My week started with a day-long Health Select Committee visit to Coventry. I was impressed by what is being done to implement their public health agenda across all council activities. This included measures to improve exercise engagement in communities and children’s services which offer early interventions as well as advice and support for children showing at risk behaviours.
On Tuesday I attended a Show Racism the Red Card event in Parliament. I’m proud to support this charity – they use the high profile of football and players to educate people about race and racism. Education is key to tackling racism and discrimination of all kinds.
Following this I joined an Invictus Games Welcome Home Reception organised by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Armed Forces. It was great to meet some of Britain’s wounded and injured armed services veterans following their triumphant performance at the second Games in Orlando, Florida.
Meeting again with the Health Select Committee this week, I heard about Local Authority planning for pandemics. This responsibility has been transferred from the NHS to Local Authority. Local Authorities are endeavouring to learn lessons from previous incidences.
I joined the meeting of the Rugby League APPG and spoke about how keen I am to get more women and girls involved – it is important that participation is put ahead of competition. It is also vital that clubs’ corporate responsibility obligations are fulfilled. They need to be good role models working closely with our communities.
On Wednesday I met with Change.org and Tampon Tax campaigner Laura Coryton. I spoke about my experience of becoming an MP and leading a successful campaign. We also discussed internet trolling and the issue of women being abused online. I’m pleased to support the ‘Reclaim the Internet Campaign’ which was launched this week by Labour MPs Yvette Cooper, Stella Creasy and Jess Phillips. It’s a cross party drive to highlight the shocking extent of online abuse and to make sure women aren’t targeted by trolls, bullies and abusers.
I had a productive and candid discussion about hate crime and also the role of the media in a meeting with Sufyan Ismail of MEND, Muslim Engagement and Development. We agreed to work together on cohesion and integration programmes in constituency.
That evening I attended a dinner organised by Caabu, the Council for Arab-British Understanding, and the charity Human Appeal – which marked this year’s achievements of the organisations around the world including in Syria and Kashmir, humanitarian work and global challenges. I was delighted to sit with Labour Peer Lord Alf Dubs.
Thursday saw Women and Equalities questions and Business Questions in Parliament. I asked questions of the Government at both. Of the Equalities Minister I raised concerns about young women featured in overtly sexualised ad campaigns. Perhaps if there were more women at senior levels in business we might have fewer examples of this kind of irresponsible advertising?
I pressed the Deputy Leader of the House of Commons on the threat posed by TTIP – for the House of Commons to pass a motion of regret on the Queen’s Speech is an unprecedented humiliation for any government. It is clear from yesterday’s vote that a majority in the Commons, as well as in the country, do not accept the government’s position on TTIP, and believe that the trade deal that is currently on the table is a clear threat to the NHS and other public services.
Back up North I attended The Examiner’s Pride of Huddersfield Awards. It really was heart-warming to see people being recognised for their dedication to charity work and devotion to their communities.
In my constituency today I had the pleasure to join Stanley’s Training Project Music event – a brilliantly run scheme which promotes community cohesion and provide services that ensure people with learning disabilities and dementia are not marginalised. I’ll also be hosting my regular surgery this afternoon and popping in to Westborough High School fashion show this evening!