21 August 2014
We owe it to all those suffering across the Middle East not to repeat the mistakes of the past and condemn the region to yet more bloodshed. We need to get it right this time and that means asking some difficult questions - and parliamentary scrutiny is vital...
30 July 2014
Pride is enormous fun. It’s also enormously important. It’s an opportunity to say - loud and clear - that LGBTiQ rights matter... Pride is a thing of beauty. It sees our city transformed into full and glorious Technicolor: bursting with creativity and flair. But it’s beautiful too for what it stands – freedom, and unity. PRIDE is enormous fun. It’s also enormously important. It’s an opportunity to say - loud and clear - that LGBTiQ rights matter. That LGBTiQ rights are human rights. To demand equality and the freedom to live. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again – I am incredibly proud to be an MP for a city that is known for being one of the most celebrated and progressive LGBTIQ cities not just in the country, but in the world. And we have a great deal to celebrate this PRIDE. We stood up for the freedom to marry – and now, at long last, we have that freedom. But other freedoms still elude us. I’m proud to stand up for an end to the discriminatory restrictions on gay men donating blood. Not that long ago the rules were improved, but it’s still the case that gay men are discriminated against. There’s no longer a blanket ban but you are not allowed to give blood if you’ve been sexually active in the last 12 months. That restriction doesn’t apply if you are straight. So if you are a monogamous gay man in a stable long term relationship, you face tighter restrictions than a straight man or woman who may have had unprotected sex with multiple partners. That’s not freedom to live. And it’s also preventing gay men from giving others the freedom to live. It’s a fight I’ve taken to Parliament and I’ll continue to fight on your behalf, to ensure the increased supplies of safe blood our health service so urgently needs. The current rules are not backed by the scientific evidence, which supports a six month window before donating blood after a possible risk - for all donors regardless of sexual orientation - on the basis that tests for HIV and Hepatitis C can detect infection within that time. So this PRIDE, I hope you’ll join me in calling for a ban on discrimination - not gay men giving blood... You can sign the petition for equal blood donor rules here You can find a campaign poster here (to Tweet, if you'd like) You can read more about my work on LGBTiQ rights as MP here You can view my video Pride message here I’ll be tabling a new Early Day Motion in the autumn calling for full equality in blood donation and abolishing the 12 month deferral rule; this will help add to pressure to close one of the last remaining state sanctioned discriminatory policies affecting sexual orientation in the UK. In December 2010 I co-sponsored a parliamentary motion urging Ministers to end the lifetime ban on gay men giving blood. The 2011 12-month compromise, while still discriminatory, was a step in the right direction after many years of inaction under the previous Labour Government. Leading Labour politicians Ed Miliband and Ed Balls admitted they didn’t do enough: while Labour's shadow health secretary Andy Burnham wants the ban to stay in place.
29 July 2014
This week I’m working on my response to the Council’s survey on housing strategy.
17 July 2014
Who wouldn’t be in favour of small businesses, enterprise and employment?
10 July 2014
I don’t think we should be boxed in by what the Government tells us needs to be in our City Plan – it’s our city and I think you should be consulted fully...
09 July 2014
Yesterday I attended a roundtable to discuss the Government’s plans to allow HMRC to sell the information it holds on us. Lots of constituents had asked me to go and to object on their behalf to the proposals - I was happy to do so.
01 July 2014
Lots of constituents have been in touch about a tweet sent by local Cllr Ben Duncan about Armed Forces Day...
25 June 2014
Today MPs are debating ways to ensure that tenants in private rented housing get a fairer deal. In my Brighton Pavilion constituency almost a third of households rent from private landlords and nationally as many as 9 million people now rent privately.
24 June 2014
Brighton-based iSKILLu is a new social enterprise with a community-centred focus...
16 June 2014
We can change the future by getting our children active and healthy – starting with the school run...
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