Where do I start with this week? It is good news for the country that Boris Johnson has resigned as Prime Minister. But it should have happened long ago. He has been responsible for lies, scandal and fraud on an industrial scale. And all those who have been complicit should be utterly ashamed.
The Tory Party have inflicted chaos upon the country during the worst cost of living crisis in decades. They have been in power for 12 years. The damage they have done is profound. Enough is enough. We don’t need to change the Tory at the top – we need a proper change of government and a fresh start for Britain.
This week we have also seen Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner cleared of any wrongdoing by Durham Police who have said that following a full investigation, there is no case to answer. Both Keir and Angela offered to resign should they be found guilty and is another example of how Labour is true to their word. For Labour, this was always a matter of principle. Honesty and integrity matter and that is exactly what you will get from your next Labour Government.
Leading West Midlands MPs in calling for flights to increase from Birmingham to Amritsar
I have led efforts with 11 other West Midlands MPs who have large Punjabi and Sikh diaspora communities, to write to CEO of Birmingham Airport, Nick Barton.
With more than 130,000 Sikhs in the West Midlands, MP's have written to the CEO asking that regular and direct flight from Birmingham to Amritsar be reviewed. Direct flights resumed last August as Covid travel restrictions relaxed, however the regularity of flights has remained significantly scaled down. Currently there is only one direct flight per week to Amritsar, Punjab from Birmingham International Airport.
I was pleased to see a positive response from Birmingham Airport and will be meeting with them to understand how this issue can be progressed.
Giving my Estimates Day speech on International Development from the dispatch box
This week I gave the concluding speech on the Estimates Day debate on the spending of Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office on the strategy for international development.
There was a healthy debate with challenge on the Government’s International Development Strategy from both sides of the House. We heard much about the appalling human cost of the aid cuts over the past two years. How 7.1 million children - over half the UK’s child population - lost out on their education. How 72 million people missed out on expected treatment for neglected tropical diseases. How in the middle of a pandemic, this government unconscionably pulled funding for research, health programmes, and hand-washing.
However, it also provided opportunity to discuss how these issues can be remedied. I set out five tests for the Government’s international development strategy that are simple measures that could be agreed on a cross-party basis. I outlined the importance of honouring the 0.7% pledge and how, in government Labour will return to it.
We live in unprecedented times, and the need for Britain to return to the international stage could not be greater.
The Commonwealth Games in our Constituency
In a few weeks’ time, our constituency will be playing its part in hosting the Commonwealth Games. This is an exciting opportunity for Birmingham and will see the creation of 20,000 jobs, huge investment and will put the eyes of 1.5 billion people firmly on our city. I am excited to witness the future legacy of these Games.
Consequently, there will be a temporary impact on residents. With the University of Birmingham, Edgbaston Cricket Ground and many other excellent venues in the constituency acting as hosts to sporting events and athletes, there will be some disruption. I will be writing to residents directly who will see the greatest impact with specific information – if you want to see in advance how you may be affected, including whether you need to apply for a Local Access Parking Permit, please follow this link which will provide you with some of the necessary information https://www.birmingham2022.com/getset/birmingham/.
However, I wanted to make all aware of how you can get prepared in advance so that we can all enjoy the Games to their fullest. First, there will be a number of Get Set for the Games sessions. These events are largely targeted at residents and businesses living or working near to a Games venue. There's no need to register, just pop along and speak to a member of the team. Find out dates and times here: https://www.birmingham2022.com/getset/sessions
You can also check out the marathon route that has been designed to allow as many residents as possible to see a Commonwealth Games event for free. You can view the route here: https://www.birmingham2022.com/getset/birmingham/marathon
Preet Kaur Gill MP
Birmingham Edgbaston covering Bartley Green, Edgbaston, Harborne and Quinton