Kate signing Holocaust UK
Kate signing Holocaust UK's Book of Commitment in parliament.

Constituents will know of the fatal stabbing of 16-year old Kennie Carter in Stretford last week. This is a tragic case, and I offer my condolences to his family and friends. The police swiftly made a number of arrests, and have been out in the area to talk to local people. It is shocking to see another young life lost, and we desperately need a comprehensive approach to tackling knife crime. MPs and others have done a great deal of work on this in recent years, but still, too often, too many young people carry knives, with desperately sad results.

This Thursday was Holocaust Memorial Day, when we remember the terrible genocide that took place at the hands of the Nazis. Millions of Jews, LGBT people, Roma and Sinti, and disabled people died in the concentration camps. Each year, with fewer survivors to remind us of the horror they experienced, it is more important than ever that we remember, and repeat the pledge ‘never again’. And each year, I am proud to sign the Holocaust Educational Trust’s Book of Commitment in parliament, to make my personal pledge to speak out against hate.

I wanted to write that it is business as usual in parliament, but the chaotic state of the Conservative government is as unprecedented as ever. Boris Johnson faces an onslaught of allegations about parties and drinks in Downing Street, lying about whether they took place, lying about whether he gave an order for rescue animals to be air-lifted from Afghanistan, allegations that Islamophobia led to one of his ministers being sacked. He denies all this, but now the police are investigating the party allegations, while MPs are eagerly awaiting top civil servant Sue Gray’s report on what occurred. As Keir Starmer said in Prime Minister’s questions on Wednesday, this has utterly paralysed the government – ministers are too busy trying to save the prime minister’s job to have time to do their own.

Meantime, over in the House of Lords, Conservative minister Lord Agnew was called to answer a question on behalf of the government on fraudulent claims of covid financial support. Instead, he announced that the government departments responsible were useless, and threw his resignation letter across the table. Well, he should know….

On the world stage, MPs are becoming very worried about the situation in Ukraine, with large numbers of Russian troops on the border between the two countries. We were briefed by a general from the ministry of defence this week, and what he had to tell us was alarming. The UK must work with our NATO and European allies and partners to ensure there will be severe economic and diplomatic consequences for Russia if it attacks Ukraine, in particular through sanctions, and MPs have been pressing the government hard on that.


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