Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Animal welfare pledges

Animal welfare is an important area of European law.

I have pledged that if elected as an MEP I will support measures to strengthen animal welfare laws. Cruelty to animals is abhorrent and we need strong and effective animal welfare laws. We also need those laws to be properly enforced here in the UK and across the European Union.

As a candidate in the European Parliament elections I have signed up to the RSPCA's animal welfare pledge and the Eurogroup for Animals/ Vote for Animals pledge.

I am also supportive of the work of the Labour Animal Welfare Society, an organisation that works to help develop Labour's policy on animal welfare. You can find out more about the Labour Animal Welfare Society's work here.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Backing East Midlands pubs and breweries | CAMRA campaign

It is good to be getting so many e-mails from CAMRA members from across the East Midlands ahead of the European elections in May (my response is also set out below).
If I am elected I would want to work with CAMRA and the European Beer Consumers Union to protect local pubs and support the brewing industry. You can read the European Beer Consumers Union manifesto here.
My response to e-mails from CAMRA members:
Thank you for your recent e-mail asking me to support real ale, community pubs and consumer rights if I am elected as an MEP for the East Midlands in May's elections.
I am proud to be a member of CAMRA and agree with you that pubs are a valuable British institution and play an important role in our local communities. 
I am very concerned about the numbers of pubs closing, for a variety of reasons, and I want to see action taken at local and national levels to protect our pubs.
I agree that more should be done to promote our local brewing industry through free tie options and a guest beer right for licensees. There are many excellent breweries across the East Midlands region and I want to see them thrive now and in the future. I also agree that beer should be affordable and I recognise the important role that local pubs play in promoting safe and responsible drinking.
You may be interested in an article I wrote for the Leicester CAMRA newsletter setting out my support for local pubs. It is in the March/April 2013 edition and can be read here
I am always happy to meet with local CAMRA branches and would welcome opportunities to do so.
If I am elected as an MEP in May's elections I will be proud to champion our region's pubs and brewing industry in Europe.
The ECBU manifesto.

World Horse Welfare European manifesto

Thank you to everyone who has contacted me recently about World Horse Welfare's manifesto for the European Parliament elections.

I support the aims set out in World Horse Welfare's manifesto and will support these aims if I am elected as an MEP in May.

The manifesto can be read here.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Vaisakhi Food Drive in Leicester

Last weekend I was pleased to be able to support the Vaisakhi Food Drive at Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Gurdwara in Leicester.

I want to congratulate everyone involved in organising the Food Drive. Whilst it is regrettable that we need such events organising, it was inspiring to see so many people, including many young people, supporting the event. Donations on the day totalled 11 tonnes of food which will support local food banks.

There is a video of the event here, and coverage from Pukaar News here.

It was an honour to be able to speak at the Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Gurdwara and pass on my Vaisakhi greetings. It was also good to visit Guru Amar Das Gurdwara for Vaisakhi celebrations as well.

Supporting the Vaisakhi Food Drive
in Leicester.
Food poverty should not exist and we are seeing increasing demand at food banks across the area. A few weeks ago I took part in a panel discussion at Leicester Cathedral chaired by the Bishop of Leicester on the issue of food poverty. In my view food poverty is a national scandal requiring urgent action. Prices are going up whilst earnings are stagnant. Many households have also been hit by the Government's changes to welfare benefits. There is a report of the 'Chewing the Cud' panel discussion here.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Campaign update blog

With less than 40 days until Polling Day Labour campaign teams are busy across all parts of the East Midlands.

Thank you to everyone who has been campaigning recently; knocking on doors, delivering literature or helping in other ways. All your efforts are appreciated and will make a real difference. In recent weeks I have campaigned in Derby, Leicester, Nottingham, Kettering, North West Leicestershire, Northampton North, Wellingborough, Bosworth and Lincoln.

With the campaign team in Northampton North with
Sally Keeble recently.

I have recently taken part in two hustings events with candidates from other parties. The first of these events was a debate on climate change and environmental policy held at De Montfort University in Leicester as part of the GreenLight Festival.

Taking part in the GreenLight Festival MEP
candidate hustings.

I also took part in a debate hosted by the Nottingham Post. Nottingham City Councillor Michael Edwards did a blog write-up of the event here.

Since my last campaign update blog I have spoken at a number of events across the region including Newark Branch Labour Party; the Unison Labour Link Political Forum; Nottingham South Constituency Labour Party; Nottingham Labour by-election victory social; Western Park, Leicester Branch Labour Party and the South Leicestershire Labour Party Annual Dinner where I spoke alongside Labour Party Vice-Chair Michael Dugher MP.
It was also good to join friends from across the region at a dinner organised by East Midlands TULO (Trade Union - Labour Party Liaison Organisation) which was addressed by GMB General Secretary Paul Kenny, Glenis Willmott MEP and Michael Dugher MP.

Speaking alongside Glenis Willmott at the Unison
Labour Link Political Forum.

Addressing the South Leicestershire
Labour Party Annual Dinner.

It was also good to join Liz Kendall MP and friends from Leicester West Labour Party for their recent social event at Namaste restaurant on Narborough Road.

To coincide with the 50 day countdown to Polling Day I wrote an article for LabourList setting out the key issues we are hearing on the campaign trail and the dividing lines that are defining this campaign. You can read the article here.

If you would like to support our campaign you can find out more details and sign-up for local campaign sessions here. Thank you to everyone who has helped so far.

Twitter @Rory_Palmer | Facebook www.facebook.com/RoryPalmerLabour 

50 days to go | Article for LabourList

Article for LabourList published with 50 days to go until the European elections.

Like European election teams in other regions, here in the East Midlands we have been clocking up the miles. From our cities to market towns, from the coalfields to the Peak District, from the East Coast and across our rolling countryside, we have criss-crossed our region and found Labour activists in determined mood. Determined to win this May and unrelenting in the campaign to get Ed Miliband into Downing Street.

On the doorsteps we have heard stories of anger and despair:  families hit by the Bedroom Tax and young people struggling to find decent work. Parents talk of the uncertainty and angst of trying to make ends meet on zero hours contracts. Families recount their anger about rising energy bills.

These stories define the dreadful Tory-Lib Dem Government. Tackling the cost of living crisis is central to our campaign for May’s European elections. To secure a better future here we need to see fairness and growth in Europe.

That is why the approach to Europe from the Tories and UKIP is so irresponsible. As people worry about making ends meet on zero hours contracts and with high levels of youth joblessness, this is not the time to be putting thousands of jobs at risk. But that is what UKIP and the Tories are doing.

People worry about a race to the bottom on wages, skills and workplace rights. The Tories and UKIP want to weaken rights at work. Labour will defend our employment rights and make the case for stronger protection and dignity in the workplace. The truth about UKIP is that their policies would hurt Britain, putting jobs at risk and deepening the cost of living crisis for families across the country.

The dividing lines are stark in this May’s elections and they are a fight for what we believe in.

The message from the countless doorstep conversations we are having is clear. On Europe, people want real leadership and for the EU to be working for them. Our position – recognising the pragmatic benefits of EU membership for jobs and business, a referendum lock and a clear set of EU reform priorities – is chiming with the public mood.

People have no truck with Cameron’s weakness on Europe. The electorate can sniff out a divided party a mile off. You don’t need to be a Westminster insider to confirm that Cameron’s Europe policy is all about party management.

In 50 days’ time there is a clear choice. Labour is serious and determined about EU reform, focussed on protecting jobs and employment rights and putting in place measures to help families and tackle the cost of living crisis.

We are talking about the issues that matter. Our job now over these next few weeks is to take this message into every community in every region of the country.

In 50 days’ time we need a set of results which demonstrate how Ed Miliband’s One Nation Labour is winning back peoples’ trust and confidence in all parts of the country. With just 50 days to go you can help us win. Help us win so we have more Labour MEPs standing up for our communities in Brussels: tackling the cost of living crisis, defending rights at work and protecting jobs.

This article first appeared on LabourList, 2 April 2014.

If you would like to help Labour's campaign for the European elections in the East Midlands, please sign-up for our campaign sessions here: www.eastmidslabour.org.uk/events