I made a commitment to my constituents before the 2015 General Election that I would not vote in favour of renewing Trident.
It is no secret to my constituents that I am a unilateralist, a lifelong opponent of nuclear weapons and anti-nuclear campaigner. I have been unwavering in that view and I don't think my view will ever change.
At some point during 2016, there will be a House of Commons debate and a vote on what is described as the "main gate" decision on whether or not to renew Trident, a decision that looks likely to cost up to £167billion for the lifetime of the project.
That is the vote that will decide the future of Trident.
I will vote against renewal of Trident when that vote happens and I hope that as many of my colleagues as possible will vote the same way.
Today the SNP have an Opposition Day "motion" on Trident.
Any vote that takes place later today is not the main gate decision that I have described above. It's not binding on the government.
This morning, Angus McNeil MP of the SNP said on media that "this Commons vote could be the last parliamentary chance to stop this utterly awful project".
Angus is wrong.
Angus knows what he said is wrong but he said it deliberately.
He's playing games.
And Trident is far too serious an issue for political game playing.
Go ahead with your stunt Angus. Serious anti-nuclear campaigners like me won't be part of it.
I made a commitment to my constituents before the 2015 General Election that I would not vote in favour of renewing Trident. It is no secret to my constituents that...
On Thursday 19th November, I asked Leader of the House of Commons Chris Grayling MP for a debate on the current law governing the possession and sale of imitation weapons.
My question came about after a case in the Cardiff Youth Court where two 14 year olds were given custodial sentences after an incident involving a BB gun.
I was asked to comment on the issue, and questioned why if sale of these products is restricted to adults, children have been able to get hold of them.
I find it concerning that these imitation weapons are allowed to be sold at all, which is why I've called for a debate on the current laws.
Until the current legislation on the sale of BB guns and imitation firearms is reviewed and debated we run the risk of more instances of children getting hold of imitation weapons.
The Leader of the House responded by saying that he would raise the matter with the Home Secretary, Theresa May. I'm pleased he has taken the issue seriously, and I will continue to call for a parliamentary debate so that the inadequacies of the current legislation can be reviewed leading to change.
The full question I asked was:
"Last week two teenagers received custodial sentences from Cardiff’s Youth Court following from an incident with a BB Gun - am Imitation Weapon - despite the sale of such weapons being illegal to under 18’s. Could we have a debate please on the current law governing the possession and sale of imitation weapons because the current law is clearly not working."
Chris Grayling, Leader of the House of Commons response was:
"This is a very serious issue, because as the Honourable Lady knows, imitation weapons can be reactivated, and so weapons being sold as unusable can in fact become usable. So she is raising a broader issue, and it is something that I am absolutely certain the Home Secretary will and is taking very seriously. I will make sure that that particular circumstance is drawn to the Home Secretary’s attention. In the meantime I hope that the Police take action against the person who sold it [the imitation firearm]."
You can watch the full debate here.
The original story about the Cardiff case can be read here.
On Thursday 19th November, I asked Leader of the House of Commons Chris Grayling MP for a debate on the current law governing the possession and sale of imitation weapons....
On Tuesday 10th November the Trade Union Bill reached report and third reading stage in the House of Commons. I attended the whole of the debate, together with Labour colleagues, armed with the arguments to demonstrate the vindictive, pernicious nature of this Bill and its impact on over 6 million trade unionists across the country. We were united in our opposition to the Bill – as we have been since the Bill was published.
The Government say this Bill is a priority for them. Yet during the four hours of debate, about six Tory MPs were in the chamber and even fewer actually contributed to the debate. Those that did displayed a complete ignorance of the workplace and how successful companies and public authorities work in partnership with trade unions to increase productivity, profit, service quality and safe workplaces.
I contributed six times to the debate, with my contributions including:
- Exposing the lack of knowledge and expertise of Government witnesses who gave evidence during the Committee stage of the Bill.
- The lack of evidence to support Tory allegations of intimidation when casting ballots. This was being used as a reason not to allow union members to cast their ballots on-line in front a computer at home or on their mobile phones.
- How trade unions are the problem solvers, rather than problem causers.
- How the Trade Union Bill for the first time in our country, creates two tiers of civil liberties and human rights. Trade union members will have less liberty than the rest of the population.
- How the Bill breaches the European Convention of Human Rights and the temporary inconvenience that strikes of last resort cause, is not a legitimate reason for restricting the right to freedom of association under the Convention.
Despite the united opposition of all the parties led by Labour, the Tories had the numbers and the Bill passed third reading. This defeat is another tough reminder that without being in Government, we can’t protect millions of working people who need our support. We need to continue to build the campaign against the Bill. Please talk to your family, friends, neighbours, colleagues and persuade them to join the campaign. We now need to focus on persuading as many members of the House of Lords as possible, that this is a bad Bill and should be stopped, or at least substantially amended.
So if you have any Peers living in your constituency, or you know any in other parts of the country, I urge you to write, email or call them and ask them to stop this illegal, illiterate and illiberal Bill.
On Tuesday 10th November the Trade Union Bill reached report and third reading stage in the House of Commons. I attended the whole of the debate, together with Labour colleagues,...