In this first of many monthly blogs, I will be updating constituents on my activities in Parliament and beyond over this last month. It has been an extremely busy time, with a working Easter parliamentary recess in the middle, and I hope this blog keeps you informed on just some of the things I’ve been up to.

I Announced Labour Party Plans for a New Slavery Educational Trust

Slavery is an abhorrent crime and it is important that the African slave trade and the role of Britain is never forgotten, and that we learn the lessons from the past. It is also vital that we remember the great tales of resilience of those enslaved, the resistance of people in society to slavery and the inspirational people involved in the abolition movement, and I’m pleased that this body will be able to do this and teach our young people about this dark time in history.

The legacy of slavery is still felt throughout society, particularly by Black, Asian and minority ethnic people in this country who still face deep inequality and discrimination. This new body will go some way to addressing this historic injustice and I look forward to working with groups to get this up and running under a Labour government, and to discussing ways in which organisations can tackle the underrepresentation of our diverse communities.

For further information on this follow this link:  http://www.voice-online.co.uk/article/labour-firms-linked-slavery-should-donate

Speaking at the EHRC Anniversary Conference
Speaking at the EHRC Anniversary Conference

I supported the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s Recommendations to Protect Employees from Sexual Harassment

Labour welcomes the EHRC’s recommendations to protect employees from sexual harassment at work. Its call for the Government to prevent employers from using non-disclosure agreements is essential to ensuring greater transparency and access to justice.

We join them in demanding the Government restore vital protections that were scrapped by the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition. Labour has long called on the Government to reinstate Section 40 of the Equality Act 2010 to protect employees against third party harassment but they still refuse to act.

The Government’s inaction on this issue is shocking. It must finally commit to taking action to tackle sexual harassment in the workplace.

I led on the Labour Party’s response to the Gender Pay Gap deadline

The deadline for all companies with more than 250 employers to declare their gender pay gaps was at midnight on the 4th April. I appeared on a number of TV and radio shows to discuss the  deadline on the day including Victoria Derbyshire, Sky News – All Out Politics, Bauer Radio, Channel 5 News and ITN.

I outlined the Labour Party’s policy to tackle the pay gap which we had launched on International Women’s Day in March. Labour has a five-point plan; focusing on mandatory auditing, actions plans to close the pay gaps, government certification for fair equality practices, further auditing and fines for those who fail to receive certification of their equality practices, and shifting the responsibility to report unequal pay from the employee to the employer.

To read about our policy in more detail, check out my articles:
Independent – https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/gender-pay-gap-companies-conservative-government-theresa-may-labour-policy-equality-a8288941.html
Left Foot Forward – https://leftfootforward.org/2018/04/the-gender-pay-gap-cannot-be-tolerated-any-longer/

Meeting the ActionSpace Brent Artists
Meeting the ActionSpace Brent Artists

I Visited ActionSpace’s Brent Young Artists Open Studio

I was delighted to visit ActionSpace in Brent for their open day and I thank them for their warm welcome. We have such talented artists in Brent and they do such great work there, and I commend the hard work of all the volunteers who make it possible. I encourage everyone to check them out and get involved.

The art on display was truly fantastic and I am proud of the great ability we have here in Brent, which is another example of why we won London Borough of Culture 2020. I look forward to working with Brent Council to have ActionSpace’s impressive work displayed in an exhibition at the Civic Centre for all to see.

Check out the story on the Brent and Kilburn Times: http://www.kilburntimes.co.uk/news/politics/brent-central-mp-dawn-butler-visits-wembley-charity-art-studio-actionspace-1-5466864

I issued a Statement following the Neasden Nazi Graffiti

I was horrified to see the pictures of the Nazi swastika and SS logo daubed on a bus stop here in our community. Anti-Semitism has no place in society and we must stand together against hatred, racism and bigotry in all its forms, wherever we encounter it.

Brent has a long and proud tradition of diversity and integration, and the actions of a tiny minority will not dent our mutual respect for one another in our community.

We all show solidarity with our Jewish residents, defiant against the attempts by a few to spread fear and hate. We will not be divided and set against each other, our community will come together united against hatred. Our community is our strength.

Me and Andy Slaughter MP at the International Somali Awards
Me and Andy Slaughter MP at the International Somali Awards

I attended and presented an award at the International Somali Awards 2018

I was honoured to attend and present an award at the ISA awards in Central London recognising the wonderful contributions the Somali community have made not just to the UK economy and culture but globally.

In Brent we have a large Somali community and they have contributed a huge amount towards the local economy and culture of which has led us to become the London Borough of Culture in 2020.

I presented the Business of the Year Award which went to Daauus Creative Agency, dynamic design and brand management based in Somalia.

My Kilburn Times article
My Kilburn Times article

I co-signed a cross party letter on the Windrush fiasco

I joined more than 140 MPs from all parties in signing a letter to Theresa May, expressing our deep concern about the Windrush scandal, in which Commonwealth citizens who have lived, worked and built families in the UK over many decades were incorrectly identified as illegal immigrants. This was a national tragedy and we wrote to the Prime Minister and calling on her to find a swift resolution of this growing crisis.

I followed up by sending my own letter to the Prime Minister demanding urgent action and raised a Point of Order in the chamber to challenge the Prime Minister’s account of the facts. This will not go away until we obtain justice. I also wrote this piece on this issue for my local paper, Brent and Kilburn Times.

For more information on this please use the following links:
My letter to Theresa May – https://twitter.com/DawnButlerBrent/status/987348394610954245
Joint letter to Theresa May – https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/apr/16/mps-urge-may-to-resolve-immigration-status-of-windrush-children
Why the government could be accused of institutional racism –https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/theresa-may-windrush-latest-racism-generation-landing-scandal-dawn-butler-labour-a8316751.html

Fawcett Statue Unveiling
Fawcett Statue Unveiling

I attended the unveiling of the Millicent Fawcett Statue in Parliament Square

It was an honour to be invited to join in the celebrations and unveiling of the Millicent Fawcett statue in Parliament Square yesterday. The statue is the first of a woman to be placed in Parliament Square.

Millicent Fawcett is the second unveiling of a female statue I have attended, the first being Mary Seacole – the first named black woman to have a statue. As they look across the river at each other I hope that this will be the first of many. In the coming years I hope to see more phenomenal women given their rightful place and commemorated in Parliament Square.

But we know that the fight for true equality has a long way to go, so we must use this statue as motivation to come together and redouble our efforts to build a fairer, more equal society for all. After all, courage calls to courage everywhere. (Photo credit Caroline Teo, Mayor of London).

For further information, check out the story on the Voice: http://www.voice-online.co.uk/article/dawn-butler-mp-attends-unveiling-millicent-fawcett-statue

The Stonewall Workplace Conference
The Stonewall Workplace Conference

I spoke at the Stonewall London Workplace Conference

I was delighted to speak at the Stonewall London Workplace Conference to set out The Labour Party’s vision for LGBT+ equality. Organisations, communities and individuals all have a part to play to ensure everyone can be their true authentic selves. Labour is an important ally for progress and I was proud to support the hashtag #ComeOutForLGBT

I spoke up about the latest Civil Service Fast Stream figures

For not a single Black Caribbean applicant to make it for the first time in five years, in a year that saw the highest number of applications from this group, shows we are going backwards and suggests a deep rooted racial bias in the process that must be tackled immediately.

It proves what I have always said – Black, Asian and minority ethnic people face multiple layers of disadvantage in society and have to jump over additional hurdles and be spectacular in order to succeed in life. The Civil Service must explain these figures and the steps they are taking to tackle it as it suggests unconscious bias training may be necessary.

For this to happen in Theresa May’s first year as Prime Minister is a telling sign; far from tackling the burning injustices in society, Theresa May cannot even sort out the problems in her own backyard.

For the full story on Huffington Post: https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/no-black-caribbean-britons-accepted-on-civil-service-fast-stream-despite-record-number-of-applicants-civil-service-fast-stream-dawn-butler-windrush-grandchildren_uk_5ae2ecc7e4b02baed1b922a1

Casework
Casework

…..and I continue to hold weekly constituency surgeries.

These surgeries continue to be extremely busy such is the demand, yet very rewarding when me and my team are able to help solve people’s issues. Housing, immigration and social services are just some of the many issues regularly brought up with me.

If you are a constituent and need advice:

Address – 156 High Road, Willesden, London, NW10 2PB. Phone – 0208 451 6560. Email – dawnbutlermpoffice@parliament.uk

Here are some other articles I have written over the past month

Gender Pay Gap –
Independent – https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/gender-pay-gap-companies-conservative-government-theresa-may-labour-policy-equality-a8288941.html
Left Foot Forward – https://leftfootforward.org/2018/04/the-gender-pay-gap-cannot-be-tolerated-any-longer/

Windrush Visa Campaign –
The Voice – http://www.voice-online.co.uk/article/check-your-legal-status-warns-butler-amid-windrush-crisis

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