Opinion: I will hold new government to account
PUBLISHED: 08:30 01 February 2020
This is my first column since the general election just before Christmas, so I wanted to take the opportunity to sincerely thank everyone who lent me their support and helped out on the campaign.
I will continue to be a strong voice in parliament for Barking and the heart of Dagenham. It is my job to help solve any problems you have locally, so if you need help then please get in touch with me.
Nationally, this general election was devastating for the Labour Party. It was our worst election result since 1935. But I am determined to hold Boris Johnson's new Conservative government to account and make sure that the Labour Party is a credible opposition.
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Since parliament returned, I have kept up my campaign to support the residents of Samuel Garside House in Barking Riverside who were affected by the dreadful fire last June.
The blaze in Barking happened almost two years to the day after the horrendous Grenfell Tower fire in West London. Just like Grenfell, it was combustible material on the outside of the building that allowed the fire to spread.
After months of campaigning, the government has finally listened and will change fire safety regulations so that smaller buildings will be banned from using combustible building materials. However, this rule change only includes new builds. I will continue to push the government to make sure these regulations cover all existing buildings as well.
Many of my constituents lost all their possessions in the fire that day but had no contents insurance. In parliament I have pushed the government to introduce new insurance rules to protect families without this security net.
Since the Grenfell and Samuel Garside House fires, the government has made some progress in making homes safer but there is certainly still a long way to go.
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