My religion teaches tolerance, charitable giving, enterprise, hard work. These are all part and parcel of the way I live my life, and percolate deep into my politics. That's why I became active in my local community - first as a local councillor, then later when I was privileged to becoming the MP for where I grew up.
Time and again over the last four years we've pressed the government to support our plans for a victims' law. Repeatedly they've refused to do so, going so far as to attack our plans. Just last week in the House of Commons chamber ministers were given the opportunity to back a victims' law - an opportunity they didn't take. Back in July Chris Grayling even attacked Labour's victims' law, saying "the opposition always talks about laws". So this weekend's sudden conversion by the government to the need for new 'laws' - a victims' law - is a little surprising. After all, they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Of course if the government are sincere about their new found passion for victims, it is to be welcomed, but it is little wonder many are cynical.
British Muslims are an extremely enterprising community. They contribute over £31billion to the UK economy every year. Over 100,000 British Muslims are civil servants, doctors, lawyers and accountants. In London alone, small businesses run by Muslims employ over 70,000 people... The majority of people view British Muslims as contributing well to our national way of life. Let us build on and strengthen that. While I'm fasting this weekend - when I'm hungry and thirsty - I will be thinking about what I can do to promote a more positive view of British Muslims - I think we should all do the same.
In an era of dreary politicians, the silver-tongued Blair continues to beguile us. He is the Cristiano Ronaldo of politics: slick, skilful, über-confident and astonishingly arrogant... Is he mad or bad? Deluded or dishonest? It no longer matters. Blair's reputation lies in tatters. More than half of Brits believe their former prime minister was wrong to invade Iraq; one in five tell YouGov they think he should be tried as a war criminal. Blair can try to pretend he lives a normal life but when he goes to a book signing, people pelt him with eggs
Recently, the Government unveiled plans to shave a further £220million off criminal legal aid, generating considerable opposition from across the profession and in charities and campaign groups. Ministers have fought a clever guerrilla campaign. They've salami sliced bit by bit to mitigate the short-term impact of their plans. They successfully divided and ruled the legal profession. They've smeared legal aid lawyers as fat cats and made out legal aid is only used by unworthy criminals. Needless to say, the truth is rather different.
Votes at 16 is a radical proposal that has the potential to energise a new generation of politically active and engaged citizens. However, votes at 16 needs to go hand in hand with wider youth engagement and a renewed commitment to citizenship education.
We believe that things have got to change if we are to restore the public's faith. And that's why Ed Miliband and I have set up the Victims' Taskforce with the precise remit to come forward with a Victims' Law and other recommendations of what needs to change in our justice system. And the Taskforce is already hard at work.
London is a city facing big challenges. Population growth is putting huge strain on our housing, transport and infrastructure. The increasingly globalised economy means that our businesses are no longer compete just with those in Birmingham or Manchester, but with firms in Shanghai, New York and Berlin. And most worryingly, rather that sharing in our city's successes, rising numbers of Londoners are being left behind, as inequality widens and poverty grows.
Last year, 1.2 million women and 800,000 men reported domestic abuse, up 10% in the past three years. In the same time frame, the number of cases the police referred to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) fell by 13%. In essence, fewer perpetrators were stopped and more victims remain at risk.
I have read Sadiq Khan MP's article from last week several times and am still dumbfounded by it. His criticism of Babar Ahmad and Syed Talha Ahsan's extradition to the U.S. to face terror charges is wildly misguided.
A year ago this week two of my Tooting constituents, Babar Ahmad and Syed Talha Ahsan, were extradited to the USA on terror charges. Both men are British citizens who had been held in British prisons prior to their extradition. Yet, despite facing very serious allegations, they have never formally been charged with any offences in this country.
Chris Grayling's speech on Monday at Conservative Party conference reads as if the last 40 months didn't even happen. All his talk of tougher sentencing for knife crime and clamping down on use of cautions shamelessly ignores his out of touch Government's record since the last election and their disgraceful lack of support for innocent victims of crime.
I am writing to ask that you revisit your proposals for legal aid, proposals which have generated considerable criticism from across the board... Labour fully supports making those can afford to pay their legal fees do so, and clawing back costs from wealthy criminals. Legal aid should be reserved for those most in need.
To appeal to a broader electorate, Cameron needs people in his Cabinet in the mould of Ken Clarke. But keeping Ken in Cabinet for his easy and affable way with the voters is insulting to him and to many of the views he holds.
In the last few months the Muslim Youth Helpline (MYH) has been through a number of trials and tribulations that have been well documented.
So what exactly happens at an annual FOSIS conference? Does it involve a line-up of events and activities which promote extremism and radicalise British Muslim youths? Or is it merely a platform for Muslim students to unite and discuss issues affecting them?