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Campaigning in Bromyard

Campaigning in Bromyard

Leominster News

Members from Leominster and Ledbury Branches met shoppers in Corn Square on Friday 1st November

Leomunster Corn Square

Letter to Hereford Times

Colin Boylett (11th July) wrote that he cringes at the thought of our MP, Mr Bill Wiggin, deriving a substantial proportion of his income from working in a financial environment where companies exist to avoid paying taxes to the British Government. Mr Wiggin makes me do more than cringe, he makes me very angry. Why is it acceptable that an MP can support organisations that deprive our national exchequer, and thereby his own constituents of income?

Mr Wiggin has consistently voted to impose severe financial constraints on public services so that we see closed youth services, closed support services, a Council deprived of its core grant now struggling to sustain even the required minimum level of social care, worsening school budgets, a chaotic Benefits system and food banks in all the market towns in his constituency.

Poverty in this country has increased since 2011/2012 whilst a Conservative government has been in power. Around 4 million children are now living in poverty, with an increase of some 500,000 during the last five years. 23% of children living in Herefordshire are in families deemed to be in poverty, with nearly half the families having at least one adult in work. Austerity measures have hit the lowest income families worst with little effort made to protect them. Childhood poverty has well-known long-term consequences on health, educational attainment, employment prospects and life expectancy.

I have seen no evidence that our MP either acknowledges this situation or seeks to remedy any of its aspects. He has written in this paper of his pleasure at increased employment levels in the county, albeit with very low wages, and of his efforts to support the County Hospital that, along with the rest of the NHS has had to manage with relatively reduced funding. I find Mr Wiggin’s contributions hypocritical, while he continues to be engaged with commercial enterprises that are designed to deprive the country of tax revenues. Who in North Herefordshire does Mr Wiggin think it worth fighting for? As Colin Boylett pointed out, not even the farmers in this large rural constituency.

Ros Bradbury

Car Boot

The Leominster Labour Party Branch were making themselves visible, and raising much needed funds at Brightwells car boot sale on Sunday, (July 21st). If ever you see us, or our banner about, please come up and say hello.

National News

Tory spending plans will ‘fail to tackle the decade of decline’ – McDonnell

John McDonnell MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, responding to the Resolution Foundation’s report that predicts a budget spending splurge and tax rises, said:

“This report confirms that even the most hyped prediction of what could be in the budget will not go anywhere near making up what the Tories have cut over the last decade.

“Even though the Tories at long last are following Labour’s policy of borrowing to invest in our infrastructure the scale of spending will fail to tackle the decade of decline caused by the Tories and will not tackle the increasingly serious existential threat of climate change.

Having raised expectations so high, inevitably people will be bitterly disappointed at this failure to deliver by Johnson and Cummings.”

Priti Patel ‘clearly clueless’, says Labour

The shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth has mocked home secretary after she claimed eight million “economically-inactive” potential workers can help fill vacancies after the planned crackdown on low-skilled immigration.

“I means she’s clearly clueless, isn’t she? Not only are these proposal hugely damaging for our economy ’ they’re potentially devastating for our health and care sector.”

Ashworth added: “It seems there will be no exemptions whatsoever for social care staff. At the moment there’s around 250,000 staff working in our social care sector recruited internationally, and we also have vacancies for 122,000 in social care.”

Patel earlier told BBC Radio 5 Live suggested that around 20 per cent of working age people were inactive and could fill vacancies.

Diane Abbott, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary added:

“This isn’t an ‘Australian points-based system’, which is a meaningless government soundbite. It’s a salary threshold system, which will need to have so many exemptions, for the NHS, for social care and many parts of the private sector, that it will be meaningless.

“Just as important is what rights will be attached to these visas. If families are split up because spouses and children are denied entry, this will be terrible for them and will deter many of the workers we need. If they are all short-term visas only the most desperate workers will come, and will have the effect of creating a two-tier workforce.

“Ultimately, it will also be very difficult to attract the workers we need at all skill levels while the Tories’ hostile environment is in place. It needs to go. Labour will be pressing hard on all these points as the legislation proceeds.”

Tories are condoning Daniel Kawczynski decision to share platform with fascists – Andrew Gwynne

Andrew Gwynne MP, Labour’s Shadow Communities Secretary, commenting on the Conservative Party’s refusal to suspend Daniel Kawczynski MP, said:

“In refusing to suspend Daniel Kawczynski, the Conservatives are condoning his decision to stand shoulder to shoulder with fascists and legitimising the islamophobia, antisemitism and homophobia they promote.

“Only three days ago Kawczynski described those, such as Muslim and Jewish groups, who called on him not to attend the Conference as ‘hysterical’, and he has not made any public apology for sharing a platform with fascists.

“Boris Johnson has once again broken his promise that those who do this sort of thing are ‘out first bounce’, which is no surprise given his own racist comments, which risk emboldening the extreme far right in our country.”

Labour demands animal welfare and environmental protections enshrined in new Agriculture Bill

Labour has challenged the Prime Minister to enshrine his promises on food standards, animal welfare and environmental protections in the Agriculture Bill – the first substantial piece of post8Brexit legislation.

Luke Pollard MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs,has warned that the Agriculture Bill could result in chlorine-washed chicken, hormone-treated beef and food produced to lower animal welfare and environmental standards being sold in the UK after Brexit, lowering standards and undercutting British farmers and producers.

The Labour Party is withholding its support for the legislation unless it includes legal guarantees that animal welfare, food standards and environmental protections will not be undercut in a post-Brexit trade deal with Donald Trump and the USA.

Luke Pollard, in challenging Boris Johnson to write his election promises on maintaining standards into law as guarantees, said:

“We won’t accept chlorinated chicken in our supermarkets or Boris Johnson selling out our animal welfare, food and environmental protections in a bid for a trade deal with Donald Trump.

“Promises that Ministers have made to maintain standards aren’t worth anything until they are written into law, and unless they do so we must surely conclude that they intend to break these promises during trade talks with the USA.

“Labour will defend our environment, animal welfare and food standards, protect British consumers and stand up for Britain’s farmers so they are not undercut by food produced to lower standards in the USA”.

“Meaningless” – Andy McDonald responds to Grant Shapps’ rail announcement

Andy McDonald MP, Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary, responding to Grant Shapps’ rail announcement, said:

“The funding pledged by the government would reopen just 25 miles of railway.

“The Conservatives claim to have been reversing Beeching cuts since 2017 despite not reopening an inch of track.

“Investing in the railway is a fantastic policy but this is meaningless without a serious funding commitment of billions of pounds.

“The timing of this announcement is also suspicious and seems designed to distract from the imminent collapse of the Northern rail franchise.”