Jo Stevens

A strong voice for Cardiff Central

Jo Stevens - Labour MP for Cardiff Central

Latest Stories

In the last week many constituents have got in touch to express their anger and shame at the treatment of the Windrush generation by the Government so I thought I would share my response  here.

 

Thank you for contacting me about the unacceptable and shameful situation that many members of the Windrush Generation have been placed in by the Government. I signed the letter to the Home Secretary initiated by my Labour colleague David Lammy MP, but this was received shortly after it had been sent for publication, so unfortunately you won’t see my name on it.

 

These cases have arisen directly as a result of the ‘hostile environment’ policy introduced by Theresa May when she was Home Secretary requiring documentation to be produced to access amongst other things, NHS services and home rental. It is damning legacy of her time leading the Home Office and her initial refusal this week to meet Commonwealth leaders to discuss the concerns of those affected was inexplicable.

 

It is representative of the approach that the Home Office has taken since the Conservative and Liberal Democrat Coalition Government in 2010 and subsequent Conservative Governments, to require Home Office staff to adopt a default approach of suspicion to the vast majority of immigration and visa applications and issues in my experience. I have a large caseload of visa and immigration matters for constituents and my office is in repeated contact with the Home Office on a daily basis trying to resolve this casework. The service is dysfunctional, unacceptable and I have repeatedly raised concerns and complaints in Parliament about Home Office policy and implementation.

 

I was in the debate to hear David Lammy give an exceptionally powerful speech and I am pleased that our pressure (alongside the excellent journalism in The Guardian exposing this issue) has resulted in immediate policy changes by the Home Secretary. However, they do not go far enough and there have since been further revelations about critical documents relevant and helpful to Windrush families being destroyed by the Home Office when Theresa May became Home Secretary in 2010.

I received a letter from the Home Secretary on Monday night confirming that there had been cases of people being subjected to removal action and detention and she has said that these are being urgently investigated but we do not yet know all the effects of this scandal and I can assure you that I will continue to keep pressure on the Government to ensure that they are held accountable and that all the people affected are given every assistance and financial recompense.

 

If you are living in Cardiff Central and are having issues, delays or difficulties with your visa application or asylum claim I hold a weekly immigration clinic, every Wednesday from 11am to midday to provide help and advice. You can find the details here

 

 

Below is David Lammy MP’s letter and the letter I have received from the Home Secretary on the issue.

 


 

Letter to the Home Secretary on the Mistreatment of the Windrush Generation

 

 

Letter Received from the Home Secretary on the Mistreatment of the Windrush Generation

Mistreatment of the Windrush Generation

In the last week many constituents have got in touch to express their anger and shame at the treatment of the Windrush generation by the Government so I thought I would share my...

I woke up this morning to the overnight news that the the UK had taken part in air strikes in Syria alongside the USA and France.

I believe this action is illegal under international law. It has not been requested by the Syrian Government. There is no UN Security Resolution authorising it. It is not an act of self defence. Those are the only three exemptions under the UN Charter which would permit the UK Government to take this action. None of them apply.

We cannot pick and choose when to comply with international law and if we undertake illegal action we cannot with any credibility then criticise other countries that act illegally. UK foreign and defence policy should be legal, consistent and accountable.

The Prime Minister should not have taken this step without Parliamentary approval. Our constituents elect us to take exactly this type of decision on their behalf after considered debate on the evidence and through a vote. Theresa May does not even have a majority government and there should have been a vote. Parliament could have been recalled at any point in the last week for this. The Prime Minister chose not to because it is likely she would have lost the vote.

The basis for these air strikes was that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons against its own people. Evidenced use of such weapons is illegal and deplorable. Today, chemical weapons inspectors were due to start their investigations. The overnight air strikes are likely to have jeopardised those investigations by destroying evidence.

I voted against air strikes against Syria previously. I would have voted against air strikes this time too, largely for the same reasons, some of which I have outlined above.

This action substantially risks escalating tensions in the region and the likelihood of further civilian deaths. We had no long term strategy explained to us in 2015 for air strikes and no long term strategy set out this year either. Resolving the Syrian conflict needs leadership and international political strategy. Theresa May has shown neither.

Air Strikes in Syria

I woke up this morning to the overnight news that the the UK had taken part in air strikes in Syria alongside the USA and France. I believe this action...

The Tax-Free Childcare scheme provides help with the cost of childcare for working families. Parents of children aged under 12 and parents of disabled children aged under 17 can apply online through the UK government childcare service which can be accessed via the Childcare Choices website.

If you're a working parent with children under 12 (or under 17 for disabled children), you can open an online account to pay for registered childcare. The government will top-up the money you pay into the account. For every £8 you pay in, the government will add an extra £2. You can receive up to £2,000 per child - that's up to £500 every three months. If you have a disabled child, you can receive up to £4,000 per child - that's up to £1,000 every three months.

You, and any partner, must each expect to earn (on average) at least £125 per week (equal to 16 hours at the National Minimum or Living Wage). If you, or your partner, are on maternity, paternity or adoption leave, or you're unable to work because you are disabled or have caring responsibilities, you could still be eligible.

If either you, or your partner, expect to earn £100,000 or more, you can’t get Tax-Free Childcare. You can’t use Tax-Free Childcare at the same time as childcare vouchers, Universal Credit or tax credits. You can use it with the 15 hours and 30 hours schemes.

You can use Tax-Free Childcare to help pay:

Registered childminders, nurseries and nannies

Registered after-school clubs and playschemes

Registered schools

Home careworkers working for a registered home care agency

You can find out more by clicking here.

Tax Free Childcare in Wales

The Tax-Free Childcare scheme provides help with the cost of childcare for working families. Parents of children aged under 12 and parents of disabled children aged under 17 can apply...

More Stories >

The Labour Party will place cookies on your computer to help us make this website better.

Please read this to review the updates about which cookies we use and what information we collect on our site.

To find out more about these cookies, see our privacy notice. Use of this site confirms your acceptance of these cookies.