• Brexit, Heathrow and the NHS at 70

    I have delayed writing this in the hope that there would be some progress on Brexit to comment on. I should have known better after two years of not much happening. But given the period from Christmas to Exit Day (29 March 2019) will be taken up with ratifying and implementing any deal that is done, there are barely three weeks now and three months in the autumn to negotiate anything.

  • Freedom of Information Bill

    My Freedom of Information (Extension) Bill was due to have its second reading on June 15 2018.

    However, the Bill, which was drafted with the assistance of the Campaign for Freedom of Information, was filibustered by Tory MPs, meaning that the debate did not take place. As a result of the filibuster, I didn't even get to speak to my Freedom of Information (Extension) Bill that would have shone a light into organisations like Carillion, Serco, G4S and the TMO that managed Grenfell Tower. 

    This is the speech that I had planned to give, had the debate gone ahead.

  • Local Election Special

    Tens of thousands of British citizens have been challenged to prove their nationality on pain of at best being refused employment or healthcare and at worst detention and deportation to countries of which they have neither knowledge nor experience.

    Hundreds of thousands of legal migrants to the UK, many from Commonwealth countries, have had similar treatment because they have mislaid documents from 30 or 40 years ago or are told by the Home Office that those documents are no longer valid.

  • Election issues and the loss of a dear friend

    Hammersmith & Fulham has the third largest proportion of EU citizens in England and Wales. Thirty nine thousand or 21.5% of the people living here are nationals of the other 27 EU countries.

    Another 22% of the local population was born in countries outside the EU. Their rights are not about to change, but many have made the point to me that if Britain turns its back on EU citizens it is capable of doing the same to other migrant communities.

    I have been looking into the post-Brexit rights and surveying the views of EU27 nationals for three reasons.

  • After the Floods

    Last week two major water mains burst in Hammersmith, the first in King Street on Friday 26 January and the second in Goldhawk Road on Wednesday 31 January – both late at night.

  • When the facts change, you change your mind - unless you are Jeremy Hunt

    For most of the last five years the management of our local hospitals have operated a bunker mentality.  First allowing the then Conservative council to spend taxpayers’ money pretending the demolition of Charing Cross would be good thing for our health, then just staying schtum.

  • Last chance to object to division of Hammersmith from Shepherds Bush

    I've had a lot of queries and concerns from Hammersmith and Shepherds Bush residents after my brief reference in the last eNews to the proposal to divide this constituency at the Goldhawk Road, with the areas north and south going into different Parliamentary seats.

  • Possible reprieve for Charing Cross

    ‘Only’ five and a half years after the announcement that Charing Cross Hospital would be demolished as part of a huge reorganisation of the nine hospitals in NW London, the plans have begun to unravel.

    An article in the Health Service Journal revealed the contents of a secret report putting on hold the funding for the first part of the downsizing scheme because it looked unworkable.

  • Brexit for breakfast, and lunch and dinner

    While writing this, news came in of the bomb attack on a crowded tube at Parsons Green station.  As someone who travelled through there at rush-hour for more than 20 years I know just how crowded it gets.

    It looks as though there are no life-threatening injuries, but the experience for anyone caught up in it must have been terrifying.  It is a further reminder, if one were needed, of the constant risk we face just travelling around the city.

  • Grenfell, Brexit and reflections on elections

    Firstly, I want to say a very big thank you to everyone who voted for me in June’s General Election. It was the strangest of the nine General Elections I have worked in.  When the campaign started the polls said it was touch and go whether we would hold the seat and in the end we won almost two thirds of the vote.