Dan spent much of today working through his Parliamentary Business, Innovation and Skills Committee brief. As a Member of the Select Committee and the Chairman of Labour's Backbench Business Committee, Dan keeps his finger on the pulse of all the latest business developments. Here's today's blog...
Wednesday has proved to be a very interesting day. This morning I attended the BIS Select Committee hearing where the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Vince Cable, gave evidence. The committee were looking for answers on why the banks had failed to meet their lending targets. I asked Mr Cable why the government were not putting more pressure on the two banks which we as taxpayers, own. His reply left me and many of those watching, baffled. If you didn’t see the hearing, the Business Secretary admited that the government could have been tougher on the banks but chose not to be.
Such an admission will be scant consolation to the hundreds of small and medium sized business owners, in Barnsley, who are looking to the government for direction. So for the first time we have an admission from a member of the Tory-led cabinet; the reason banks have failed to meet their lending targets, is not by chance but by choice. The government has chosen to be soft on the banks.
Later in the day I was briefed on an up and coming school visit that is taking place in two weeks time. It is all part of the Newham-Barnsley Partnership; our nationwide initiative to connect Barnsley with the Olympic legacy. Children from Barnsley have joined forces with a school in the host borough of Newham and together, they have compiled slide shows, pictures, paintings and host of various things related to the Games. I’ll also be taking their questions and joining in with their sports games before wandering over to the Olympic Park for a view of the site. I’m really looking forward to it and will upload plenty of photos from the day.
This evening I chaired the Labour backbench committee on BIS where we heard from the Shadow Ministerial team and others. I had also invited a businessman, Barnsley born Simon Biltcliffe to come and talk to the committee about his company and how he founded it. Simon was brilliant and the committee took away some very important lessons on business teaching at university level, corporate social responsibility and the key issue of skills.
I should also mention that I was in the Chamber for Jon Ashworth’s Maiden Speech. It seems like a lifetime ago since mine but I know just how daunting they can be – especially coming in after a by-election. Jon spoke brilliantly and with passion. I know he will be a fantastic MP and a strong voice for Leicester South, in the Chamber.
Whatever you’re up to this evening, have a good one and I’ll be back online tomorrow.