This is a very strange Easter weekend, but I hope that you all have a happy and peaceful time.
Again, I would encourage you to check out the Coronavirus help and support section on my website:
COVID-19 Help and Support ([link removed])
Take care and stay safe.
** Greater Manchester MPs call for more support for businesses and employees
Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, has joined other Greater Manchester MPs in urging the Government to provide more support for businesses and employees across Greater Manchester.
In letters co-ordinated by the Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Greater Manchester, Lucy Powell, the MPs have asked Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Business Secretary Alok Sharma to urgently address issues with the current package of measures that the Government have put in place to support businesses and employees through the Coronavirus outbreak.
The five recommendations that the MPs have put forward in these letters are based on issues that have been identified by Sir Richard Leese, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s (GMCA) lead for business and the economy during the Coronavirus crisis. They are:
1. The Government’s guidance to employers about compliance with public health measures needs to be improved to remove ambiguity
2. The scheme for the self-employed should be extended to include those who have set up their businesses since April 2019.
3. Furlough worker payments under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme should reach employers as soon as possible and the scheme should be extended to those who started in their roles shortly before the lock-down.
4. The £10,000 grant for small businesses should be extended to those who operate from shared premises and who may pay a share of business rates.
5. The administration of the Business Interruption Loan Scheme should be improved.
Andrew Gwynne said:
“I appreciate the difficulty of the task facing the Government in setting up so many schemes to support businesses and employees at the same time and welcome the work that they have done on this.
“However, it is vital that any flaws in these schemes are identified and dealt with as soon as possible, as time is not on our side in ensuring that businesses and jobs are not lost.
“This is a serious set of proposals and I hope that the Chancellor and Business Secretary take these suggestions on board, so that we can save jobs and businesses across Greater Manchester and beyond.”
** A bright future for Labour
The 2010s was not a particularly happy ten years for the Labour Party. We entered the decade in government and left it with the smallest number of seats since before the war.
Under three different leaders, we lost four general elections along with various by-elections, European elections and seats on local councils along the way.
This is not to say that there haven’t been positives. In recent years, we have become the largest political party in Europe with thousands of new members reinvigorating our party and our politics. But at the same time, however, the same period was marked by infighting and factionalism. Instead of talking to the country, too much of our time was taken up arguing with each other and only speaking with and to ourselves.
I very much hope election of Keir Starmer as our new leader brings this to an end. Throughout this campaign, Keir showed how he could bring together people from right across the party. Rather than focusing on the battles of the past, he’s set out a vision for an exciting new future for both our party and our country. Importantly, he acknowledged the strengths and achievements of both the more recent Labour governments as well as adopt much of the anti-austerity messaging developed in recent years.
It is, of course, an unusual and difficult time to take over the leadership of the opposition party. The ongoing Coronavirus pandemic is arguably the biggest peacetime crisis in well over a century and requires the Government and Opposition to work together constructively where possible. But Keir has already shown leadership on this and it is clear that the whole country will benefit from his skill and expertise at this difficult time.
Once this crisis is over and we all emerge from our self-isolation, the country will look very different from how it looked just a few short weeks ago. Our communities, families and businesses will face daunting challenges and there won’t be any easy solutions. It will require someone with a vision for how our country could work differently. I believe Keir has already shown that he has that kind of vision.
As I step back from the frontline, I also think the Shadow Cabinet Keir has put together over the past few days showcases the breadth and depth of talent across the Parliamentary Labour Party and I am very excited to see what new ideas will emerge from this team. Keir and his Shadow Cabinet will have the opportunity to make a fresh impression on the British public, to show that Labour is both a radical and a realistic party of government, with a vision for Britain that stretches to the 2030s and beyond.
Whilst I am optimistic about the future of the Labour Party under Keir Starmer, I certainly don’t underestimate the size of the task ahead of us, and I know that Keir doesn’t either. Getting back to winning ways is a real challenge after ten years of electoral difficulties, but Keir – with the help and support of everyone from across our movement – can, and I believe, will, meet that challenge.
** Gwynne supports proposals to protect postal workers during Coronavirus
Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, has signed a letter asking for urgent action to ensure that Royal Mail staff are working in as safe an environment as possible during the Coronavirus outbreak.
The letter, to Business Secretary Alok Sharma and Royal Mail CEO Rico Back, was signed by more than 90 MPs and urges the Government and the Royal Mail to adopt proposals from the Communication Workers Union (CWU) to protect the safety of postal workers.
These proposals include ensuring access to personal protective equipment for all staff, only opening sorting offices where social distancing measures can be followed and suspending all unnecessary post, such as unsolicited flyers.
Andrew Gwynne said:
“Sometimes people forget that there are many key workers delivering vital services at this time who are not in the NHS and postal workers are one such group.
“As with all other key workers, our postal workers deserve to work in a safe environment, free from any unnecessary risk.
“These proposals would ensure that household deliveries can continue whilst protecting our brilliant postal workers. They have my full support.”
Read More of This Week's Stories ([link removed])
Andrew in the constituency
Thank you to everyone across Audenshaw, Denton, Dukinfield, Reddish and the Heatons for thanking our key workers and other heroes putting their own lives at risk to save ours.
Andrew in Parliament
It’s time for change. Now let’s get that Labour Government we so desperately need.
Here’s the letter I sent Keir Starmer on Saturday stepping down from Labour’s Shadow Cabinet.
Andrew in the media
📻 ([link removed]) LISTEN: On Sunday I was the Labour guest on BBC Radio 4’s Westminster Hour.
The panel discussed Coronavirus, the Queen’s message to the nation, and the Labour leadership.
Our mailing address is:
139 St Annes Road
Manchester, Greater Manchester M34 3DY
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Andrew Gwynne . 139 St Annes Road . Denton . Manchester, Greater Manchester M34 3DY . United Kingdom
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