Michael responds to the Government’s first Queen’s Speech
Michael has criticised the Tory Government’s first Queen’s Speech for failing to stand up to working people in Barnsley and across the country.
The Labour Party supports efforts to get people back into work, to achieve full employment and to get the welfare bill under control. But while the Tories say that this is a Queens Speech for working people, their plans to freeze tax credits will hit the budgets of working families hardest.
As the Party of Opposition in the House of Commons, Labour will work hard to hold the Government to account and to stand up for fairness. Labour's Interim Leader, Harriet Harman (pictured above), responded to the Queen's Speech in the Chamber of the House of Commons.
Commenting, Michael said:
“With the country facing a fragile future, the key test for this Queen’s Speech is whether it improves the lives of working people. That means securing the recovery, protecting our vital public services that people in Barnsley rely on and delivering on important constitutional reform.
“The Labour Party will be a strong Opposition and we will hold this Government to account and stand up for working people across the country and in Barnsley – and the Government needs to be judged on its actions, not just it’s rhetoric.”
The Mayor's Charity
Every year, the new Mayor of Barnsley choses a charity or charities that are personally important to them to lend support to whilst they are Mayor. This year the Mayor has chosen to support only one charity - Ward 30, the Surgical Admissions Unit at Barnsley Hospital. To find out more about Ward 30 and the work that they do in the community, click here.
Michael congratulates new Mayor of Barnsley
23 May 2015
On Friday 22 May, Michael attended the Mayoral Dinner following the annual Mayor Making ceremony held in Barnsley Town Hall. There he congratulated the new Mayor and Mayoress of Barnsley, Councillor Brian Mathers and Mrs. Mary Mathers on their appointment for this year.
Commenting Michael said: "I send my best wishes to our new mayor Councillor Brian Mathers and passed on my thanks to Councillor Tim and Julie Shepherd for all their incredible hard work over the past year"
'The hard work starts here...'
22 May 2015
In the first of a new series of columns for the Barnsley Chronicle, Michael reflects on the disappointment of election night and the challenges ahead.
To read the full article click here.
Michael pledges his support for Andy Burnham
22 May 2015
As reported in today’s Barnsley Chronicle, Michael has backed Andy Burnham for the Labour leadership and will run his campaign to be the next leader of the Labour Party.
Commenting Michael said: “We have got to reach out and reconnect with millions of people who just don’t see Labour as their party anymore; we don’t sound like them or feel like them about some issues and I think Andy has the widest reach. I think he is capable of reconnecting with every corner of the country. He’s someone who is a decent guy, he’s a very bright man and I think he is someone who is rooted in his community and constituency. He is someone who is capable of speaking with people from different backgrounds and walks of life. We’ve got to make this leadership election for the public and give them a big say in all this. Andy is absolutely about building trust. He understands the scale of the challenge and knows Labour need to rebuild that trust. I think it was significant that his first envisions were about building trust over the economy and over immigration. They are probably the most challenging issues for Labour and I think it is a strong sign of leadership that he is prepared to face up to this from the outset.”
Michael Supports Dementia Awareness Week 2015
18 May 2015
Michael has backed Dementia Awareness Week, which is a chance to highlight the devastating impact that dementia can have on families but also to recognise that life doesn’t end when dementia begins. Dementia Awareness Week 2015 is running from 17 – 23 May.
Figures from the Alzheimer’s Society show that there are 850,000 people currently living with dementia in the UK and there are around 3,000 dementia sufferers in Barnsley alone. Further to this, Department of Health research has shown that 4 in 10 cases of dementia are undiagnosed – all the more reason why it is so important to raise awareness of the condition.
Michael is also a close advocate of BIADS, which won an award as finalists of the Bevan Prize for Health and Wellbeing after he nominated them in recognition of their work in the community. Since its establishment in 2010, BIADS has gone from strength to strength, now supporting about 170 families affected by dementia in Barnsley. If dementia is impacting on your family or friends, the BIADS helpline phone number is 01226 280057.
Commenting, Michael said said:
“I am proud to support Dementia Awareness Week and highlight the crucial role that BIADS play in Barnsley. Having seen first-hand the excellent work they do and the services they provide I know how crucial they are to people in our community.
“It is so important to highlight the impact that dementia has on individuals and families in Barnsley and across the country by raising awareness but it is also important to recognise that life doesn’t end when dementia begins.”
Michael backs Andy Burnham for Labour leader - Burnham asks Dugher to run the campaign
17 May 2015
As first reported by LabourList, Michael has backed Andy Burnham and will run his campaign to be the next leader of the Labour Party.
Michael was interviewed on the Sky News Murnaghan programme this Sunday about why Andy Burnham is the best candidate. You can read the full interview by clicking here or watch a short section of the interview here.
You can also read more recent articles about Andy Burnham's campaign below:
The New Statesman: Another boost for Burnham as he wins Rachel Reeves's support
The Observer: Andy Burnham: My campaign is ‘Heart of Labour’
New Statesman and World at One interviews
14 May 2015
Following the General Election result, Michael was interviewed by the New Statesman about Labour’s campaign. You can read the article here.
He has also been on the BBC World at One programme to talk about some of the mistakes in Labour’s election campaign.
You can listen to the interview by clicking here.