Kerry McCarthy Labour MP for Bristol East
Kerry has had a busy week at Westminster, which included asking a question about child poverty at DWP question time, and attending the launch of End Child Poverty month, at which she spoke to Save the Children, Shelter, End Child Poverty, and the Single Parent Action Network, which is based in her constituency. She also attended a briefing with Hilary Armstrong and Pat McFadden, the Cabinet Office ministers with responsibility for social exclusion, at which she raised a number of issues. Kery also asked a question about road-pricing and control of local bus services at Transport questions. It looks as if the Government is preparing to do more to give local authorities a say over how their local bus services are run, and Kerry has arranged to meet Transport ministers next week to find out more. The week included a Treasury Select Committee hearing on Globalisation: Its Impact on the Real Economy, with a really interesting evidence session from Sir George Cox, who was commissioned by the Treasury to produce the Cox Review of Creativity in Business. Kerry also popped into a couple of parliamentary receptions to meet business people from her constituency, from the pharmaceutical and confectionery trades. Monday night was spent in the Chamber, listening to the Lib Dems trying to explain how their ‘Green Tax Switch’ policies add up (they don’t), and on Thursday she sat on a Statutory Instrument committee, on a Social Security Order. On the international front, Kerry attended the All-Party Group on Somaliland’s first proper meeting (Kerry was a founder of the group, and is currently its Secretary), and the AGM of the All-Party Group on Kashmir, at which Gareth Thomas, the Minister for International Development, and Stephen Timms, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, reported back on their recent visit to the earthquake zone. She also met with MEND, a charity promoting non-violence in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Kerry got the chance at Trade and Industry Questions to ask about progress being made in implementing the WEEE Directive, where delays have been affecting a number of recycling projects in her constituency. She also saw the Holocaust Education Trust, to discuss the possibility of taking students from her constituency to visit Auschwitz, and met with a representative from a company doing some valuable research into cystic fibrosis. She finsished off the parliamentary week with an interview for ITV West’s politics programme, talking about drug intervention orders – a big issue in Bristol where the majority of serious crime is drug-related.