When the letter arrived a few months back telling me that I was to receive the Political Studies Association's 'Parliamentarian of the Year' award, to say it was a surprise would be an understatement. It's an honour and a privilege. Being in Opposition is difficult and it's tough - and in a second, unelected Chamber with limited powers it is certainly a challenge. But it's a challenge we have to meet.
Renting in the private sector is precarious. Tenancies last no more than six to twelve months, and landlords can evict tenants for no reason at two months' notice. By 2020, a third of Londoners will rent from a private landlord, and it is already the dominant tenure for younger people.
Bolder, more comprehensive policies and a greater sense of urgency are needed. The government needs to bring forward plans that will address demand on the system, retain the staff recruited and that ultimately will allow prisons to better serve society.
A fundamental change in the way capitalism works is essential. Cosmetic changes or just words, not backed by action, will not do. Otherwise, I fear for the cohesion of our societies with the demagogues and charlatans directing the anger and frustration of the masses, not at the economic system causing the poverty of the many, but towards the weakest, poorest and most vulnerable members of our society.
If you value access to justice and the rule of law, we urge you to join us in campaigning for a sustainable, effective and fair system of legal aid which ensures that no one is denied justice because of their inability to pay.
Today is marked by activists and survivors with rage and disbelief, and ultimately a sense of frustration. Another year has passed and across the globe millions more women and girls have been brutalised or killed at the hands of predominately male perpetrators. Violence against women and girls continues to be at epidemic proportion. Returning to this day, year on year only to feel aghast and ashamed at the sheer scale of gender-based violence will do little to change the plight of women and girls across the globe. What we need to do is prevent the violence from happening in the first place.
The Government failed dismally to keep the promise made by its pro-Leave members - to spend £350million more on the NHS every week. This was the most high-profile promise made by Vote Leave, and the Autumn Statement was the perfect opportunity to say that this pledge would be kept once we leave.
We must tackle the widening inequality in health outcomes between rich and poor. We must transform how we contend with mental health, and deliver true parity between physical and mental healthcare. We must properly integrate our health and social care services. It will once again be incumbent on a Labour government to appropriately resource our NHS to ensure people live longer, healthier lives.
As politics is changing and the increasing distaste of the political establishment grows across the world, encouraging the use of this practice can actually make the life of your local MP and elected officials a living hell if you feel they are not living up to their word.
The National Audit Office today became the latest organisation to lay bare the real and growing threat the health service's financial woes pose to its very existence beyond 2020. Its combined financial deficit has trebled in a year and is likely to reach upwards of £30billion by the end of the decade.
Using the exact tools deployed by Isis and other terrorist organisations before them, the alt-right have been grooming vulnerable young or isolated people online with fake mocked up videos of hatred. They have been finding people with no friends and offering them a brotherhood. Like every man who groomed a lonely teenage girl with the promise of love, affection and the gift of popularity, the racist fantasists followed the playbook and recruited en masse.
Labour have always known that education matters, it's why in Government we expanded and updated sex education and why in the Digital Economy Bill, we are taking the first steps towards developing statutory online sex education for the smartphone generation; helping children navigate the online world in a safe environment where they can ask questions and have any concerns answered.
This should not be a Party political issue; providing adequate housing is fundamental to what it is to be human. It is morally the right thing to do. Moreover it is good economics too. So Prime Minister, put dogma aside, pinch this policy from the Labour Party. Start doing now what Labour is promising to do and show us in deeds "the good that government can do".
Few things have corroded the relationship between working-class people on the one hand and their leaders in the Labour party and trade union movement on the other than the obstinate refusal of those leaders to treat concerns over unlimited immigration with the legitimacy they deserve, and to instead resort to boilerplate and patronising slogans.
I will never shirk from holding the Government account, pressing for fair energy prices, for renewable energy; for shale gas to be produced responsibly, and for communities to benefit from the local funds. But a fund devoted to the common good could unite politicians and public alike.
The NHS is going through its biggest financial squeeze in its history with spending per head set to fall in 2018. This week Philip Hammond has an opportunity to change that funding trajectory and start giving the NHS the funding it really needs. There is widespread speculation that the Chancellor may find a small amount of extra funding for adult social care. However as welcome as that would be, the real test for his Autumn Statement will be whether it delivers the investment promised to fully fund the NHS. Under the Tories our NHS is underfunded and overstretched. It's time to give the NHS the money it needs including finally ensuring parity of esteem for mental health services.