Jo Stevens MP

A strong voice for Cardiff Central

Jo Stevens - Labour MP for Cardiff Central

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If you're a Labour voter or potential Labour voter, what do you look for in the leader of the Labour Party?

You look for core Labour principles and values. The ability to inspire and motivate. Authenticity, honesty, passion and energy. Charisma and strong communication.

Someone who can unite rather than divide.

Someone who can deliver as well as debate.

And someone who can win, not just whinge.

That person is Owen Smith.

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He brings experience and knowledge from outside politics and from around the UK, not just the world surrounding Westminster; from his upbringing in South Wales, his time at University (a fluent French speaker – handy for those Brexit discussions), from jobs in the media and international business. And very usefully, working as part of a successful team on the Northern Ireland peace process, with experience of bringing people with polar opposite views and a background of hostility (and worse) together, in agreement, about the future of the people of Northern Ireland.

I know from my own career that successful leadership, whether in politics, business or elsewhere, is about building a strong team. And to do that, you have to listen, draw on the best talent, innovation and skills to produce strong, practical policy and solutions that you know you can deliver. And you need to be able to compromise, to influence, persuade and achieve the outcomes that are best for the organisation and for the people who depend on it.

Teamwork is collective. The Labour and Trade Union movement is a collective. Contrary to the impression the echo chamber of social media is giving, no single person has a monopoly on our Labour values. Leadership is about taking responsibility, giving direction and making sure Labour values are reflected in powerful policies that address the real needs and concerns of the people of our country.

Owen's supporters come from across the Labour and Trade Union movement and beyond. Strong women feature prominently, as do young members, LGBT members, BME members and elected representatives at every level of our democracy. Real activists. Who have campaigned for Labour in all weathers and who know what counts to voters on the doorstep, in the Councillors' surgeries, in the shopping centres, community centres, schools – and in the pub.

That's because throughout his time in the Labour Party, Owen has been a team player. He's grafted, campaigning up and down the country at every type of election and referendum, spending hours, days and weeks on campaign trails supporting Labour candidates. In Wales, Scotland, London and across England. He listens; to candidates, activists, but most importantly, to voters. He listens, engages, influences, persuades and he convinces people by the power and passion of his sincerity.

In the 2015 general election he campaigned in every single one of our forty constituencies in Wales in one week. He helped every Labour candidate, whether they were in a winnable seat or not, because he understands the importance of strong teamwork. He leads by example. He takes responsibility. He would never expect a colleague to do something he wasn’t prepared to do himself. He fronts up.

You don't get to put into practice the Labour values and policies that will help our communities across the country, without winning.

So I don't understand those in our party who say that winning isn't the priority. This is not a game. It isn't the Olympics. It's not just about taking part. It's about building a winning Labour Party that gives our divided country the government it so desperately needs.

We are 21 per cent behind in the polls and heading for oblivion if a snap general election is called. This, when the Tories are deeply divided and their plan for Britain consists of a blank sheet of paper, is unforgivable. We cannot stand by and let this happen. We cannot just shrug our shoulders.

So I urge Labour members and supporters to join me in putting an X next to Owen Smith's name on their ballot papers and to give Labour and the country, a positive, progressive plan packed with policies to bring purpose, fairness and prosperity for the many, not just the few.

This article was originally published on the Times Red Box blog.

Only Owen Smith can put Labour values into practise by winning in 2020

If you're a Labour voter or potential Labour voter, what do you look for in the leader of the Labour Party? You look for core Labour principles and values. The...

The City of Cardiff Council are now inviting residents to take part in its annual ‘Ask Cardiff Survey' for 2016.  More people than ever took part in the 2015 survey with views and opinions shared from over 4.5K local citizens.  This year they hope to repeat that success and find out what local people think about a variety of public services including: Parks and Recreation, Transport and Community Safety.  Additionally they are interested in learning about the ‘wellbeing' of local people and exploring ideas for the future of public service delivery.

Five thousand households across the city will be contacted directly regarding the survey whilst bilingual surveys will be made available at Hubs, Libraries and selected Council buildings.  Links to the survey will be emailed to over 70,000 residents, including holders of Library Cards, Active Cards and members of the Council's Citizens' Panel.

The council's website and social media networks also play a key role in promoting the consultation.  A social media campaign will take place utilising @CardiffCouncil and the Cardiff Debate Twitter accounts, which have a combined audience of approximately 55,000 followers.

You can take part in this consultation by clicking here.

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The Cardiff Debate 2016

As the public and third sector face significant financial pressures in terms of reducing budgets and growing demand for service, the Cardiff Partnership is looking at different ways to shape the future of public services. The Cardiff Debate is a series of events that will happen over the next three years and will involve local people and communities. They will be holding these events in local communities to ensure that conversations are happening with citizens across the city and giving people the opportunity to discuss different priorities.

A full report with the results and feedback from the 1st phase of the Cardiff Debate that included 37 events held across the city from June to September 2014 can be found here.

To keep up to date with the latest developments and details of upcoming events 'Like' the Facebook Page and follow on Twitter.

Don't forget to visit our new Cardiff Debate Website.

The Cardiff Debate started in June 2014 and some of the views from citizens can be viewed here.

'Ask Cardiff' Residents Survey: Now Open

The City of Cardiff Council are now inviting residents to take part in its annual ‘Ask Cardiff Survey' for 2016.  More people than ever took part in the 2015 survey...

Since the EU referendum result there has been a resounding silence from the Government on whether they will keep the workplace and employment protections that EU law has developed and underpinned in the UK for many years.  

Our right not to be discriminated against on grounds of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religious belief and age are there because of EU law. The same goes for vital health and safety at work protection. 

This month I led for Labour in Attorney General Questions and focussed on seeking commitments from the Government law officers that none of these rights will be watered down or removed altogether as a consequence of us leaving the EU.

You can watch the exchanges here.

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The full exchange can be read below and you can watch it here:

Jo Stevens Shadow Minister (Justice), Shadow Solicitor General

Leaving the European Union will involve repeal of the European Communities Act 1972, which means all secondary legislation made under the Act will automatically fail unless it is re-enacted. Can the Attorney General tell us what steps are being taken, or will be taken, to ensure we have the necessary legislation to guarantee protection on important employment rights, such as transfers of undertakings and paid holidays for employees?

Jeremy Wright, Attorney-General

May I first of all say that it is always nice to see anyone on the Labour Front Bench these days, but it is a particular pleasure to see that the hon. Lady retains her position?

I repeat what I said to Nick Thomas-Symonds: it is clearly the case that the British Government will wish to retain in some form some of the regulations and pieces of legislation she refers to. Of course, the exercise of determining which pieces of legislation is going to time-consuming and complex, but I have no doubt that what this Government will wish to do is persist with high-quality protection for those in employment in this country, whether that is European legislation or, in future, domestic legislation.

Jo Stevens Shadow Minister (Justice), Shadow Solicitor General

I listened to the answer that the Attorney General gave to my hon. Friend Nick Thomas-Symonds. Prior to being elected to this House, I represented families of people killed or injured at work. The majority of health and safety legislation providing protection for UK workers derives from EU law, and in his answer the Attorney General did not satisfy me that he will provide equivalent or better protection. Does he agree that workers need to be protected against injury, illness and death at work, and that workplace health and safety legislation is essential and not red tape? Will he give this House and, in particular, the families of those killed at work a guarantee that, at the very least, equivalent legislation and workplace protections will be urgently re-enacted?

Jeremy Wright, Attorney-General

I agree that injury, illness and death at work must be prevented and dealt with through appropriate legislation and regulation. Of course, we already sought to protect workers from those things prior to our membership of the European Union, and we will certainly seek to do so post-membership. I do not believe that it is beyond the capacity of this House to design legislation and regulation that will enable us to provide effective protection, and this Government are entirely committed to doing so.

Attorney General Questions - July

Since the EU referendum result there has been a resounding silence from the Government on whether they will keep the workplace and employment protections that EU law has developed and...

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