What a strange and peculiar time we’re in. I know everyone’s calling it unprecedented, and no doubt it is, but I want to call it frightening and confusing and worrying and eerily quiet, and weirdly slow too.
Tragically, deaths in hospitals attributed from Covid-19 stand at 16,060, with 59 from Newham, but the numbers will be higher because daily figures published by the government don’t take into account deaths in the community, including care homes.
The briefest glance through my television listings magazine reveals 15 different detective programmes shown just this week – clearly, the concept of the fight for justice, detecting wrong and catching the perpetrators is a popular one.
Last week, I joined our new 40-strong team of dedicated youth workers who are now fully in place to deliver on the promise I made to the young people of Newham that we’ll be investing in them so they can reach their potential.
Labour lost the election, but all the issues we raised during the campaign remain. In opposition, MPs can put pressure on ministers and – on occasions – force changes to government policy. Here are some of my priorities for the coming parliament.
An ‘unholy’ row has broken out in our ‘Mother of Parliaments’. It concerns prayer cards, seating and MPs’ ability to participate. It’s trivial in the context of, say, the climate emergency. But it speaks volumes about our outdated institutions.