Annoushka
Annoushka's barnstorming speech about Stretford Public Hall

In parliament, the sordid story of Boris Johnson’s premiership continues – this week, his ethics adviser resigned, complaining that he wasn’t being allowed to act independently. Reading between the lines, he was clearly deeply unhappy at the Prime Minister’s conduct, and tired of being forced to be his stooge. Equally grim is the ongoing situation regarding the government’s shameful plans to transfer some asylum claimants to Rwanda. The first flight was due to leave this week, but legal proceedings gradually reduced the number who would be forced onto the plane, first to below a dozen, then into single figures, then to none at all as a result of a ruling of the European Court of Human Rights on Tuesday night. The government is clearly furious at this decision, and lashed out at the European Court. But the truth is that this policy is unworkable, unethical, ineffective – and has already cost the UK taxpayer hundreds of thousands of pounds, without a single flight even having taken off. The government should abandon it now. But although our country is being shamed in the eyes of the world,  Home Secretary Priti Patel remains as stubbornly determined as ever to see the policy through. We’re also seeing our international reputation trashed as the government seeks to tear up the Northern Ireland Protocol governing trade between Northern Ireland and the EU – a protocol that only a few short months ago, Boris Johnson negotiated, and now says is unfair. This action tells the world that the UK can’t be trusted to honour our international obligations – a terrible position to find ourselves in. It also creates the threat of a damaging trade war with the EU – risking more shortages of goods, and driving up prices, at a time when the cost of living crisis is already hitting households hard. But, as ever, the ridiculous demands of Tory politicians matter more to Boris Johnson as he desperately clings onto power than acting in the interests of the country as a whole. Meanwhile, it’s been a pleasure to welcome some highly reputable and committed organisations to parliament this week. Thank you to Breast Cancer Care for briefing me on screening, diagnosis and treatment times in Stretford and Urmston. I’m very concerned that our performance falls well short of national standards, and will be writing to NHS bosses about this. A group of charities came to parliament to mark Clean Air day on Thursday – it was great to meet you all. But my favourite visit this week was from Annoushka Deighton from Stretford Public Hall. She gave a barnstorming speech at an event organised by campaign group We’re Right Here, describing the history of the Hall and how it was acquired for the local community – the Hall also featured in a video shown at the event. I was so proud!

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