I am immensely grateful to the voters of Wallasey for returning me to Parliament for the sixth time with a doubled majority, and for giving me the opportunity to serve my constituents for a further five years.
It’s fantastic to welcome 53 new Labour MPs to Parliament. I am particularly proud that 65% of these new MPs are women, and 15% are from BAME communities. It speaks to the inclusivity of our Party which has led the way with all-women shortlists and encouraging BAME candidates.
Now, more than ever, we need a strong Labour Party to fight for those most vulnerable in our society and to counter the worst excesses of a Tory government. Our Parliamentary Party needs to be active and robust in defending hard-won workplace rights, as well as fighting for our embattled NHS.
In these rapidly changing times, it is clear that we as a Party need to reflect on the result last Thursday, and to conduct an honest, open debate about how we chart a course back to Government. There are hard lessons to be learnt, but I firmly believe that Labour can rebuild, and that we can once again provide compelling answers to the challenges our country faces.
I am immensely grateful to the voters of Wallasey for returning me to Parliament for the sixth time with a doubled majority, and for giving me the opportunity to serve...
Angela Eagle MP responds to Monitor's investigation into finances at Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust:
"Monitor's decision to launch this investigation sheds further light on the deep and incredibly difficult financial pressure facing NHS services in Wirral.
I hope Monitor does help to improve the situation but we must not forget that the NHS is in an extremely fragile state following David Cameron's disastrous reorganisation. It is facing greater demand than ever before which the Government is failing to respond to adequately.
"We've seen crisis in A&E departments, staff shortages, waiting times rising and now hospitals are running out of money. This is further evidence of an NHS in crisis under the Tories."
Angela responds to Monitor's investigation into finances at Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Angela Eagle MP responds to Monitor's investigation into finances at Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust: "Monitor's decision to launch this investigation sheds further light on the deep and incredibly difficult...
Last week, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority leaders supported my calls for a freeze in tunnel toll fees. I urged them to block any rise this year as it would have come at the worst possible time for tunnel users who are already suffering a huge cost-of-living crisis under David Cameron. Labour MPs Frank Field and Alison McGovern also called for a freeze. I am pleased that they listened to us and made the right call.
It is not just the costs associated with driving that are going up. The cost of living has soared over the last five years so much that people across Wirral are now £1,600 a year worse off.
People living in Wallasey, New Brighton, Moreton, Seacombe, Liscard and Leasowe are finding that, however hard they work, rising prices and falling wages mean their living standards have fallen.
And I’m increasingly hearing from people who are being forced to use their credit cards, their dwindling savings, or take out payday or doorstep loans if they need to buy anything beyond everyday items.
All of this is a direct result of a Tory Government that has presided over an economy that only works for a privileged few at the top but has failed everyone else. For five years, David Cameron has done nothing about it.
Over the coming weeks, I will be talking to people in Wirral about how Labour will tackle the cost-of-living crisis.
We will increase the National Minimum Wage and we will tackle rip-off energy suppliers. We will abolish the bedroom tax and we will introduce free extra child care for all three and four year olds to help working parents. The next Labour Government will also build more affordable housing and take on rip-off private landlords who have failed to provide decent homes for local people. Labour is committed to tackling the cost-of-living crisis created by David Cameron.While not promising the earth, all of these policies will go some way to help people and families across Wirral.
Last week, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority leaders supported my calls for a freeze in tunnel toll fees. I urged them to block any rise this year as it...
Tory MPs lined up in Parliament last week to vote for a cut in the number of police officers protecting communities in Wirral.
The cuts come on top of the 16,000 police officers we’ve already lost across the country since David Cameron became Prime Minister – 800 of those have gone from Merseyside streets. We’re now set to lose even more and Wirral could be hit hard.
Our local police force is already overstretched and staff are finding it increasingly difficult to manage rising violent crimes such as domestic violence and rape cases.
This further reduction in the police grant is only going to make the situation worse and undermine public confidence in the ability of the police to respond effectively to emergencies. It is incredibly dangerous. That is why I vigorously opposed it in Parliament.
And it is not just violent crime that is rising. Online crime has shot through the roof. And threats to our national security have increased.
Reports of child sexual abuse are up 33%, but referrals to the CPS from the police have gone down 11% and there are serious delays in investigating online child abuse. That means victims are finding it harder to get justice and more criminals and abusers are walking away scot-free.
Even in basic responsibilities such as road safety, the police are being overstretched. The number of police on our roads, and the number of driving offence penalties have fallen substantially, but the number of casualties and fatalities has gone up.
The Tories just don’t seem to get the pressures public services are under.
From the police to the NHS, frontline support is being shattered. If the Tories win again in May, their vision of a pre-1930s society when we didn’t have such vital services could soon become a reality.
Labour would take an alternative approach.
We’ll make saving in others areas which would see our front line protected in order to do the vital job of protecting our local communities.
Tory MPs lined up in Parliament last week to vote for a cut in the number of police officers protecting communities in Wirral. The cuts come on top of the...
This week Ed Miliband announced that the next Labour Government will introduce a ‘Father’s Month’ which will see paternity leave doubled for fathers from two to four weeks so they can spend more time with their babies in the crucial first weeks after birth. Paternity pay will also be increased to £260 a week, equivalent to the national minimum wage.
I know that this new announcement will be welcome news for many families in Wirral who want to give their families the best start in life. It will help over 400,000 families every year across the UK and comes on top of our offer to extend free childcare from 15 hours to 25 hours a week for working parents of three and four years olds, which will be paid for by raising the bank levy. The increase in paternity leave will also be good news for women who will be given more flexibility to do some more of the things they want after pregnancy with an extra pair of hands to help for a longer period.
This announcement comes as we set out our plans to help families in Wirral under Labour. I am pleased that we will also reinvest in Sure Start, a fantastic achievement of the last Labour Government, which has been neglected by David Cameron. We will double the number of childcare places available at Sure Start centres in Wirral and ensure they are properly used rather than being mothballed as many have been under the Tories. We will also offer parents guaranteed access to wraparound childcare between 8am and 6pm through local primary schools.
David Cameron promised to lead the most family friendly government ever but with families judging to keep their heads above water and feeling the pressure of the Tory cost-of-living crisis, it is clear that he has failed. Labour’s plans are good news and offer real solutions to improve childcare and family life in the crucial early years of childhood.
This week Ed Miliband announced that the next Labour Government will introduce a ‘Father’s Month’ which will see paternity leave doubled for fathers from two to four weeks so they...
In my Wirral News column last week, I wrote about the crisis facing secondary schools across Wirral.
Our local schools are facing extreme budget pressures as a result of the Government’s failure to plan for increasing the school leaving age to 18.
Schools across the area are starting to make cut backs, which is already having a major impact on the education of local young people. Last week, Kingsway Academy announced its decision to close its sixth form and students there have been asked to find alternative arrangements from September. There is real worry that some will no longer be able to continue with their preferred courses.
Kingsway Academy is not alone; following meetings with head teachers I discovered that nineteen out of twenty-one of our local secondary schools are facing real financial strain over the next two years.
I said last week that this is just the tip of the iceberg and following the unraveling of the Tories’ education plans this week, we now know things could be about to get even worse.
Despite promising to protect schools funding, David Cameron has admitted that the Tories will effectively slash spending if they win the general election. He said that the amount of cash per child would not go up by inflation.
The Prime Minister’s empty promise comes on top of a freeze after the 2010 election, meaning pupil funding will not have risen for a whole decade by the end of the next parliament in 2020, if the Tories win in May.
So Tory claims on protecting schools won’t wash, especially here in Wirral. Labour has always prioritised schools and while we get to work on getting the economy back on track, we will also ensure that every child has the best possible education with the best opportunities too. A vote for the Tories in May will just lead to more uncertainty and worry for local schools.
In my Wirral News column last week, I wrote about the crisis facing secondary schools across Wirral. Our local schools are facing extreme budget pressures as a result of...
News emerged late last week that the sixth form at Kingsway Academy is closing due to extreme budget pressures.
The school will no longer take sixth form students and those who have already started their post-16 education have been asked to find alternative arrangements from this September.
Students and parents are rightly concerned about what the future holds. I’ve heard from some who have told me it is now too late to find suitable courses for September and that they are now in danger of missing out on a full year of their education.
While some neighbouring schools have offered to step in and help, those on vocational courses are particularly at risk of having their education massively disrupted. This isn’t good enough.
The worry for me is that the cuts backs at Kingsway Academy could just be the tip of the iceberg.
I have had discussions with head teachers in Wirral who have told me about the budget pressures they’re facing as the school leaving age increases to 18.
Alarmingly, I have been told that nineteen out of twenty-one of our local secondary schools face significant financial strain over the next two years and are teaching staff are deeply anxious about what the future holds.
David Cameron says education is a key priority of his Government but here in Wirral we’re seeing schools struggling to keep the doors open and classes running for local kids.
Recently we’ve heard about the mess in NHS services at Arrowe Park and now our local secondary schools face a potential crisis. This is a mess created by the Government who are losing control over our public services. For the sake of local young people, they’ve got to sort it out.
I have written to the Secretary of State for Education to raise my concerns. Wirral’s secondary schools need help.
News emerged late last week that the sixth form at Kingsway Academy is closing due to extreme budget pressures. The school will no longer take sixth form students and...
This week David Cameron made a speech in which he spoke about creating jobs and full employment. I listened to what he said with disbelief as did, I’m sure, the many thousands of people across Wirral and the UK who have suffered unemployment and a fall in living standards on his watch.
Cameron has had five years to get this right. He’s failed dismally.
This week David Cameron made a speech in which he spoke about creating jobs and full employment. I listened to what he said with disbelief as did, I’m sure, the... Read more
This week, I am meeting employees at workplaces across the UK to hear their concerns and talk about their worries for the future. Workplace Week, which I am leading as Chair of Labour’s National Policy Forum, also allows me to set out some of the key things Labour will do for working people if we win the next election. My tour of workplaces, which follows various visits to business and factories here in Wirral, comes as official figures reveal that since 2010 people are on average earning £1,600 a year after inflation.
Despite working longer and harder, wages have fallen and the cost-of-living has soared. People are feeling it in their pocket and it is a frustration that comes back loud and clear throughout my visits.
Meanwhile, I’m hearing more about working households faced with real poverty, the curse of exploitative zero hour contracts which the Government has refused to deal with, and the worry of millions of public sector workers as the Tories talk about further rolling back their rights.
These are legitimate concerns from hard working people who do not see a Government on their side. That is why I am pleased to talk about Labour’s alternative. We are committed to ensuring decent wages by raising the minimum wage, promoting the living wage and tackling the gender pay gap. The next Labour Government will also secure more jobs by raising the quality of apprenticeships, ending zero hours contracts, and the stopping the exploitation of agency workers. We also support rights in the workplace and will building partnerships between workers and employers and reforming the employment tribunal system.
I am also talking to people about our plans for the NHS this week because the next Labour Government will recruit 20,000 more nurses and 8000 more GPs paid for by a tax on properties worth £2 million or more and a tax on tobacco companies.
We’ll also help people with the household bills by freezing energy bills, scrapping the bedroom tax, introducing a cap on annual rail fare increases and providing 25 hours of free childcare for working parents with three and four year olds, paid for with an increase in the bank levy.
In May, working people in this country will have a clear choice. A Tory Party that puts rich vested interests first. Or Labour, we are committed to making this country work for working people again.
This week, I am meeting employees at workplaces across the UK to hear their concerns and talk about their worries for the future. Workplace Week, which I am leading as...
As we go into 2015 my thoughts are with the people and families here in Wirral for whom this year has been incredibly difficult.
Household bills have soared while wages have fallen. Unemployment still remains too high, especially amongst our young people, and anyone visiting our local hospitals has seen the NHS starting to feel the strain of Government cuts and mismanagement with £15m already taken away from Arrowe Park every year.
And a few weeks ago, it sent a chill down my spine when reports suggested that the Tories want to take public spending back to the levels of the 1930s. A time when we didn’t have an NHS, children born into poverty stayed in poverty, there was inadequate education and hardly any support for the sick and most vulnerable.
While we need to balance the country’s books, this is not the sort of country I want to live in or that of most people I speak to. Yet this is the reality facing Britain if the Tories win the election in May.
Already people in Wirral don’t see this Tory-led coalition as a government that is on their side and do not hold out much hope of David Cameron and George Osborne changing course in the next five months. So between now and May, I will be working to demonstrate how the next Labour government will be a change for the better.
Already, Ed Miliband has announced a number of policies that will help people and families facing real hardship.
We will tackle the cost-of-living crisis by increasing the National Minimum Wage, will freeze gas and electricity bills for 18 months and use that time to reform the system so that customers can no longer be ripped off. We will abolish the wicked bedroom tax and we will introduced free extra child care for all three and four year olds to help working parents. We will repeal the Tories’ Health and Social Care Act which has privatised key NHS services and we will tackle rip off private landlords and build more affordable housing.
All of this will help with the cost of living crisis that has been created by this government.
In early 2015, I will be working with my Labour colleagues to show that we offer an alternative and will provide a better, more optimistic future for Britain. I wish you all a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.
As we go into 2015 my thoughts are with the people and families here in Wirral for whom this year has been incredibly difficult. Household bills have soared while wages...