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17 Jan


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Jim Fitzpatrick backs Labour legislation to protect renters from homes unfit for human habitation

January 17, 2018 | By | No Comments

Jim Fitzpatrick, MP for Poplar and Limehouse, is backing a Bill introduced by Labour MP Karen Buck this Friday 19 January which will give renters a new legal right to ensure their home is ‘fit for human habitation’.

The new legislation, long campaigned for by Labour, could help renters in 147,000 dangerously unfit properties in London.

Nationally, there are over one million rented properties containing the most serious ‘category 1’ hazards, including homes that have unsafe electrics, vermin infestations, or aren’t fire safe.

The Labour Bill will give tenants new legal powers to enforce their right to a decent home by taking their landlord to court if the property they live in is not fit. This is a particularly important for council tenants such as those who lived in Grenfell Tower, because it is councils who are notionally responsible for enforcing standards, but local authorities can’t enforce against themselves.

This change in the law has been backed by Labour previously and was included in the Party’s June manifesto but has been blocked by the Tories on two previous occasions. However, following a Labour campaign, the government now say they will support the legislation.

Jim Fitzpatrick said:

“Everyone deserves to feel safe in their home yet we have 1 million homes in England unfit for human habitation, it’s right this Bill receives government backing.

“What happened at Grenfell Tower last year was sadly only one example of many preventable tragedies – it’s time legislation was introduced to protect people in their homes.”

Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Housing, John Healey MP said:

“Our homes are at the centre of our lives but at the moment renters too often don’t have the basic rights that we take for granted in other areas.

“In practice you have fewer rights renting a family home than you do buying a fridge-freezer, and decisions made by Conservative Ministers have made it easier for bad landlords to let unfit homes. As a result, too many people are forced to put up with downright dangerous housing.

“After the terrible fire at Grenfell Tower, it’s even more important that we ensure all homes are fit for human habitation.”

30 Mar


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Animal Welfare debate

March 30, 2017 | By | No Comments

At a backbench debate on animal welfare I reiterated my support for a Battersea Dogs & Cats Home campaign for tougher sentencing for animal cruelty and shared my view on the role of the RSPCA. The EFRA Committee (of which I am a member) recommended the Society should continue its work investigating animal welfare cases but withdraw as acting as prosecutor. I voted against this recommendation as the Crown Prosecution Service and Local Authorities simply do not have the resources to accept responsibility.

Follow the links to watch or read the debate in full or jump straight to my contribution here.

29 Mar


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Schools funding debate

March 29, 2017 | By | No Comments

Helen Hayes, Labour MP for Dulwich and West Norwood secured a very important Westminster Hall debate on schools funding in London.

Prior to the debate I was contacted by a number of primary schools and constituents in Poplar and Limehouse who were all concerned by the implementation of the new funding formula. The head at Cubitt Town School informed me they stand to lose £747 per pupil due to the changes. Schools in Tower Hamlets and across London are facing extreme pressure and simply cannot afford these cuts.

Follow the links to watch or read the debate in full or jump straight to my contribution here.

24 Mar


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Cochlear Implants debate

March 24, 2017 | By | No Comments

I sponsored a debate on ‘Funding and assessment for Cochlear Implantation.’ Cochlear implantation has been approved by NICE as a clinically and cost effective treatment for adults and children with severe or profound levels of hearing loss. Estimates suggest, however, that the UK has low levels of implantation in adults compared to other European countries- only 5% of adults who would benefit have the operation.

You can watch the debate in full here.

14 Mar


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Dog Fouling debate

March 14, 2017 | By | No Comments

Confusion exists on the best way to deal with dog fouling in the countryside. At a Westminster Hall debate on the subject I raised a concern from the NFU and Keep Britain Tidy over messaging for dog owners- both organisations support ‘Bag it and Bin it.’

Follow the links to watch or read the debate in full.

01 Mar


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Disability benefit cuts

March 1, 2017 | By | No Comments

In the House of Commons I raised a question to the Secretary of State for the Department of Work and Pensions on the Mental Health comments made by a Government Minister.

Click here to watch my question.

27 Feb


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Flood debate

February 27, 2017 | By | No Comments

I took part in a debate in the House of Commons to argue the case that the Fire and Rescue Service needs to be able to maintain the staff and equipment necessary to continue to play a prominent role in dealing with floods, preparing for them and mitigating them. I believe in order to achieve that, they need recognition in law.

Since 2010 the Government has cut 7,000 of all jobs from the Service. These numbers are very worrying.

You can watch or read the debate in full.

23 Feb


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Road traffic law enforcement debate

February 23, 2017 | By | No Comments

Following the Transport Select Committee’s report and the Government’s response, a debate was held in Westminster Hall on road traffic law enforcement.

Figures for those Killed or Seriously Injured (KSI) are on the rise in UK. I questioned the decision made in 2010 by the Government to drop the target for lowering these numbers.

You can watch the debate in full or jump straight to my contribution here.

09 Feb


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House of Commons Debate: Occupied Palestinian Territories- Israeli Settlements

February 9, 2017 | By | No Comments

I received nearly 100 emails from constituents leading up to the backbench business debate in parliament on the negotiations for a lasting peace in the Middle East.

Like all of the MPs who spoke, I want to see a two-state solution, but that seems more remote than ever. Settlement building by the Israeli Government seems totally contrary to any peace process. The UK is a significant player, both historically and diplomatically and I asked the government to outline how we can best play our part.

Follow the links to watch or read the debate in full or watch my contribution.

12 Jan


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Shipping Debate

January 12, 2017 | By | No Comments

I participated in a Westminster Hall debate on the ‘Future of UK maritime industry’ to argue for more money for training cadets in our colleges. There is a shortage of qualified ships’ officers and crew but our training is excellent and have plenty of candidates.

Follow the links to watch and read the debate in full or jump straight to my contribution here.

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Jim Fitzpatrick MP