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Tories block Labour’s Bill to lower the voting age to 16. So much for democracy #VotesAt16 

The Conservative Party slogan is ‘A country that works for everyone’. Yet, on Friday, Conservative MPs deliberately filibustered a Labour-led Bill in parliament on lowering the voting age to 16, meaning parliament could not vote on the Bill. This just proves the Conservatives’ sheer and utter contempt for non-affluent young people. 
It is about time that filibustering was banned in parliament. 

The reason why the Conservatives are against lowering the voting age to 16 is because young people are more likely to vote Labour – and who can blame them after the way they are being treated?

Since 2010, the Conservatives’ austerity policies have hit young people from poorer backgrounds extremely hard. These youngsters have been priced out of further education. EMA was abolished. Careers offices have closed. Tuition fees continue to be hiked. And apprenticeships are inaccessible.

Only young people from affluent backgrounds are benefiting from further education because their families can afford it. Meanwhile, young people from poorer backgrounds are being forced into zero hours contracts and low-paid jobs so the Conservatives can crow about falling unemployment. 

Young people are the future of Britain and I believe it is only fair that they get to have their say. The Conservatives have created a lost generation, young people are leaving school with no ambition and have been priced out of further education. Young people deserve a fair and equal deal and must be given the opportunity to have a decent start in life. They deserve it. 

Instead of relying on cheap overseas labour, we should invest in young people so they have the skills to become doctors, nurses, builders, engineers, electricians and suchlike instead of forcing them into jobs that offer no hope or progression. Schools should also allow young people to study these jobs thus encouraging young people to leave school with an ambition.

I get frustrated and find it patronising when people say that 16 and 17-year-olds are not mature enough to vote. 

Really? 

Young people are more clued up on politics than people think. Since the rise of Jeremy Corbyn, thousands of young people aged under 18 have joined Labour’s youth groups and get involved with local campaigning. Many are also fluent with using the internet and have access to a vast amount of information. 

I regularly have debates with young people on social media and they always debate sensibly and put forward strong opinions and arguments. And they are always polite, yet I have had adults aged over 25 resorting to insults and abuse just because they disagree with my opinions, while others have resorted to racism and bigotry. Those views and opinions are not welcome and only prove one thing: these people literally have no argument. 

In the last election, Jeremy Corbyn acquired a huge amount of votes from students because he has addressed and pledged to end the Tories’ austerity policies and huge hurdles that are causing many a very difficult life. Labour has pledged to axe tuition fees and look at historical student debt. Only Labour is serious about putting young people first and giving them a decent start in life. And this is why the Conservatives fear lowering the voting age to 16, because they know Labour will benefit and will win the election with a decent majority. Data from the last election shows that more under 45s voted Labour than Conservative. 

I have long supported lowering the voting age to 16. People can get married at this age, pay tax and even join the army – so it is only fair that they get to have their say. People must stop writing off 16 and 17-year-olds as being immature and start taking them more seriously. 

Jeremy Corbyn has changed the political landscape in Britain and many young people now look up to him. As I said earlier, young people are the future of Britain and deserve to be part of democracy by having their say in elections. 

I fear for the future for Britain’s young people, including my niece and two nephews. When they turn 16, I want them to be able to have their say in elections. By lowering the voting age to 16, I believe it will encourage more young people to get involved in politics, and many of them will go on to be local councillors and MPs. And it will also end our political system being led by people from affluent backgrounds including Etonians, many of whom are completely out of touch with ordinary people. 

Unlike the Conservatives, I believe in democracy, which is why I support lowering the voting age to 16, and I fully support Labour’s pledge towards ending tuition fees and reinstating EMA. 

Only Labour will put an end to young people being marginalised. The party will not give up fighting for young people and will continue pursuing a parliamentary vote on lowering the voting age to 16, while it remains in opposition. 

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Jeremy Corbyn to visit Brussels for Brexit talks 

Jeremy Corbyn MP, Leader of the Labour Party, will travel to Brussels for meetings with leading European Union politicians and negotiators on Thursday (19 October) to set out Labour’s Brexit priorities and attempt to help move the talks forwards and break the Brexit logjam.Jeremy Corbyn will be meeting EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier and President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani. There will also be bilateral meetings with the Italian, Swedish and Portuguese Prime Ministers. He will be accompanied by two members of Labour’s Brexit team, Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer, and Shadow International Trade Secretary, Barry Gardiner.

Jeremy Corbyn MP, Leader of the Labour Party, said:

“As the Government’s splits and Brexit bungling become ever more damaging, Labour stands ready to take up responsibility for the Brexit negotiations.

“A no-deal Brexit would be a bad deal for Britain, threatening jobs and living standards. It would also harm our European neighbours. That’s why it’s in all our interests to increase the pressure for real progress in the current talks and move on to negotiations about our future trading relationship.

“Far from viewing the European Union as ‘the enemy’, Labour would conduct negotiations in a spirit of cooperation and mutual respect with the aim of achieving a strong settlement for Britain and a new relationship with Europe.

“We are clear in our priorities: a jobs-first Brexit which maintains tariff-free access to the Single Market to protect trade and living standards. Labour will guarantee the rights of EU citizens living in the UK, and seek reciprocal arrangements for British citizens living in mainland Europe.

“The UK is leaving the European Union, but how we do so will be crucial to our country’s future for decades to come. The Government is lurching towards a no-deal Brexit, egged on by a powerful faction which wants to use Brexit to turn Britain into a deregulated tax haven.

“I am unapologetic in taking every opportunity to seek to influence the final Brexit deal in the interests of the many, not just the few.”

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Heartbreaking homelessness and hardship in Blackpool – linked to Tory cuts 

I am no stranger to Blackpool. I first visited the resort with my family in the late 1980s, I was aged 10 or 11 at the time, but from the moment I arrived I fell in love with it. And so did the rest of my family.
Over the last 30 years I have visited Blackpool literally dozens of times, from family holidays to wild weekends with friends. And I have had some romantic times here too. It has always been my dream to live and work in Blackpool, and my dream became a reality last month when I quit Essex for a new life. Some people think I am crazy, others think I am brave. 

I have only been living in Blackpool for a few weeks and I have quickly settled in. The locals are very friendly and my neighbours and new work colleagues have made me feel very welcome. But what has caught my eye in Blackpool is the hardship and homelessness that has hit so many people, both young and old. And it has been caused by Tory cuts.

On a daily basis I see people begging on the streets, people laying on pavements and in shop doorways wrapped up in duvets and even elderly people asking if people can spare them 50p so they can get a hot drink.

Only recently a young woman in her early 20s was causing a commotion in the town square. She was in a very distressed state and screamed at the police that she had nothing to live for, she was sick of sleeping rough and being cold and hungry. She said she would be better off dead. The police arrested her and took her away for her own safety.

But there we have it: another person with mental health problems who was thrown into a police cell for the night due to the lack of hostels and support for mental health sufferers because of Tory cuts.

I have bought some of these people, who are victims of the Tories’ brutal austerity programme, a hot meal and hot drink, and they have really appreciated it. I have talked to them and listened to their concerns. And, surprise, surprise, some have been made homeless and pushed into severe hardship because of Universal Credit due to delayed payments and administrative errors caused by the crap IT system is uses. Universal Credit is not fit for purpose but the Tories simply do not care.

The Tories recently announced the closure of 87 Jobcentres – two are in Blackpool. People can barely afford to live as it is, yet they are told by Tory MP Liz Truss to “go to the Jobcentre” if they can not afford to pay 55p-a-minute when calling the Universal Credit helpline.

Firstly, you cannot just “go to the Jobcentre” unless you have an appointment. Secondly, if a person cannot afford to pay 55p-a-minute by calling the helpline, how the hell can they be expected to afford the cost of travel to their nearest Jobcentre which could be more than 10 miles away due to the Tories closing swathes of Jobcentres? 

Blackpool is not alone in feeling the effects of Tory cuts, as these problems are being felt across the country. But for me it is heartbreaking seeing so many people in Blackpool suffering. There never used to be this many people sleeping rough and begging on the streets, and from what I have seen it has opened up my eyes to the real world.

Where I come from in Thurrock, Essex, Tory cuts are biting, but not to the extent as they are in Blackpool. I never saw much homelessness and begging in Thurrock, though it is on the increase in neighbouring Basildon and further down the Thames Estuary in Southend-on-Sea.

The Tories could not care less that so many people across the country are suffering because of their brutal austerity programme. But what is worrying me now is winter is fast approaching, and the weather can be very cruel in Blackpool, yet dozens of people are sleeping rough. And some of them will die this winter.

Theresa May and the Tories claim they have transformed Britain into “a country that works for everyone”. 

They should try telling that to the victims of  their brutal austerity programme that is continuing to destroy lives by causing hardship, homelessness and unavoidable deaths. 

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Statement on Jess Phillips, Nadeem Ahmed and that fake tweet 

Last night an unfortunate occurrence on Twitter led to Jess Phillips wrongly being accused of posting a tweet suggesting she was going to contact the Home Office about one of her constituents, Mr Nadeem Ahmed, whom have both been embroiled in bitter exchanges over the last few days.  This tweet turned out to be fake, and Jess Phillips has now complained that a series of fake tweets have been set up in her name. These tweets are libellous, offensive and have caused Jess a great deal of distress and abuse. 

I would like to take this opportunity to apologise to Jess Phillips for wrongly accusing her of posting the tweet. Nadeem contacted me in a very distressed state as he has been experiencing racial and Islamophobic abuse on Twitter in relation to his on-going bitter exchanges with Jess – none of which she has orchestrated. 

The racist abuse Nadeem is continuing to experience and the misogynistic abuse being directed at Jess must stop now. Regardless of who you are, if I see any further abusive tweets directed at either individual then you will be blocked and reported. 

Nobody has the God-given right to abuse a member of the public or a politician on social media – or anywhere else. Remember, nobody is above the law. 

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Scott Nelson bids farewell to Essex for a new life in Blackpool 

It is official. After a seven-month wait my transfer to Blackpool has finally come through and I start my new post on 2 October. 

I have loved Blackpool ever since I first visited in the late 1980s, I was about 10-years-old and I instantly fell in love with it. Blackpool is by far way better than the daytrips I had to Southend-on-Sea and Clacton-on-Sea. Blackpool has something for everyone and is very friendly and hospitable seaside resort.

I am very much looking forward to my move and a new journey in my life. Blackpool might not be paradise for some people, but for me it has always had a special place in my heart. I will be leaving Essex in a few week’s time and have a lot to do between now and then, so my Twitter appearances will be sparse. 

I will still engage in political debates on Twitter and I will still be campaigning for social justice, but my new life will give me a new perspective. Living by the seaside will benefit my health and I look forward to meeting new friends. But most of all I am looking forward to a new beginning and my independence.

I have lived in Thurrock all my life but no longer feel happy there, the borough has become run down because of Tory cuts, overpopulated, polluted and mass housebuilding on the green belt is eroding the borough’s beauty spots.

That said, I still have connections to Thurrock and will be making recurring visits, but my new adventure in Blackpool is about to begin and I have never been happier!

Thank you everyone for your support and patience, your friendship means a lot to me and you have all been a tower of strength. 

xxx 

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Jackie Doyle-Price complains about crime in Thurrock – despite voting to cut police numbers

Jackie Doyle-Price has rightfully raised concerns about the so-called Essex cruisers who roar around West Thurrock every Friday and Saturday night. And she is right: it is only a matter of time before someone will get killed. 

Thurrock residents have complained about the Essex cruisers and raised concerns about them for years now, but despite this, our voices have not been heard. 

Right now Thurrock is experiencing a crime wave. Here in Aveley, local residents have started to make a stand against antisocial behaviour. And this week, Ensign suspended its bus service to the Kenningtons Estate in Aveley because hooligans were throwing stones and firing catapults at buses. 

A series of illegal raves have happened over the last few months, causing misery and noise nuisance to local residents in Aveley, Ockendon and Chafford Hundred. These raves were reported to the police but no action was taken due to the lack of police resources. 

Since 2010, police numbers have been cut by more than 20,000, and Essex Police numbers have been cut by more than 600. It was recently reported that crime has increased to record levels in England and Wales. In 2015, the police and intelligence services warned Theresa May – who had been Home Secretary since 2010 – that her cuts were putting Britain at risk of crime and terror. 

Her response? She accused them of scaremongering. However, this warning became a reality in 2017, as Britain has had four terror attacks – three in London and one in Manchester – and official figures recently released revealed record crime in England and Wales. Gun and knife crime are also on the increase. And despite the crime and terror surge in England and Wales the Tories have not ruled out further cuts to police numbers. 

I commend Jackie Doyle-Price for again challenging the Essex cruisers, and I strongly condemn the abuse and death threats she has received online, but she voted for police cuts and must accept that her actions have contributed to the crime wave in Thurrock.

I do, however, get very angry at people who complain about police cuts, the state of the NHS and cuts to local services, yet still continue to vote Conservative and re-elect the very politicians who voted for austerity including cuts to public services. 

Voting Conservative is no different than turkeys voting for Christmas. 

Theresa May’s magic money tree is never around when we need it most. The only way crime and terrorism can be defeated is by reversing police cuts. If the Tories can afford to bung the DUP £1.5bn just they can remain in power, blow £15.8bn on Universal Credit, £55bn on HS2 and £205bn on Trident then they can afford to recruit more police officers. 

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Once again I am under attack for voting Brexit, and this time things have got personal

Once again I am under attack for voting Brexit, and this time things have got personal.

Over the weekend I have been attacked on social media because I voted Brexit. It is no secret which way I voted in the EU referendum, as I was very vocal about Brexit last year and have continued to defend my decision. 

‘Remainers’ have been keen to repeatedly tell me that just 37% of Britain voted to leave the EU and for that reason we should have a second referendum – basically because they are not prepared to accept the outcome of the referendum. 

But the sheer hypocrisy of Remainers has reached a new level. Some of them have known me on social media for more than three years and I remember them attacking Scottish nationalists and the SNP for calling for a second independence referendum. 

Remainers cannot have it both ways; they cannot attack Scottish nationalists and the SNP for pursuing a second independence referendum whilst they call for a second EU referendum. This is hypocrisy and double standards on the Remainers’ part. 

I voted Brexit for four reasons:

  • To take control of EU migration
  • To take control of our borders 
  • Sovereignty
  • To be liberated from EU bureaucracy 

At no point did I listen to the false promises coming from Boris Johnson, who said leaving the EU would mean an extra £350m a week for the NHS. Despite touring the country with that pledge on the side of a red bus and making the same pledge during an EU referendum debate live on ITV, Boris Johnson has now claimed that he never made this pledge. 

People should stop directing their anger at me for voting Brexit and direct it at the Tories instead. The Tories have badly handled Brexit from the outset which is damaging the economy – and is why David Cameron did a runner. Theresa May irresponsibly delaying Brexit negotiations in favour of a pointless snap general election also damaged the economy. Her gamble on 8 June backfired and she only has herself to blame. Serves her right. 

The Tories are in complete disarray over Brexit and the party is deeply divided; they are even unable to decide whether Britain will remain in the Single Market and how long the Brexit transitional period – or free EU movement – will be when Britain leaves the EU in 2019. It is totally shambolic and David Davies, the Tories’ Brexit Secretary, is nothing more than a laughingstock.

The EU is demanding Britain pay up to £80bn to leave the EU, and over the weekend the Dutch MP put that figure at £50bn. This ‘EU divorce settlement’ needs to be negotiated, EU leaders cannot just pluck figures out of thin air. David Davies should tell the EU to go whistle for any sums of money until it has audited its books, something which it has not done since the 1980s. And once audited, it should then publish the results. 

One of the most toxic EU figures is Jean-Claude Juncker, who received an £8,700 pay rise while imposing austerity on the Greeks. But that said, the Tories have done exactly the same in Britain. 

Jeremy Corbyn and Labour, however, have made it clear that if they were in power Britain would leave the Single Market and free EU movement would end in 2019. That said, there are a number of Labour MPs who are intent on sabotaging the party’s Brexit strategy, and one of those MPs is Chuka Umunna. 

In September 2016, Chuka Umunna publicly said that Britain should be prepared to leave the Single Market, yet nine months later he is saying that Britain should remain in the Single Market. He has one aim only and that is to split Labour over Brexit. How anyone can take him seriously on Brexit is beyond me. 

Jeremy Corbyn is respecting the outcome of the EU referendum and is committed to deliver a Brexit that benefits everyone and not just a few. Labour’s heartlands in the North of England voted Brexit by 75% and Corbyn is listening to them. In fact, he has won back swathes of support in the North after decades of neglect, dating back to the days of Neil Kinnock and New Labour. And he crushed UKIP. 

Under New Labour the party lost nearly 4 million votes between 1997 and 2010, many of whom were working class voters. Many of these voters turned to the BNP in 2005, and from 2010 onwards they turned to UKIP. This was not because they were racist, it was because both the BNP and UKIP were the only parties listening to working class people, especially in Labour’s northern heartlands who felt left behind by New Labour and their concerns about immigration were being ignored.

Here in Thurrock, the borough voted Brexit by 73% and support has not gone away. When I campaigned for Labour in Thurrock in 2014 and 2015, New Labour was toxic on the doorsteps and many residents were angry that Ed Miliband would not offer an EU referendum. Miliband underestimated the mood in Thurrock, in Labour’s northern heartlands and in other parts of the country which is why the party lost millions of votes to the Tories and UKIP. 

Recently, London-centric Labour MPs have attacked Brexit and called for Britain to remain in the Single Market. This would mean that EU freedom of movement would continue, despite the majority of people voting Brexit because of EU migration. London mayor Sadiq Khan and Labour MPs Diane Abbott, David Lammy, Wes Streeting and Chuka Umunna have demonstrated that they are out of touch with Labour’s northern heartlands and with the rest of the country. They simply do not have a clue what life is like outside of their London bubbles. 

If Labour takes their advice, as well as that of the Lib Dems and Remainers, then the party’s support in the north of England will collapse, and it will be to the advantage of the Tories. If that were to happen you can bet your life they will personally hold Jeremy Corbyn responsible rather than take responsibility of their own actions.

The personal attacks I have encountered over the weekend are abhorrent. I have been labelled a racist, a xenophobe, a Nazi, a Tory and a Kipper. And I have been likened to the BNP. These personal attacks are no different to the abuse that came from Remainer Bob Geldof, a foul-mouthed millionaire tax exile, who last year verbally abused a convoy Brexit supporters on the River Thames with a megaphone. 

I am absolutely sick of the rich and the elite using their wealth to influence political decisions. Many working class people voted Brexit, yet we have millionaires like Tony Blair, Neil Kinnock, Bob Geldof, Gina Miller, Richard Branson and Charlie Mullins using their wealth to override the will of millions of working class people who voted Brexit. These millionaires only want Britain to remain in the EU to suit their own financial arrangements. 

The hypocrisy of the Remainers has reached new heights, as many of them complain about wealthy Rupert Murdoch influencing politics and oppose him taking 100% control of Sky TV for that very reason – but they have no problem sharing platforms with a millionaire tax exile like Bob Geldof or greedy capitalists like Richard Branson and Gina Miller. 

I have heard on the grapevine that Remainers will hold demonstrations outside the Labour, Tory and UKIP conferences in the autumn, no doubt Bob Geldof will be there with his foot soldiers verbally abusing people through his megaphone. 

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No, Jeremy Corbyn never said he would wipeout student debt.

Last week Theresa May lied during Prime Minister’s Questions when she accused Jeremy Corbyn of betraying students. Then the Lib Dems jumped on the bandwagon. Now the Green Party and SNP are spreading this Tory lie. 

So much for that ‘progressive alliance’, eh guys? Shame on the lot of you. 

On 1 June, the NME published an interview with Jeremy Corbyn. During the interview, Corbyn said this: 

First of all, we want to get rid of student fees altogether. We’ll do it as soon as we get in, and we’ll then introduce legislation to ensure that any student going from the 2017-18 academic year will not pay fees. They will pay them, but we’ll rebate them when we’ve got the legislation through – that’s fundamentally the principle behind it. Yes, there is a block of those that currently have a massive debt, and I’m looking at ways that we could reduce that, ameliorate that, lengthen the period of paying it off, or some other means of reducing that debt burden.

I don’t have the simple answer for it at this stage – I don’t think anybody would expect me to, because this election was called unexpectedly; we had two weeks to prepare all of this – but I’m very well aware of that problem. And I don’t see why those that had the historical misfortune to be at university during the £9,000 period should be burdened excessively compared to those that went before or those that come after. I will deal with it.”

The Daily Mirror has also come to Corbyn’s defence on this Tory myth and made it clear what he actually said during the NME interview. At no point did Corbyn say he would end student debt, he said he would ‘look at’ the debt. It is blatantly obvious what Corbyn said and what he meant, but the other political parties and the Tory gutter press either have difficulty understanding English, or they are deliberately twisting Corbyn’s words. Or both.

Students are less likely to believe the lies coming from the other parties, and they are also unlikely to read the crap that is being published by The Sun, the Daily Mail and UKIP’s Daily Express. Most students tend to get their information from social media, and they are much smarter than the other parties realise. 

On the subject of tuition fees, the other parties constantly accuse Labour of introducing them. This is a lie. In fact, tuition fees were a cross-party agreement, and MPs from other political parties also voted for them, not just Labour MPs.

In 1996, John Major, who was still Conservative Prime Minister at the time, commissioned Lord Dearing to make recommendations on higher education funding. 

Lord Dearing’s report was published in 1997, and by then Tony Blair was Prime Minister. The Dearing Report recommended that students should pay approximately 25% of the cost of tuition but that government grants should remain in place.

Based on Lord Dearing’s recommendation, David Blunkett, the Labour Education Secretary, announced the introduction of £1,000 tuition fees to be paid by every student in each year of study, beginning in September 1998. The student grant of £1,710 was abolished and replaced by means-tested student loans. 

Parliament voted in favour of the Teaching and Higher Education Act and it passed into law – setting an annual tuition fee for England of £1,000. Means-testing meant a third of students did not pay anything.

So, the next time someone accuses Jeremy Corbyn of betraying students and blames Labour for tuition fees, show them this article. 

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Tory cuts to Essex Police has led to a crime surge in Thurrock 

Antisocial behaviour has become a major problem across Thurrock and it is accelerating. Here in Aveley, residents are complaining about unruly youths, vandalism and cruisers roaring around the area with loud exhausts and music bellowing out of cars. 
I have lived on the Kenningtons Estate in Aveley for 27 years and I have never known things to be this bad. The bus stop on Usk Road is regularly being vandalised, while groups of kids hang around outside the shops on Romford Road pestering people to buy them cigarettes. And if you refuse you are verbally abused. 

Other groups of kids are throwing water bombs and stones at buses and at people waiting at the bus stop on Usk Road. And when challenged, people are again verbally abused. Residents are also complaining about water bombs being thrown at cars as they have driven past the bus stop on Usk Road. A number of residents have had water bombs land inside their car as the windows were open due to the recent hot weather. One of these residents is a neighbour of mine and she ended up losing control of her car which hit a wall. The perpetrators ran away laughing and shouting. 

Elsewhere, Essex Police announced today that it allowed an illegal rave to continue last Saturday night in Davy Down, despite noise complaints from nearby residents. This is the second time this year Essex Police has allowed an illegal rave to continue in Thurrock, the first one was back in April. An all-night rave went on until gone 6.30am in Belhus Woods despite complaints from nearby residents. 

The actions of Essex Police are sending the wrong message and show that Tory cuts to the police force are having a detrimental effect on crime and antisocial behaviour across Thurrock. Since 2010, the Tories have cut Essex Police numbers by over 600. 

Police-recorded crime has risen by 10% across England and Wales – the largest annual rise for a decade – according to the Office of National Statistics. The latest crime figures for the 12 months to March also show an 18% rise in violent crime, including a 20% surge in gun crime and knife crime.

The official figures also show a 26% rise in the murder rate to 723 homicides, which includes the 96 cases of manslaughter at Hillsborough in 1989. More alarmingly the official statisticians say the rise in crime is accelerating, with a 3% increase recorded in the year to March 2015, followed by an 8% rise in the year to March 2016, and now a 10% increase in the 12 months to this March.

The accelerating rise in crime comes as Home Office figures show a further fall of 924 in the past year in the number of police officers to 123,142 in England and Wales. This is the lowest number of officers in England and Wales since 1985.

Police numbers have fallen by 20,592 since 2010. 

In 2015, Police Forces across the country warned Theresa May, who was the Home Secretary at the time, that Tory cuts to police numbers were putting Britain at risk of crime and terrorism. Theresa May accused the police of ‘scaremongering’ and carried on cutting numbers. 

The police warnings were right: Official statistics show crime is rising across England and Wales and Britain has had four terrorist attacks this year. And irresponsible Tory cuts are the reason why. 

I have utmost respect for the police and the Emergency Services. We should direct our frustration at the Tories, and not the police. Just like NHS workers, the police are working under extremely difficult circumstances and many are suffering stress because of Tory cuts to staffing. 

But if the situation in Aveley is not promptly resolved then I fear residents will take matters into their own hands. No doubt some people will read this and say “oh, what a miserable sod”. I really do not care, because unlike them I actually have respect for my neighbours and take pride in Thurrock. 

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Ian Paisley Jr complains about the ‘universal hatred’ of the DUP and compares it to Islamophobia

People across the UK are rightfully angry at Theresa May bunging the DUP a staggering £1.5bn just so she can remain in power, yet she says there is no ‘magic money tree’ to end austerity or give Public Sector workers a pay rise.

The Tories have spent the last two years labelling Jeremy Corbyn a terrorist sympathiser, but now they have done a deal with the DUP – despite the party’s history of racism and homophobia, and links to violence and terrorism. 


The DUP does not support gay rights and has labelled the LGBT+ community ‘perverts’ and says that we should be ‘cured’ of our sexuality. The DUP also opposes abortion, even if a woman has been raped. And DUP has connections to the KKK. 


It stands to reason that the DUP has received a hostile reception: the party’s stance on gay rights and racism is not welcome. As a gay man, I strongly object to the DUP making decisions that affect my future, like voting with the Tories to oppose a pay rise for Public Sector workers.

Ian Paisley Jr needs to get his own house in order before he condemns people for rightfully calling out the DUP on its atrocious record. 


There is enough division in Britain as it is and the last thing we need is the DUP making it worse. Since the Tories announced their deal with the DUP, provocational Orange Marches have taken place in Northern Ireland, Liverpool and Glasgow – and it is causing division among Irish communities. 

Sinn Féin has rightfully identified that Theresa May’s deal with the DUP is in breach of the Good Friday Agreement. 


Theresa May’s deal with the DUP shows how low she will stoop just to stay in power. Some people describe the Tory-DUP deal as a ‘coalition of crackpots’ but I prefer to call it the Axis of Evil. 

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