Following the 2019 General Election result for Washington and Sunderland West constituency, Sharon made the below speech at the count in Silksworth Sports Complex.
**CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY**
I want to start by thanking voters in Washington and Sunderland West. It is an honour to be re-elected as your Member of Parliament.
Thank you to the Returning Officer, Patrick Melia and the team at Electoral Services, polling station staff and the counting agents, who have done a sterling job working on this snap election in the midst of winter.
Thank you to the police who have kept us all safe whilst we campaign during these turbulent times.
Thank you so much, as always, to my husband, Alan, and my kids Joseph and Emily who support me endlessly. Without your continued love and support I could not do any of this.
To my agent, Sean Laws, my campaign team and the amazing CLP activists and volunteers who have given up so much of their valuable time over the last 6 weeks to help with my campaign, you have been out in all weathers delivering leaflets and speaking to voters: I can’t thank you enough.
Boris Johnson thought that a December election would scupper us, but we are made of sturdy stuff in the North East.
By re-electing three Labour MPs, voters in Sunderland today have shown that they reject the politics of division and if there is a Conservative Majority, as the exit poll is showing, then I will return to Parliament, as soon as it is recalled, as the representative of Washington and Sunderland West to hold the most right-wing Government of our times to account.
Of course, the results aren’t in yet, not everywhere is as quick as Sunderland so we have a long night ahead of us, but I can assure all of my constituents that I will continue to be a trustworthy voice in Parliament that will put them at the forefront of all of my decisions.
I will defend our NHS from further privatisation and from a bad trade deal with the US.
I will call for more funding for our schools and emergency services.
And I will continue to be a voice for the North East, championing our local areas and calling for further investment in the region.
The North East exists all of the time, and not just when the Conservative Party want it to exist during election time.
The North East must be heard and I will do all that I can to ensure that it is in the weeks, months and years ahead.
Following the 2019 General Election result for Washington and Sunderland West constituency, Sharon made the below speech at the count in Silksworth Sports Complex. **CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY** I want to...
Sharon Hodgson has today handed over a petition from the Washington and Wearside Against Gasification group to the leader of Sunderland City Council, Cllr Graeme Miller and written to the Development Management Committee to reiterate her opposition to the planning application.
Sharon has supported the group whilst an MP and continues to as the Labour Party candidate in the upcoming General Election. Sharon passionately spoke against the planning application at the planning committee hearing in July.
Sharon said, "It is important people realise that, whilst we won the first round, we must be vigilant and prepare for the public enquiry taking place in February."
You can read Sharon's letter by clicking on the image below:
Sharon Hodgson has today handed over a petition from the Washington and Wearside Against Gasification group to the leader of Sunderland City Council, Cllr Graeme Miller and written to the...
Click on the picture link below to donate to Sharon Hodgson's campaign.
The link above will take you to the Labour Party's secure donation page.
Unlike the Tory Party, Labour don't have the same access to donations from vast numbers of multi-millionaires.
Labour relies mainly upon small donations from many ordinary people and Trade Union members from across the country.
Any amount will be gratefully received.
Labour is here for the many, not the few.
Click on the picture link below to donate to Sharon Hodgson's campaign. The link above will take you to the Labour Party's secure donation page.Unlike the Tory Party, Labour don't... Read more
Why you should vote for Labour’s Sharon Hodgson for Washington and Sunderland West.
A General Election has been called for Thursday 12th December. This election is a once-in-a-generation chance to transform our country and take on the vested interests holding people back.
The North East has suffered as a result of austerity cuts that the Conservative and Liberal Democrat Coalition and Conservative Governments have imposed over the last nine years.
Only Labour will invest in our region. Labour will improve jobs, health and the economy, reducing poverty and health inequalities that have raged on for far too long. By voting for Sharon, you’ll be voting for real change.
Check out Labour's 2019 General Election manifesto using this link >
Why you should vote for Labour’s Sharon Hodgson for Washington and Sunderland West.A General Election has been called for Thursday 12th December. This election is a once-in-a-generation chance to transform... Read more
Sharon Hodgson MP's report - Oct-Nov 2019 number 122
Click on the picture above to read Sharon Hodgson MP's report - Oct-Nov 2019 number 122
Sharon Hodgson MP's report - Oct-Nov 2019 number 122 Click on the picture above to read Sharon Hodgson MP's report - Oct-Nov 2019 number 122 Read more
You can read Sharon's latest Echo column below or on the Sunderland Echo website
Last week, after up to four years of campaigning, thousands of Cystic Fibrosis patients in England received the news that they would now have access to the life-saving drugs they need, Orkambi and Symkevi.
Patients, their families, campaigners and politicians from across the political divide have fought for years for access to these life-saving drugs.
The reason for the fight: because the drugs weren’t deemed cost effective enough for NHS England to be able to buy them from the pharmaceutical company, Vertex.
Negotiations have started and stalled between NHS England and Vertex for much of the four years since Orkambi was appraised by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) for use.
This has understandably been frustrating for patients, whose health will have deteriorated whilst waiting for access to the drug.
But this shared-frustration amongst patients, their families and charities, such as the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, is what has generated one of the most successful public affairs campaigns that I can recall as a Member of Parliament.
Holding meetings inside Parliament and rallies outside Parliament, usually seen wearing yellow, campaigners have made themselves heard on a huge scale and have seized that opportunity to make sure that MPs and Peers know the problem and how it can be solved.
I was proud to play a part in this process. As the Shadow Minister for Public Health, I have responded to four Parliamentary debates on access to drugs on Cystic Fibrosis and used three oral health questions to put pressure on the Government to take further action and intervene in the negotiations.
I also called on the Government to consider other means of making the lifesaving drugs available to patients, such as Crown Use Licensing or clinical trials.
I am pleased that in the case of drugs for Cystic Fibrosis patients, it hasn’t come to that. But there are still patients with rare diseases, such as Phenylketonuria (PKU) and Spinal Muscular Astrophy, who are still fighting for access to the drugs that they need, and I will continue to put pressure on the Government to ensure that they get them.
Behind all the Brexit noise in Westminster are real people with real problems, who MPs fight on behalf of every single day.
It makes me proud to know that Cystic Fibrosis patients will now get the lifesaving drugs that they need and deserve.
It is successes like this that keep me going, knowing that whilst even in Opposition, we can still achieve some good and genuinely help people, is what makes my job all the more worthwhile and spurs me on to achieve even more for people who are suffering under austerity imposed by this heartless Conservative Government.
The Cystic Fibrosis campaign shows us what can be done against all the odds, and I believe that we can all learn something from their determination, persistence and professionalism.
ECHO COLUMN: Knowing that we can still achieve some good is what makes my job all the more worthwhile
You can read Sharon's latest Echo column below or on the Sunderland Echo website Last week, after up to four years of campaigning, thousands of Cystic Fibrosis patients in...
You can read Sharon's latest Echo column below or on the Sunderland Echo website
There is no doubt that Brexit has divided some families, our communities and the nation.
The tension has been made all the more worse by the harmful language used by Prime Ministers May and Johnson, whose rhetoric has normalised words such as “betrayal”, “traitor” and “saboteurs”, directed at elected Members of Parliament and the judiciary; crucial pillars upholding our constitution and holding the Government to account on a host of issues, not just Brexit.
Such language has made it into my own inbox, and the inboxes of, mostly female, colleagues.
I am pleased to say that the majority of emails and messages I receive containing harmful language don’t pose a serious threat. Any that do are immediately reported to the police and Parliament’s security team.
However, when trying to work for the best of all of my constituents, whether that is speaking in debates, responding to letters, emails and calls or meeting with ministers, receiving such messages can be daunting, not only for me but for my family, friends and staff too.
No one should feel unsafe in their job, but I know that many MPs do.
The tragic murder of Jo Cox MP and the foiled plot by a neo-Nazi to murder Rosie Cooper MP serve as a reminder that words have serious consequences.
More locally, Billy Charlton - who appeared on the well circulated photograph from the Sunderland count of the EU referendum celebrating the leave result - was found guilty of inciting racial hatred and given a 21-month jail sentence.
It is this kind of behaviour and language that is making our society toxic.
Instead of encouraging debate, hostile language pushes people away from engaging in issues that affect them, leaving only the bullies standing tall.
If we want more women, young, working-class and BME people to engage in politics and current affairs, we must all take a moment to reflect on the consequences of our language.
Is it harmful and intimidating? Is it disenfranchising people from the debate? Could this encourage or influence others to act physically?
We all have a role to play in bridging the divide.
We are all human and our words have consequences.
You can read Sharon's latest Echo column below or on the Sunderland Echo website There is no doubt that Brexit has divided some families, our communities and the nation. The...
Sharon Hodgson MP's report - Sep-Oct 2019 number 121Click on the picture above to read Sharon Hodgson MP's report - Sep-Oct 2019 number 121 Read more
As the Shadow Minister for Public Health, Sharon participated in a panel at a fringe event at the 2019 Labour Party Conference in Brighton. The event was titled “Labour on Drugs – Our Policies for a General Election”.
The event was organised by The Labour Campaign for Drug Policy Reform (LCDPR). On the panel was: Neil Woods, former undercover police officer, Chair of LEAP UK and author of Good Cop Bad War; Jeff Smith MP, Co-founder of LCDPR and Lord Charlie Falconer, Former Secretary of State for Justice.
You can read Sharon’s speech below.
***CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY***
Thank you for inviting me.
For those of you who don’t know me, I am Sharon Hodgson, the Member of Parliament for Washington and Sunderland West and the Shadow Minister for Public Health – which is what brings me here today.
As Jeff says I probably wouldn’t have come to an event like this, definitely not a few years ago – I’ve been on a journey – after talking to people like Jeff and Thangam my opinion has changed.
Drug policy currently sits with the Home Office, but I think that we will all agree that drug policy should be seen as a public health issue, as Jon said in his speech on Sunday.
Whether it is children being exploited by dealers on our estates or BAME people being disproportionately locked up for drug offences; this is a health issue that is touching all of society.
The UK has the highest drug-related death rate on record, with 2018 marking the highest rate of deaths from drug misuse.
And that is why I am so pleased the Labour Campaign for Drug Policy Reform has been set up, so that we can come together and discuss how we tackle this very issue.
The way the Government are – or aren’t – handling the drug crisis is affecting the most vulnerable in our society, which is why we need action.
Now, the first thing I would do as the Public Health Minister in Government is to reverse the public health budget cuts.
Since 2013, £700m has been cut from the Public Health Grant given to local authorities to provide vital services such as drug and alcohol treatment services.
That includes £72m cut from public health budgets this year.
Drug and alcohol treatment services have been hit hardest and with planned reductions across the board by £27.1m, including £2m worth of cuts to specialist drug and alcohol misuse services for children and young people.
Treatment services are struggling under the weight of austerity.
Less adults were in contact with drug and alcohol services in 2017-18, compared to the previous year.
If we are to prevent addiction and drug-related deaths, the Government need to invest in public health services to offer support to people. I know that there is no silver bullet to this issue and that there are many examples across the country that are making an impact on local communities by approaching this as a public health issue.
In Bristol, The Loop set up the UK’s first city centre drug safety testing service. In the West Midlands, Police and Crime Commissioner, David Jamieson, unveiled an eight-point plan to reduce the harm, cost and crime of drugs to society.
I met with David last year who opened my eyes to the many ways in which drug harm can be reduced.
In Weston-Super-Mare, the first drug-testing service licensed by the Home Office run by the charity Addaction.
And overseas – Canada became the first G7 country to legalise the sale and possession of cannabis last year.
Canada have put young people and education at the heart of this policy, and that is something I cannot disagree with.
Whether it is drug consumption rooms – which Jonathan Ashworth endorsed at the Health and Social Care Policy Forum yesterday; heroin assisted treatment or decriminalising all illicit drugs for personal use, it is clear that something needs to be done.
So that is why I am so pleased to be here today to listen to your thoughts and start the conversation about drug policy reform and hopefully get something into our next manifesto - which is already very packed as we’ve heard in Jeremy’s speech - that can really transform the way Governments and the public think about drugs.
As the Shadow Minister for Public Health, Sharon participated in a panel at a fringe event at the 2019 Labour Party Conference in Brighton. The event was titled “Labour on...
At the 2019 Labour Party Conference in Brighton, Sharon spoke on a panel at a fringe event titled “Meals for the Many: The Continuing Case for Extending Universal Infant Free School Meals”.
The event was co-hosted by the New Statesman, ISER and LACA. Also on the panel was: Steve Reed MP, Shadow Minister for Children and Families; Michael Hales, Immediate Past Chair of LACA; Dr Angus Holford, Research Fellow at ISER and Alison Garnham, Chief Executive of Child Poverty Action Group.
During the event, Sharon set out why school food was a lifeline to so many families up and down the country and the benefits it has to the health, wellbeing and development of children.
As the Shadow Minister for Public Health and the Chair of the APPG on School Food, Sharon believes that Universal Infant Free School Meals should be extended.
The Labour Party are committed to extending Universal Infant Free School Meals to all Primary Pupils and ensuring that all children in families receiving Universal Credit to be eligible for Free School Meals.
Sharon also said there is the case to look at extending Free School Meals to secondary school pupils, although this is not a Labour Party commitment.
If you would like to find out any further information about Sharon’s work on school food, please email: email@example.com
At the 2019 Labour Party Conference in Brighton, Sharon spoke on a panel at a fringe event titled “Meals for the Many: The Continuing Case for Extending Universal Infant Free...