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Grenfell Tower Block Fire

The Grenfell Tower fire is a tragedy that has shocked the whole country and should never have been able to happen.

The Queen’s Speech on 21 June confirmed that there will be a public inquiry into the fire at Grenfell Tower and included a commitment to publish interim findings. I welcome this decision as a good start, but believe there is much more that must be done. In particular, I believe the inquiry should publish its initial findings this summer in order to allow urgent action to be taken where necessary.

The Government should also now set out a plan to retrofit high-rise blocks with sprinklers, starting with the highest risks buildings, and to overhaul inadequate building regulations.

It is essential that all tower blocks have up-to-date advice about what to do in the event of a fire and full safety checks should be undertaken for all high-rise blocks to ensure there are no serious outstanding fire risks. I welcome the Government’s decision to conduct an audit of all high rises in England by local authority. I will monitor the progress of this audit closely.

There are thousands of tower blocks across the country and every person living in one deserves to know how this tragic event happened and what will be done to ensure it never happens again. The Labour Party is committed to holding the Government to account on this important issue.

Locally, I have written to Your Homes Newcastle with questions regarding the cladding used on the buildings they manage, the installation of sprinklers, the dry/wet riser systems, the functionality of the fire doors, the regularity of fire inspections and the current building regulations. I have also written to Newcastle and Northumbria University regarding student blocks and the Byker Community Trust. Click here to see my letter to Your Homes Newcastle.

In light of the Grenfell fire, The Chronicle has launched a campaign demanding action on five points related to fire safety in tower blocks. I have added my support to this campaign. Click here to see the Chronicle article about the campaign.

Nick Brown re-elected as MP for Newcastle East

In the recent snap General Election, Nick Brown was re-elected as the Member of Parliament for the constituency of Newcastle upon Tyne East. Nick received 28,127 votes, over 67% of the total votes cast.

Following his re-election, Nick said: “When elected in 2015 I pledged to do my best for my constituents by taking on big issues such as climate change and the stability of the international financial system, as well as important local issues like bringing jobs to the people of Newcastle East. After a stunning result on June 8 I recommit myself to every single word of my previous pledge. I remain committed to Labour’s core values – for the many not the few. I am a full time MP with no outside financial interests. I work full time for you.”

Nick can be contacted via email (nickbrownmp@parliament.uk) or via phone on 0191 261 1408.

Nick making his acceptance speech at the election results declaration.

General Election 2017

 

A snap General Election has been called for the 8th June. This is a vanity election for the Prime Minister, who has underestimated the challenge of negotiating our withdrawal from the European Union. Rather than engaging in serious planning and preparation for these talks, Theresa May instead falsely claimed Parliament was trying to ‘block’ our withdrawal from the EU. This is not true. Theresa May also publicly ruled out the prospect of an early election at least five times since becoming Prime Minister.

 

I am standing again as the Labour Party Candidate in Newcastle East in this election. When I stood in 2015, I committed to serve my constituents for five years. Coming two years after the last election, I am still committed to standing up for our community in Parliament.

 

The decision to leave the European Union was made in the referendum last year. Article 50 has been triggered and we are now within the two year timeframe to negotiate the terms of the UK’s withdrawal. The real debate during this election is not about invented threats over whether the UK leaves the EU, but the very real threat that Theresa May and a Tory Government will not get a good deal on our future relationship with the EU going forward. The Labour Party wants the best possible deal for the UK, and to be good neighbours with Europe. This is the message that we have to take to the doorstep in this election, along with reminders about the crippling austerity the Conservatives have placed on our communities and public services over the last seven years (five of them in partnership with the Liberal Democrats).

 

 

Nick Brown MP Holds Debate on the Future Funding of Supported Housing

Nick held a debate on the future funding of supported housing on 12 April 2016.

In the debate Nick raised the potential impacts of Government cuts to housing benefit on those in supported housing.

Supported housing is housing which is provided to vulnerable people who need extra care in order to life independent and happy lives. Under Government proposals funding for this could be cut and many supported housings schemes could close, risking increased homelessness.

Nick called for supported housing to be exempt from the cuts, however the Government did not commit to this.

The debate was well attended with MP’s from a range of political parties present. You can read the full debate here.

Nick Brown MP Gives Eulogy at Jaap Kroese’s Memorial Service

Nick Brown with Jaap Kroese in 1997

Nick spoke at the Memorial Service for Jaap Kroese in January, who in 1993 helped to save Swan Hunter shipyard by bringing it out of receivership and in doing so safeguarded thousands of jobs in the East End of Newcastle and Wallsend. Jaap sadly passed away on the 29th December. The event at Wallsend Town Hall was heavily attended – a testament to the level of respect, gratitude and affection the community here held for him.

 

You can read Nick’s full eulogy here

Nick Attends Alzheimer’s Society Event in Parliament

Nick Brown adding his name to the Fix Dementia Care Campaign

Nick attended the Alzheimer’s Society’s ‘Fix Dementia Care’ Event in Parliament. The Alzheimer’s Society is calling for the best quality hospital care for those living with this debilitating condition and to ensure high standards of care are maintained across the country. Nick added his name to the Fix Dementia Care campaign at the event.

There are concerns that further cuts to local government will result in a reduction in care for dementia sufferers. Nick has already raised the issue with Newcastle City Council.

Statement from Nick Brown MP on proposal to extend UK airstrikes into Syria

I want to thank all constituents who have contacted me about the Government’s proposal to extend UK airstrikes into Syria.

Having considered the situation and the Government’s motion, I intend to vote against the Government’s proposal.

Please see here for my full statement on the issue

 

Nick Hosts the 10th Anniversary Celebrations of Seven Stories in the Houses of Parliament

 

Nick with Kate Edwards, CEO of Seven Stories and Sir Peter Bazalgette, Chair of the Arts Council England

Nick hosted a reception in Parliament celebrating the 10th anniversary of Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children’s Books which is based in the Newcastle East constituency.

Seven Stories has built a comprehensive children’s literature archive from the 1930s to the present day. As well as storing children’s books Seven Stories also shares children’s literature through open days and activities with local children as well as taking their exhibitions around the country. These have been seen by more than 1.4 million people.

The event was an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of Seven Stories and hear from those who have contributed to its success.

Nick Responds to North East Devolution Deal

Nick has called for a ‘No’ option to be included in a future mayoral poll after the Chancellor signed two devolution deals for the north-east of England.

The inclusion of a ‘No’ option allows the people of the North East to decide whether they want a mayor, having rejected the idea in a referendum in 2012. Nick has also criticised the Government’s plans as “a lot of talk and no effective action.”

“The power to borrow more money and to tax ourselves more isn’t what is needed to solve the problems that the region faces — above all, the need to stimulate private sector investment in the north-east of England.”

Nick has asked a number of questions in Parliament on this which you can see here

Nick has raised a number of questions about the effectiveness of the Government's North East deal

Nick attends reforming of West Papua APPG

Nick attended the inaugural meeting to re-found the All Party Parliamentary Group for West Papua.

Nick meets Benny Wenda in Parliament

The meeting heard from campaign organisers, as well as Benny Wenda, International Spokesman for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua.

The current efforts of the campaign are focusing on West Papua’s recognition status within the Melanesian Spearhead Group and interaction with the Pacific Island Forum, as well as efforts at the UN General Assembly.