Weekly Update – 7 August 2020
This week I was pleased to receive a positive update from NHS North Middlesex Hospital, who have coped very well under extraordinarily difficult circumstances. NHS North Mid has faced a lot of difficulties in the past, compounded and created by ten years of underfunding from the Government. But during this crisis, all the staff at the hospital have worked incredibly hard and at great risk to themselves to care for people in Edmonton and across London.
The hospital received their first COVID-19 patient on 8th March, with the number of patients they were treating peaking in mid-April. Since May, cases of Covid-19 in the hospital have dropped significantly and as of Thursday this week they only had one patient with COVID-19 in the hospital. They are now working hard to restart normal activity, but they need help from this Government to prepare for a second wave. It’s time for this Government to step up and support the NHS.
Free Jagtar Singh Johal
Back in 2017 Mr Jagtar Singh Johal, a Scottish Sikh had flown to Punjab for his wedding. Then, out of the blue, he was arrested and imprisoned by the Indian authorities on ‘terrorist’ charges. Years later and Mr Johal still sits in jail. He has never been charged with a crime or been given a trial. No substantial evidence has been presented against him. The International Rehabilitation Council has found grounds to believe that Jagtar has been tortured while in Jail. Meanwhile, India continues to delay legal proceedings and has refused Jagtar any independent medical assistance.
This week I wrote the Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab calling on him to take action to bring Mr Johal home as quickly and safely as possible. Our Government has a responsibility to British Citizens abroad and they need to step up in this case and put as much pressure as possible on the Indian Government so that they do the right thing.
Time to end the Hostile Environment
The Government prevents hundreds of thousands of individuals from accessing vital public funds as a result of their immigration status. As the Chair of the No-Recourse to Public Funds APPG I’ve been calling on the Government to drop the NRPF restriction for some time. Now the latest figures show the clear impact that the NRPF restriction is having during the COVID-19 Crisis.
Since lockdown hit there has been a 672% increase in the number of people applying to have their NRPF restriction lifted, with only half the number who have applied having received a response. Thousands of people who have lost their jobs have now suddenly realised they are not entitled to claim benefits and are being left in a terrible position. It’s vital the Government ends the hostile environment and drops the NPRF restriction for at least the duration of the pandemic.
UK shouldn’t be investing in the fossil fuel industry abroad
The Government has decided to pour over £600 million of public money into a gas drilling project in Mozambique which will have a devastating impact on local marine life, local economy and set back Mozambique’s ambitions to tackle the climate crisis back decades. When the UK invests in projects internationally we need to make sure that we do so in a way that benefits the countries in which they projects take place. We should be investing in projects which will move forward our ambitions to tackle climate change and improve the living standards and opportunities for local residents rather than line the pockets of huge international corporations. The Minister for Investment, Graham Stuart MP has of questions to answer on this project, so this week I wrote to him looking for those answers.
Thank you for taking the time to read my latest update, if you have any issues that you would like to raise directly with me then please do email firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m always happy to help whenever possible.
Kate Osamor MP