Meeting with the Justice Minister

Jacqueline Wileman’s family have been let down by the justice system at every level.We recently met with the Government Minister to push for action and give her family the justice they deserve.Find out more in my interview on Radio Sheffield.

Visiting Sandhurst

As a member of the Parliamentary Armed Forces Scheme I visited Sandhurst.It was an honour to spend time with Ryan Francis from Worsbrough - I have nothing but total respect and admiration for those who serve our country to keep us all safe, and I know I speak for everyone across Barnsley in saying how proud we are of you and everyone who serves.

Blacklisting vote

Blacklisting is illegal and unacceptable, penalising those who stand up for workers’ rights.As a proud trade unionist and former officer of GMB, I recently voted in favour of banning those who blacklist workers from playing any role in restoring Parliament.

Column: Great Get Together

The following appeared as my column in the Barnsley Chronicle on 21st June: Today marks the start of the annual ‘Great Get Together’ weekend. The UK-wide event is now into its third year and will end on Sunday after a full weekend of communities up and down the country coming together in different ways. Because after all, that is what this event is all about. It’s inspired by Jo Cox, the Labour MP for Batley and Spen who was tragically killed three years ago. In her maiden speech in Parliament a year prior Jo stated that “we are far more united and have far more in common than that which divides us.” In the aftermath of her death, her family bravely honoured these words and established the ‘More in Common’ initiative that seeks to build united communities. The Great Get Together weekend plays a huge role in that, and this year around 6,500 get togethers are taking place around the country. From tea parties and coffee mornings to full street parties, events in all shapes and sizes will be bringing people together and making sure we put aside our differences. And right here in Barnsley I’ll be hosting my own event tomorrow. There’ll be games, competitions, and the opportunity to meet local organisations, charities, schools and people to help bring our community together. You can contact my office for more details, and I hope as many people as possible can join me there. Because I’m sure many of you will agree that it often feels more than ever that our society is divided. It’s often too easy to find differences with others and focus on what separates us. But that’s exactly why events like the Great Get Together are more important than ever. Because in Barnsley we have a proud local identity and strong character. We have a powerful community spirit that makes sure we look after our friends, neighbours, and those less vulnerable than ourselves. And Jo was right, we do have more in common. So let’s celebrate that this weekend, reject division, and show what a united and resilient community Barnsley can be.  

Brexit Letter to Jeremy Corbyn

I was elected on a Labour manifesto which pledged to respect the result of the referendum and work for a Brexit deal which protects jobs and rights. I believe that’s the right approach. Our letter to Jeremy Corbyn:

Number 10 Petition on Local Funding

Earlier today I was pleased to join Leader of Barnsley Council Sir Steve Houghton, Dan Jarvis and other MPs to present a petition to the Prime Minster at Downing Street calling for Children’s Services funding. It is unacceptable that Barnsley has been worst hit by cuts in the country.

Calling for an Orgreave inquiry

Today marks 35 years since Orgreave. As the Orgreave Campaign for Truth and Justice argues, it is possible to see a similar thread running through police actions at Orgreave and at Hillsborough five years later. While South Yorkshire Police is now thankfully a completely different organisation, that doesn’t in itself provide justice for what happened at Orgreave, nor does it mean that the families affected should be denied closure. It’s so disappointing that the Government recently rejected an offer from the Bishop of Sheffield to chair an independent panel to look into the events at Orgreave. We are now 35 years on from Orgreave, and ex-miners and their families are still waiting for justice. The Government’s argument that it’s too late for an inquiry, due to the length of time that’s passed, is simply not acceptable. It took 27 years to secure justice for the families of the Hillsborough victims – that was shameful, and it’s disgraceful that it’s taking even longer for justice for those affected by Orgreave. The last Labour manifesto committed to a full public inquiry into the events at Orgreave. This was a vital step forward. It’s time this Government made the same pledge, and I’ll keep pushing them to do so.

Attending the Cudworth memorial bench dedication

Today I attended the memorial bench dedication at the Pocket Peace Garden to remember the men of Cudworth who made the supreme sacrifice.Lest we forget.

Attending the Young Champions awards

It was an honour to present the Special Achievement award last night at Barnsley Young Champions.So many inspirational stories.A huge well done to the Chronicle​ for organising such a great event, and it was lovely to chat to Mel Dyke to congratulate her on her MBE.

Visiting the South Yorkshire Police call centre

I visited South Yorkshire Police​ at Atlas House to see first hand the call handlers who respond to 999 and 101 calls from across Barnsley and South Yorkshire.Thanks to Scarlett for letting me listen in to some of her calls.