My October newsletter is out now, with news from Aberavon and from Parliament.Read more
The Prime Minister keeps telling us that her Chequers white paper will deliver frictionless trade, post-Brexit. The Salzburg summit showed us all that Chequers is completely dead in the water, yet incredibly she just keeps on flogging that dead horse. Time for Plan B: an EEA-based Brexit.Read more
Responding to the private Labour Party email leaked by Plaid Cymru on social media and to the press, David Rees AM and Stephen Kinnock MP say:
“Whilst it's deeply disappointing that Plaid have chosen to use a leaked e-mail for their own ends, it is not surprising as this is typical of their methods. We stand by what we said in our e-mail to our members. In stark contrast to Plaid's scaremongering and grand-standing, our Aberavon Labour team quietly gets the job done.
“In conjunction with the local community we secured the right outcome on junction 41, and on the prison, and we shall always stand up for the interests of our constituents. Sometimes that means public campaigning, and sometimes that means careful and measured negotiations, to get the right results for our residents.
“Since the publication of the report on the M4 to Welsh Government, David Rees has raised this matter with them on several occasions in the Assembly and at a meeting with the Cabinet Secretary for Economy & Transport. On each occasion he has made it clear that this proposal should be rejected and the people of Port Talbot should not have to endure the chaos we all saw the last time the junction was closed. He has also organised a meeting with Welsh Government officials and all of the area’s regional AMs so as a joint position could be presented and all are able to present their views.
Sir Simon Fraser, Deputy Chairman and Adviser to Europe Programme at Chatham House and former Permanent Secretary, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Julian Jessop, Chief Economist at Institute for Economic Affairs, and Jill Rutter, Programme Director at Institute for Government appeared in front of the Committee for Exiting the European Union. They were giving evidence on cross-Government preparations for Brexit and for no deal, and post-Brexit preparations. I asked them about the Chequers proposal and whether it provides certainty for business, and about friction-less trade.Read more
Richard Burnett, Chief Executive of the Road Haulage Association, Martin McTague, Policy and Advocacy Chair of Federation of Small Businesses, Andrew Opie, Director of Food and Sustainability at British Retail Consortium, and Mike Thompson, Chief Executive of Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry appeared before the Committee for Exiting the European Union. They gave evidence on contingency planning being undertaken by businesses large and small in the event of a no deal Brexit.Read more
The Committee for Exiting the European Union heard from Sir Amyas Morse, Comptroller and Auditor General, National Audit Office about Brexit preparedness and coordination across Whitehall. Sir Amyas talked about 'points of failure' and I asked him where these pressure points will be.Read more
Dominic Raab told the House that the Northern Ireland backstop has to be time-limited. I asked him to tell us which date he has in mind. Incredibly, with just a week to go until the crucial Brussels summit, he was unable to tell us.Read more
Commenting on a report produced for the Welsh Government into the monitoring of vehicle emissions between Junction 41 & Junction 42, which includes the option of closing the junction as a possible way to reduce pollution and meet legal requirements on emissions, Aberavon MP Stephen Kinnock said,
“It is deeply disappointing to see a fresh threat to close junction 41 emerge. Last time the proposals were widely rejected by the local community, who came together to fight, and win, a long and difficult campaign to keep the junction open.Read more
To Win The Next Election We Need To Show Communitarians That We Genuinely Share Their Values And Priorities
It’s fair to say that my party came out of the 2017 general election on a high. We went into the campaign with low expectations, but Jeremy Corbyn’s energy, an inspiring manifesto and a clear, socialist anti-austerity message took us to 40% in the polls.
Yet we still came second. And despite the shambles of the Conservative’s Brexit negotiations, the polls have barely moved an inch since. We should now be 20 points ahead, so why aren’t we? And why is our politics in this worrying state of paralysis and deadlock?Read more
It was great to take part in the question time event organised by Unison Neath Port Talbot on fair funding for local services. The Council chamber was packed with Councillors and council workers, who are concerned over the levels of funding for local government and what that means for future of our valued and vital services.Read more