GE 2017: Thangam Debbonaire, Labour Party

GE 2017: Thangam Debbonaire, Labour Party

We reached out to all our local candiates for Bristol West to discuss what they would offer students in this General Election. Here is Thangam Debbonaire's responce.

Whichever way we vote, most people in Bristol West share similar, progressive values. We believe in making life fairer. We believe in good schools for all, in halting climate change, in diversity and cooperation. We believe in renewable energy and in welcoming refugees. We believe in the NHS and in fair pay. These are Labour values too.

As your Member of Parliament since May 2015, I’ve been fighting in Bristol and Parliament for things that matter to you. I’ve helped over two thousand people with housing problems, money worries and much more. I’ve answered over 15,000 letters and emails. I’ve made progress on local and national issues, working hard to reflect the values of people who live in Bristol West.

So, for example, I’ve championed refugee rights as chair of the all-Party Parliamentary group on refugees – most recently publishing the report of a cross-party inquiry I initiated into how we welcome refugees. 

I’ve successfully campaigned to ensure all young people get education about sex and relationships.

I’ve secured government funding to develop a clean air zone in Bristol. I’m committed to greater investment in renewable energy, in order to meet our carbon emissions targets and halt climate change. I’m proud that the last Labour government introduced the world’s first Climate Change Act.

As MP, I’ve met students, academic staff, vice-chancellors and pro vice-chancellors – all dismayed at the impact Brexit is likely to have, is already having, on university finances and research funding, on student numbers, morale and prospects. I voted against the triggering of Article 50 and I’ll continue to fight against a Tory, cliff-edge Brexit where we crash out of the EU with no deal on jobs, trade, workers’ rights, or environmental protection.

I also want everyone to know about Labour’s vision for the county. I’m proud to stand on a manifesto which takes bold action to secure the future of our country. Jeremy Corbyn has announced that Labour will, for example:

  • Create a unified National Education Service for England, to move towards cradle-to-grave learning that is free at the point of use;
  • Appoint a new commissioner to enforce minimum standards in tackling domestic and sexual violence;
  • Defend and extend environmental protections, particularly introducing a Clean Air Act;
  • Do the right thing and protect the rights of EU citizens living in the UK;
  • Invest in our creative industries and maintain access to culture for all, with Bristol West benefiting from a share of the £1 billion Cultural Capital Fund; and
  • Establish a new Department for Housing which would help our Labour Mayor and council tackle the housing crisis. I particularly welcome the commitment to making an additional 4,000 properties available for people with a history of rough sleeping.
  • There any many other initiatives in a bold election manifesto that shows a fairer Britain is possible, and I urge you to read it.

So in this election you get a choice. Between a Labour government and a Tory one.  

Between fair – and not. 

Between funding public services properly and valuing the staff who work in them – and not. 

Between investing in renewable energy – and not. 

Between an economy which works for the many – and one which works for the few. 

And finally, you get to choose if you want a country which is inward-looking, closed and fearful, or one in which our Bristol West values are reflected in our city and in Parliament?

You can read the Labour Party Manifesto 2017 here

Read Molly Scott Cato's response for green party here.