Newsletter 31 May

Apsana Begum

Welcome to my latest newsletter!   

 

In this issue you’ll find out what I’ve been up to this month, including:   

 

(1) Action for Poplar and Limehouse  

(2) Action on the economy  

(3) Action on education and youth  

(4) Action on human rights and equality  

(5) Action non workers’ rights  

(6) Action on housing, health and safety  

(1) Action for Poplar and Limehouse

I continue to support constituents on a wide range of issues. As you may be aware, there was a stabbing on the Isle of Dogs outside George Green’s school. I have been supporting those families, students and teachers affected by the incident and continue to work closely with the School and Tower Hamlets police. My thoughts are with the family of those affected.  

As has been widely reported, lockdown resulted in a rise in domestic violence, and I have been supporting a number of women with housing and immigration matters.   

The hostile environment towards immigrants, the ever-worsening housing crisis and cuts to support services has made it harder for women in particular to receive the support they need, and I continue to fight in Parliament to transform this failing system. This includes supporting people with immigration issues given that the pandemic has caused huge delays to applications. I have been advocating for parents applying for citizenship for their children which currently costs over £1,000, despite the actual costs for the Home Office being a third of this.  

I have submitted written parliamentary questions on a range of topics that have arisen from local casework (issues include: interpreters in the justice system, the Building Safety Fund, and health support for seasonal workers). 

(2) Action on the Economy

The Queens Speech came to parliament this month, with my colleague Richard Burgon proposing an amendment which would have created a greater level of tax on those who have profited most from the pandemic, as well as a Wealth Tax on the super-wealthy. I supported this amendment, as well as Zarah Sultana’s amendment for a People’s Green New Deal.   


supported an amendment to the Finance Bill, which would have created a global minimum rate of corporation tax. Unfortunately, the Conservatives voted this down, reminding us that they are more interested in the wealth of the elite than a greater level of equality. This vote means that the UK is now the only country in the G7 not to support such a tax. I also supported an amendment in Parliament to fight inequality by making the super-rich pay more tax.   


Additionally, I have supported the call for a People’s Football Bill to give fans majority ownership of their clubs - including supporting a proposed amendment to the Queen’s Speech.  

(3) Action on Education and Youth

As a member of the Education Select Committee, I have continued to question and challenge Government Ministers. For example, the Universities Minister, attended a session and I asked her questions on  sexual harassment guidelines and grade inflation’s impact on lower tariff universities.

(4) Action on International Human Rights and Equality

I wrote to the British Ambassador to France, expressing my concerns at the possibility of a ban on the wearing of hijab for girls under 18 in France, alongside 28 colleagues in Parliament. This has now been featured in an article by the Muslim News.


This month, I also marked the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia and #RomaniResistanceDay, which honours the thousands of brave Roma and Sinti people who stood up against Nazi persecution in the Holocaust.

  

As of 12th May, my team have responded to 2,000+ constituents contacting me about the forced evictions of Palestinians in East Jerusalem. That these attacks happened in the final days of Ramadan was particularly hurtful for Muslims around the world, as I mentioned in my Eid message. Along with Parliamentary colleagues, I signed a joint statement from the Socialist Campaign Group of Labour MPs. I wrote to the Prime Minister, asking him to take action to stop the human rights abuses. On 15th May, I spoke at a rally outside the Israeli Embassy, which saw over 100,000+ people marching.


With Global Justice Now and others, I am continuing to  call for a patent-free vaccine to allow for vaccine production to be ramped up for all countries:

(5) Action on Workers’ Rights


I spoke at the TUC’s even t for International Workers Memorial Day. It was moving to stand with colleagues from across the trade union movement to remember those workers who have lost their lives. I have continued to highlight the impact of Covid on workers from ethnic minority backgrounds, and the safety regulations around crane work, which unfortunately led to a collapse in Bow last summer.  


As well as this, I have pledged to stand up against Fire and Rehire tactics , as well as Ending Child Poverty .  

(6) Action on Housing Health and Safety

There are a number of tenants groups, that I have been working with for some time now, from buildings across Poplar and Limehouse whose properties are dangerously clad. In many cases, leaseholders are being threatened with the cost of mistakes from developers. 


I continue to advocate in Parliament in favour of supporting leaseholders and will continue to push the Government to remove dangerous cladding more quickly. Most recently, on 18th May, I voted to call on the Government to set a hard deadline of June 2022 for remediation works to complete.  


I continue to support the Fire Brigades Union’s calls for greater funding for fire and rescue services to carry out inspection and enforcement of building safety. 


Unfortunately, earlier this month there was a fire at New Providence Wharf, one of the buildings that I have been working with. I visited the site on the day of the fire, in order to provide support to the residents effected. Following this, I sent a letter to Robert Jenrick, The Minister for Housing, Communities and Local Government on the matter.  

This is just a snapshot of my work over the past year – subscribe here to receive regular updates about my work in Parliament and in the local community.


Best wishes,


Apsana Begum

Member of Parliament for Poplar & Limehouse