Ian Austin MP

Labour MP for Dudley North

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Dudley MP Ian Austin will be visiting Bramford Primary School on Friday to talk to Year 4 pupils about democracy and his role as an MP.

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Pupils are learning about democracy in the UK and around the world, with Parliament being their current focus. Austin will be taking questions from the children and speaking about what it means to be an MP in Dudley and in Parliament.

Austin went to school in Dudley and regularly organises trips to Parliament and visits to local schools so that pupils can ask him about his role as their local MP.

Ian Austin said:

“Education needs to be our number one priority in Dudley, so I’m really pleased to be visiting Bramford Primary and talking to pupils about my role as their local MP.

“It is great to see that pupils are taking an interest in politics, British values and the world around them, even at a young age.

“It is a really interesting time in British Politics with Parliament dominating the news coverage, so it’s good to teach young people about what is happening and how what I do in London could affect them here in Dudley.”

Austin visits school to talk about democracy

Dudley MP Ian Austin will be visiting Bramford Primary School on Friday to talk to Year 4 pupils about democracy and his role as an MP.

Last night I voted for the government’s Brexit plan and here is my statement on why.

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This was the hardest decision I have had to take in 14 years as your MP, but I always tell the truth as I see it.

It was obvious the Brexit plan was going to be defeated by a huge margin, but I think I have to do what I think is right – however difficult that is – and then be held to account.

Why did I vote the way I did?

First, 71% of local people voted for Brexit. I respect the people I represent and I keep the promises I make.

I’ve worked hard to listen to local people at dozens of meetings in Dudley, by sending out thousands of surveys and talking to people face-to-face.

There is no doubt a large majority of local people wanted to leave the EU, but most also wanted to maintain the best possible trading arrangements to protect jobs.

Our manifesto in 2017 promised unequivocally and categorically to uphold the result of the referendum and to leave the EU. This promise was clear and I repeated that to people in Dudley. I don’t think that can be discounted lightly.

Second, voting down the deal could result in us leaving with no plans at all, which I think would be a real problem for businesses and jobs in the Black Country. That is what happens on March 29th if we don’t have a plan in place.

I’ve talked to businesses large and small. Companies like Jaguar Land Rover who provide thousands of jobs in the West Midlands and lots of smaller employers too all told me that leaving with no deal would put investment and jobs at risk.

Third, I am also very worried about having another referendum.

I have listened to lots of local people but there is little evidence people have changed their minds. Even if the result was narrowly to remain, how would that settle it?

We all know how angry people in areas like ours are about the loss of industry, and the impact of austerity and the financial crisis - many have had no pay rise for a decade or seen real wages fall.

I think many people saw the referendum as a chance to have their voice heard and they would be furious if it was now overturned. I am worried that having another referendum would undermine confidence in our democratic institutions and take things in a very ugly direction.

There is also no agreement on what another referendum would ask or even how many questions there would be. The government’s deal is far from perfect, but I think it could be the best deal the country can get. After almost three years this is the only deal available.

That is why, in the end, I decided to vote for it.

The vote on the Government's Brexit deal

Last night I voted for the government’s Brexit plan and here is my statement on why.

Dudley MP Ian Austin is backing a campaign by the shop workers’ union Usdaw for better pay and workers’ rights for people in the Black Country.

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The ‘Time for better pay’ campaign is calling on the Government to strengthen workers’ rights by introducing:

  • A minimum wage rate of at least £10 per hour for all workers.
  • A minimum contract of 16 hours per week for everyone who wants it.
  • A contract based on an individual’s normal hours of work.
  • An end to zero-hours contracts.

Usdaw’s survey of over 10,500 working people about their experiences of low pay, short-hours contracts and insecure work shows that stronger employment rights are urgently needed:

  • Over the past five years, 92% of those surveyed have seen no improvement in their financial situation.
  • Over the past 12 months 76% of low-paid workers have had to rely on unsecured borrowing to pay everyday bills.
  • 63% of people believe that financial worries are having an impact on their mental health.

Austin has signed a petition calling on the Government to tackle low pay, short-hours contracts and insecure work.

Ian Austin MP said:

“I hear time and time again from people in Dudley who are struggling on low paid jobs, with insecure hours and zero-hour contracts.

“I know families who have been forced in to debt by borrowing money from pay-day lenders and loan sharks, just so they can afford food and day-to-day household bills. I have also heard from people who travel to work each day in the hope of some hours, only to be sent home as there is not enough work to go around. 

“People who go to work should earn enough to cover their bills and know that that they will have a secure job to go to the next day. It is time for the Government to act to tackle low pay and insecure hours of work.”

Paddy Lillis, General Secretary of USDAW said:

 “Going out to work should mean a decent standard of living for everyone. That’s why Usdaw is calling on the Government to tackle low pay and insecure work through our ‘time for better pay’ campaign.

“We need real and urgent improvements to workers’ rights to deliver an economy which works in favour of all working people. Through a petition to Government we are seeking to force the Government to respond directly to our calls.”

Austin back campaign for better pay for workers

Dudley MP Ian Austin is backing a campaign by the shop workers’ union Usdaw for better pay and workers’ rights for people in the Black Country.


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