Helen challenges the Prime Minister on the crisis in children's social care

The new Prime Minister isn’t new at all. She has been part of a Conservative government for the past 12 years that has stripped away support for our country’s most vulnerable children.
The Independent Review of Children’s Social Care, published earlier this year, makes clear the need for a total reset of the current system which has been brought to breaking point.
Today I called on the new Prime Minister to make a clear commitment to deliver action on children’s social care by the end of the year. I will keep holding her to account. Vulnerable children need and deserve far better. You can see my question here >
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Helen calls for urgent action on ambulance waiting times in London

I started the new Parliamentary sitting this week by raising the deep concern of my constituents about ambulance waiting times in London.

In July, the average waiting time for an ambulance for someone with an emergency or serious condition - including strokes, chest pains and symptoms of sepsis -  was more than an hour, more than three times the target time of 18 minutes.

For some patients these delays will severely impact their chance of recovery.  It is also unacceptable that paramedics who know the critical nature of the service they provide and work so hard to help people who need it, are having to work in such stressful circumstances.

I have been contacted by many constituents who are desperately worried that if they need an ambulance, it simply won’t get there on time.

We need a serious plan to support the London Ambulance Service to meet targets and bring down waiting times. You can see my question to the Minister below >>

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Helen leads debate on initial asylum accommodation in East Dulwich

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Helen challenges the Secretary of State on soaring childcare costs

Childcare costs have soared over the past decade putting  a huge strain on the cost of living. Instead of a bold plan to fix the broken and complicated system, the Government has announced plans to increase the number of children early years staff can look after.

Parents and providers don’t want this plan, it won’t deliver the high quality early years education young children need to recover from the pandemic.  Today the Secretary of State couldn’t even confirm that it would bring down costs for families >>

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Windrush Day 2022

I was delighted to join the Windrush Day celebrations in Brixton this morning. Today we celebrate the immense contribution the Windrush pioneers and their descendants have made and continue to make to our local community, economy, culture and public services since the arrival of the Windrush at Tilbury docks, 74 years ago.  

It is also an important moment to reflect on the racism and injustices they have faced over the past 74 years, and the on-going struggle for justice of those who became victims of the Windrush Scandal.  We celebrate, but we also stand in solidarity and we will continue to fight for justice and compensation and for the culture change we need to ensure that such a scandal can never happen again #windrushday #brixton #windrushjustice


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Independent Review of Children's Social Care statement

The Independent Review of Children’s Social Care, which is published today, highlights the urgent need for a ‘total reset’ of children’s social care. I was pleased to respond to the review for Labour from the despatch box.

The review makes 80 recommendations, including on the need to take profit out of the care of children, and bring an end to the scandal of 16 and 17 year olds being left without support in unregistered care homes and private accommodation.

Our most vulnerable children have been failed by more than a decade of Conservative government. Since 2010, the numbers of children in need and entering the care system have soared whilst outcomes for care-experienced young people have worsened. At the heart of this failure is the Government’s erosion of early help support for struggling families, demonstrated most clearly in the closure of 1,300 Sure Start Centres.

This review is a vital opportunity to reset children’s social care and deliver better outcomes for our most vulnerable children and their families.  It is an opportunity that must not be missed.  Labour will always put children first.  We did so in government, and we will do so again.  In the meantime, we will hold the government to account every single day on the urgent need to transform children’s social care. You can see part of my speech here>>

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Queen's speech and the cost of living

This year’s Queen’s Speech is desperately lacking in ambition and exposes a Government out of ideas. It should have been an opportunity to announce the legislation needed to address the cost of living crisis and rebuild resilience in our communities but it failed even to mention some of the biggest challenges facing our country.

Far too many people are now facing impossible decisions between eating and heating, with parents worried about how they will feed their children and pensioners forced to wear coats indoors to keep warm. The consequences of the cost of living are appalling and unacceptable.

Our country needs and deserves so much better.  The Labour Party has a plan. We would introduce an emergency budget to address the cost of living crisis and provide relief to people suffering hardship at this time.  You can watch my contribution to the Queen’s Speech debate here >>

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Helen calls on the Minister to fix children's mental health services

Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, children and young people’s mental health services were stretched to breaking point, and the situation is now even worse.  Far too many young people face an agonising wait for months or even years for the mental health treatment they need.

The Government has consistently failed to treat mental health with the same urgency as physical health or to act on the mental health crisis young people are facing. Today I called on the Secretary of State to listen to the Labour Party and provide open access mental health hubs in every community>>

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Helen asks the Prime Minister about the Government's response to the appalling treatment of Child Q

The degrading strip search of Child Q, which has caused anger and distress across the country, happened two years ago. The lack of immediate and urgent action from the Government is very troubling.
Yesterday I asked the Prime Minister when he knew about this case and why there is no urgency from his government in relation to the safety of children>>
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Helen speaks in debate on rape convictions and the safety of women and girls

The shocking failure to prosecute the appalling offence of rape is one of the clearest manifestations of how this Government is failing women and girls. Shamefully, perpetrators of rape will only face any consequences in fewer than 2% of cases. Government Ministers have responded to this shocking record with warm words but have consistently failed to take meaningful action to tackle sexual violence against women and girls.

Reform is urgently needed to ensure that women’s experiences are taken seriously and when crimes are commitment perpetrators are brought to justice.  Women and girls must be able to feel safe on our streets and in our public spaces. This must mean a change in the culture of policing and reform of the justice system.  We also a need a much greater focus on prevention to address the root causes of misogyny and the casual every day harassment which erodes women’s confidence and forces us to adapt our behaviour to stay safe. You can see part of my recent speech here >>

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