(Design by Lennon from Brandon, winner of my Christmas card competition.)
2017 was definitely an improvement on 2016 in my view! The snap general election showed Labour is united and radical and whilst we didn’t win, we are making sure we stay election ready, because who knows when the next test may come?
Of course the triggering of Article 50, was for me a deeply sad day, that will ultimately make our country weaker, poorer and more isolated. Since then weak and wobbly Prime Minister Theresa May and her team have made a hash of the negotiations, and Britain’s standing in the world has continued to diminish.
Highlights from across the constituency, this year included visiting Mars (really Airbus’ facility in Stevenage that mimics the red planet) which currently makes satellites commissioned by European agencies, juggling in Great Yarmouth at SeaChange Arts, one of the leading circus skills organisations in the UK and becoming a champion for IWF in Cambridge that battles against child exploitation online.
In the Parliament I have continued to vote for better protections for workers, against zero-hour contracts and for protection of millions of people from exposure to carcinogens. While Tory MEPs failed to act, I voted for tough new rules on tax avoidance. I was also delighted when Ryanair announced they will move to recognise trade unions after I spoke out about the unfair employment practices at the budget airline.
It was also a huge pleasure to welcome Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell to our region on numerous occasions, including the Burston Rally and Q&As I chaired in Thurrock, Norwich and Great Yarmouth. All the events were packed and I know people went away really fired up.
I hope you have a great Christmas break and come back refreshed and ready for the campaigns ahead in 2018