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Southwark voted overwhelmingly to remain in the European Union – by almost 73%. But our community is suffering from some negative impacts of the overall result to leave.

Businesses have not taken premises in the constituency at the Elephant and riverside. Bermondsey and Old Southwark has the third highest financial sector employment of any constituency in the UK. Some of the firms involved are indicating a gradual shift of employees to Frankfurt or elsewhere. Job losses in finance here could be matched by losses affecting cleaners, security personnel, as well as bar, café and restaurant staff potentially.

Local universities have expressed fears about the potential loss of the Erasmus scheme – and international students. They must also now expect to lose EU research funding and grants which are unlikely to be replaced by the UK Tory Government.

The damage from referendum goes further though. The rise in hate crime witnessed in the final week of the campaign and the immediate aftermath has been very disturbing. The police statistics are online here and show 6,000 incidents occurred in the week before the referendum and the three weeks following the result.

Those statistics reveal the hate-filled contingent of the leave campaign feeling their overt racism is now excusable – somehow licensed by the national result. They must be tackled and are causing anxiety for hundreds of local people, if not more. I joined the Citizens UK demo at London Bridge on the issue and will be taking the matter up with the local police – who have already advertised how to report such crimes. Call 101 to report incidents or 999 in an emergency. 

Brexit Fallout

  Southwark voted overwhelmingly to remain in the European Union – by almost 73%. But our community is suffering from some negative impacts of the overall result to leave. Businesses...

Having lost the referendum, David Cameron resigned as Prime Minister and now the Tory Party have hurriedly disposed of his services. 

Some people have been marking the achievements of his six years at the top, which most notably includes equal marriage. It shouldn't be forgotten that he only secured that notable social change with help from other political parties (including Labour and memorably opposed by my Lib Dem predecessor). 

We must also use his departure from office to focus on failing policies however. Cameron claimed, in 2010, that he wanted to end 'Broken Britain' but for many families across the country, and especially here in Bermondsey and Old Southwark, he left things far worse off. 

Cameron:

  • hiked fees for university students, leaving many (especially mature students) feeling university had become unaffordable and making the prospect of home ownership even harder for many more encumbered by thousands of pounds of debt;
  • hit 600,000 people with the Bedroom Tax (which did have my Lib Dem predecessor's backing in no fewer than eight parliamentary votes) and has been very damaging to Southwark communities;
  • oversaw a steep rise in homelessness. Labour in Government decimated homeless figures but Cameron's Ministers have added thousands of people to rough sleeping figures across the country but especially around the Elephant and London Bridge areas locally;
  • hammered people on low incomes and left thousands reliant on foodbanks in one of the world's largest economies. The Trussell Trust Foodbank Network in Bermondsey and Old Southwark apparently helped almost 7,000 people last year, including almost 900 children and roughly 10% of the people they serve are in work; and
  • undermined community safety. Despite the growing local population, we've lost a fire station and 200 police officers and PCSOs in Southwark since Cameron took charge. People don't feel safer and May was Cameron's delivery vehicle for police cuts in her previous capacity. It makes me nervous that she's now at the helm

 

I don't believe Cameron solved Broken Britain. I think he added to our challenges and has left us much the worse off after the EU referendum result sadly. I will continue to press the Government on these issues and more.

Cameron's Broken Britain

Having lost the referendum, David Cameron resigned as Prime Minister and now the Tory Party have hurriedly disposed of his services.  Some people have been marking the achievements of his six years at...

Today in the Commons, I tackled Stephen Crabb and the Government on the DWP's plans to abolish attendance allowance for new claimants next year. 

You can see my question and Crabb's response here.

Tackling Crabb on Attendance Allowance

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