Last weekend I appeared as a guest on Politics Live Midlands, hosted by Elizabeth Glinka, alongside the West Midlands Mayor Andy Street. I challenged Andy on his support for the Prime Minister during the Partygate scandal and when Conservative MPs triggered a confidence vote in his premiership. I made it clear that if Conservatives like Andy want to make excuses for the Prime Minister’s behaviour that’s up to them – but it’s an insult to voters who have already made up their mind about Boris Johnson. We also spoke about the reopening of the West Midlands Metro after months of closure under Andy Street’s watch. In 2022, the Metro has been closed for more days than it has been open. I’m pleased that my constituents and those who travel into Birmingham to work will finally be able to use this transport lifeline once again.
During Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, Boris Johnson made it clear that he is completely deluded. His approach to the great issues in our country are to deny them, to delay action, to pretend he can’t see the issues. And everyday businesses, families and working people suffer. Britain is set for lower growth than every major economy except Russia. The Prime Minister is throttling our economy with his total failure to take any action. Whilst the Prime Minister has been telling Britain that we’ve never had it so good millions of working people and businesses know the reality. The Prime Minister is deluded and totally failing on the economy.
I was disappointed to read this week that Laurence Bassini is close to sealing a deal to purchase Birmingham City Football Club. For years, Blues fans have watched with devastation as financial and professional mismanagement has driven their beloved club to the brink. After meeting with top officials at the club and fans this year, I was hopeful that the club might turn a corner. Bassini has a history of bankruptcy, failed takeover bids, and legal action against struggling clubs. His track record is exactly the reason why football needs a strong regulator and a more robust process to decide who can be a club owner or director. If the Government really wants to make good on its promise to put football fans first they would step in and stop this deal from happening.
Earlier this week we also marked the 5 year anniversary of the Grenfell Tower Fire, where 72 people perished in a terrible and preventable tragedy. The fire brought to light the scandal of buildings clad in unsafe combustible materials and a litany of fire safety defects, and many buildings in Birmingham Ladywood have since been impacted by the scandal. For years, I’ve been fighting their corner in Westminster and demanding the government take action to protect leaseholders from rising insurance costs and service charges. Despite the creation of the Building Safety Fund to pay for cladding remediation, not all buildings are eligible, and it isn’t covering all costs. I spoke to BBC Radio WM about where we’re at on the building safety scandal.
I hope that everyone enjoys their weekend. We’re due to see record high temperatures on Friday so while you enjoy the sun, please do keep safe and check on any vulnerable friends and relatives.