MP, about this situation. Yet, he hasn't even bothered to respond.
I am now extremely concerned given ours is the largest NHS trust in the country. Clearly the Government hasn't done enough and doubtless, a lot of ambulance services are going through a similar crisis. It is in the Government's best interest to act but they don't have the solutions to fix the problem. It has been left to trusts to fix the problems. This is a dangerous precedent for the Government to set and is putting lives at risk.
Advice Surgery on 3rd June is Cancelled
This year I know that many of you are looking forward to celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. This falls on Friday 3rd June however, it is also the date of my next advice surgery.
Due to the bank holiday, a few locations where I would normally host surgeries are closed. Therefore, on the 3rd June only, I will not be running my advice surgeries. Instead, I will be looking to meet with residents at street parties and other community events across the constituency. I hope to see as many residents as possible.
In the meantime, if you need my help or support with anything, please contact me on email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me 0121 392 8426. Usual service will resume on 9th June with my Edgbaston ward surgery running at the Community Centre, B15 2HU from 10.30-11.30am.
Preet Kaur Gill MP
Birmingham Edgbaston covering Bartley Green, Edgbaston, Harborne and Quinton