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Bermondsey and Old Southwark stands shoulder to shoulder with all the people of Manchester following the murderous and cowardly terrorist attack.

All responsible political parties chose not to campaign yesterday after the targeting of children and young people out for an evening celebrating music, culture and their youth. The pain inflicted on the families who have lost loved ones, the city of Manchester and our country collectively is hard to comprehend. Our thoughts and prayers must be with all those affected.

But we will never be cowed and must show in how we choose to continue living our lives that we cannot be intimidated or prevented from sticking to our values. We should also recognise that, even at the height of the attack and when many people were terrified, we also saw some of the best of British values in the cabbies who gave free rides to help people escape and reunite families; the homeless man who ran towards danger to help injured people; the hotels and restaurants who opened their doors and provided food, a safe haven and accommodation; and also the hundreds of Mancunians who were queuing to give blood as soon as they could. We must also thank and commend our brilliant emergency services who not just responded so swiftly in Manchester, but keep us safe and work to prevent further attacks every day. They are the best; they represent Britain and our values.

Some will attempt to use the attack to provoke division and further hate. But hate cannot conquer hate and in dark moments like this, only love and unity can triumph.

I thank my volunteers and all those helping campaign locally for acknowledging yesterday's pause. Today the national party will remain paused but locally we must get back to work and continue to fight for the very democracy that terrorists wish to undermine and overthrow.

Bermondsey and Old Southwark stands shoulder to shoulder with Manchester

Bermondsey and Old Southwark stands shoulder to shoulder with all the people of Manchester following the murderous and cowardly terrorist attack. All responsible political parties chose not to campaign yesterday...

 

 

 

Despite the hectic campaign schedule, with nine teams of volunteers out campaigning with me yesterday, it was also important to show my respect at important local events.

First, the Imperial War Museum in SE1 hosts the 9th May 'Victory Day' celebrations. This is attended by veterans and representatives of the former Soviet countries to mark their equivalent of Victory in Europe Day and is a tribute to the 27 million citizens of those states who gave their lives fighting fascism and Nazism. Their contribution deserves recognition and their sacrifice deserves our respect.

 

It was also great to mark the unveiling of a blue plaque at the Surrey Docks Farm. The Farm is a wonderful burst of life on the riverside in SE16 and attracts huge numbers of visitors to see their pigs, sheep, donkeys and more right opposite Canary Wharf on our side of the river. The Farm is very close to our Mayor's heart and has been one of the charities she's been fundraising for this year. I've promised to muck out the pigs at some point - and I keep my promises!

Neil

 

 

 

 

 

 

Showing respect

      Despite the hectic campaign schedule, with nine teams of volunteers out campaigning with me yesterday, it was also important to show my respect at important local events....

Today I visited the City Hope Church foodbank in Bermondsey run as part of the Pecan network in Southwark and Trussell Trust national system. As MP for Bermondsey and Old Southwark, it has been a privilege to support and witness the work they have done in the local community. The commitment of their staff and volunteers is commendable and a mark of the solidarity in our community. But foodbanks should not have to provide people with the basics in a wealthy, modern country. 

That thousands of people are reliant on their help in our community at the heart of London should shame us all. Sadly, hundreds of people using them are in work but are not paid enough to put food on the table. This national disgrace simply wasn't happening in 2010 and is the direct result of policies pursued by Iain Duncan Smith - the most right wing Secretary of State for welfare our country has ever had. All his policies were delivered in Coalition with the lib Dems and have caused huge harm in Southwark: 7,000 people used a foodbank last year, homelessness doubled, poverty is rising again, and over 4,000 local people have been hit with the bedroom tax. 

The Lib Dems have never apologised for voting for Coalition policies like these. I made a promise in 2015: I'll never vote for anything that will harm local people. I've kept my promise and will keep supporting the foodbank until I am in Government and able to overturn the policies that have done such damage to our community. 

Foodbank still clearing up 'Broken Britain'

Today I visited the City Hope Church foodbank in Bermondsey run as part of the Pecan network in Southwark and Trussell Trust national system. As MP for Bermondsey and Old Southwark,...

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