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Tuesday, February 21st, 2017 @ 5:10PM

Sarah Champion MP reacts to Court of Appeal ruling over Civil Partnerships

Sarah Champion, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities, commenting on the Court of Appeal judgement on Civil Partnerships today, said:

“It is disappointing news that Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan have lost their Court of Appeal battle to enter into a Civil Partnership.

“Labour are proud to have introduced Civil Partnerships in 2004 as a key step in achieving true marriage equality for LGBT people.

“But, now that same sex marriage has been legalised, it is an anomaly that Civil Partnerships are not available to all couples regardless of their gender and sexuality.

“Civil Partnerships should be extended to heterosexual couples who wish to have a legal union in accordance with their individual beliefs and values.

“Labour will continue to push the government to look again at this important issue.”

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Tuesday, February 7th, 2017 @ 1:22PM

Sarah Champion MP tackles fuel poverty in Rotherham

Sarah Champion, Member of Parliament for Rotherham, has written to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, in response to research that showed the impact of fuel poverty on private rented tenants in Rotherham.

The report, which was carried out by Sheffield Hallam University, was based on research conducted in Rotherham and Hackney and surveyed 1,800 low income households across the two areas.[1]

The report outlines the impact of fuel poverty, including on health, both mental and physical.

It also suggests that Government programmes to tackle fuel poverty are having little impact upon the private rented sector.

Responding to the report, Sarah said:

“It is appalling that in 21st Century Britain, many people are still forced to choose between heating their homes and buying food.

“This report highlights the devastating impact of fuel poverty on the wellbeing of my constituents.”

Sarah continued:

“The private rented sector contains a higher proportion of poor and vulnerable households than any other. Yet the Government’s limited efforts to tackle fuel poverty have failed to have a real impact for these people in Rotherham.

“It is time that the Government recognised that these programmes aren’t working and took meaningful action to help those who continue to have to live in cold homes.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

[1] http://www4.shu.ac.uk/research/cresr/sites/shu.ac.uk/files/energy-inefficiency-private-rented-housing-final-report.pdf

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Friday, February 3rd, 2017 @ 6:20PM

Sarah Champion MP reacts to potential closure of revenge porn helpline

Sarah Champion MP, the Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities, has implored to government to tackle the crisis of revenge pornography after it was revealed that cuts have been made to the funding of the national helpline for victims.

Speaking in Parliament, Sarah told the government that by cutting the funding and putting the helpline at risk, they have demonstrated a clear lack of commitment to ending violence against women and girls.

The Minister for Women and Equalities, Justine Greening, failed to reassure Sarah that funding to the helpline would continue.

The helpline was set up in February 2015 and has received over 2500 calls in the past year.

Sarah said: “Once again, the Tories are all talk but no action when protecting women and girls from violence.

 “The revenge porn helpline is an invaluable resource for victims who are desperate to receive advice on how to have indecent images removed from the internet and how to pursue a prosecution if they so choose.

 “Coming forward as a survivor of revenge porn takes such bravery and we need to send the message that those victims will be supported in every way possible.

 “Labour is urging the Government to maintain this vital, value-for-money service. Ministers must now clarify and publish their continued funding arrangements for the helpline.

The government previously promised to ensure victims of revenge pornography have access to bespoke support and advice about their right to have the images removed from website.

Sarah asked the Minister in Women and Equalities Questions: “Girlguiding’s survey found that 20 per cent of 13 to 21 year olds have had unwanted pornographic imagery sent to them and five per cent have had an indecent or sexual image shared without their consent.

 “If the government really does want to support Girlguiding’s campaign why is her department cutting the funding to the revenge porn helpline, which has supported over 2500 calls last year? What message does that send about the government’s commitment to ending violence against women and girls?”

In reply, Justine Greening, the Minister for Women and Equalities, said “We haven’t made any announcements yet.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

 For statistics in relation to the revenge porn helpline please see the Evaluation Report http://www.revengepornhelpline.org.uk/

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Thursday, February 2nd, 2017 @ 3:21PM

Sarah Champion MP reacts to sentencing of six men in Rotherham

Reacting to today’s sentencing of six men who sexually abused two girls in Rotherham, Sarah Champion MP said:

“We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the survivors in bravely coming forward to the police.

The survivors will have given courage and inspiration to victims of abuse.

By continuing to successfully prosecute abusers, we are sending the message loud and clear that these despicable crimes will not be tolerated. We should not rest until justice has been served for the victims of child sexual exploitation in Rotherham and around the UK.

I would like to thank South Yorkshire Police for their hard work and the CPS for pursuing a successful prosecution.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

 Child sex ring jailed for 81 years for abuse of two Rotherham girls http://www.rotherhamadvertiser.co.uk/news/view,child-sex-ring-jailed-for-81-years-for-vile-abuse-of-two-rotherham-girls_21432.htm

  • For more information please call Victoria Finan on 020 7219 5942 or email finan@parliament.uk
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Monday, January 23rd, 2017 @ 12:41PM

Sarah Champion MP reacts to APPG Steel report

The All-Party-Parliamentary-Group on Steel and Metal Related industries has today released a report outlining a blueprint on the future of the British steel industry.

The report from the cross party group of MPs representing steelmaking communities offers a substantial plan for how the UK Government and the devolved administrations could reshape policy to turn the fortunes of the steel industry around.

Reacting to the release of the Steel 2020 APPG Report, Sarah Champion, MP for Rotherham, said:

“The steel industry is at the heart of Rotherham’s local economy. Its success is vital to both Rotherham, and indeed Britain’s economic prosperity. Yet the Government has overseen the worst crisis in the industry’s history, culminating in Tata’s decision to sell its UK steel business.

If we are to ensure a stable and prosperous future for our steel industry, the Government must act to address the crisis without delay. 

It must take action to tackle the crippling energy costs that have hamstrung the British Steel Industry. UK energy prices for intensive users are 84% higher than the EU average. It is hard to see how the industry can hope to compete if this is allowed to continue.

The Government needs set out its position for future trade agreements to the industry and act to end the uncertainty brought about by the decision to leave the European Union. It must also commit to utilising British steel in future infrastructure projects wherever possible.

We have the expertise, the experience and the skilled workforce needed to lead the world in the production of high quality steel. The industry can drive innovation and deliver well-paid, skilled jobs. But this cannot happen while steel continues to have one hand tied behind its back.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

  • For a full link to the report, see: here
  • Sarah Champion is a member of the APPG on Steel and Metal Related Industries
  • The document released today, titled ‘Steel 2020’, is the product of an inquiry conducted in collaboration with the University of Leeds Business School. Testimony was collected from industry experts ranging from business leaders, R&D specialists, and the workforce, through to the European Commission, international trade body representatives, politicians, and local authorities
  • For more information, please call Victoria Finan on 020 7219 5942 or email victoria.finan@parliament.uk
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Tuesday, January 10th, 2017 @ 1:54PM

Sarah Champion MP condemns Rotherham Post Office closure plans

Sarah Champion, MP for Rotherham, has condemned proposed plans to close and franchise the town’s Crown Post Office on Bridgegate.

It was announced that the Bridgegate branch would be one of 34 affected Crown Post Office branches nationwide earlier today (Tuesday 10 January).

The proposed plan is to franchise the Crown Post Offices to local businesses, and the Communication Workers Union have estimated that 300 jobs will be lost nationwide.

Sarah said: ‘The Government has made the announcement of closures before even responded to a consultation it held on the Post Office last year which is totally unacceptable.

‘The Crown Post Office in Rotherham provides vital services like passport renewal and driving licence verification, which will be difficult for to people to access elsewhere.

‘Rotherham deserves better. The closures can only be seen as a systematic attack on our local services at a time Government should be investing in our infrastructure, not stripping it away.’

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