Policy issues

You can read about my view on a variety of policy issues here. Posts are organised in date order, so if an issue is current then you're more likely to find it at the top. Or you can search using subject areas.

Animal cruelty offences

The current sentencing guidelines for animal cruelty offences are too lenient and not currently in line with those in other countries. We need to be clear that animal cruelty will not be tolerated by raising the maximum sentence for these appalling crimes.

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Health: NHS Crisis

There is no doubt that the NHS is currently under enormous pressure. Mismanagement by the Government for the last six years has left services stretched and staff demoralised. We need to return to the fundamental principles at the heart of the NHS and ensure that the service is properly funded for the future.

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European Union: Brexit & Article 50

I will be voting to trigger Article 50 when the vote comes before Parliament. People in my constituency voted to leave the European Union and I will respect that verdict. Whilst I welcome the fact that Parliament will be properly scrutinising the Brexit negotiation process, I will not be attempting to overturn the result of the referendum.

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Social Security & Pensions: The WASPI Campaign

The WASPI campaign was set up in response to the Government’s proposed changes to the state pension age for women. Because of those changes, many women born in the 1950s will find themselves significantly worse off unless transitional arrangements are put in place to support them.

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Home Affairs: Immigration

Whenever I go out doorknocking in Barnsley, the issue of immigration comes up more than any other. There is no doubt that large numbers of people have legitimate and very real concerns about our immigration system, which need to be addressed.

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Education: Grammar Schools

I oppose the reintroduction of grammar schools. I do not believe that a segregated form of education is in the best interests of children. I continue to support a comprehensive system of education to ensure a fair chance for all young people regardless of their background.

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Environment: Fracking

Whilst it is clear that we need a mix of energy sources in the future, I do not believe there is sufficient evidence to justify fracking at this stage. I am very concerned about the potential impact of fracking on Barnsley and on other communities around the country.

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Business: Trade Union Act


The Trade Union Act is a transparent attempt by the Conservative Government to undermine the trade union movement and, by extension, hard-won workers’ rights. I voted against this Act at every stage of its progression through Parliament and believe it should be repealed when Labour is next in government.


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Business: Zero Hours Contracts

The growth of zero hours contracts is a clear sign that the economic recovery is incomplete and unequal. Whilst flexibility in the labour market is important, it is clear from the rapid increase in the number of zero hours contracts that work has become more insecure. This is a worrying trend when we should be encouraging stable and secure employment.

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Culture, Media, and Sport: Sky Takeover Bid

I am very concerned that Rupert Murdoch is once again attempting to buy the remainder of Sky. It is very important that we have a variety of media output in this country and it is dangerous for any one individual or organisation’s share to become too large. Murdoch’s previous bid fell through following the revelations about phone hacking at News International in 2011.

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