Attending the Barnsley College Principal's Dinner

Amazing food at The Open Kitchen all made and served brilliantly by Barnsley College​ students - huge thanks to everyone for all their hard work. If you are in town it’s open for lunch each day and you can book dinner every Thursday:

Probation Announcement

Last night the Government announced they will be ending the disastrous decision to outsource probation services to private companies. I welcome the news, which follows my speech on Tuesday in the House of Common on how the tragic death of Jacqueline Wileman demonstrates the failure of probation services under the Tories, which you can see here. 

Joining the Women and Equalities Select Committee

Pleased to have joined the Women and Equalities select committee for my first meeting today. Looking forward to working on important issues from male mental health, LGBT+ health, to the use of non-disclosure agreements.  You can find out more about the work the Committee does here. 

Protecting Victims of Rape and Domestic Violence

This week I signed this important letter calling for better protections for victims of rape and domestic violence:

Under the Tories: Work Doesn't Pay

Thousands of people in Barnsley East are stuck in low-paid, insecure, short-term work and forced to resort to foodbanks, it’s clear that under the Tories work doesn’t pay. Watch me challenge the Government in the House of Commons here. 

Visiting the Fabian Women's Network's residential weekend

It was great to pop in to the Fabian Women’s Network’s residential weekend at Northern College.Lovely to meet so many inspiring women who want to get involved in politics.

Column: social mobility

The following appeared as my column in the Barnsley Chronicle on 10th May:Social mobility is something I’ve spoken about several times in my column in the past. And I make no apologies for doing so again. Because I passionately believe that people’s ability to get on in life should not be determined by the postcode they were born in. It’s simply not fair that people born in our town do not receive the same chances and opportunities in life as those born elsewhere. Just because someone has lived their whole life in Worsbrough rather than Windsor should not mean they will live around a decade shorter. Just because a child is born in Cudworth rather than Chelsea should not mean they are five times less likely to go on to university. Just because someone grows up in Barnsley rather than Buckinghamshire, should not mean they have a one-in-four chance of growing up in poverty. And yet, this is the case. Just last week I was fortunate to meet the new principal of Barnsley College, Mr Koursis. We spoke about the students there, and the belief that many of them have that their aspirations are limited. No child should be limited in their aspirations of what they can accomplish, and I was delighted to hear Mr Koursis’ plans to tackle those attitudes and inspire learners. But it’s no wonder people feel like that. In their recent report, the Social Mobility Commission stated inequality is fully entrenched from birth in places like Barnsley. For instance, if you’re born better off you’re 80 percent more likely to end up in a professional job than someone from a working class background. And those from disadvantaged backgrounds who do land those jobs will still earn significantly less. I don’t think any of this will be news to people in Barnsley. Nor, I’m sure, will the Commission’s conclusion: that the Government needs to take urgent action. That means investment in our schools to give children here the best possible start from birth. In our economy, so people aren’t stuck for life in low-paid, insecure jobs with no prospect of development. And in our healthcare system, where world-class care can be given from cradle to grave.  So that’s why I’ll keep banging the drum for Barnsley and fighting until the opportunities for people here at the very least match those elsewhere.

Visiting Upperwood Primary Academy

I really enjoyed my visit to Upperwood Primary Academy in Darfield.It was lovely to meet with the Principal, Mr Budd, and meet staff and students on my walk round the school.

Challenging the Government on the mental health crisis in our police services

One in every five police personnel are suffering from symptoms consistent with post-traumatic stress disorder, according to a new survey.The Government must urgently address this growing mental health crisis in our police services.Read more here and watch my comments in Parliament here.

Attending the Ritchie Taylor Day

I recently popped into the Ritchie Taylor day at Darfield Cricket Club.​