"Without increased funding, the Prime Minister’s pledge to transform mental health services will not be met" - Jeff calls for increased funding for psychiatrists
The Prime Minister promised to 'transform mental health services' but without more funding for psychiatrists, these are just warm words. As demand for their services increases rapidly, the rise...
Last week Jeff joined MPs from all parties in calling for an independent, judge-led inquiry into the use of hormone pregnancy test Primodos.
Primodos was taken by women in the 1960s and 1970s to test for pregnancy. There is now considerable evidence indicating that those who took the drug gave birth to babies with serious malformations or, in some cases, miscarried and had still births.
The Government agreed to set up an Expert Working Group (EWG) to review the scientific evidence in October 2014 which published its report last month.
The EWG’s report has come under intense criticism from survivors, their families and MPs for failing to review the evidence fairly and for ignoring the regulatory failures that allowed the drugs to be used for over 20 years.
MPs took part in a debate last week to call on the Government to set up an Independent Public Inquiry under the Inquiries Act 2005. The inquiry would review the evidence on a possible association between hormone pregnancy tests and birth defects, and consider the regulatory failures of the Committee on Safety in Medicines whose role it was to regulate medicines at the time.
Speaking in the debate, Jeff said: “The lesson we have to learn from previous scandals is that any inquiry must have the confidence of the victims. The report of the expert working group has already failed that test.
Constituents of mine who have been affected by hormone pregnancy tests have contacted me to say that they have no confidence in the process or the conclusions of the [Expert Working Group] report.
Something is not right and we need to get to the truth. We owe it to the victims and to people who may still be taking products related to these drugs.”
“We need to get to the truth” – Jeff joins call for independent inquiry into Hormone Pregnancy Test scandal
Last week Jeff joined MPs from all parties in calling for an independent, judge-led inquiry into the use of hormone pregnancy test Primodos. Primodos was taken by women in the...
In a recent survey of PIP claimants done by Rethink Mental Illness, 38% of respondents felt that delays in decisions meant deterioration in their mental health and 19% had to take higher doses of medication in order to cope with the increased stress.
Jeff pressed the Minister on whether she had read their report, and what the Government was going to do to reform PIP assessments so they don't worsen claimants mental health.
In a recent survey of PIP claimants done by Rethink Mental Illness, 38% of respondents felt that delays in decisions meant deterioration in their mental health and 19% had...
On the eve of an international summit on climate finance, 100 MPs including Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith call on the Parliamentary Pension Fund to drop investments in oil, coal and gas companies.
Jeff is among a cross-party group of 100 MPs who demand that their £612 million MPs’ Pension Fund removes its substantial holdings from fossil fuel companies to reflect their concerns about climate change.
The Parliamentary Contributory Pension Fund (PCPF) continues to invest millions of pounds of MPs’ savings in fossil fuel companies. Both BP (£5.6 million) and Shell (£4.9 million) are among the fund’s top 20 holdings - along with mining firm Rio Tinto, British American Tobacco and Amazon -which were made available for the first time in March 2017.
This week, Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn and Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell became the 99th and 100th MPs to sign the Divest Parliament pledge. This milestone comes as 50 heads of state, including UK Prime Minister Theresa May, arrive in Paris for an international summit on climate change and finance.
MPs are responding to a rising call for divestment, with over 800 organisations and investors worth over $5 trillion having already committed to divest from fossil fuels.
Jeff said: “Two years on from the Paris agreement, and with the devastating impacts of climate change already apparent, there is no room for continued investment in companies whose business is incompatible with our climate obligations.
Divesting from fossil fuels would be a great way for MPs to show leadership on the issue of climate change, and send a clear message that we must move away from fossil fuels in order to save our planet.”
Patrick Killoran (22) from the Divest Parliament campaign said:
‘Like the rest of my generation, I’m deeply concerned about the impacts of climate change here and around the world. It’s great to see MPs listening to their constituents and showing political leadership on climate action.
Investing in companies such as BP and Shell, who continue to dig for more fossil fuels and lobby against climate policy to line executives’ pockets, is dangerous and wrong.
I hope more MPs will join those committing to Divest Parliament today, and prioritise concrete action to build a clean, fair energy system for all.’
On the eve of an international summit on climate finance, 100 MPs including Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith call on the Parliamentary Pension Fund to...
Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith has welcomed the launch of a new financial advice service to support those experiencing mental health problems.
The Mental Health and Money Advice service, launched by the charity Mental Health UK, consists of a website with expert tips, free financial tools and calculators, and a list of useful contacts. The service also includes a referable advice line for those looking for specialist services.
Jeff said: “Mental health issues and financial problems are often linked - people with mental health problems are three times as likely to be in serious debt.
This service aims to break the self-perpetuating cycle of mental health and money issues by providing clear and practical advice, as well as putting people in touch with specialist services if they need them.”
You can access the website by clicking here.
Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith has welcomed the launch of a new financial advice service to support those experiencing mental health problems. The Mental Health and Money Advice service, launched...
Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith has taken an HIV test as part of National HIV Testing Week to raise awareness of HIV in the UK and encourage others to get tested.
National HIV Testing Week aims to promote regular testing among the most affected population groups and to reduce the rates of undiagnosed people and those diagnosed late. Hundreds of clinics and organisations take part each year to raise awareness, provide extra testing opportunities and promote services across the country.
The UK is witnessing a substantial decline in HIV diagnoses. In 2016, there was an 18% fall in new diagnoses compared to 2015, a decrease largely attributed to more people getting tested early and regularly.
Jeff said: “It’s encouraging to hear that HIV diagnoses are falling in the UK, but we can go much further to reduce the number of people who go undiagnosed or are diagnosed late.
Getting tested is quick and easy – go to your local sexual health clinic, book an appointment with your GP, or you can order a testing kit direct to your home.”
You can find all the information on how to get tested and where your local clinic is by clicking here.
Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith has taken an HIV test as part of National HIV Testing Week to raise awareness of HIV in the UK and encourage others to get...
Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith has pressed the Government to push ahead with the ban on the sale of elephant ivory in the UK.
Taking part in the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs consultation on the impact of the proposed ban, Jeff called on the Government to implement a total ban as quickly as possible, citing evidence that past bans on the sale of ivory have stabilised the number of elephants.
The UK Government is proposing a ban on UK sales of ivory and seeking evidence on the scope and likely impact of the proposals across different sectors.
Jeff said: “It’s vital that the Government implements a wide-ranging ban as quickly as possible following the conclusion of the consultation.
There is clear evidence that a ban on ivory sales can halt the alarming fall in elephant numbers that we’ve seen in recent years.
Instituting a ban would send a clear message from the UK Government that it recognises the moral and environmental case for stabilising elephant numbers.”
Jeff has also raised the issue in parliament, pressing the Secretary of State for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to outline an implementation strategy. You can read Jeff's contribution here.
You can submit evidence to the consultation by clicking here, the closing date is 29 December.
Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith has pressed the Government to push ahead with the ban on the sale of elephant ivory in the UK. Taking part in the Department for...
Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith travelled to Bangladesh during the short November parliamentary recess as part of a delegation visit from Labour Friends of Bangladesh, alongside Manchester Central MP Lucy Powell and Birmingham Ladywood MP Shabana Mahmood.
The delegation met with State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Md Shahriar Alam (above), to discuss the ongoing crisis in Myanmar and the Rohingya refugees crossing the border into Bangladesh.
Over 600,000 Rohingya Muslims have entered Bangladesh over the last two months after the Myanmar authorities began an offensive that has been labelled by UN Human Rights Chief Zeid Raad al-Huseein as “textbook ethnic cleansing”. The delegation discussed efforts to bring about a political solution to the crisis and provide a safe return for Rohingya refugees to Myanmar, as well as the aid support from the UK government.
The delegation also visited schools including the Hazi Wahid Choudhary High School near Sylhet. The high school, which operates without electricity in rural Habiganj, is supported by members of the Bangladeshi community who live in south Manchester. The school, which was established in 2013 to provide the only high school in the region, now has over 600 pupils.
Commenting on the trip, Jeff said: “The government and people of Bangladesh have made a huge effort to help the huge numbers of Rohingya Muslims fleeing violence, but they can’t cope alone with the massive humanitarian crisis – this is an international problem.
The schools we travelled to in Sylhet are doing a great job of overcoming the economic and cultural barriers to education in Bangladesh, and we also saw one of the garment factories which are a big part of the growing economy.
The challenge ahead is how to balance a rapidly growing economy with a fair distribution of wealth amongst all Bangladeshi people.
This trip was an opportunity to get a genuine insight into the challenges and opportunities that face Bangladesh, and into the background of many of the Bangladeshi diaspora in Manchester and the UK.”
Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith travelled to Bangladesh during the short November parliamentary recess as part of a delegation visit from Labour Friends of Bangladesh, alongside Manchester Central MP Lucy...
Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith has shown his support for a campaign, led by Meningitis Now Young Ambassador Rosie Heaton, encouraging young people to get vaccinated against meningitis.
Rosie, who has herself suffered from meningitis, is encouraging students in particular to get vaccinated. First year students under the age of 25 can get a free vaccination from their GP but only 33% of students have taken this offer up.
Commenting on the campaign, Jeff said: “Getting vaccinated for meningitis is quick, easy and will protect you from one of the more difficult conditions to diagnose.
Students are particularly vulnerable, so this campaign is vital to encourage first-years to take advantage of the free vaccination.”
Meningitis Now provide an app or free wallet-sized cards which explains the symptoms of meningitis and how to find more information. You can find all their resources here.
Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith has shown his support for a campaign, led by Meningitis Now Young Ambassador Rosie Heaton, encouraging young people to get vaccinated against meningitis. Rosie, who...
Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith has called on the Government to give Greater Mancheter Police the funding they need to tackle crime and antisocial behaviour in south Manchester.
Citing growing concerns raised by constituents in Didsbury, Burnage, Chorlton and elsewhere, Jeff highlighted the damaging impact of police funding cuts in south Manchester.
Jeff has met with senior local officers and Deputy Mayor for Policing Bev Hughes to discuss these concerns and the need for greater support from central government.
Jeff said: “Under the Tories and Lib Dems since 2010, Greater Manchester Police have lost 2,000 officers, a quarter of their staff.
For my constituents that means fewer officers on patrol, deteriorating response times, and even some crimes not fully investigated.
At a time when demand for their services is rising, this Government cannot expect our police force to do more with less.
We will do all we can locally to ensure our police force is run effectively, but ultimately this is a question of resources.”
WATCH: Jeff calls for more resources for Greater Manchester Police to tackle crime in south Manchester
Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith has called on the Government to give Greater Mancheter Police the funding they need to tackle crime and antisocial behaviour in south Manchester. Citing growing...