Today I met with the White Ribbon Campaign UK, a global movement to help end male violence against women.
It’s not acceptable that in the UK, on average, two women are killed by their partner or a former partner every week. It needs to stop. I support the White Ribbon Campaign to take a stand against all male violence against women and girls and to encourage other men and boys to do the same.
Today I pledged to become an ambassador for the campaign, to help inform men and boys how they can play a role in reducing male violence against women through changing attitudes and culture. It’s important that men and boys realise that male violence against women and girls is predominantly a male issue. Some men and boys don’t realise that language that denigrates, belittles or disempowers women is part of the problem. It’s the responsibility of us all to prevent violence, to know how to help, and to encourage other men and boys to treat women and girls with respect. I look forward to speaking to Swansea schools on this vital issue.
The Government's management of rail electrification to Swansea has received a damning report from the spending watchdog the National Audit Office.
Delays in rail electrification are between 18 months and 3 years with cost over-runs of £2 billion or 70 per cent. This is due to bad cost and operational management. It is essential that the electrification to Swansea is not threatened by the Government's incompetence. Swansea will be hit hard if Brexit goes ahead as 25,000 people in Swansea Bay have jobs linked to exports to the EU which will face trade tariffs.
In addition, Swansea will lose hundreds of millions of pounds of EU funding if and when we leave the EU. That means it's crucial that the Conservatives honour their promise to extend rail electrification to Swansea so we are part of the Europe-wide electrified rail network. If we are left out it will hit inward investment and jobs in Swansea Bay. Swansea jobs and prosperity must not be the price paid for Conservative incompetence in planning and implementing rail electrification.
I'm calling for sanctions on those who attack police dogs and blood tests for those who spit or bite police
This week I spoke about the issue of police safety in Parliament, after the South Wales Police Federation raised concerns.
In the Commons I asked the Minister:
“Does the Minister accept that in many situations, police dogs and horses are sometimes attacked and that police officers can be bitten and spat at? Does he agree that people who spit at and bite police officers should be automatically given blood tests to check whether they have transmittable diseases and that there should be sanctions for people who attack police dogs and horses?”
Stephen Treharne, Chair of the Constables Branch Board at the South Wales Police Federation, said:
“It was very pleasing that Mr. Davies made an intervention. I have conveyed my personal thanks and that of the South Wales Police Officers that I represent to Mr. Davies, for taking the time to read my communication and then raising the issue. It is always heartening for constituents that such matters are listened to by their Member of Parliament.”
After the debate I said:
“Our police men and women work tirelessly in South Wales for public safety. I was honoured to receive the support of South Wales Police in bringing the crucial issue of police safety to Parliament. Over the last few years we have seen concerning statistics of police officer safety, and it is essential that the Government acts to put safeguards in place to protect these brave men and women who devote themselves to our local communities.”
In a debate following a High Court ruling that the UK is breaking international law with toxic levels of air pollution, I said:
“The Minister talked about nuts and sledgehammers and there being no need for a comprehensive plan, but does she not agree that she needs a proper fiscal strategy to incentivise consumers and producers so that we have a sustainable future, with an infrastructure of hydrogen and electric and a commitment to EU air quality standards, yet she has given us none of those things?”
This week’s High Court ruling highlights again the urgency of cleaning up the air we breathe. 40,000 premature deaths each year, as well as millions of pounds worth of NHS cost, are caused by air pollution in the UK. This year the Royal College of Physicians revealed that air pollution harms foetal development and can cause lung and heart disease as well as asthma. This is a public disaster which the Government must act on – to stop breaking the law, to save money and ultimately save lives.
I have presented the Air Quality Bill to Parliament with cross-party support. This Bill aims to save thousands of lives and billions of pounds in healthcare costs through giving more powers to local authorities to establish low emissions zones and pedestrian-only areas, and to additionally promote the development of trams, buses and taxis powered by electricity or hydrogen in designated areas for the purpose of improving air quality.
Sugar Bill supported by Royal College of Physicians and Cancer Research would save Britain £Billions
The new Sugar Bill, to be published tomorrow in Parliament, tackles the underlying causes of obesity inadequately addressed in the Government’s so-called Obesity Strategy
The Bill is supported by the Royal College of Physicians and Cancer Research has been presented by Labour MP Geraint Davies.
Said Geraint Davies MP
"The UK has the highest level of obesity in Western Europe with 1 in 4 adults obese and nearly 2 in 3 adults overweight, and four million with type two diabetes.
Obesity costs the NHS £16 billion a year through diabetes, heart disease and cancer and costs the economy £47 billion. That’s why we must confront hidden sugar in processed food and drinks as it is a major cause of millions of deaths costing billions of pounds.
"The World Health Organisation says sugar intake should not exceed 5% of energy - 9 teaspoons for men (a can of Coke) or 6 for women (a light yoghurt)- yet the average person in Britain consumes twice that amount and teenagers three times. Overconsumption of sugar is due to manufacturers secretly adding it to our processed food and accounts for our growing diabetes epidemic.
“The Sugar Bill therefore requires that added sugar is labelled in teaspoonfuls on processed foods so consumers are empowered to choose healthier options and manufacturers incentivised to compete to reduce added sugar instead of competing by adding sugar.
"Such labelling is allowed and encouraged to be introduced by national governments by EU legislation despite the Food manufacturers claiming otherwise. The Conservative Government is putting business interests ahead of public health and should instead act decisively to curb this unnecessary loss of life that is bleeding the NHS dry.
Supported by Cancer Research and the RCP the Sugar in Food and Drinks Bill (attached) will:
- require processed food and drink to have added sugar content labelled in teaspoons
- extend the restrictions on television advertising of high sugar foods until after the 9.00pm watershed
· require the Government to publish targets for the total amount of sugar consumed in the UK
The Bill follows research concluding that obesity has a greater burden on the UK economy than armed violence, war and terrorism, costing us £47bn each year (McKinsey). Type 2 diabetes is already costing NHS England £9bn and NHS Wales £0.5bn each year. Obesity rates in Britain have increased to the second highest in Europe (after Hungary) and two thirds of people are either overweight (42% men & 32% women) or obese. In Swansea, 21% of adults are obese.
Said Geraint Davies MP
“I’ll be meeting Jeremy Hunt to say that if he’s serious about having a sustainable health service he should tackle the root cause of growing obesity – unrestricted added sugar in processed food and drinks – and give consumers the power to make healthy choices. Instead he seems to be on the side of big business making money out of feeding the nation junk food secretly impregnated with dangerous levels of sugar."
Jamie Oliver, who supports the move to label sugar content in teaspoonfuls said “ I am massively passionate that British people, if given clear information, make good choices. Not all the time, but a lot."
The Bill, is supported by Cancer Research UK who report that 74% of the public back a ban on junk food advertising before 9pm.
Professor Robert Lustig whose work has explained this link said "The food industry argues that a calorie is a calorie, a sugar is a sugar, and if you're fat it's your fault. But the science says that the excess sugar placed in our food is toxic and addictive. How can we exercise personal responsibility when the information is kept from us? Mr. Davies has introduced a rational proposal to limit this practice, to reduce the consumption of unnecessary sugar, and to educate the populace as to what they are consuming so that they can make informed choices"