Helen calls on the Government to end the need for food banks

The staff and volunteers at the Norwood and Brixton Food Bank work hard all year round to support local people in our local area who are simply unable to make ends meet.  Sadly the need for their support keeps on rising.  I’m grateful for their dedication and for the care and dignity with which our local foodbanks provide support.  But it is shameful that the need for food banks continues to rise in one of the richest countries in the world, as a consequence of political decisions this government has taken. Local residents need to see action to address the causes of poverty. Last week, I asked the Minister what she is doing to end the need for food banks>>

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Helen questions the Minister on future support for the Household Support Fund

Both Lambeth and Southwark Councils have worked hard to provide cost of living support in recent years, funded by the Household Support Fund. This has been a real lifeline for residents who are struggling to make ends meet. Providing one off emergency payments, free schools meals over school holidays and specialist advice.

The current Household Support Fund will run out at the end of March but the Government has failed to announce any plans for its future. Last week I asked the Secretary of State when he will be able to confirm future arrangements.  His answer was very disappointing >>

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Helen questions the Minister on the Government's plans for early years education and childcare

The government’s plans for early years education and childcare are in chaos.  With just weeks to go before the start of the expanded offer for two year olds, nurseries and childminders still do not know the rates they will be paid and parents do not know whether their children will have a place.   

The Government rushed into an announcement without any plan to guarantee the childcare places or the staff needed to support the expansion. Labour’s expert led review will deliver the plan parents and providers need to build a modern early years education and childcare system that can deliver for children and their parents from the end of parental leave until the end of primary school.  My question to the Minister today >>

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Helen questions the Minister on the ICJ rulings on Israel and Gaza

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Helen introduces Bill to ban Zombie-style knives, machetes and swords

Knife crime is rising across the country. This is not only an issue in London, it is happening in Yorkshire, Staffordshire, Kent and many other places too.  It is absolutely devastating for the family and friends of the victims and the entire community. There is fantastic work happening across Dulwich and West Norwood and elsewhere to support young people and prevent serious violence, but this work is being held back by the availability of horrific weapons on our streets.

No-one needs a hunting knife or zombie-style knife in London – these are dangerous weapons and the appalling injuries they can inflict mean their victims often have little chance of survival and suffer horrific injuries if they do survive. Despite their increasing use in serious violence across the country, and despite many opportunities to do so, the Government has failed to take the action needed to take these weapons off our streets.

There are growing calls for action including from Idris Elba and London Mayor Sadiq Khan but the Conservatives have consistently failed to prioritise this issue. Today I introduced a new Bill to Parliament to end the delay and introduce the desperately needed ban on Zombie Knives, machetes and swords for good. If the Conservatives won’t act to keep our communities safe, Labour will.

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Petitions Committee debate on the conflict in Israel and Palestine

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Israel-Gaza urgent question

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Helen speaks in King's Speech debate on the conflict in Israel and Gaza

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Helen responds to the crisis in Israel and Gaza

Helen responds to the crisis in Israel and Gaza

In recent weeks we have been watching with horror the scenes of unimaginable human pain and suffering from the Middle East. My thoughts are with everyone affected by this terrible conflict.

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Helen leads debate on the treatment of LGBT+ people in social care

This week, I’ve highlighted in Parliament the concerning issue of homophobic abuse in adult social care.  I spoke about the experience of my constituents Ted Brown and his partner of 49 years Noel Glynn.

Noel was placed in a care home in Croydon after developing dementia in older age. He then suffered abhorrent homophobic abuse from staff, who also refused to recognise Ted as his civil partner.  

No-one should have to fear that their sexuality or gender identity might result in such abuse if they need social care, but this is the reality many LGBTQ+ people continue to face. The government and the CQC must take action to ensure LGBTQ+ people are protected in care and that care providers are held accountable when abuse occurs. You can see part of my speech here>>

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