Statement on the recent killings in Gaza

Over the past couple of days I have been asked about recent events in Gaza.

I believe the role of Hamas in orchestrating both this event and similar ones to be utterly deplorable, but that killings such as those conducted by the IDF are equally deplorable and should not form a part of any country’s security policy.

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Job advert for Parliamentary Assistant

I am recruiting a Parliamentary Assistant to work in my office in Barnsley. Please find further details below, and if interested in applying, please pay careful attention to the application process.

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Endorsing the Safe Schools Declaration

The last few weeks have been characterised by yet more tragic news from conflict zones all over the world. Amidst all the bad news, however, recently we saw one significant step into the right direction – as the UK Government announced it will endorse the Safe Schools Declaration.

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Tackling anti-social behaviour in Barnsley town centre

This week the town centre is buzzing as the final preparations for the Tour de Yorkshire are made. Friday promises to be a fantastic day and a very proud moment for Barnsley as we welcome one of the most prestigious international cycling events to our town.

However, I share the concerns expressed by many of my constituents regarding the recent increase in anti-social behaviour in the town centre. Many people have been in touch with me to share their experiences. It is deeply worrying that at a time when Barnsley should be celebrating, instead there are distressing images on social media of individuals collapsed in the streets due to drug and alcohol misuse.

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We must do more to prevent male suicide

Last week, I was contacted by Michelle, who lives in Barnsley. Two years ago, her estranged husband – who was just 45 – committed suicide. His death left Michelle and their two sons heartbroken. Sadly, stories like this are all too common.

As a society, we have made a great deal of progress in understanding mental health. Schools, colleges, and workplaces now put more emphasis on mental health and achieving parity of esteem with physical health in the NHS is seen as a national priority.

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Model United Nations Speech 16 February 2018

Here is a speech I gave at the opening ceremony of the Sheffield Model United Nations Conference at Sheffield University.

It is a pleasure to be here today to address this meeting of the Sheffield Model United Nations.

It is wonderful to see how the society has grown to its current size.

And how it now encompasses so many young people from across the Sheffield City Region and beyond.

I would particularly like to extend a warm Yorkshire welcome to those who have come from outside our great county;

a county that I am incredibly proud to call my home.

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Yorkshire devolution update

Following the decisive community poll results in Barnsley and Doncaster, I believe we are close to securing a devolution agreement which could act as a stepping stone to a wider Yorkshire settlement.

This week the leaders of Barnsley and Doncaster wrote to the Communities Secretary proposing a deal which would see powers and funding flow to the Sheffield City Region starting this year. At the same time, those council leaders supporting a wider Yorkshire deal would be able to continue their negotiations with the aim of securing a deal by 2020. I led a debate in Parliament arguing the case for this compromise.

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Wishing you all a Merry Christmas

2017 has been a challenging year. Whilst the General Election, the Brexit negotiations and terrorism have dominated many of the domestic headlines, too many of the stories that affect ordinary people have gone unheard.

Every day as the MP for Barnsley Central I see and feel the challenges my constituents are facing, and I will continue to fight in parliament to make their lives better. I also see the best of people; those who care for others and those who volunteer to improve our communities – I cannot thank them enough for the work they undertake.

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Barnsley residents vote overwhelmingly to pursue a wider Yorkshire devolution deal

People in Barnsley have voted overwhelmingly to pursue a wider Yorkshire devolution deal with 84.9% of votes cast in favour of this option.

This decisive result on a significant turnout shows how people locally have engaged with the devolution debate and decided that a more ambitious deal for the whole of Yorkshire is the best way forward for our region.

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Government takes first steps towards ‘opt-out’ organ donation system

Over six thousand people in the UK are on the organ transplant waiting list. Last year, 457 people died while on that list. That is 457 lives that I believe could have been saved if we had used an ‘opt-out’ organ donation system. This is because, under the current system, many people simply do not register as organ donors despite their willingness to donate.

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