Back in Westminster after the Easter break, and it has been a week of shame for the Conservative government. Boris Johnson’s repeated failures to be straightforward in admitting his attendance at parties and social events during lockdown has infuriated MPs, and the public. The Speaker agreed to a debate on the matter, following which MPs decided that his conduct should be considered by a parliamentary committee. I cannot think of an example of a prime minister being more disgraced – and it is not only Labour MPs who are appalled at this behaviour.
Equally shameful was Home Secretary Priti Patel’s announcement that people seeking asylum in the UK could be transferred to Rwanda to have their applications dealt with, and would not be able to come back to the UK even if they were successful. At first, we’d thought that the policy would apply only to single young men, but it seems that all adults and children could be subject to it. I’ve had many letters from horrified constituents, and on Wednesday evening, I was proud to vote against the awful plans for so-called ‘offshoring’.
The deeply unpleasant actions of the Conservative government here in Westminster stand in stark contrast to the welcoming, informative and positive visits I made in and around the constituency during the Easter holiday. Special thanks to two Trafford Park businesses who welcomed me to their premises – Alcumus, who provide risk management and health and safety solutions, and PPE manufacturer Globus Group. I was also very impressed with my visit to Klyne and Klyne in Old Trafford, who provide Kosher food and other supplies to foodbanks in Greater Manchester.
This week, Stretford chippy Kingfisher celebrate their 25th anniversary in the Mall. I was delighted to pop in to see them, and to enjoy a portion of chips! This local business is not only very popular, over the years it has also given great support to Trafford Domestic Abuse Services, animal charities, and this year is raising funds for Longford and Victoria park Scouts and Beavers groups.
I was very pleased to make a visit to Oldham last week to visit the Springboard project, which works with 14-19 year olds who struggle with school, and to meet the inspirational team there. It was great to be shown round by one of the young people on the project – he was chatty, confident, and full of plans for the future. Again and again, I see the difference dedicated education, health and youth professionals make for our young people, befriending them, prioritising their mental wellbeing, and helping them to gain skills and confidence.
Also very impressive were the young musicians performing at Trafford Music Service’s spring concerts. I was so proud to hear them in the wonderful Stoller Hall, with its fabulous acoustics and state of the art facilities. We are very lucky to have this amazing music service in our borough, and I am always impressed by the talent and dedication of the young performers. Congratulations to all involved – it was a pleasure to listen to you.