Chris Matheson MP yesterday raised several pressing issues following this year’s Queen’s Speech.
Speaking in the annual debate setting out the Government’s plans for the forthcoming Parliamentary session, Chris outlined his views on the Government’s proposals.
Chris welcomed the Government’s plans to ban conversion therapy and the long-awaited Online Safety Bill, saying: “I welcome the Government’s commitment to ban conversion therapy. I hope that that legislation will sail through the House, as long as the Government get it right. I also give a cautious welcome to the draft Online Safety Bill, for which we have been calling for many years. I just hope that the Government avoid their usual failing of caving into the demands of foreign big tech companies.”
Chris then raised concerns regarding the Government’s plans for people to require to show photographic Voter ID when voting: “I am extremely worried about the Government’s proposals to introduce a requirement for photographic voter ID. Let us call it what it is: it is voter suppression. It is straight out of the Trump playbook. It is sinister and authoritarian, and it will be opposed in this House. This is not a problem and it does not require a solution.”
Chris continued by pointing out which vital issues had been left out, saying: “There is too much left out of this Queen’s Speech. There is nothing on cladding for fire safety victims and those who are trapped in housing that is now worthless. There is nothing on energy-neutral building standards and changes to building regs to make housing built to tougher environmental standards. There is nothing in the Queen’s Speech for local government, which has been at the forefront of the community pandemic response.
Chris finished by addressing the issue of ‘fire and rehire’, a practice that sees employers sack workers and immediately rehire them on worse terms and conditions: “Finally, let me turn to fire and rehire, which has been a scandal of this pandemic. If employers came to trade unions and said, “We’ve got a problem. The bottom has fallen out of our business. Let’s work together and solve this together,” then trade unions would have gone for that. Instead, we see this awful practice. If I am fortunate enough to win the private Members’ Bill ballot, I will bring forward legislation. I hope the Government will back me.”