This April saw Passover, Ramadan and Easter overlap, which happens just three times each century. This rare occasion was a time for all communities to come together and make a common call for compassion, inclusion and peace. However you celebrated, I hope all of you managed to find some time to enjoy a restful break.
Before Parliament broke for recess, the Chancellor presented his budget to Parliament. His economic statement may now be a month old, but it remains as inadequate as ever to the crises facing us all. I will continue to oppose the government’s programme of poverty, division of inequality. And I will continue to fight for a real alternative on behalf of the people of Islington North.
In Parliament and work with other MPs
MPs debated the Chancellor’s budget on the 21st of March. As I told Parliament:
“The number of children in food poverty in this country has doubled in the past year to 4 million; the NHS is on its knees; and the richest 1% are taking home more than ever, and own 230 times the wealth of the poorest 10% in our society. Does this Budget do anything to deal with those issues? I think everyone knows the answer to that.”
I then presented my own proposals for an alternative budget, one that tackle the social, economic and climate crises by redistributing wealth and power. I emphasised five key points: A Decent Pay Rise for All; Democratic Public Ownership; A Wealth Tax to Save our NHS; Housing for the Many; Refugees Welcome. I elaborated on these 5 points in an article for the Morning Star, which you can read here: ‘Let’s build our radical alternative vision for our country’ | Morning Star (morningstaronline.co.uk)
Over the years, I have received many, many emails about trophy hunting. I know this is an issue that is as important to constituents as it is to me. I am totally against trophy hunting of all kinds, and there’s been good news on this front. Parliament has passed the Hunting Trophies (Import Prohibition) Bill (15/03). In essence, this bill bans British hunters from bringing body part ‘trophies’ of endangered and vulnerable animals into Great Britain. It’s not often that a Private Members Bill gets very far, so this is excellent news. I am pleased though not surprised that so many Islington North residents back the Bill. I was proud to contribute to the debate:
“I congratulate the hon. Gentleman on the work he has done to get the Bill thus far and I hope it goes through today. Perhaps he will join the rest of us in congratulating those many campaigners all around the country who have worked so hard to draw attention to the issue of trophy hunting and ensure that we have such a good attendance here today. That in itself becomes an education to people, in understanding that we can play our part in the conservation of beautiful and endangered species by passing this Bill today.”
I am sure many of you were appalled by the recent report into the Metropolitan Police, published by Baroness Casey. The report found evidence of institutional racism, homophobia and misogyny within the London Met. Following a statement by the Home Secretary (21/03), I emphasised one aspect of the report that I believed was not receiving sufficient attention: the disproportionate use of stop-and-search on Black Londoners:
“Baroness Casey’s report makes it very clear that what campaigners have been saying for years is absolutely true: black Londoners are disproportionately likely to be stopped and searched by the Metropolitan police. It also calls for fundamental change in that whole policy. Will the Home Secretary explain how the Public Order Bill, which gives the police increased powers of stop and search during protests or demonstrations, fits with the recommendations made by Baroness Casey? Will she also suspend the operation of that section of the Public Order Bill until such time as the police have been able to reform their ways on the disproportionate stopping and searching of black Londoners?”
YoungMinds hosted an event in Parliament (20/03) which a member of my team attended on my behalf. The event supported the #EndTheWait campaign for young people suffering with mental health needs; an extremely worthy cause.
I remain a member of several Parliamentary Groups including the Socialist Campaign Group (SCG). The SCG meets regularly in parliament to discuss how best to promote a socialist agenda both inside and outside parliament.
My most recent outputs, be they a parliamentary intervention or speech, or comments outside the confines of parliament are all accessible on my social media, and easily located on my website: Jeremy Corbyn MP
On the same day that Jeremy Hunt announced his budget (15/03), 700,000 workers went on strike for decent pay. I stood with teachers on the picket line at City of London Academy (COLA) Highgate Hill, before joining NHS workers, civil servants, underground drivers and Amazon workers who had coalesced on Trafalgar Square to demand a fairer future. A victory for striking workers will be a victory for us all.
Thank you to the organisers of a wonderful event at Navigator Square (22/03), where a new mosaic was unveiled to celebrate the Irish community in Islington. We must not forget that Britain was built on Irish labour — Navigator Square is itself named after Irish “navigators” who created this country’s canals, roads & railways.
Navigator Square (22/03)
I was delighted to hold another Street Stopover (04/04), this time on Holloway Road. This was another opportunity to hear constituents’ concerns, and offer guidance where possible. Together, we will build a more equal, sustainable and caring society.
I continue with my school visits whenever I can and am particularly concerned about the future of Pooles Park Primary School and will keep abreast of any developments affecting it.
Regular meetings with the Council Leader, Kaya Comer Schwartz, ensure I’m kept abreast of the most important issues in the borough.
I’ve also maintained an active interest in issues affecting Seven Sisters Road, Traders and Local Residents such as the impacts of the cycle lines and Transport for London’s ability to address them, notably in the most problematic spots.
I had the pleasure of speaking at the Islington BAMER Advice Alliance AGM, (16/03) at Resource for London, Holloway Road. I feel closely connected to the local people and communities who use the centre and I enjoyed addressing and mingling with them. I will continue to be proactive in standing up for their rights and for justice against any potentially negative legislation that would impact upon them.
It was a pleasure to attend the Holloway Mosque and speak with the local Muslim Community during their holy time of Ramadan (14/04). I recalled when the mosque first opened, and how amazing it is to see the way it grew from its humble starting point to a vital centre of support for the area. I spoke of how the mosque is a testament to the power of community, and how I have always greatly admired the way in which those within it offer welcoming kindness to anyone in need who enter their doors.
It was wonderful to join London’s Kurdish community at Islington Town Hall (20/03) to celebrate Newroz. We dedicated this year’s event to victims of the earthquake, and renewed our solidarity with Kurds everywhere standing up for self-determination, democracy and freedom.
I joined striking junior doctors outside the Whittington (14/04), who were taking part in a 4-day strike for pay restoration. Some say that their demands are unaffordable. But when the top 1% own 230 times more wealth than those in the bottom 10%, keeping workers poor is a
political choice. Solidarity with all those fighting back!
Whittington Hospital (14/04)
I attended a meeting with Jinjer Kondola (Chief Executive), Andrew Wright (Director of Public Affairs) and Peter Molyneux (Interim-Chair) to discuss mental health services being provided by Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust (24/03). I am keen to support the Trust in improving its access to mental health support for the most vulnerable in the borough and the need to enhance communication between the NHS, Local Authority, and Police to help deliver these services to those who need it. I suggested the Trust should engage with community-based organisations, faith forums and local businesses to cast a wider net in order to bring these services to the most vulnerable.
I am sure many of you will share my disgust at the damage caused to Finsbury Park by the Tough Mudder events (15/04). As a long-standing member of Friends of Finsbury Park, I am appalled by the way our local park has been treated. Green spaces should be preserved for public use, not vandalised for commercial gain. I wrote to Haringey Council to ask for assurance that these users will never come back to our park and that they will repair all of the damage caused.
Damage caused to Finsbury Park
I met with Majida and Selma (Jannaty Women’s Social Society) and Tricia Blake (Diva Choice) to discuss their concerns regarding the rent increase and management of the affordable workspace on Durham Road (14/03). I have raised these concerns with the Executive Member for Inclusive Economy and Jobs, and urged Islington Council to keep in mind their original commitment to create spaces that are genuinely accessible and affordable to local businesses and organisations.
Some constituents came to Parliament for a lobby (21/03) organised by the Renters Reform Coalition Day of Action, attended by around 300 people from across the country. The goal of the Renters’ Reform Coalition is to ensure the Government’s promised Renters Reform Bill becomes law. The Government has said that the bill will be published “before the Autumn” but that remains to be seen (The White paper was published in June 2022).
Constituents also visited Parliament for the Right to Boycott Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) lobby day (22/03). Palestinian suffering must be brought to a peaceful end – until it does their cause will remain high on my agenda. Current Israeli government actions are creating considerable internal friction, which can only exacerbate an already precarious situation, and erode further the human rights of so many.
Change Act are a wonderful new organisation set up in Islington working with people who have disabilities using the teachings of Theatre of the Oppressed. The cast are all people with lived experience of disabilities which they draw upon to create a powerful performance. It was an inspiring example of community coming together for change (11/04).
I was pleased to accept an invitation to a performance of “Bad Roads” at Fourth Monkey Actor Training Company, Seven Sisters Road (16/03). It was a real pleasure to support this local group, and to chat with staff, and enjoy the student performance of Bad Roads.
I want to thank everybody for the kind messages of support and solidarity over the past month. There is huge demand for a politics of redistribution, solidarity & hope. As I wrote in a piece for Islington Tribune here (Jeremy Corbyn: Labour should be defending democracy, not debasing it | Islington Tribune), I have spent my life fighting for a fairer society on behalf of the people of Islington North. I have no intention of stopping now.
I was proud to join an anti-racist demonstration outside Parliament (18/03) to oppose the government’s barbaric asylum ban. The asylum seekers of today are our doctors, carers, teachers, neighbours and friends of tomorrow. We must stand up for our shared humanity, and say loudly and clearly: refugees are welcome here.
Anti-racist demonstration, Parliament
March saw the 20th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. To this day, we remember the millions killed, injured & displaced in a war built on lies. Those of us who opposed the war were vilified, patronised and ignored. But we will never stop campaigning for a more peaceful world. I attended an event, organised by Stop The War, to mark the anniversary of the invasion, and renew our commitment to peace. You can read a piece I wrote for Labour Outlook on the 20-year anniversary here: Jeremy Corbyn MP – 20 years on from Iraq, we must strive to build a more peaceful world (labouroutlook.org)
I have been working closely with Olivia Blake MP and Rebecca Long-Bailey MP to support Elizabeth Uruchurtu, whose sister Claudia Uruchurtu, went missing in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico in March 2021.
Claudia was a civil activist who documented and raised concerns about the mismanagement of public funds and corruption within the Local Authority in the town of Nochixtlan. A memorial service in Sheffield (15/04) was held to mark two years since her disappearance.
Unsurprisingly, progress in bringing justice to the family has not been fast enough.
I met with the mother (Maria) and sister (Maria) of a 25 yr old man who in 1993 was serving in the Mexican army in Chihuahua, Mexico, when he disappeared on (May 8). It is thought that Muñoz Guzmán was the subject of an enforced disappearance by members of the Mexican Army. Very limited progress has been made in the 30 years since his disappearance. The family were visiting the UK and have never lost hope that justice will come their way.
The hard work put in by the above families in their respective cases is admirable; their trauma immeasurable and I will continue to support them in their quest for justice.
My 2023 Calendars with up-to-date information are freely available for anyone wishing to have one or more. Please telephone the local office if you’d like to receive some and this can be arranged. I’m keen for them to be widely distributed so that everyone knows how to contact me.
You can see all my contributions in parliament as well as any public comment I issue on my social media:
My regular constituency advice sessions have resumed and please do ring my office if you wish to have an appointment, or for 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