Category Archives: Parliament

Britain should look again at air dropping food into besieged Syrian towns

Jo Cox speaks at FCO questions about air dropping aid into besieged Syrian townsSuccessful air drops of aid into besieged Syrian towns have prompted Batley & Spen MP Jo Cox to once again raise the prospect of the British doing the same to help civilians caught up in the civil war.

Speaking at Foreign Office questions in the House of Commons yesterday, Mrs Cox said less aid is now reaching these communities than before the ceasefire.

Over the weekend however, she said the World Food Programme had successfully air dropped 20 tonnes of aid into the besieged town of Deir Ezzor – bypassing the Government blockade stopping UN trucks from entering.

“The Foreign Office, along with the Department for International Development and the Ministry of Defence, should now re-examine the possibility of airdrops to all besieged communities in Syria?,” she said.

You can watch Mrs Cox’s exchange with the minister by clicking here.

MPs speak out in Parliament on Dewsbury & District Hospital

Jo Cox quizzes the health minister on plans to downgrade Dewsbury hospitalLabour MPs Jo Cox and Paula Sherriff spoke out in Parliament last night in defence of Dewsbury & District Hospital.

Mrs Cox, whose Batley & Spen constituency is home to the hospital, spoke during a debate secured by Ms Sherriff, the Dewsbury MP, about staffing in the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust.

Paying tribute to the staff at the hospital, Mrs Cox said: “I congratulate my honourable friend and neighbour on securing this critical debate on our local hospital.

“I back her in what she says and recognise that doctors and nurses and other staff at the hospital have been working in crisis mode for 15 months now. It is difficult to overstate how hard it must be for staff to go to work every day, knowing that they will miss key targets and not be able to give the care and attention that they so want to give.”

Mrs Cox went on to underline that no matter how often the government tries to pass the buck to Mid Yorkshire, ministers had to take some responsibility for the problems in the Trust.

“They have cut public health funding, and there is a social care crisis locally and problems with the junior doctors contract. The Government must take responsibility for this crisis and not pass the buck to an embattled NHS trust,” said Mrs Cox.

During the debate, which Health minister Ben Gummer MP responded to, Mrs Cox asked the Government directly if now was the time to proceed with the planned downgrade.

“As the Minister will be aware, Mid Yorkshire has the third highest number of admittances to A&E in the country,” she said.

“In that context, I share the concern of my honourable friend the Member for Dewsbury about the planned reorganisation and downgrade of the Dewsbury hospital.

“It is a serious matter for local residents and some of my constituents. It would be wonderful to have a commitment further to discuss whether now is the time to move forward with that plan.”

You can watch the full debate here or you can read the Official Report here

Jo Cox denounces Chancellor’s “political Budget”

Jo Cox speaks during the Budget debateBatley & Spen MP Jo Cox delivered a passionate speech in Parliament tonight denouncing what she called a short term political budget from a Chancellor whose reputation is in tatters.

During the debate, Mrs Cox said: “As is now abundantly clear, this was a budget developed with short term politics in mind not compassionate long term economics.

“Today, all he has got away with is shirking his duty to come to this House and account for his failure and the black hole in his Budget. His reputation is now in tatters.”

She said the u-turn on cutting the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) was motivated by the Chancellor’s own ambitions and not the warnings about how this would impact on vulnerable people.

Mrs Cox recounted the story of a constituent who is determined to carry on working. She said PIP helped him do that.

“He is determined to keep working, because he wants to keep his dignity. The Chancellor wanted to take it from him,” she said.

You can watch the speech by clicking here or your can read it by clicking here.

MP puts her lights out for Earth Hour

Jo Cox is backing Earth HourJo Cox has signed up to support this year’s Earth Hour by making a special pledge to help protect the planet.

WWF is encouraging people to show they care about the future of our planet by turning out their lights for an hour at 8.30pm on Saturday (19 March).

Mrs Cox said: “Our natural world is precious to all life but we need to do more to protect it. WWF’s Earth Hour reminds us that there are simple things we can all do for the planet, not for just one hour, but every day.

“It’s a great opportunity to bring together millions of people from across the world with one united goal – to help protect our planet.

Every year Earth Hour inspires millions of people around the world to come together and switch off their lights for one hour in a symbolic act to show they care about our brilliant planet.

Last year a record-breaking 172 countries and some of the world’s most famous buildings including Big Ben, Hong Kong’s skyline and the Sydney Harbour Bridge joined the global celebration.

In the UK alone, over 10 million people took part, along with over 4,800 schools, 200 landmarks and thousands of businesses and organisations.

Jennifer Clements, spokesperson for WWF’s Earth Hour, said: “We’re thrilled that MPs have given their support to this year’s Earth Hour and we hope they will inspire many others to get involved. This is a chance for all of us to come together and send out a global message about protecting our planet.”

Everyone can join the celebration for WWF’s Earth Hour on Saturday 19 March 2016. For more information and to sign up please visit wwf.org.uk/earthhour

 

Cautious welcome for Russian withdrawal from Syria

Jo Cox questions the Foreign Secretary on the Russian withdrawal from SyriaBatley & Spen MP Jo Cox has cautiously welcomed Russia’s announcement that it plans a substantial withdrawal of its armed forces from Syria,

Yesterday’s announcement was also welcomed by the UN’s Special Envoy ahead of fresh peace talks in Geneva.

Mrs Cox, who has been praised by MPs on all sides of the House of Commons for her work on highlighting the plight of Syrian civilians, said:

“Russia appears for the first time to be using its influence over the Syrian regime.

“Russia now has a choice – to use its influence for good to help get to a just and lasting negotiated solution; or continue to prolong the suffering of the Syrian people. It is time for Russia to make the right choice.”

Numerous sources claim Russia breached the ceasefire that was put in place last month with indiscriminate air strikes that resulted in the deaths of countless civilians. She raised these concerns in an urgent question in Parliament two weeks ago.

Russia had been responsible for more than half of all civilian deaths caused by foreign air strikes.

Mrs Cox also spoke during a debate today following a further Urgent Question from Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn MP on the Russian announcement in Parliament.

She asked the Foreign Secretary if now was the time to look again at a NATO-backed bombing zone to protect civilians.

You can watch Mrs Cox’s questions to the Foreign Secretary, and his answer, here.