Wednesday, October 19, 2016

They shall not pass! was the call that brought out 300,000 east Londoners in 1936 to protest against attempts by Mosley’s Blackshirts to stage a provocative hate-filled march through the East End.

As an individual who passionately believes the best and most effective ways to eradicate poverty and achieve equality for all is through education that leads to employment, I am dismayed that once again there is an attempt to introduce grammar schools which will be for the select few and not enable the social mobility the government would like you to believe.

A couple of days after the referendum, once David Cameron had resigned, but before anyone else had put their name forward to be prime minister, I was interviewed on CNBC news. The final question I was asked, was who I thought should be the new leader of the Conservative Party.

While the capital’s iconic classical music venues are undeniably grand, to some they may feel intimidating spaces.

One thing for which East Enders are known is surely our love of a good story!

A hospital not far from here is offering “dignity bags” to people suffering bereavements.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, last week outlined plans for more river crossings in the east and south east of London over the next decade to improve travel across the capital and support the area’s economic development. I welcome his commitment as there is an unequivocal need for river crossings in east London.

As if Brexit isn’t challenging enough, Theresa May now aims to overhaul our education system. The two prongs of her plans, grammar schools and religious selection, are distinct. But their common purpose is to turn the clock back 50 years or more, and both risk forging deeper division in our communities.

Conservative ministers have announced plans for new grammar schools. Along with many MPs from all parties, including quite a few Conservatives, I am against expansion of selective education.

With the temperature dropping a few notches and autumn setting in, why not come and warm up in the world-class venues on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park? There’s lots on in the next few weeks.

The colourful and creative worlds of some of the nation’s best-loved children’s authors will be coming to Stratford library this half term as part of Discover Children’s Story Centre’s takeover.

China’s ancient Terracotta Warriors have inspired a new exhibition of sculptures that are on show in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park this month.

We all grew up with the term “hole in the wall”. To us that meant a cash machine and we all got used to the facility our banks provided.

A little over two months ago, the prime minister came to power proclaiming she wanted everyone, whatever their background, to be given the same opportunities to succeed.

Newham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) recently held its annual general meeting, highlighting key achievements in the local NHS and giving people the opportunity to speak directly with its governing body.

A boxing wordsmith is bringing his tales of life inside and outside of the ring to the borough.

If crack cocaine was being sold openly in Newham, there would be an outcry. And yet the “crack cocaine” of the betting world – the Fixed Odds Betting Terminal – is available in every high street in the country.

During the Brexit campaign, I was often quoted as complaining that EU rules forced us to spend thousands of pounds on new packaging so that a packet of smoked salmon could have an EU warning sign on the back saying “contains fish”.

The “hopper” fare has launched and it’s estimated 30m journeys will now become free every year. The £1.50 fare allows you to make another bus or tram journey for free within an hour of touching in. Another manifesto pledge delivered.

Newham’s first ever Heritage Awareness Week scheduled for Monday, October 24 to Sunday, October 30 is approaching fast.

Burkinis on beaches has been a hot topic this summer. So, should the state interfere with what people want to wear?

We have fought for the government to change the amount that can be bet on fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTS) as we have seen the damage that the clustering of these premises has wreaked on our high streets.

A fresh dance event set to “celebrate rave culture” will make its debut at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park this weekend.

An academic has written a pacy yet insightful book about the behind-the-scene dramas of London 2012’s Olympic legacy programme.

A few years ago, visiting Pakistan, I had a long drive from the airport. In almost every village we passed, a group of youngsters was playing cricket at the side of the road. So many have their family roots in countries where cricket is played from infancy, and followed passionately: India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka as well as Pakistan, not to mention the West Indies. So why do we not see more cricket in the borough?

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