Islington North Newsletter: January 2024

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We are now well into 2024 though this is my first newsletter since the Christmas break. I hope that you all managed to find some time to rest and spend time with loved ones, despite the very difficult backdrop of pain and suffering in the world that we continue to witness.

Christmas should be a time of celebration. For those enduring the horrors of war, it will have been a time of mourning and loss. For refugees feeling conflict and human rights abuses, a time of desperation. And for millions of people in this country, it has been a time of immense stress as they struggle to put food on the table, heat their homes and pay their rent.

2024 sees us continuing the call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, just as we did at the end of 2023: and standing up for refugees, and campaigning for a society free of poverty, hunger, and homelessness.
You can read more about my hopes for the year ahead, here:

In Parliament and work with other MPs

Israel and Gaza
Over 26,000 people have now been killed in Gaza. Thousands more are missing under the rubble.

We must have the start of a long-term process that brings about real justice for the Palestinian people, or we will be back here again with more war crimes, more deaths, more destruction, and the horrors for decades to come.

It is unconscionable that this massacre has been allowed to continue into 2024. I will continue to use my voice in Parliament to call for an immediate ceasefire. I have spoken often about this, and more recently in two Urgent Questions, both of which can be found here:

Here, you will also find my reply to the Prime Minister’s statement following the UK’s military action in Yemen. Some 17 million people in the region are living in hunger and food shortage. The people of Yemen have been bombarded by weapons supplied by Britain from Saudi Arabia for years, and we have a dreadful conflict going on in Gaza, where so very many are either dead or missing. Where is the comprehensive plan by the western nations to try to bring about peace?

I’ve travelled extensively in speaking out for a ceasefire since my last newsletter; my visits include the following:
Lunchtime recital of the Laws of War @ SOAS (16/11)
Edinburgh Demonstration for Gaza (25/11)
Tower Hamlets STW meeting (01/12)
Jewish Voices for Labour AGM (03/12)
British Interparliamentary Union (BGIPU) meeting on Palestine (04/12)
European Muslim Forum zoom on Gaza from Istanbul (08/12)
Parliament Square Gaza demonstration (09/12)
Liverpool demonstration for Gaza (10/12)
Liberation Webinar – End the War on Palestine (11/12)
East London Palestine gathering (11/12)
Parliamentary Debate (Zarah Sultana) on Arms Export licences for sales to Israel (12/12)
Islington Town Hall (outside) Palestine Demonstration (14/12)
Palestine Solidarity Campaign new activists event at Hamilton House (14/12)
Palestine Solidarity Fundraiser Cook-along online (29/12)
Leeds Palestine Rally (30/12) Batley Palestine Meeting (30/12)
Preston Palestine meeting (06/01)
Visit to the Hague as a witness for the South African Submission on Israel/Genocide to the International Criminal Court (11/01) Finsbury Park Concert for Gaza (11/01)
Visit to Finsbury Park Mosque (12/01)
Central London Demonstration for Peace (Gaza) (13/01)
West Midlands Demonstration for Peace (Gaza) (20/01)

Additionally, I have lost count of how many excellent briefing meetings have been held in Parliament on the situation in Gaza and either myself or my staff attend wherever possible in order to be kept up to date on the latest developments in this unfolding horror we are witnessing.

I have also expressed my support for Dr Ofer Cassim MK who is about to be suspended from the Knesset for speaking out in support of the Palestinians and calling for a ceasefire. My EDM on this was tabled earlier this week:
Dr Ofer Cassif – Early Day Motions – UK Parliament

My work at The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) continues. It sits periodically and recently that included a one day sitting of the Migration Committee where we discussed the recent trip to Calais and our findings on it (08/12).

We (16/01) interviewed candidates for the position of Commissioner for Human Rights, and I remain very supportive of Michael Flaherty from Ireland, and I am delighted that he was elected to the post.

I attended the first quarterly session of 2024 in Strasbourg where I spoke on several issues including the need for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza once more.

I spoke out in two debates on the government’s Rwanda plan, and unsurprisingly, I voted against it. As I asked my fellow colleagues in Parliament, should we not be thinking about the desperate people who have fled poverty and war, instead of spending this vast amount of money on a failed scheme?

Refugees didn’t cause the NHS crisis. Refugees didn’t decimate our social housing. Refugees didn’t sell off our railways, water, and energy. That was the Tories — and their attempts to scapegoat desperate people in search of safety is an utter disgrace.

We must keep standing up for refugees, and their right to be treated with dignity & respect. You can read more about my support for refugees, here:

I remain a member of several Parliamentary Groups including the Parliamentary Socialist Campaign Group (SCG). The SCG meets regularly in parliament to discuss how best to promote a socialist agenda both inside and outside parliament.

At the British Interparliamentary Union (IPU) AGM (29/11) I was re-elected as Honorary President for a further year.

You can read my full contributions in Parliament online, either on Hansard or at They Work For You, here:
Jeremy Corbyn MP, Islington North – TheyWorkForYou

I have attended and spoken at many local events, and I list some, though not all here:
Breakfast launch of the Housing Association Partnership Agreement to promote the highest possible services to the 17,800 Housing Association residents and the 36,000 Islington Council tenants and leaseholders and to also aspire to address the local communities future housing needs (16/11).
Angel Shed Youth Theatre’s 20th anniversary events (Sunday (19/11) to mark the occasion of it as well as a later performance at City and Islington College (15/12).
Holloway Park construction event Zoom (22/12)
Finsbury Park and Blackstock Road Community Meeting (23/11)
Safer Spaces Walk and Talk events (24/11)
RMT Finsbury Park AGM (24/11)
NHS North Central London zoom meeting on the Start Well programme (27/11)
LBI Islamophobia Awareness Month event @ Islington Town Hall (29/11)
Online – Islington’s Faith Forum event for a “New Immigration Support” system (29/11)
Islington unison Branch Open day/evening at the Town Hall (30/11)
Caribbean Labour Solidarity Zoom (03/12)
Visit our Mosque at the Muslim Welfare House (03/12), an annual event that fosters friendship and open dialogue.
The Regional Final of the Jack Petchey “Speak Out” Challenge (05/12) at Highbury Fields.
The New Met for London community event held at the Soapbox, Old Street (06/12).

I continue to meet with various Islington education representatives in order to keep abreast of the difficulties (notably the falling rolls) currently faced by our Islington Schools, though many others outside of Islington are struggling similarly (07/12).
King Henry’s Walk Winter Garden event (09/12)
Light Project International AGM (09/12) Christ the King School Christmas assembly (13/12)
Islington North Labour Party’s Xmas social (13/12) at Emanuel Church in Hornsey Road and thank you to all who organised this lovely gathering.
Holloway Neighbourhood Group’s Xmas gathering (14/12)
An important gathering in support of a relighting of the Menorah candles in Islington Green (14/12) following their vandalising. My support for those affected by cladding continues and I am in touch with many affected by this scandal consistently (15/01) St Mellitus Christmas Nativity Play (19/12)
Islington Council’s Budget Briefing (20/12)
Brickworks as well as Andover foodbanks on numerous occasions
Walkabout in Archway (23/12)
Streets Kitchen’s Christmas Homeless lunch at Islington Town Hall (25/12)
Hornsey Lane Estate Centre Soup/Sandwiches (28/12)

In one or more of my chair/trustee/patron roles I attended: Elizabeth House trustees (22/11)
Welcomed the Nafsiyat new Chief Executive (24/11)
Hanley Crouch Trustees (30/11)

Beyond Islington

I travelled to The Hague to support South Africa’s case against Israel at the International Court of Justice. The hearing was utterly devastating. South Africa spoke for millions around the world desperate for this massacre to end — and put the UK and US government to shame for their deplorable silence, cowardice, and complicity.

A few days later, I attended another demonstration in London. Many of us were mindful of the fact that Tom Hurndall had died on this day in 2004. Tom was shot by the IDF while trying to save a Palestinian child. 20 years later, we are still asking: when will the massacre of Palestinians end?

You can read more about my analysis of South Africa’s case here:

I was proud to join junior doctors on the picket line in Homerton (04/01). Junior doctors didn’t waste billions of taxpayers’ money on dodgy contracts. Junior doctors didn’t sell off our health service. Junior doctors didn’t cause record-high waiting lists. The Tories created this crisis. Solidarity with junior doctors striking to save our NHS.

Human rights

I spoke at a fantastic event (09/01) in support of Julian Assange, who is facing life in prison for exposing the truth about war crimes. Alongside me on the platform was Stella Assange, Richard Burgon, David Davis and many more. We will continue to speak out against his extradition and defend press freedom and to this end I also attended a well-attended event in Conway Hall (18/01).
A huge lobby in support of Julian is to be held outside the Royal Courts of Justice on February 20th-21st at the next hearing.

I was one of several guest speakers at the 35th Annual A Level Politics Student Conference in Westminster Central Hall, attended by 2,300 A level students from London/Home counties & beyond (04/12).

Many of you will have known Lorraine Constantinou who died in November and whose funeral I attended on the 28th. Lorraine championed the needs of the Elthorne Estate residents, as well as acting as an Islington Councillor for 2 terms. She will be well remembered by the many who knew and / or worked with her.

I attended the funeral for Mohamed Abdi-Noor, who at just 21 years of age was the victim of knife crime (22/12). I have met too many mothers who have lost their children to knife crime, that have shaken our community. My thoughts continue to be with the families and friends of victims. I am grateful for the consistent collaboration between the Police, Islington Council’s Community Safety Team, The Ben Kinsella Trust, and several services who work to tackle knife crime across our borough. As always, I am proud of our community who rally together to support each other during these challenging times.

I was very sorry to learn of the death of Tony Lloyd MP. I was first elected to this House on the same day as Tony Lloyd in 1983. He was a brilliant friend and comrade who voted against the Iraq war, student tuition fees and the renewal of Trident, and he was a brilliant shadow Northern Ireland Secretary. He will be much missed by many good people all over this country.

You can see all my contributions in parliament as well as any public comment I issue on my social media:

Instagram (@jeremycorbyn)
Twitter (@jeremycorbyn)
Facebook (JeremyCorbynMP)

My regular constituency advice sessions continue and you can please ring my office for an appointment, or assistance: Additional telephone appointments with me can also be arranged where that it is sensible.

Tel: 0207 561 7488 (Mon, Tues, Thurs 10am – 12pm)

Write to: Rt Hon Jeremy Corbyn MP, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA