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Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn has called on the government to respect the vote in the Lords amending the Article 50 legislation to protect the status of EU Nationals living in Britain.

In Yorkshire and the Humber alone, almost 7,000 EU nationals work in social care or the NHS.

The government has signalled its intention to seek to overturn the Lords' amendment in the Commons.

Jeremy Corbyn is continuing to coordinate EU-wide efforts by socialist parties to protect the rights of UK citizens living in the EU and EU citizens living in the UK.

The Labour Leader said:

"EU nationals, who have made their lives here, are welcome here, their rights should be guaranteed. Labour voted for it in the Commons; we beat them in the Lords.

“And now it is time for Theresa May to guarantee the rights of all EU nationals in this country. People are not bargaining chips.

“Over 50,000 EU nationals, including 10,000 doctors, work in our NHS.

“Our NHS needs all their talents.”

Corbyn calls on government to respect Lords' amendment to protect EU nationals

Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn has called on the government to respect the vote in the Lords amending the Article 50 legislation to protect the status of EU Nationals living in...

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Jim McMahon MP, Shadow Minister for Devolution, commenting on the publication of the first report by the Northern Powerhouse Partnership:

“Labour is the party of devolution, and Labour councils have welcomed the breaking down of barriers to ensure power flows from Westminster into regions across the UK. Done right, devolution can empower our communities. But done wrong, it’s just cover for more cuts.

"It is deeply ironic for George Osborne to highlight the North-South divide in our country when it is his failed economic plan which has deepened that regional inequality. George Osborne’s Northern Powerhouse failed to devolve real freedoms, genuine financial reform and sufficient funding to redress the economic and social imbalances which exist. It quickly became seen as a toxic brand and a hollow exercise in political PR to boost Osborne’s reputation.

"George Osborne’s version of devolution was used as a smokescreen for devolving cuts. By giving piecemeal powers to local authorities, along with huge budget reductions, central government forced the blame for cuts on to local councils. The Tories give with one hand and take away with the other. Ten of the twelve “struggling” cities in the UK are located in the Northern Powerhouse, but this government’s destructive and counter-productive cuts to local services are making the Northern Powerhouse look more like a Northern Poorhouse.

"You simply cannot empower local government if you impoverish it. George Osborne’s – and now Phillip Hammond’s – brutal and punishing cuts have left local government facing a £5.8 billion funding gap by 2020. The IFS predicts a 79% cut in direct funding for local government between 2010 and 2020, with the local authorities with the highest levels of deprivation receiving some of the greatest cuts. The move towards “financial self-sufficiency” for local councils is looking more and more like an ideological drive to make the poor areas poorer and the rich areas richer.

"The £2.6 billion hole in social care funding is leaving 1.2 million elderly people without the care they need, libraries, museums and youth centres have closed and there is a national housing crisis, with rough sleeping on the rise. And £2 billion worth of EU Structural Funds in the Northern Powerhouse are at risk after we leave the EU and are not guaranteed to be replaced by Government. Government is devolving responsibilities whilst cutting resources to the bone.

"Furthermore, it is crucial that all of the North feels the warmth of growth and prosperity - not just the city-regions who will be electing Mayors this year. The Government’s devolution agenda has failed to reach the smaller cities and towns, let alone rural areas.

"A Labour government will introduce a radical devolution agenda which sees power handed back to communities, giving councils, residents and business the opportunity to shape the way their services provided. This will be backed up by Regional Investment Banks, including a Bank of the North, which will complement rather than complicate, existing local government structures.” 

Osborne is no champion for the North

  Jim McMahon MP, Shadow Minister for Devolution, commenting on the publication of the first report by the Northern Powerhouse Partnership: “Labour is the party of devolution, and Labour councils...

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Clive Lewis MP and Gill Furniss MP at Sheffield Forgemasters

 

The Tories are failing on infrastructure

The Government has unveiled a National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline. However, of the top twenty infrastructure and construction projects receiving the most funds, only two are in the North East, North West or Yorkshire and the Humber.

Source: ‘National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline’, 5 December 2016


The Tories are failing on jobs, growth and pay 

  • Economic growth between 2010 and 2015 was lower in the North East (7.7%), the North West (7.2%) and Yorkshire and the Humber (5.2%) than across the UK (9.9%).
  • Over the next decade, average GVA growth per year is projected to be lower in the North East (1.6%), the North West (1.9%) and Yorkshire and the Humber (1.8%) than across the UK (2.1%).
  • The unemployment rates in the North East (6.8%), the North West (5.3%) and Yorkshire and the Humber (4.9%) are all higher than the UK average (4.8%).
  • The employment rates in the North East (70.5%), the North West (73%) and Yorkshire and the Humber (73.6%) are all lower than the UK average (74.5%).
  • Average earnings in the North East (£492 per week), North West (£502pw) and Yorkshire and the Humber (£498pw) are all lower than the UK average of £539pw.

Source: ‘Regional and Country Economic Indicators’, House of Commons Library Briefing Paper, 18 January 2017

 

Tory cuts to local government are hitting the North hard 

  • Tory cuts to local government spending power across England are hitting the most deprived councils hardest. The six most deprived areas are all in the North, all of whom have seen cuts of more than three times the national average cut of £169.

Deprivation rank

Council

Change in spending power per household 2011/12 to 2019/20

1

Blackpool

-£566.28

2

Knowsley

-£761.58

3

Kingston upon Hull

-£535.56

4

Liverpool

-£670.94

5

Manchester

-£613.52

6

Middlesbrough

-£585.70

7

Birmingham

-£695.34

8

Nottingham

-£474.91

9

Burnley

-£191.38

10

Tower Hamlets

-£585.29

 

Source: Labour Party research on change in spending power per household from 2011/12 to 2019/20 based on House of Commons library and DCLG spending power 2016 -2017 statistics.

Rebecca Long-Bailey MP, Labour’s Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, responding to the Government’s announcement of investment in the Northern Powerhouse, said: 

"Today’s announcement of just over £500 million for the so-called Northern Powerhouse will be a welcome boost for the North. However, the figure pales into insignificance when you consider that local authorities lost £18bn of Government funding in real terms between 2010-15, with the poorest councils bearing the brunt of the cuts.

“Labour has committed to investing £250 billion of direct capital expenditure in UK infrastructure. This is the scale of investment needed in order to repair the damage caused by decades of de-industrialisation in the North of England.
 
“From what we have seen of the Government’s industrial strategy so far I am not convinced they are committed to the long term investment needed to transform the Northern economy.”

Clive Lewis MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, who last week visited South Yorkshire as part of Labour's ongoing Industrial Strategy consulation, said:

"This belated attempt to develop a proper industrial strategy is a step in the right direction, but once again what the Tories are offering looks like too little too late.

“We await further detail, but what's been announced so far will fall far short of getting us back to where we were in 2010, let alone equip our economy for the challenges of the 21st Century. The £170m announced for vocational education, for example, will do little to plug the £1.15bn hole in the Adult Skills Budget created by Tory cuts since 2010. 

“It will be a great shame if the Government wastes this opportunity to put our economy on a new path. But they have already watered down a series of flagship commitments, from putting workers on boards to tackling executive pay, and there are too many people on the Tory benches who think that the only role of Government is to deregulate markets. The reality is that a Prime Minister who wants to turn us into a tax haven cannot be trusted to deliver an industrial strategy.”

 

Tories are failing to commit to the long-term investment needed to transform the Northern economy

  Clive Lewis MP and Gill Furniss MP at Sheffield Forgemasters   The Tories are failing on infrastructure The Government has unveiled a National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline. However, of...

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Andy McDonald MP, Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary, commenting on the Public Accounts Committee report on HS2, said:

“The benefits HS2 can bring to the country are significant but the Government must urgently get a grip in order to keep the project on track.

“The Public Accounts Committee report was damning, showing that Phase 1 looks to be behind schedule and over-budget and casting doubt over the promised benefits to the rest of the country.

“There have always been concerns over how soon the North of the country would benefit from HS2, but with cost estimates for phase 2 all over the place, there’s now a real concern that the project will be downgraded.

“To be at this stage and still not know how much it will cost, what the route will be and when it will open, is unacceptable.

“The Government need to answer why they have failed to set a workable and realistic timetable for HS2 and to give guarantees of their commitment to delivering the entirety of the high speed railway.”

Government must urgently get a grip in order to keep HS2 project on track

Andy McDonald MP, Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary, commenting on the Public Accounts Committee report on HS2, said: “The benefits HS2 can bring to the country are significant but the Government...

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Ministers may have misled Parliament with claims that the Independent Police Complaints Commission warned against an inquiry into policing at Orgreave, Andy Burnham revealed in the Commons today. 

The Police watchdog confirmed to Labour that it had not advised against an Inquiry at this time - casting major doubt over a Ministerial statement in the Lords last week.

During an Urgent Question in the Commons this lunchtime, the Shadow Home Secretary accused the Government of shunting calls for the inquiry into the long grass. Burnham called on the new Home Secretary Amber Rudd to correct the misleading impression given to Parliament.

The so-called Battle of Orgreave in 1984 was brought back into the public eye following the Hillsborough Inquest verdicts in April this year. 

Last Wednesday, Government Minister Lord Keen told the House of Lords that "the IPCC told Home Office officials that if it announced any action to set up an inquiry or other investigation relating to Orgreave, it would have an impact on the Hillsborough investigation. It is for that reason that the decision will be taken only once that part has been concluded."

However, the Deputy Chair of the IPCC later confirmed that “the IPCC has not taken or offered any position on whether there should be a public inquiry into the events at Orgreave during the miners' strike. That is a decision that is entirely a matter for the Home Secretary."

A report published last year by the IPCC found that senior officers had made untrue statements.

In December 2015, Theresa May received a legal submission from the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign after offering to consider a public inquiry. 

On the same afternoon as the Minister’s comments in the Lords, the Campaign received confirmation that the Government will not be proceeding with the inquiry until the Hillsborough investigations are complete.

Andy Burnham MP, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary, said:

“The miners' strike, and the so-called Battle of Orgreave, remains one of the most contested periods in our nation's history when, in the words of one former Chief Constable, the police were ‘an army of occupation’.

"At the very same as our new PM was on the steps of Downing St last week promising to ‘fight injustice’, one of her Ministers was announcing her last decision as Home Secretary which was to shunt Orgreave into the long grass.

“The Home Secretary should correct the misleading impression given to Parliament that the IPCC had advised the Home Office against the establishment of an Inquiry at this time.

“There is no reason whatsoever why on-going Hillsborough investigations should delay an Orgreave Inquiry and, that in similar situations, it is commonplace for the Home Office protections to be put in place to manage any risks.

“The Home Secretary today should do the right thing, restore damaged trust in coalfield communities amongst people who have already waited more than 30 years for the truth and order a full public inquiry into Orgreave.”

Ministers accused of misleading Parliament over Orgreave inquiry

Ministers may have misled Parliament with claims that the Independent Police Complaints Commission warned against an inquiry into policing at Orgreave, Andy Burnham revealed in the Commons today.  The Police...

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Bradford Labour group has this evening elected Susan Hinchcliffe as its new leader, backing her pledge to increase Bradford’s national profile and build strong ties with other major cities.

After outgoing leader David Green completed his four-year term, the Windhill and Wrose councillor was successful in a leadership ballot at a Labour group AGM this evening.

She will be formally nominated as Council Leader at the Council AGM on 17th May.

Strong local election results last week saw Labour increase its majority on Bradford Council.

Susan Hinchcliffe said:

“I’m hugely proud to have been chosen by my fellow Labour councillors to lead my home city at this challenging but exciting time.

“I want to pay tribute to the work of my predecessor Cllr Dave Green. He took on the mantle of leadership at an extremely difficult time for our Party and brought about major change and significant improvements for our district – he stands down with Bradford in far, far better shape than when he became leader.

“Now I want to take us to the next level. As a Bradfordian who has had great opportunities from a comprehensive education and upbringing here, I want even better for future generations.

“I want Bradford to fulfil our potential - to be known for our distinct brand of energy, diversity and entrepreneurialism.

“I want us to have strong ties with other major cities and increase our national positive profile.

“We know more disproportionate and damaging cuts are on their way from David Cameron’s Tory government and I’ll stand up against them, but we can’t stand by and wait for a change in Westminster. Bradford needs to punch above its weight now on the regional and national stage, and that’s what I’ll aim to provide in my leadership.”

Bradford Labour elect Susan Hinchcliffe as new Leader

    Bradford Labour group has this evening elected Susan Hinchcliffe as its new leader, backing her pledge to increase Bradford’s national profile and build strong ties with other major...

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Gill Furniss, Labour’s candidate in the Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough by-election, has urged women across the constituency not currently on the electoral roll to mark International Women’s Day by registering to vote.

Women make up over half the population but at the General Election last year over a third of eligible women didn’t vote.

Women are more likely to work for less pay than men. More women work part-time and in low paid sectors, and are disproportionately affected by cuts to public services. The gender pay gap means that women in the UK take home just 81p for every £1 a man earns. This is well below the EU average - and at the current rate it will be another 47 years until the gap is closed!

Gill Furniss said:

“We owe a huge amount to the suffragettes a century ago who campaigned so hard for women to have the right to vote, but today too many of us don’t see the point in voting and are disengaged with our democratic process.

“Us women make up over half the population – if we all voted we could decide the outcome of an election by ourselves!

“Women across Brightside and Hillsborough are struggling to make ends meet as Tory cuts hit us even harder than men. Between 2010 and 2020, 81% of the savings made to the Treasury through tax and benefit changes will have come from the pockets of women.

“The Tories are content to ignore the effect their policies have had on women. In order to make them sit up and take notice, it is vital that women register to vote and make sure their voices are heard in this by-election, to send a strong woman Labour MP to parliament.”

 

Make sure you have your say - mark International Women's Day by registering to vote, says Furniss

Gill Furniss, Labour’s candidate in the Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough by-election, has urged women across the constituency not currently on the electoral roll to mark International Women’s Day by registering...

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A highly critical report into the effectiveness of Humberside Police published by HMIC today (Thursday) is a damning indictment of Humberside Police under current Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Grove, according to Labour PCC candidate Keith Hunter.

The “PEEL: Police Effectiveness 2015 national overview” report published this morning declares that Humberside Police is graded “requires improvement” overall, and “requires improvement” in three of the four categories assessed.

The Force “requires improvement” in “Preventing crime and anti social behaviour”, “Investigating crime and managing offenders” and “protecting vulnerable people.”

Only in “tackling serious and organized crime” did the Force score a “good” grade.

This latest damning verdict on the performance of Humberside Police under Matthew Grove comes just a couple of months since the Force was graded ‘inadequate’ in an assessment of its efficiency.

Keith Hunter, Labour’s candidate in May’s Police and Crime Commissioner election, said:

“This latest report from HMIC is hugely disappointing for resident of the Humberside Police area. It is only a couple of months since the force was graded as ‘inadequate’ in respect of its efficiency and now it is rated as ‘requiring improvement’ in its overall effectiveness.

“Of particular concern is that fact that Matthew Grove’s priority area of ‘protecting vulnerable people’ is one of the areas that specifically requires improvement. When that area was examined by HMIC and reported on separately in December, Matthew Grove buried the report and did not make public the fact that the force had been rated as requiring improvement.

“In that report the Inspector stated “the force’s ability to investigate and safeguard vulnerable victims is a cause for concern for HMIC”. The PCC should be on the side of the public, not hiding inconvenient facts from them. Grove has failed the force and he is failing the people he is meant to represent – this report is an indictment on his record as PCC.

“The only aspect of the force to be rated as ‘good ‘ was the response to organised crime which, coincidently, is the area least affected so far by the changes Grove has overseen.

“It should not go unnoticed that the only force to be rated as ‘outstanding’ is a Force with an ex-senior police officer representing the Labour party as the PCC. That is a winning combination we hope will soon be repeated in Humberside to kick-start the recovery from this disastrous period of stewardship under Matthew Grove.”

HMIC Report ‘an indictment’ on Humberside Police under Matthew Grove, says Hunter

A highly critical report into the effectiveness of Humberside Police published by HMIC today (Thursday) is a damning indictment of Humberside Police under current Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Grove,...

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West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson, has been reselected to be Labour’s candidate for May’s election.

He was unanimously approved by all the Constituency Labour Parties and affiliated organisations across West Yorkshire.

Since being elected in November 2012 Mark has delivered on the pledges he made to West Yorkshire people. He has:

  • Protected neighbourhood policing as a fierce advocate in the face of unprecedented government cuts to police budgets and campaigned tirelessly regionally and nationally to get the best deal for West Yorkshire Police and the public.
  • Created a Safer Communities Fund that puts the proceeds of crime seized in West Yorkshire back into our communities, an innovation that has seen over a million pounds invested in community safety groups and projects throughout the county.
  • Put victims first with the creation of the nationally acclaimed Help4victims website, providing impartial information and advice to victims and witnesses of crime, establishment of victims' hubs and has set up the first Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) in West Yorkshire.
  • Safeguarded those who are most vulnerable by providing extra resources to better tackle complex threats such as CSE and cybercrime, human trafficking and terrorism. This includes the setting up of a dedicated anti-trafficking unit in West Yorkshire and a national anti-trafficking network for Police and Crime Commissioners to be launched by Mark at The Home Office next week.
  • Delivered improved services and helping reduce crime in collaboration with many partners, alongside meeting his election commitment to reduce the cost of his office. As well as being a leading PCC in the fourth largest in England and Wales, his office costs are the third lowest in the country.

Mark Burns-Williamson said: 

"I am honoured to have been reselected as Labour's candidate for the West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner election in May.

“It has been a real privilege to serve the people of West Yorkshire as their PCC over the past three years and have had the opportunity to make a real difference to the lives of people and their families in our communities.

“Despite unprecedented cuts to the policing budget I have worked closely with West Yorkshire Police, council leaders, many other partners and the public to protect frontline policing, cut crime and re-offending, tackle anti-social behaviour and address community concerns such as road safety and hate crime across the county.

“There is still, however, much more to do to make sure our communities are safer and feeling safer and I will be asking people across West Yorkshire to support me in the May election to continue to make a difference. To protect frontline policing, safeguard those who are vulnerable and put victims first, and work in even greater partnership to prevent crime and tackle threats such as CSE, domestic abuse, cyber crime, trafficking and terrorism.”

Mark Burns-Williamson reselected as West Yorkshire PCC candidate

West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson, has been reselected to be Labour’s candidate for May’s election. He was unanimously approved by all the Constituency Labour Parties and affiliated...

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South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings, has been reselected by the Labour Party to contest May’s election.

He was unanimously approved by all the Constituency Labour Parties and affiliated organisations across South Yorkshire.

Dr Billings has been in the post since November 2014, when he won a by-election on the first round of voting.

Since then, he has overseen progress in beginning the task of rebuilding trust in the force. He has:

·       Secured Home Office grants towards the Hillsborough Inquests costs from the Home Secretary
·       Put extra staff into CSE work and ensured training was improved
·       Set up a panel of victims, survivors and their families to advise him and the force on CSE work
·       Commissioned Professor John Drew to review how CSE was dealt with across South Yorkshire – he will report in the next few weeks. Trials are taking place in Sheffield Crown Court
·       Currently reviewing how South Yorkshire Police deals with protests
·       Commissioned a review of how the public contact the police which is gradually leading to an improvement of service

Dr Alan Billings said:

“I’m very pleased to have been reselected by the Labour Party to contest the upcoming Police and Crime Commissioner election.

“Since taking up the post just over one year ago, I have worked hard to hold the Police Force to account on behalf of the public and to begin the task of rebuilding trust in the Force. Some good progress has been made, though there remains much more to do.

“It has been a challenging time. What has had to be faced and dealt with in South Yorkshire is unprecedented - the on-going Hillsborough Inquests, child sexual exploitation in Rotherham and continued protest marches by far-right groups. All of these have put a severe strain on the budget at a time when government funding has been severely cut.

“Looking forward, the biggest challenge will be to maintain neighbourhood policing with the far fewer officers and PCSOs that we now have. But I am committed to making this a priority.

“We also have to find better ways of working with partners - the local authorities, the NHS, Fire and Ambulance, the voluntary sector - if between us we are to meet the increasing demands on all of us from the growing number of vulnerable people in our society.

“I welcome the opportunity to ask the public of South Yorkshire to put their trust in me again and to use my experience, knowledge and work ethic to help deliver a police service we can have confidence in.”

Dr Alan Billings reselected as Labour Police & Crime Commissioner candidate

South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings, has been reselected by the Labour Party to contest May’s election. He was unanimously approved by all the Constituency Labour Parties...

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