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Darren meets XR and signs Green Deal Pledge

Darren Jones MP for Bristol North West has pledged to support Labour’s Green Deal and also met with local members of the environmental campaign group Extinction Rebellion.

 Labour for a Green Deal envisions a zero-carbon society. A Green New Deal aims to transform the economy through unprecedented investment in technology, infrastructure and people. This includes:

  • Commitment to zero carbon emissions by 2030;
  • Rapidly phasing-out all fossil fuels;
  • Large-scale investment in renewables;
  • A just transition to well-paid, unionised, green jobs available for all;
  • A green industrial revolution expanding public, democratic ownership as far as necessary for the transformation;
  • Green public integrated transport that connects Britain;
  • Supporting developing countries’ climate transitions by increasing transfers of finance, technology and capacity;
  • Assuring everyone’s basic rights through the provision of universal services;
  • Welcoming climate refugees while taking measures against the displacement of peoples from their homes.

Darren said:

“‪I’ve long been a champion for tackling climate change, so it was ‪lovely to bump into Extinction Rebellion Bristol recently in Shirehampton. We discussed clean air zones, airport expansion and the need for more radical action from government.

It’s also great to see so many Labour Party members getting involved in the grassroots movement and calling for a Green New Deal. I was delighted to pledge my personal support”.

You can follow Darren’s work on the environment and animal welfare here.

 

 

 

 

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Darren signs Child Trafficking pledge

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has signed ECPAT UK’s (Every Child Protected Against Trafficking) pledge calling for Stable Futures for all child victims of trafficking.

Darren said:

Child victims of trafficking are just like other young people, with hopes and dreams for the future. While they may have experienced unimaginable trauma, they are resilient, resourceful and full of potential. Yet under the current system, they are often unable to recover, live stable lives and plan for their future. Some of the barriers they face include securing their immigration status, poor decision making and lengthy waits for immigration claims and other important decisions, and a lack of support to navigate the many complex legal and care systems in the UK.

Following difficult journeys to the UK, unaccompanied children may be victims of trafficking, but this often goes undetected by the authorities as there is no one for them to confide in. Having a long term plan in place, a stable immigration status where necessary and someone to support them early on in their recovery would allow each child to live in safety, free of fear and of further instability in their lives. It would allow them to focus on their education, future careers and friendships, just like any other young person. 

That’s why I stand with ECPAT UK’s call for the government to give trafficked children their futures back“.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Darren warns against rushed NHS-Amazon Alexa partnership

Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West, has written to the Information Commissioner and the Competition and Markets Authority to argue that there should be more oversight over a proposed deal between the Department of Health and Amazon. The deal would allow Amazon Alexa virtual assistants to give its users health advice from the NHS. Darren is concerned that patients have not been asked about what health data they think it is appropriate for Amazon to hold.

Darren said:

“This decision has been taken without any scrutiny or accountability to Parliament and – as far as I’m aware – without any attempt to understand if patients are content with this service.”

On the 25th of July Darren received a response from the Chief Executive of the Competition and Markets Authority, Andrea Coscelli.

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Darren signs Cancer UK Pledge

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has signed Cancer Research UK’s Pledge (in full below) reinforcing that he will continue to support the NHS in fighting cancer. Southmead Hospital is sited within Darren’s constituency.

Darren has previously written to the government calling for more support for young cancer patients, the need for early detection of bowel cancer, post-treatment support for breast cancer patients and backed Breast Cancer Now’s ‘Wear it Pink’ campaign.

Darren said:

“I am delighted to have signed Cancer Research UK‘s pledge to Stand with the NHS Against Cancer.

We need a long-term, fully funded plan for a specialist cancer workforce. Without this plan, workforce shortages risk undermining the investment into the NHS and the ambitions of diagnosing 75% of cancers at an early stage by 2028.

I will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with our NHS.”

Darren recently nominated some of the team’s at Southmead for NHS Parliamentary Awards and one of these nominations went on to win the national award for employee wellbeing. To follow Darren’s work on health please click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Darren gets government response on facial rec. tech.

Darren Jones, MP for Bristol North West, secured a debate in Westminster Hall in May 2019 to discuss the policy and civil liberties implications of recent developments in facial recognition technology.

Since that debate, and Darren’s Science and Technology Committee’s report on Biometrics, Darren has received a response from government.

 

 

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Success at getting fair redundancy payments for Avlon staff

Back in March 2019, Darren Jones, the MP for Bristol North West, first wrote to the Government sharing his concerns about Avara’s Avlon site, and their 270 staff. The Avlon site is situated just outside Darren’s constituency. A number of constituents and their family members were employed at the site.

Avara Avlon Pharmaceutical Services Ltd, the company who now own the site, had become insolvent. Since that time it become clear, despite assurances when the company was sold 3 years ago by AstraZeneca, that staff would get above-statutory redundancy payments, which they had been contractually entitled to with AstraZeneca, only statutory redundancy payments were offered by Avara.

Darren has since written to the relevant government department (BEIS) and AstraZeneca, met with Unite union reps and former employees and raised this matter in Parliament on 11th July. Darren also applied for an Adjournment Debate with the Minister of 4 occasions (each attempt was unsuccessful) and worked with The Times to raise awareness of this gross unfairness. The Times have since ran several pieces on this matter this week.

Following these efforts, and those of former employees and Unite, Darren received for following statement from former owner, AstraZeneca:

Statement from AstraZeneca (17th July 2019):

We have decided to set aside funding of up to £12m, to be administered independently, to make sure our former employees at the Avlon site receive full severance should the ongoing administration of the site not generate enough funds to cover redundancy costs.

AstraZeneca remained closely involved in helping secure a future for the Avlon site following the sale to Avara, which was made in good faith in 2016. We have been engaged with the receivers since the company fell into administration. Last week, the deadline for bids for the site was reached and, since then, it has become apparent that there may not be sufficient funds to meet the redundancy costs of our former employees. 

Our success relies on the commitment and talent of our employees and our many partners in the UK and around the world who share our passion for science and for making a difference to the lives of patients.

Darren said:

“I’m delighted that after months of hard work from workers and unions, and my interventions with Astra Zeneca and the government, that workers are being paid the redundancy packages they deserve.

Whilst it should not have taken this level of intervention before employees got what they had been promised, I thank Astra Zeneca for listening, responding and making the right call.”

Darren presses Science Minister on costs of no-deal

At the Science and Technology Committee this morning, Darren tried to hold the outgoing Minister for Science and Boris Johnson supporter, Chris Skidmore, to a straight answer on what leaving the EU without a deal will mean for Britain’s research partnerships and R&D spending.

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Southmead NHS staff win national Parliamentary award

In 2019, MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones once again submitted a number of nominations to the annual NHS Awards. All nominees work for North Bristol NHS Trust and are based at Southmead Hospital, the hospital in Darren’s constituency, and were nominated by peers or managers. Darren was delighted to hear one of these nominations was selected as the regional award winner and would be invited to attend the Parliamentary Awards held this week (10th July 2019). It is with great pride that the team went on to win the national award for wellbeing at work. Darren was able to join the team attending and thank them for their efforts.

The purpose of the awards is to celebrate the NHS, identify and highlight innovative and high-quality care across every constituency in England, and thank staff for their dedication, hard work and commitment by recognising and honouring their achievements.

Darren said of the win:

“I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Southmead Hospital on many occasions, so I am delighted to hear my nomination in the Wellbeing at Work category has won the Trust this prestigious NHS Award. The staff and volunteers at North Bristol NHS Trust work hard, and often in very challenging circumstances. Whilst the team’s focus is on caring and supporting their patients, it is right that staff and volunteers have opportunity to focus on their own needs too. The Wellbeing at Work programme ensures staff and volunteers can access support and activities related to a whole range of health and wellbeing topics.  I made this nomination as I was really inspired when I heard the Chief Executive’s strap line to staff was ‘your health is as important as our patients’. That’s right, as ultimately staff who are absent due to illness, feel unsupported or are struggling, aren’t going to be able to provide the best care for their patients and may end up needing NHS care themselves.

I was genuinely impressed with the broad range of needs that had been considered in the programme from caring responsibilities, menopause to flu clinics, setting up health walks and training Mental Health First Aiders. It is accurate to say, the team at North Bristol NHS Trust are leading the way when it comes to Wellbeing at Work. I could not be prouder that the Hospital in my constituency has received this national award – well done to everyone involved”.

You can also follow Darren’s work on Health here.

 

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Watch: Darren presses Government over Avlon redundancies

Staff at the Avlon pharmaceuticals plant, which was recently put into administration by its American owners, were promised that should the facility fail, they would be entitled to a full redundancy package – but are now being forced to leave on statutory pay only. This unjust situation can still be avoided if the plant’s former owners AstraZeneca choose to enforce the previously negotiated guarantee, but it may take some pressure from Government. That’s why Darren’s been writing to Business Ministers and trying for weeks to secure a debate in Parliament — and this morning raised the issue directly with the Leader of the House of Commons, Mel Stride.

Watch: Darren expresses grave concern over Darroch resignation

We should all be deeply troubled by Sir Kim Darroch’s resignation as Ambassador to Washington, and by the shameful leak of his private correspondence which preceded it. Sir Kim’s decision came on the back of characteristic childishness from Donald Trump ⁠— and thereby marked the first time in modern history that a British ambassador has been forced out at the behest of a third country. Our Government must make it very clear that once appointed, Her Majesty’s ambassadors have their full backing (and so too should our likely next Prime Minister Boris Johnson).