Posts

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Watch: Darren calls out snap election trap

Reflecting on Boris Johnson’s attempt to force an early election through the House of Commons, Bristol North West MP Darren Jones said:

“I’m all for an election once no-deal has definitively been taken off the table, but to agree to one now would hand Boris Johnson a blank cheque to take Britain over the cliff-edge without a Parliament to stop him. I won’t walk into that trap.”

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Darren joins cross-party push to prevent no-deal

This evening Darren stood with (now ex-)Tory rebels and other Opposition MPs in voting to empower Parliament to take control of the Brexit process and avoid a catastrophic no-deal outcome. The House of Commons voted decisively in favour of allowing debate on a bill which mandates the Prime Minister to seek a further extension if he fails to renegotiate a deal. This is a major setback for Boris Johnson’s undemocratic and reckless Brexit strategy, and a victory for sensible MPs across the political divide — but the fight’s not over yet, and it now seems inevitable that we’ll be plunged into a General Election before too long. Ultimately, it’s clear that the only democratic way to resolve this impasse is by putting Brexit back to the people in a public vote, but thanks to MPs who put the national interest before their careers we’ve taken a decisive step away from the no-deal precipice.

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Darren presses PM to back down on prorogation power-grab

In Britain, Parliament is sovereign. And in normal times, with no majority for a no-deal Brexit, the Government would have to convince more MPs or think again. We can’t move forward on Brexit by bypassing democracy. So I want to be clear: Boris Johnson’s decision to shut Parliament down for five weeks — denying MPs vital time to stand up for our constituents and act in the national interest ⁠— is the act of a tin-pot dictator, and the House of Commons must resist this constitutional outrage.

Below is the letter, signed by Darren and 147 other Labour MPs, urging the Prime Minister to think again.

 

 

 

 

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Darren comments on prorogation of Parliament

Darren Jones, the MP for Bristol North West, commented on the government’s attempt to prorogue Parliament in September and October 2019.

Darren said:

“Whether you voted leave or remain in 2016, the actions of our Prime Minister to prorogue Parliament should be a red warning light.

Suspending Parliament for weeks in the midst of the biggest crisis facing our country in many decades, and after a summer recess that should have been cut short weeks ago, screams cowardice and a slide towards autocracy.

That this man and his cadre of advisers also think they can insult our intelligence by pretending this isn’t about attempting to avoid Parliament to force-through a no-deal just adds insult to injury. However you voted in 2016 or whichever party you support, we need a Prime Minister who acts with integrity and who is prepared to face Parliament as every other Prime Minister has – if he can’t work within the rules, he simply has no place in British politics.

I will continue to do everything in my power to fight this utterly deplorable decision and a no-deal Brexit”.

Follow Darren’s work on Brexit here.

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Darren comments on rising child homelessness

Upon publication of today’s (21st August 2019) report from the Children’s Commissioner into the homeless crisis facing 210,000 children in England, MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has continued to call on the government to roll-out wide-ranging housing and homelessness reforms.

Darren said:

“Today’s heartbreaking report detailing the 210,000 children classed as homeless in England should come as no surprise to any MP. If it has – they haven’t been doing their job.

Every week, my office and I support constituents facing homelessness, sofa surfing or a move into temporary accommodation. This uncertainty often follows families being evicted from private rented accommodation or sudden breakdown of the family unit.

Whilst Bristol City Council is bucking the national trend by building new council housing and working with Housing Associations to build social rent and shared ownership properties, they need more support from government. This isn’t a local issue – that’s why I’ve called for a national building programme for new council housing in Parliament.

Many families can’t afford private rents and they don’t offer long-term security. I grew up in council housing in Lawrence Weston and Shirehampton and value the security it offered my family.

I’ve also said the reckless and short-sighted loss of £1bn from homeless services budgets must be reinstated. The government should be ashamed it has continuously cut vital funding to local councils and organisations who can help homeless back into housing, employment/training and access vital physical and mental health and welfare support. Reinstating homeless budgets cut by Tory governments could help tens of thousands of people – including families.

I will also continue to support key legislation to protect tenants, and implore the government to get on with banning Section 21 evictions, as they first promised back in April”.

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Darren welcomes call for climate action

The climate crisis demands urgent action across Government — and we’re not doing nearly enough. That’s the central message in today’s Clean Growth report from the cross-party Science and Technology Committee, on which Darren sits. The science leaves no doubt that our economies must be decarbonised at speed, and the report concludes an exhaustive enquiry into how the UK can do its bit, by meeting and exceeding the Government’s stated target of net-zero emissions by 2050. And as it makes clear, the policy reality often falls a long way short of what’s required, and of what even the Tories have promised. We’ve seen renewable energy subsidies pared down and held back, investment opportunities missed, and a zero-carbon homes strategy shelved altogether. This kind of short-term thinking leaves us sleepwalking into catastrophe, but the Committee’s recommendations — for instance on decarbonising heat, making our existing and future housing stock more energy-efficient, moving away from petrol- and diesel-powered vehicles, facilitating investment in mature renewable technologies like onshore wind and solar, better regulating the energy market, and pursuing carbon capture — should form a blueprint for consensus around what we can and should do right now. The cross-party political will exists to take action in the limited time we have, and the costs of failure are too high to contemplate.

 

The report can be read in full at the link here.

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Video: Darren comments on threat of no deal

Darren Jones, the MP for Bristol North West, commented on the government’s continued move towards a no deal Brexit following concerns from the former Chancellor Phillip Hammond.

Darren said:

” I agree with the former Chancellor when he says Boris (and Dominic!) are sabotaging any negotiations with the EU to further a hardline ideology. Crucially, this reckless ‘do or die’ ideology doesn’t have the support of Parliament and wasn’t on the ballot in 2016. As recently as March this year, Gove admitted that most leave voters hadn’t backed Brexit with a no deal in mind. Raab repeatedly said at the time no deal wasn’t an option.

No deal is a disaster for the country and for my constituency – with circa 1400 jobs predicted to be lost. As I said again on Sunday Politics back in July, the only way to resolve this is to go back to the British people and ask – now there is detail of what’s realistically on offer and the consequences – how they want to proceed, and then get on with it.

Boris has made several spending pledges since becoming PM, I’m keen to understand where all this ‘new’ money is coming from. Quite rightly, Labour has been asked these questions when they’ve made pledges – yet time and again there’s no detail from Boris (and much of the money seems to be recycled from existing budgets).

At some point, whoever is in government will need to face the reality that any form of Brexit will make the UK poorer and a no deal will be catastrophic for our country’s prosperity – false promises and empty spending pledges won’t be enough to save this country from job losses and an increasingly-likely recession.

Boris needs to stop channeling his time in the playground at Eton and remember he has the country’s future in his hands”.

 

 

 

 

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Darren calls for independent inquiry into UAE death

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones signed a cross-party letter calling on the UAE to allow independent investigations into the death of a female prisoner from breast cancer.

The letter was published in the Guardian on 29th July and can be found here.

Darren said:

“I’ve signed a cross-party letter in The Guardian calling for an inquiry into Alia Abdulnoor’s death in UAE custody in May 2019. Diagnosed with breast cancer a month after her arrest in February 2017, she was denied adequate medical care until it was too late.

In the last months of her life, the UAE ignored calls from the UN to grant her early release on medical grounds. Instead, Alia died in inhumane conditions, shackled to a hospital bed, in a windowless room without ventilation.

As reported by many news outlets, after being denied a fair trial, Alia received a 10-year jail sentence for abetting al-Qaida-led terrorism. Many believe her arrest was linked to her support of Syrian people after the outbreak of the uprising, specifically her fundraising that sent money to Syrian women and children. Human rights groups have also commented that Alia’s statements may have been taken under torture and her trial was marred by due-process violations.

Alia’s case is not sadly isolated – for example, Ali Issa Ahmad, from Wolverhampton, recently brought a case to the UN alleging he was tortured while on holiday in the UAE for wearing a Qatari football shirt. British citizen, Matthew Hedges was also detained in solitary confinement in the UAE for seven months on allegations of spying, and has now lodged a complaint with the UN: https://www.theguardian.com/…/matt-hedges-uk-academic-accus…

A freedom of information response obtained by the Guardian revealed that between 2016 and 2018 more than 1,000 British citizens were arrested and detained in the UAE“.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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 comments on drop in GDP

Darren Jones, the MP for Bristol North West, comments on the drop in UK GDP announced on 9th August 2019.

Darren said:

“Boris has no mandate from Parliament or the British public to crash out with a chaotic no deal Brexit, but if he does, we’ll be seeing a whole lot more headlines about economic contraction as we slide closer to recession.

Let’s not pretend otherwise – stats like this ultimately equal job losses and a drop in our prosperity. If we leave with no deal, food prices will rise sharply, the pound will slump (even further that it has) and we will see formerly strong businesses go bust – sadly some of them will be here in Bristol. There will be significant knock-on impacts in whole supply chains and the service and retail industry.

No deal means playing Russian roulette with the UK – any MP who is happy to do that, is clearly putting ideology before their constituents, the very future of our United Kingdom and the country’s economic prosperity”.