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MP reports back on first weeks in Parliament

Abena speaking in Parliament

Labour MP for Erith and Thamesmead, Abena Oppong-Asare, reports back on her first weeks in Parliament since December’s General Election.

With Christmas in the way, Parliament has only met for a short time since December’s General Election. However, that hasn’t stopped Erith and Thamesmead’s new MP from getting to work in Westminster on behalf of local people.

Since her election on 14th December, Abena has been busy attending and speaking in debates, scrutinising Government legislation and challenging Ministers.

Abena gave her maiden speech in the Commons and took the opportunity to criticise the Government’s appalling record on homelessness. She committed to fighting for safe and secure housing for all during her time in Parliament. Watch here

Abena also challenged the Government’s proposal to introduce a voter ID law which will make it more difficult for people to exercise their right to vote. This will particularly impact poorer communities and ethnic minorities who are less likely to have a passport or drivers licence. Abena and Labour will continue to oppose this proposal, for which there is no evidence to justify its need.

After being appointed as a member of Labour’s Shadow Defra team, Abena has joined efforts to protect British farmers and secure our tough animal welfare and food quality standards post-Brexit and in any trade deal the Government attempts to negotiate with the United States.

Abena was delighted to attend the first meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for London and looks forward to working with colleagues across all parties to champion London and its citizens.

Abena spoke to BBC Radio Five Live about her first weeks in Parliament on the John Pienaar show as Backbench MP of the Week.

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MP joins Shadow Environment Team

Erith and Thamesmead MP Abena Oppong-Asare has taken on a new role as a member of Labour’s Shadow Environment, Food and Rural Affairs team in Parliament.

Abena will serve as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Shadow Secretary of State, Luke Pollard MP, working with him and Labour’s team to hold the Government to account and attempt to improve the law on environmental and food issues and rural affairs.

With a new Environment Bill, the Agriculture Bill and the Fisheries Bill going through Parliament in the coming months, it will be a busy time.

Abena said “The climate emergency means we need bolder and swifter action to cut carbon and water use and protect vulnerable habitats and species. In the next three months the Government will be introducing mammoth changes to laws governing fishing, farming, food, chemical regulations and environmental protections. The Shadow Defra team will be holding the Government to account, strengthening what we expect to be weak legislation and ensuring that the climate doesn’t play second fiddle to the Tories Brexit ambitions.

“Labour won’t accept any lowering of environmental protections or animal welfare standards and we will keep pressure on Ministers to enact the urgent action we need to address the pressing climate crisis.”

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MP gets her hands dirty to support community project

Abena Oppong-Asare, Labour MP for Erith and Thamesmead, got her hands dirty this week to help plant over 1,400 bulbs in Abbey Wood.

Abena joined residents and Abbey Wood Labour councillors Denise Hyland Ann-Marie Cousins to plant hyacinth and daffodil bulbs opposite Lidl. Almost 1,500 bulbs were planted.

Abena said “Special thanks go to those who organised the event and everyone who attended to help plant the bulbs. I look forward to seeing the flowers in bloom this spring!”