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  • Writer's pictureKarin Smyth

Weekly Update: 19th January 2024

Last weekend I was out talking with residents in Windmill Hill and Filwood, supporting our Labour candidates for the May elections and listening to residents' views. I also spent a few hours helping the by-election team in Kingswood. The response to Damien Egan's campaign was clear. People are fed up of Rishi Sunak's Tories and are keen for a Labour MP and and Labour government as soon as possible.

Back in London, I used time in Parliament to highlight a range of pressing issues, and to support an important campaign.

Tackling smoking to improve public health

Smoking-related conditions are one of the leading causes of early death in the UK, exerting a huge burden on the NHS and social care system. I voiced my concerns on tobacco use in a Westminster Hall debate this week, highlighting the need for bold measures to tackle smoking - encouraging quitting and changing regulation so a 14-year-old today will never legally be able to buy pack of cigarettes.

Implementing safety standards in the NHS

In my role as health spokesperson for the Labour Party, I contributed to a debate on a new law increasing regulation in our NHS. The role of Physician Associates and Anaesthesia Associates has come under scrutiny in recent times, and I took the opportunity to emphasise that – while they are not the solution to the workforce crisis in the NHS – it is paramount that we regulate their roles properly to ensure they work safely and productively in the health service.

The Government’s Rwanda Policy

After a bruising few days for the Government, the bill to relocate asylum seekers to Rwanda was passed by the House of Commons on Wednesday night. Alongside Labour Party colleagues, I voted in opposition to this policy. It’s clear that this expensive gimmick is not the answer to the problem posed by illegal migration, only leaving the taxpayer worse off and without a credible solution.

Taking action against mould in private rental property

I was pleased to be able to support a campaign this week tackling mould in the private rented sector. A new law is set to regulate how long it takes landlords to respond to reports of mould in social housing, and my colleague Fleur Anderson MP is campaigning for this law to also affect private landlords. With 2.7 million renting households currently living in a cold, damp, or mouldy home, this is an important issue which I know affects many people in Bristol South.


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