The government has been warned today that it has 24 hours to save British jobs. It can do this by changing course on its disastrous one-size-fits-all plans to withdraw furlough – or risk an historic mistake that would hand P45 notices to workers across the country.
Hundreds of thousands of people have lost their jobs since the start of the pandemic and in a matter of hours, more than 820,000 furloughed workers here in the West Midlands will start losing support.
If the government does not do everything possible to protect jobs, the crisis will cause yet more damage to people in all regions and nations of the UK. Britain can’t bounce back if we’re stuck in a jobs crisis.
But it isn’t too late. Labour has launched its nationwide 'Jobs, Jobs, Jobs' campaign today with a five-point pledge to fight for jobs, keep workers safe and back businesses:
1. Fight for jobs: by reforming the furlough scheme so that it supports jobs in the worst-hit sectors and targets aid to struggling industries.
2. Back our businesses: by setting up a £1.7 billion fightback fund to prevent firms going under and save our high streets.
3. Leave no-one behind: by providing additional support to areas forced into local lockdowns, supporting the self-employed and helping those left out of existing schemes.
4. Keep workers safe: by protecting workers’ rights, boosting sick pay, making workplaces safe and giving our NHS and care services the resources to avoid a second wave.
5. Drive job creation: by investing in infrastructure, accelerating progress towards a zero carbon economy and increasing access to skills and training opportunities.
Find out more about Labour's campaign by visiting labour.org.uk/savejobs, where you can let us know how you feel about jobs and the economy as well as taking action to help.
On Monday, I joined thousands of others in taking part in a 48 hour boycott of Twitter in response to the company's refusal to take proper action against the grime star, Wiley, for a stream of antisemitic posts he made on social media over the weekend.
Social media companies, like Twitter,
must make it clear that there is no place for anti-semitism or other forms of hate speech on their platforms.
But the social media giants have repeatedly failed to tackle online hate on their platforms, which is why we need proper legislation to keep people safe online.
The government promised the Online Harms Bill over a year ago now - we cannot afford to wait any longer.
I spoke to the Guardian this week about the takeover of DfID and how it will weaken our global influence.
As I said in the interview, spending £50m on a Whitehall restructure in the middle of a pandemic that has not yet peaked, to fix something that is not broken, tells you everything you need to know about where this government’s priorities lie.
Ahead of the GAVI vaccines board meeting yesterday, I wrote to the Secretary of State to make sure that UK aid is used to guarantee that vaccines are produced as quickly as possible and distributed based on need, not on how deep someone's pockets are.