The sun was shining and Glanford Park full for a really exciting first leg of the League One play off semi-final. We enjoyed a four goal thriller with honours even so the Mighty Iron travel to Rotherham to the imaginatively named New York Stadium for the decider. Everyone will be cheering Scunthorpe United FC on in the hope we can get to Wembley for the final. Up the Iron!
I was delighted to welcome the Labour Front Bench Team to Scunthorpe Steelworks. The Shadow Business Secretary, Rebecca Long Bailey MP and the Shadow Steel Minister, Gill Furniss MP for Brightside and Hillsboroughwere joined with the Shadow Welsh Secretary Christina Rees MP (see below) for an excellent briefing from British Steel, a tour of the works and a catch up with the trade unions. It was a superb visit. I felt our visitors had a much better grasp of the scale of the operations here and the quality of the work done by the end of the day. They also understood the need for Government to do more to level the playing field on procurement, energy costs, support for capital investment and business rates. These are the sort of things asked for from the industry in the work it has done on the steel sector. At least Labour gets the message and will urge Government to act sooner rather than later and get a sector deal in place. As always I was immensely proud of Scunthorpe's British Steel workforce.
The very sad news that Tessa Jowell (see below) lost her fight against brain cancer over the weekend further emphasises the need to up our game on those cancers that are proving most difficult to beat. We touched on this at the meeting of the chairs of the All Party Cancer Groups. Tessa's life must inspire us to do even more together to support those brilliant clinicians and charities doing so much to improve the outcomes for cancer patients and their families.
The rest of a busy week included a very full surgery, speaking at a social event for Gainsborough Constituency Labour Party and reporting to my own local Labour Party on the last very busy month of political comings and goings!!!