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No Deal - No Thanks.

Boris Johnson’s own analysis of a no deal exit states “low income groups will be disproportionately affected by any price rises in food and fuel”. The document also warns of potential fuel shortages and price rises stemming from border disruption and even ramifications for our already fragile social care sector which is particularly vulnerable to inflation.

Of course, these are potential risks and not certainties of a no deal exit - no Government could predict with certainty every outcome. However, what we do know is how fragile our local economy is and whether it was deindustrialisation or austerity, towns like ours have always been the first and hardest to be hit by economic impacts. With a Conservative government in charge we just all know that they will not have our local interests at heart when implementing such a policy.

We also know their record for throwing the least well off in the country under a bus when it comes to economic policy. Remember their austerity implementation and ‘we’re all in this together’? Well that has led to 22% of the public living in poverty, nearly 33% of children living in poverty and the UN stating that it inflicted “great misery” on the public with “punitive, mean-spirited, and often callous” policies that were all influenced by a political desire to undertake social re-engineering rather than economic necessity.

It’s just in their nature to blindly neglect or even consider the impact on communities like ours because they have no experience of the circumstances that we are in.

So let me be clear that for me calling out No Deal is not about stopping Brexit but making the point that no deal not only has no mandate but also that it is not the quick, simple route out from the chaos that many believe and hope that it is.

The Vote Leave campaign stated we would get a deal and should take our time and get it right (I agree). I was then elected in 2017 on a manifesto that very explicitly ruled out no deal. But nevertheless, I have no hesitation believing that the Conservatives will happily follow a course of action with no mandate that they know to hit the least well off so hard.

As a Labour MP who always places the wellbeing and living standard of our working people first, I cannot sit idly by when there is a safer, less disruptive path that did achieve a mandate of 52% across the country and 63% locally.

This analysis underpins the importance to end the chaos and disruption by striking a deal. Revoking or No Deal would both cause years of more arguments, division and negotiations.

The only way we will settle Brexit and move on is by forming a consensus around a sensible deal that both Leave and Remainers can live with to reunite the Brexit divisions – surely, we should forge our future relationship with the EU now, before we leave, rather than cutting all ties, losing our negotiating hand and enduring major economic and social disruption whilst we rebuild our relationship all over again from scratch whilst the poorest in our society are suffering the cost.

I understand and share everyone’s deep frustration and anger that Brexit has not been settled but rushing into a course of action without cool and measured heads could inflict serious damage and disruption we will regret and end up seriously paying the price for.

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Labour’s working-class heartlands roared for change. We can’t respond by telling them to think again.

 

(Article first published in The Telegraph on 6th April 2019 - https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/04/06/labour-mps-must-listen-voters-honour-referendum-result/ )

 

Democracy in this country is dead. I will not be voting in any election be it local or national again

 

This is an increasingly common sentiment in my constituency mailbag.

 

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82% of people in Leigh believe Government has handled Brexit badly.

 (Article published in Leigh Observer -12/02/19)

A survey conducted by Leigh MP Jo Platt has found that the vast majority of Leigh residents believe that the Government has handled Brexit badly.

The online survey received nearly 2,000 responses and asked the local community about their opinion on Brexit and the next steps in the process.

The results show that only 7% of people in Leigh want a People’s Vote or second referendum and that there has been little change in voting preferences since the referendum in June 2016.

 

Jo Platt MP, commenting on the figures, said:

“After 18 months of Tory negotiation I wanted to hear from as many local residents as possible to listen to their thoughts, concerns and ideas during one of the most fraught times in British politics.

The Conservatives have quite clearly made a mess of our departure from the EU. From issuing ferry contracts to a company without any ships to the Brexit Secretary’s surprise that the UK is an island, this Government has blundered through every step of the process leaving us in the deadlock we find ourselves.

But this survey has, above anything else, confirmed our towns shared desire to get on with the Brexit process and agree a deal with the European Union that protects our local jobs and economy and also provides a blueprint for communities such as ours to prosper in the future.

I am hopeful that the exchange of letters between Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May over the last few days will provide a path through the current impasse and towards the agreement of a deal in the national interest.

Although this is what Parliament is now working towards, we need to be aware that if cross-party negotiations do not succeed, we cannot remove any options from the table on how we move forwards.

After speaking to constituents on the doorstep over the weekend I believe that is incumbent upon us as MP’s to work across political divide and deliver on the result of the referendum nearly three years ago.

I understand the current frustration felt across the country, but I am optimistic that the next few weeks can start the reunification to our divided communities that the Government has failed to provide over the last few years.”

 

The results of the survey are below.

 

Participation of gender split of those that identified as either and chose to Answer

 

Political preference in the 2017 General Election

Preference expressed in 2016 EU Referendum

 

 

 

Did you feel that you had sufficient access to information relating to leaving the EU to make your decision?

 

How do you think the government have managed the negotiations since Parliament triggered Article 50

 

The Prime Minister has been solely responsible for negotiating the withdrawal from the EU. Do you think that all parties in Parliament should have had a role of negotiating a deal?

 

Do you feel you are more informed of the consequences of leaving the EU now than before the 2016 referendum?

 

Of the proposals currently being considered, which do you feel matches your expectations?

 

If a referendum were held today, which way would you vote?

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Westminter Hall - Social Mobility Debate

 

Today I’ve raised the most important issue facing our community – social mobility.

 

 

 

Boosting the life chances of everyone in our towns is my first priority as the local MP, but for too many in our constituency, our towns are not working for them.

As post-industrial towns which were once at the heart of the first industrial revolution, our towns know what success and prosperity looked like.

But as the mines closed and the Beeching cuts took away our rail stations, we’ve been left without the infrastructure to prosper or the investment to succeed.

Young people face a lack of further education inside the constituency and poor transport links to access outside opportunities. Adults equally find it difficult to access educational or upskilling opportunities. All of this leaves us feeling isolated from our booming cities and without the tools to remedy our situation.

There is no doubt however that the talent or aspiration is there – I’m often struck by the energy and determination of our young people who are desperate to get on in life and succeed, and by the passion of some of our incredible community leaders – people like Peter Rowlinson at Leigh Spinners or Elizabeth Costello at Leigh Film Society who work relentlessly to put Leigh back on the map.

But without outside help, without meaningful plans for inclusive growth, towns like Leigh are left feeling helpless.

That’s why I today highlighted the Social Mobility Roundtable I begun last year which unites our community in developing a meaningful plan to boost the life chances of everyone in the constituency.

Today I took this model to the Government and urged them to support, empower and entrust communities like ours with the investment and powers to let Leigh thrive again.

 

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Leigh Journal - Social Mobility

THIS week I was extremely proud to have led a debate in Parliament on the most important issue for our community – social mobility.

Social mobility is the measure of our effectiveness as a society to ensure that no matter where you live, what background you come from or what profession or experiences your parents had, you have a fair shot at success.

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Brexit update

Next week we are set to finally vote on Theresa May’s Brexit deal in Parliament – a serious decision that I have taken time over the past couple of months to consider.

As a community facing a fragile economic and social landscape, this will impact our constituency more than most. Therefore, as I said in my speech yesterday, I considered two key questions when deciding whether I could support this deal for our constituency:

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Aldi's helping hand this Christmas

Huge thanks to our local Aldi Stores UK stores in #Leigh which donated over 3,000 meals over Christmas at what can be an extremely difficult time of year for many.

Thanks also, as ever, to Homeless Support Project and Atherton & Leigh foodbank for all their incredible work for our community

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Small Business Saturday

As part of this celebration of Leigh’s amazing entrepreneurs, I am asking small businesses to send me a picture or two of their business and a brief description of the work they do to share on my website.

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School Cuts - Austerity bites....

With our schools, teachers and schoolchildren still bearing the brunt of Tory austerity, I spoke in this weeks school funding debate to express the impact of these cuts to us locally.

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