Last week, I had the very special honour of helping to host the commemoration ceremony for Remembering Srebrenica in Manchester Cathedral. This annual event marks the anniversary of the terrible genocide that took place against Bosnian Muslims in 1995. I visited Bosnia a few years ago to see for myself the legacy of these awful events. I was proud and humbled to introduce Ramisa, one of the Mothers of the Srebrenica victims, and Figen, who lost her son Martyn Hett in the Manchester Arena attack, to this very moving event.
This week, as we hear that the brother of the Manchester bomber has been extradited to the UK to face justice for his part in this appalling crime, I pay tribute to these brave women who encourage communities to come together and campaign against hate.
It was great to attend some lovely summer events last weekend, at St John’s church in Flixton (thanks to the amazing Urmston Dog Training School for a fabulous display), and Broadoak school in Partington. Thank you also to Afifah School in Old Trafford for inviting me to your open evening and fundraising event.
I also loved attending the annual ladies’ Eid party at As Salaam in Stretford. Eid may officially have been some weeks ago, but we keep the party going as long as we can!
This week, there have been good meetings in parliament with the Royal College of Nursing, with legal aid campaigners, and a dinner with thinktank Bright Blue to discuss routes to British citizenship. I’ve also been in the chamber to ask about human trafficking, and about what the government is doing to tackle knife crime following the very worrying attack in Stretford this week. Important votes took place to stop Boris Johnson suspending parliament to force through a no deal Brexit, and to extend abortion rights and equal marriage to Northern Ireland – votes we won by large margins as Tory MPs, worried about a Johnson government, broke away from their own party to vote with us. This was a surprising and very encouraging result, which clearly signals that the next Prime Minister won’t be able to bypass parliament and prevent MPs from doing our job. I know my young constituents understand why that’s so important: last Friday morning, I visited students at Stretford High, who have been studying the different political parties, and were full of questions and insights about what was happening in parliament. And I was absolutely delighted to welcome Akilah, the chair of our local Labour party, to visit me in Westminster on Thursday to watch our proceedings, in what turned out to be a momentous day for parliament.