Areas of Interest
Although I work across a wide range of policy topics, there are several areas in which I have been particularly active in my time in parliament:
The Black Country possesses a proud industrial heritage, and anyone familiar with my constituency will know that this is something that continues even to this day, with small and large manufacturers heavily visible throughout West Bromwich West.
As an MP, I feel that a large part of my role is to help create the conditions where manufacturing can not only survive, but thrive also. This was a major reason for my support for Remain in the 2016 Referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU. Although I respect the result of this vote, I remain a strong advocate of close alignment with the European market in future, as I believe that this will be critical to protecting manufacturing jobs in our area.
I have played prominent roles in a number of parliamentary groups related to industry in my time as an MP. Between 2010 and 2015, I was Chair of the Business, Innovation, and Skills (BIS) Select Committee, and I remain active in numerous All Party Parliamentary Groups (APPG) related to manufacturing and commerce- such as the APPGs for the Aluminium and Steel Industries.
I have long been vocal advocate for STEM subjects, engineering, and apprenticeships. In my time as Chair of the Business Committee, I lead an inquiry into the government’s apprenticeships programme and how it could be improved. I have continued to take an interest in this issue in the years since.
In my time on the Business Committee, I played a key role in the introduction of the Pubs Code, which aimed to improve conditions for tenants by creating a set of guidelines to govern their relationship with pub companies, and establishing an adjudicator to police disputes between these two parties. In subsequent years, I have worked to ensure that the government properly enforces these rules.
As my constituents have become increasingly concerned by rising crime in recent years, I have become increasingly involved in matters relating to our police. I have been out on patrol with officers in Tipton and Tividale, and have joined with other Labour MPs from the West Midlands to campaign for an end to government cuts to our local police force, which has seen the second largest reduction in funding of any force in the country since 2010. I have also frequently spoken in parliament on this issue.