Luton South Small Business Awards

There's just a few days left to nominate a local small business for my Luton South Small Business Awards, which celebrate those local small businesses that you think deserve special recognition. This year is the first year of the awards and the nominations have been flowing in.

Nominations for the awards close on Monday 29 November, and winners will be announced on Small Business Saturday, 4 December.

You can nominate your favourite local small business for my Luton South Small Business Awards here.
Banning MP's Second Jobs

Last week, there was a debate on Labour's motion which would ban MPs taking on paid work to provide services as a parliamentary strategist, adviser or consultant.

The Tories did not support our proposals, which had a specific timeline for implementing changes, instead supporting an amendment in the name of the Prime Minister which watered down our proposals. It was reported that their proposals would only affect fewer than 10 MPs.

We have a duty to strengthen standards in public life by banning MPs' second jobs and paid outside interests. You can watch full speech above
Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday

This month, we observed Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday. I was honoured to place a commemorative stake in The Constituency Garden of Remembrance in New Palace Yard outside the House of Commons.  

The Garden of Remembrance was established by the Speaker in conjunction with the Royal British Legion. The garden marks the 100th anniversary of the Royal British Legion.

I was also honoured to join the community in Stopsley at the Armistice Day service. I then joined my Luton North colleague, Sarah Owen, to lay a wreath at the war memorial outside Luton Town Hall on Remembrance Sunday. A time to reflect and remember our armed forces and their families, from across the UK and the Commonwealth, who gave their service and sacrifice.
Islamophobia Awareness Month Debate

This week, Afzal Khan MP held a Westminster Hall debate on Islamophobia Awareness Month. I am proud to represent Luton South, including our significant and vibrant Muslim community. Luton’s hyper diversity, and the contribution of all faith and belief groups, is our strength. We must use this strong community cohesion to stand against all forms of racism.

In the debate, I pressed the Minister to recognise the impact of Islamophobia on our communities. The government must change its approach by conducting a genuinely independent investigation of Islamophobia in the UK, engaging with the British Muslim community to root out Islamophobia wherever it occurs, and accepting the APPG on British Muslims’ definition of Islamophobia.
Standing up for Public Sector Workers 

In the Budget debate at the beginning of the month, I spoke about securing pay rises for our public sector workers. 

After 11 years of pay cuts and freezes, with workers facing rising debt and living costs, and increased taxes, the Government will not commit to a pay increase above inflation. Our public sector workers need clarity on pay and job security. Government must back our workers to back our economy.  

You can watch my full speech here.
Rachel Hopkins MP for Luton South