Helen questions the Chancellor on the costs of childcare

For the first time in decades, the number of women leaving the workforce is increasing. The cost of childcare is forcing women to cut their hours or give up work altogether to care for their children. The government’s failure to invest in accessible, affordable childcare is holding back women, and it is holding back our economy.
So it is astonishing that the Chancellor made no mention of childcare in his Autumn Statement today. Childcare is vital social and economic infrastructure. A good childcare system benefits children, families and the economy. You can watch my question to the Chancellor here >>
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Helen speaks in debate on the conflict in Ethiopia

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Helen visits the Nest in Southwark

I was delighted to visit The Nest, Southwark Council’s mental health drop in centre for children and young people, earlier this week. Young people across the country are facing an epidemic of mental ill health, and many are forced to wait far too long for the mental health support they need, leading to worsening mental ill health when early support could have helped.
The Nest provides open access drop-in support for children and young people in Southwark as soon as they need it. It was great to meet with Cllr Jasmine Ali, Hannah and The Nest’s team to see their vital work.
Labour is committed to providing an open access mental health hub for children and young people in every community. It is fantastic to see Southwark leading the way.
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Remembrance Day 2022

It was a privilege to take part in Remembrance Day commemorations at Lambeth Town Hall, where it was a privilege to see RAF veteran Neil Flanigan, at the African & Caribbean War Memorial on Windrush Square, and at the Vincennes Memorial to Lambeth resident Violette Szabo & the heroes of the French Resistance.
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Helen challenges the Minister on the protection of child asylum seekers

Children are children, wherever they are from and whatever their background. It is shocking to hear reports of children going missing from and being sexually assaulted in Home Office-procured hotels and hostels for asylum seekers. The Home Office is failing in its duty of care to vulnerable children.
We need action now before any more children are put at risk but it is clear that the Government has no plans to ensure child asylum seekers are properly protected. You can see my question to the Minister for Immigration here>>
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BBC London Live - November 2022

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Kinship Care debate - October 2022

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Helen calls on the Treasury Minister to reverse their kamikaze budget and protect small businesses

Yesterday I raised the concerns of thousands of my constituents about the chaos caused by Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng’s disastrous ‘mini budget’ which has left them desperately worried about how they will sustain businesses, keep roofs over their head and put food on the table.  This is a crisis made in Downing Street, and blaming everyone but themselves simply won’t wash.

In the words of one of my constituents ‘they say they get it, but they really don’t’.

Liz Truss must reverse her kamikaze budget before businesses are forced to close and people lose their homes. You can watch my challenge to the Chief Secretary to the Treasury here >>

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Helen calls on the Minister to support countries facing climate loss and damage

The heatwaves across Europe, the catastrophic flooding in Pakistan and the deadly drought in North Africa show us that the climate emergency is a present reality, not a future threat. Countries in the global south, which have had historically low carbon emissions, are suffering the consequences of the actions of high carbon economies like the UK.

At COP26, hosted by the UK in Glasgow last November, developing countries in the global south were promised further action on loss and damage climate compensation. The UK played an important role in brokering these talks but the government has backtracked in talks this summer.

The UK should be showing global leadership and working to ensure those countries most affected by the climate emergency are given the aid needed to adapt. You can see my question to the Minister below >>>

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Financial statement - September 2022

Tax cuts for the wealthiest, increased borrowing, deregulated planning and blind faith in discredited trickle down economics. This reckless statement will to deliver any meaningful help to those who need it and only deepen inequality. 

The Chancellor’s financial statement will deliver a tax cut of £40,000 to someone earning £1 million a year, while protecting the excess profits of oil and gas producers. 

Amongst the measures announced today, is a crackdown on low paid part time workers, forcing them to increase their hours by cutting benefits.  Many part time workers are parents, priced out of increasing their hours by expensive childcare.  For the first time this year, the number of women aged 25-34 leaving work to look after their children is increasing.

I asked the Chancellor today why he is choosing to punish low paid working parents, when what they need is an accessible, affordable childcare system fit for the 21st century >>

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