Last week, as well holding a busy surgery, I met with Humberside Police and Crime Commissioner, Keith Hunter, just a couple of months into his post. I was impressed that he is taking local concerns seriously and has already met with retailers concerned about the policing of Scunthorpe Town Centre. Hopefully it won’t be long before his commitment to strengthen community policing shows dividends.
The Labour Leadership Election is now in full swing! Last week saw the hustings at the Parliamentary Labour Party where two candidates set out strong, positive agendas for the future whilst one – the current Leader - continually looked backwards to the 1980s. Both Angela Eagle and Owen Smith demonstrated that they have the verve and energy as well as the ideas to take the Labour Party and the country forward. They also clearly have the support of the people they will work closest with, Labour MPs.
Unfortunately the current Leader has lost the support of those who know him best. In my view he should have had another year to prove himself but, in the light of his lamentable performance in the EU Referendum campaign, some colleagues weren’t as patient as I believe they should have been. As a consequence we’ve been plunged into a leadership election at a time when we should be scrutinising the new Prime Minister. Theresa May has certainly hit the ground running with a very impressive debut at Prime Minister’s Questions. This is good for the country as it will help breathe confidence into the economy after the shock of the Brexit decision. And at least by the end of the week we in the Labour Party now have just one competent contender for the Labour crown in Owen Smith MP.
Much of the rest of last week was focused on the work of the Steel All Party Parliamentary Group’s final evidence sessions before we pull our report together proposing a strategy for the steel industry. With the new Government putting ‘Industrial Strategy’ into the name of its new department hopefully we will be pushing at an open door!! Well it’s always good to live in hope.
I also met with the secretariat of the Pancreatic Cancer All Party Group to make sure that the work plan over the summer will deliver our ambitious schedule of work for the next parliamentary year.