Category Archives: Parliament

Jo gets roped in to raise money for Macmillan

Jo Cox taking part in the Tug of War for MacmillanBatley & Spen MP Jo Cox lined up in the Parliamentary Tug of War to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.

The charity’s 30th annual Tug of War event saw a series of battles – including the eagerly anticipated House of Commons versus House of Lords, with the MPs winning their seventh straight victory.

All the money raised will help Macmillan ensure that no one faces cancer alone.

The event was compéred by BBC Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine and saw spectators and teams enjoy an evening of fundraising festivities alongside the matches at Westminster College Gardens.

Mrs Cox was part of the team of female MPs who battled against the Macmillan ladies, but were beaten. She said: “There are 2.5million people living with cancer in the UK. The funds raised through events such as Macmillan’s Tug of War are more vital than ever before and will fund the vital practical, medical, emotional and financial support services that they offer.”

The Tug of War has raised over £3million to fund vital Macmillan services for people affected by cancer over the last 30 years.

Richard Taylor from Macmillan Cancer Support said: “The winning medals for Macmillan’s Parliamentary Tug of War were as fiercely fought over as ever before in this, its 30th year.  The night was a fantastic success with politicians from all sides of the Commons and Lords really pulling together for the benefit of people affected by cancer.

“The incredibly generous donations from the spectators alongside some good natured political heave ho will go a long way in helping Macmillan ensure that no one faces cancer alone.”

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Local delegation meets minister to raise gaps in social care

20160510_165228Batley & Spen MP Jo Cox led a delegation of local organisations to Westminster to discuss gaps in social care with ministers.

The delegation met with Alistair Burt MP, the social care minister, and also met with the Shadow minister Emma Lewell-Buck MP, Labour’s social care spokesman.

Yesterday’s delegation was part of an ongoing national campaign being led by Mrs Cox exploring issues around adult social care that directly link in with her campaign on loneliness and isolation.

Mrs Cox said: “Problems in adult care have come up time and again since I was elected last May. Local voluntary and charitable organisations have highlighted the many challenges they face in delivering services.

“They feel national policies do not reflect local needs and demands. There is a clear expectation that they will be heavily involved in delivering social care support but without any real investment.

“Social care is hugely underfunded and there is a lack of integrated services. However, the current lack of analysis has allowed the government to avoid taking decisive action.

“The discussions arising from delegation will, I hope, help address that, raise awareness with ministers and also contribute to the work I am doing locally and nationally to tackle loneliness and isolation.”

The Royal Voluntary Service, Alzheimer’s Society, Batley Food Bank and Community Partnerships were among those who attended the meetings in Parliament.

Contributions from a series of meetings hosted in Batley & Spen by Mrs Cox were also fed in along with feedback from other local organisations who were unable to attend.

Vulnerable, terrified and alone – why I supported the Dubs amendment

Jo Cox vJo Cox speaks in the debate on Britain accepting 3000 child refugeesoted for the UK to help 3,000 vulnerable child refugees, who are alone in Europe and fleeing unimaginable horror in their own countries.

The Batley & Spen MP spoke in the debate on the Immigration Bill and in favour of the Dubs amendment.

The amendment was tabled by 83 year old Labour Lord Alfred Dubs, who arrived in the UK as a six year old child fleeing the Nazis.

Mrs Cox said: “The vast majority of the terrified, friendless and profoundly vulnerable child refugees scattered across Europe tonight came from Syria.

“As that conflict enters its sixth barbaric year, desperate Syrian families are being forced to make an impossible decision: stay and face starvation, rape, persecution and death, or make a perilous journey to find sanctuary elsewhere.

“Who can blame desperate parents for wanting to escape the horror that their families are experiencing?

“Children are being killed on their way to school, children as young as seven are being forcefully recruited to the frontline and one in three children have grown up knowing nothing but fear and war.

“Those children have been exposed to things no child should ever witness, and I know I would risk life and limb to get my two precious babies out of that hellhole.”

She told MPs that the latest estimates suggest that there could be up to 95,000 such children in Europe right now – four times more than was thought. Even if Britain did agree to take 3,000 of them that would just be three per cent.

Mrs Cox added: “Sadly the Government did not listen and Parliament rejected Labour’s attempts to force the UK to act.”

You can watch Mrs Cox’s speech by clicking here.  

Jo Cox: “No child should be left behind”

Jo Cox leads the debate on education in YorkshireJo Cox MP opened and led an important House of Commons debate last night into the regional gap in education attainment.

The Batley & Spen MP told MPs that no child should be left behind and that it should not matter where they are born.

The debate centred on research that shows Yorkshire and the Humber is lagging behind other regions in educational attainment, and is in fact the worst performing region in England.

She said: “In Yorkshire and the Humber, children are now being left behind, and no child should be left behind. We can no longer accept that young people in London are far more likely to achieve good outcomes at school than those in other regions

“This disparity is a disgrace, and education has become a postcode lottery.

“After 30 years of neglect and a lack of focus from Government, we now live in a country where a child in some regions has less chance of reaching their potential than one born in London. As London powers ahead in educational attainment, children in the so-called northern powerhouse are falling behind.”

Mrs Cox went on to say: “Surely the growing divide in regional academic attainment can no longer be left unchallenged. Indeed, I contend that nothing we do in this place matters more than ensuring that no child is left behind.

“If education, education, education is a priority, the answer must, in part, be teachers, teachers, teachers. What has worked in London can work elsewhere. It can work in Yorkshire, but it will need real investment and sustained political commitment.

“It is time for a new, bold and ambitious target to end the postcode lottery in educational attainment. We have a duty to ensure that every child has access to the best possible education. It should not matter where they were born. No child should be left behind.”

MP raises impact tax havens have on developing countries

Jo Cox speaks during Labour's tax avoidance and evasion debateLabour forced a debate in Parliament yesterday on tax avoidance and evasion following the revelations in the “Panana Papers”.

Jo Cox spoke during the debate, led by Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell MP, to raise the impact tax havens have on poor countries.

“Having spent 10 years as an aid worker, I am acutely aware of the millions of pounds that are lost to development in poor countries as a result of these tax havens,” she said.

“Before the anti-corruption summit in May the Prime Minister needs to do far more to reassure the House that he will accelerate his efforts to persuade British overseas territories to mirror the United Kingdom’s welcome move, and establish a transparent public register of beneficial ownership.”

You can watch Mrs Cox’s contribution, and John McDonnell’s reply, here: