Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell launched Manchester’s May Day celebrations declaring Labour is ready for government.
Mr McDonnell spoke at the beginning of a week of events aimed at marking the 150th anniversary of the Trades Union Congress which began in Manchester.
He said he didn’t know when it would come, believing the government will attempt to cling on to power for as long as possible, but is confident Labour will win the general election whenever it happens.
The left-winger promised Labour would bring in a fair taxation system, a crackdown on tax evasion, the introduction of a “real living wage of £10 an hour” and the repeal of anti-trade union union laws.
Sunday’s May Day events also included talks on The Original Gig Economy – A Musician’s Perspective on the Challenges of Freelancing hosted by the Musicians Union, and the forthcoming McStrike when workers at McDonalds on Oxford Road will join with stores across the country in a strike against low pay.
On Saturday 5th May at the Mechanics Institute there’s also a performance of We Are the Lions, Mr Manager, a play about the the 1976 Grunwick strike (click here for tickets and further details).
On Monday 7th May Manchester TUC will be joining with Salford Trades Council for a May Day march.
Wythenshawe MP, Mike Kane is to launch a “Catholics for Labour” group at the party’s annual conference this weekend.
The shadow schools minister, is among eight Catholic Labour MPs who will establish the group at the 5pm Mass at the Church of St Mary Magdalen in Brighton on Sunday. Read More…
With four weeks to go to the general election, Wythenshawe’s candidates have been announced today.
As expected, Mike Kane will defend the seat we first won in a by-election in 2013 for Labour. The party launched it’s election campaign earlier this week.
Fiona Green, who contested the seat in the 2015 general election has been chosen again as the candidate for the Conservative Party and William Jones, from Timperley will represent the Liberal Democrats.
Dan Jerome is the candidate for the Green Party and UKIP will be represented by Mike Bayley-Sanderson. There will also be an independent candidate, Luckson Francis Augustine.
Manchester City Council has warned that people will not be able to vote on 8 June unless they have registered by Monday 22 May, and anyone who has moved recently should ensure their address details are correct.
Anyone who is on the electoral register can also register to vote by post or choose to appoint a proxy to vote on their behalf – particularly as the upcoming General Election falls during the holiday season.
Applications for a postal vote must be received by 5pm on 23 May.
The deadline to appoint a proxy is 5pm on 31 May.
Anyone wishing to register can visit www.gov.uk/register-to-vote to download a registration form.
Joanne Roney OBE, Returning Officer for Manchester, said: “It is important that everyone in this city has a voice and that they have their voice heard, but to do this it is vital that you are registered to vote. Anyone who is not registered is urged to do so as soon as possible to make sure you can use your vote on 8 June.”
General Election 2017: Corbyn visits Wythenshawe and pledges to transform Britain in favour of “the many, not the few”
Jeremy Corbyn visited Wythenshawe shopping centre after launching Labour’s general election campaign in Manchester, when he accused the Tories of holding Britain back.
The Labour leader was well received as he chatted to local people to get the party’s message across with four weeks to go to the general election when Mike Kane will be defending the Wythenshawe and Sale East seat for the party in four weeks time.
Among the dozens of people he talked to was Liz Curran, aged 63, from Peel Hall who was impressed by Mr Corbyn. She told the Reporter: “He seemed like a good guy. I hope he is elected for the sake of working people in places like Wythenshawe.”
Mr Corbyn arrived at Wythenshawe Forum in the party’s battle bus on Tuesday, emblazoned with the election slogan “for the many not the few”,
He said Labour would transform Britain to roll back attacks on working class people and highlighted the bedroom tax, the closure of Sure Start children’s centres and cuts in disability benefits introduced when Tory Prime Minister Theresa May was a government minister.
Labour has so far promised to ban zero hours contracts, stop parking charges at hospitals, affordable homes, a fully funded NHS and change an economy which is “rigged in favour of the rich and powerful.”
He said: “There is no doubt this country is being held back. If your children are not getting the education they deserve because the class sizes are too high, then your children are being held back. If you’re a young couple, anyone trying to get a home, and can’t make a home because rent and house prices are too high, then you’re being held back.
“If you’ve worked hard all your life, but you can’t pursue your dreams of retirement because you’re supporting your family well into their adulthood, then you too are being held back.
“Don’t wake on up on 9 June to see celebrations from the tax cheats, the press barons, the greedy bankers, Philip Green, the Southern Rail directors and crooked financiers that take our wealth, who have got away with it because the party they own, the Conservative Party, has won.
“We have four weeks to ruin their party! We have four weeks to have a chance to take our wealth back.”
Labour candidate Mike Kane said: “Jeremy got a fantastic reception from local people today and we now have 30 days to get our message across to return a Labour government on June 8.
Wythenshawe MP Mike Kane joined fellow Labour MPs this week to launch a Band Aid-type protest single to draw attention to the pay cuts for workers this Christmas.
The MPs say the single called “National Living Rage” is aimed at highlighting how some employers such as Tesco and John Lewis are cutting total pay for employees while increase per-hour pay since the introduction of the National Living Wage earlier this year.
It is claimed the cuts have been made by many British companies around the country, through ending old contracts, with short ‘show’ consultations, and issuing new contracts, with reduced pay packages.
The contract changes include: termination of double time on Sundays, Bank Holidays; elimination of ‘unsocial’ hours payments; ending the inclusion of lunches in staff contracts; termination of free lunches; pension cuts; abolition of seasonal bonuses; termination of location premiums; abolition of a range of additional allowances; among many other contract changes.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics suggest that nearly 9,700 workers from Wythenshawe and Sale East could be affected by the cuts.
Mike Kane said: “We all know the backbone of these companies is their loyal hardworking staff so it is extremely disappointing that some of our most famous and most loved high street companies are choosing to cut the total pay of their older, longstanding staff.
“I am calling on companies like Tesco and John Lewis who employ many people from my constituency to reverse their decision to cut staff pay in this unscrupulous manner at their January 2017 Board Meetings.
“Our campaign song is to make sure everyone knows about the pay cuts in their shops and coffee shops. It is not a charity single, although we are glad that proceeds from any sales of the original record will go the Band Aid Trust. Shopworkers want justice and fair pay, not charity”
A Tesco spokesperson said, “Earlier this year, we announced one of the highest pay and benefits packages in retail for store colleagues, and introduced a simpler and fairer pay structure, including one approach to premium payments.
“As well as an increase in pay which puts our hourly rate well above the Government’s National Living Wage, we remain absolutely committed to rewarding our colleagues with a pay and benefits package they really value, including a pension, colleague discount and 5% turnaround bonus.”
John Lewis were approached for a comment and have not yet responded.
Wythenshawe’s Labour MP has called for a government apology to a whistleblowing police officer following a decision this week not to go ahead with a public inquiry into policing at the “Battle of Orgreave” during the miners’ strike in 1984.
Home Secretary Amber Rudd said there would be no inquiry into the events of June 18 at the Orgreave Coking Plant near Rotherham, and their aftermath. It was alleged that officers had been ordered to fabricate evidence.
Police charged at pickets who had gathered at the plant. Dozens were injured and 95 miners were arrested with 55 charged with riot, carrying a sentence of life imprisonment. Nearly a year later their trials collapsed when it emerged that many of the police officers had their statements dictated to them. Read More…
Wythenshawe MP, Mike Kane, has returned to Labour’s front bench team as schools spokesman for the party.
Mr Kane quit his post as shadow international development minister earlier this year amidst a wave of shadow cabinet resignations which led to a bruising Labour leadership battle between Jeremy Corbyn and challenger Owen Smith.
Following Mr Corbyn’s re-election as leader with an increased mandate from party members, a number of MPs who resigned accepted jobs in a reshuffled shadow cabinet.
Mr Kane, a former primary school teacher, says he is delighted to have been appointed schools spokesman, working alongside fellow Greater Manchester MP and shadow education secretary, Angela Rayner.
And the Wythenshawe MP hit the ground running this week when he tackled the government on the issue of excessive workload for teachers which, according to the Education Policy Institute is causing ill health in the profession.
In a question to Tory minister, Nick Gibb,. Mr Kane said the teaching union, the NAS/UWT has found that half of teachers have been to see a doctor in the past year due to work-related illness, and one in 10 have been prescribed antidepressants.
He said: “We know that the Minister is on the record as not valuing those of us with the postgraduate certificate in education, but can he not see that the Government’s failure to support teachers is at the heart of the crisis in teachers’ morale?”
Mr Gibb said the government understood the challenges in the teaching profession and are taking action.
The EPI survey found that:
- Teachers in England are working an average of 48.2 hours a week with a fifth working more than 60 hours- longer than in most other countries.
- Long working hours are hindering teachers’ access to continuing professional development.
- Long hours, low starting pay and limited access to professional development create a risk of teacher ‘burn out’, especially in the early stages of careers.