There is no let-up in the campaign for a better deal for the steel industry from the Conservative government. Steel MPs cross party heard from the Head of UK Steel that there is still an urgent need to level the playing field. In particular he warned that every effort should be taken to tackle the dumping of steel from Communist China.
I was very disappointed in the Prime Minister's response to me when I asked him why the UK government is blocking the EU Commission from increasing the tariffs on dumped steel from China and elsewhere.
We also need to make sure that the UK government's changed procurement guidelines result in a high percentage of UK content in contacts subsidised by the UK government. If they don't they won’t be worth the paper they are written on! A good first test of this will be to see if the blades and mono-piles built for the huge Hornsea offshore windfarm being developed by Dong Energy are manufactured in the UK with UK steel.
Martin Vickers MP's adjournment debate on the subject was well attended by Humber MPs presenting a strong, united front to the government. Both Martin and I repeated our “asks” of the Government at Energy Questions later in the week. We both got the sense that there is a determination to make sure that British tax payers and British energy bill payers money helps create British jobs. If that happens it will be good news for northern Lincolnshire - it should see the Able UK site being invested in and developed.
In my Shadow Schools brief I spoke at the EMFEC conference in Nottingham and visited a London school to see school based counselling in action as part of Children's Mental Health Week.
Just before the Commons broke for recess the government sneaked out the decision to close 68 Magistrates and Family Courts, including ours in Scunthorpe. I interrupted Commons Business to make a point of order bemoaning both what was being done and the way it was being done. The groans from the Government side showed that it's not just Labour MPs that see this as an attack on local access to justice.
I spoke in a debate highlighting the persecution of religious minorities in Pakistan. Britain is rightly proud of its tradition of religious tolerance and we should use our influence in the world to stick up for minorities and defend them against discrimination.
Finally I had an excellent meeting with the National Farmers' Union meeting at the Pink Pig, a very busy surgery at Sainsbury's and useful feedback from people in Ashby from my Saturday doorstep session.