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  • Writer's pictureKarin Smyth

Weekly Update: 23rd February 2024

Since I last wrote this round-up, another Labour MP has been elected to represent the Bristol area. Last week’s by-election in Kingswood saw Damien Egan chosen as MP for the area, who will make a fantastic representative for local people in Westminster.

 

With Parliament returning after a short break, here’s what’s been happening in Westminster this week:

 

Labour’s New Deal for Working People

On Tuesday, I was pleased to join the panel on BBC show Politics Live to discuss a range of issues. I took the opportunity to highlight Labour’s New Deal for Working People, which will constitute the biggest levelling up of workers’ rights in decades. By ending fire and rehire and bringing in a genuine living wage – alongside a range of other measures – the plan will improve working conditions for people in Bristol South and across the country.

 

Reducing emissions on the road

In the UK, one in ten workers rely on a van for their job, but currently only 6% of vans sold each year are electric. I attended an event by the British Vehicle Leasing and Renting Association, to support the push to make 70% of vans on our roads electric by 2030 to help reduce emissions.

 

Supporting a ceasefire in Gaza

Like all of us, I have watched the events of the last five months in the Middle East with horror and sadness at the abominable loss of life. I joined colleagues in Wednesday’s debate on a ceasefire in Gaza to support Labour’s amendment to the Scottish National Party motion. Our amendment called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire, the release of all hostages, a surge of aid into Gaza, and for international partners to work towards a two-state solution. Parliament agreed the text of Labour’s amendment.

 

Improving patient outcomes in heart and circulatory disease

On Thursday, I represented Labour’s health team in a debate on premature deaths from heart and circulatory diseases. In 2022, an average of 750 people each week died prematurely of cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks and stroke, and I called on the Government to lay out a proper plan to address this issue and improve patient outcomes.

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