I hope you had a happy and safe Christmas and, as we approach the end of 2021, may I wish you a Happy New Year.

December marked two years since I was elected as your MP, and it continues to be a real privilege to represent my home town and to serve as your Member of Parliament for Luton South. In the last year, I have:

  • Spoken in Parliament 97 times
  • Asked 120 questions
  • Been a member of 26 APPG executives
  • Been a member of 6 committees (including 4 Bill committees)
  • Held a Westminster Hall Debate
  • Proposed a Private Members' Bill
  • Joined the Opposition Frontbench as a Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office

You can read my Luton News article where I discuss my first two years as your Luton South MP here.
Luton South Survey - Your Priorities for 2022

What are the key issues that matter to you? Please take a few minutes to tell me what you think so that I can take your concerns directly to Parliament.  You can complete my short survey using the link below.
Luton South Small Business Awards

Thank you to everyone who nominated a local small business for my Luton South Small Business Awards. I presented the awards to all of the winners on Small Business Saturday. It was lovely to meet such a variety of small businesses in each ward of the constituency.

Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and we’re so lucky to have such a great range across Luton South who supported our community throughout the pandemic. 

You can see the full list of winners here. 
Cost of Living Crisis

This month, I have been challenging the government on the cost of living crisis and its failure to tackle income inequality. At Work and Pensions questions, I challenged the Minister on the spiralling cost of living, as rising rents and increasing energy bills meant many households in Luton South are struggling to make ends meet.

I also questioned the Chancellor about the government's failure to tackle income inequality over the past decade. At the same time that the Tories are making workers pay more in National Insurance contributions, they are giving away a £4 billion tax cut to banks' profits through a reduction to the bank surcharge. 
Supporting Luton's charity and voluntary sector

We shouldn’t have to rely on charity, but where the government has failed to step in, our charities have stepped up to ensure local people receive the support they need. In this year's closing debate, I raised the excellent work of charities, volunteers and fundraisers in Luton.

In my speech, I asked the government for a parliamentary debate on the contribution of grassroots charities and the importance of increasing government support to secure their resilience through the pandemic. 
East of England BBC Sports Personality Unsung Hero Award

It was an honour to present the BBC Sports Personality Unsung Hero award for the East of England to Dr Waled Mannan from Luton for his work promoting community-based sports and fitness through RevoLUTiON. I also congratulated him on the award in Parliament recently. You can see my speech here.
Government's 10-year Drug Strategy and Beds Police Funding

Earlier this month the government launched its new 10-year drug strategy. While aspects of the strategy are welcome, I reminded the Policing Minister that it was the Tories cutting 60p in every £1 from council budgets and cutting police funding over the last decade that had exacerbated drug-related crime in towns like Luton. The government's failed funding formula categorises Bedfordshire Police as a more 'rural' police force, leaving it with less funding to tackle serious organised crime groups and the drug-related crime that we see in Luton.
Thank you to our postal workers at Christmas

It was great to visit the Luton Royal Mail Delivery Office with Sarah Owen MP. A hive of activity, with everyone working hard to get all the cards, presents and PCR tests delivered in time for Christmas!

I enjoyed meeting all our great posties who have worked incredibly hard to keep us connected thoughout the pandemic, and to get the opportunity to say a big thank you!
Rachel Hopkins MP for Luton South