Ian Austin MP

Labour MP for Dudley North


Recent Activity

Statue of Frank Foley set to be unveiled in June 2018 in Mary Stevens Park, Stourbridge


Midlands’s artist Andy de Comyn has completed his full size clay model of the statue of Frank Foley, three months after being selected to produce the tribute to the spy dubbed the British Schindler.

The model, which depicts Foley quietly seated on a park bench, will now be cast in bronze.

The statue shows Foley feeding a bird, which symbolises freedom and the people he helped, with a briefcase at his side which hints at his MI6 work.

Major Foley was a British spy working undercover as Passport Control Officer in pre-war Nazi Berlin where he provided thousands of Jews with the documents they needed to escape Germany by bending the rules when stamping passports or issuing visas. He also hid Jews in his own home and even went into Sachsenhausen concentration camp with visas to enable prisoners to leave. He settled in Stourbridge when he retired and lived at Eveson Road in Norton, close to Mary Stevens Park where the statue will be located, until his death in 1958.

Dudley North MP Ian Austin spearheaded the campaign for a permanent tribute, persuading the then Chancellor George Osborne to provide £40,000 to cover the costs.

Mr De Comyn was selected by a panel made up of Stourbridge MP Margot James, representatives of Frank Foley’s family, the Holocaust Educational Trust who have supported the project, historian and journalist Michael Smith who wrote “Frank Foley: The Spy Who Saved Ten Thousand Jews” that brought Foley to prominence, local councillors and residents. The project and commission is being organised by Steve Field, Dudley Council’s Public Artist. 

Ian Austin MP Said:

“I am delighted at the progress of the statue. The final piece should be ready next by the summer so people can learn about him and our country’s role in fighting for freedom, democracy and tolerance against Nazi Germany.

“Many thanks to Andy de Comyn, Steve Field and all those on the panel for their ongoing hard work on this project, I can’t wait until the final statue is unveiled”

Statue of local hero dubbed "British Schindler" reaches next stage

Statue of Frank Foley set to be unveiled in June 2018 in Mary Stevens Park, Stourbridge

Dudley North MP Ian Austin has called for a ban on companies forcing people looking to undertake up to 40 hours of unpaid work trials which have no guaranteed job offer at the end of it.


Some businesses ask potential staff to work for no money, in one case a café in Glasgow asked people to work for 40 hours before they would even consider them for the job.

13,000 people have already signed a petition against the practice and Austin is joining MP’s from all parties to call for a change in the law which will ban businesses from being able to do this.

Austin has previously campaigned against other exploitative work practices such as zero-hour contracts.

Ian Austin said:

“I’m not against proper work experience programmes for students, for example, but I have met young people in Dudley who have been expected to do unpaid shifts for free before they are even considered for a job and I think it is completely unacceptable.

“I can see the benefit for the business to get a week of free labour, but what is in it for the potential employee when there’s no guarantee of a stable job at the end of the week.

“I want to see this exploitative practice banned.  The Government should take action on this and I’ll be campaigning in Parliament for this to happen.”

Austin calls on ban on unpaid work trials

Dudley North MP Ian Austin has called for a ban on companies forcing people looking to undertake up to 40 hours of unpaid work trials which have no guaranteed job...


Having listened to the government’s statements, I don’t think anyone can seriously doubt that the Russian state was responsible for the poisoning of Yulia and Sergei Skripal, an outrageous attack which has also left the brave police officer, detective Sergeant Nick Bailey, in hospital.

This was the use of chemical weapons here on the streets of Britain, and it proves what I have been saying for years: that Putin is an old-style fascist dictator, a gangster who has enriched himself by looting billions from the impoverished people of Russia and a thug who murders his opponents in Russia and here in the UK as well.

I welcome the expulsion of 23 so-called “diplomats”, the decision not to send the Royal family to Russia until further notice and the call for a special meeting of the UNSC to discuss Russia’s use of chemical weapons in the UK.

Last year I moved a Bill in Parliament to implement a full “Magnistky Act” to freeze the assets of people responsible for fraud in Russia and to ban them from coming to the UK, to target corrupt thieves and crooks who think they can invest their stolen money in London mansions and come and go from here as they please.

Putin’s regime is a fascist, homophobic dictatorship and does not care about the rule of law.

You can watch the speech I made moving the Bill here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzYU1jwy7Ok
And read the text here: https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2017-12-06/debates/9FB8E42E-CEF8-42BE-8ACA-71474ADABB2C/Sanctions(HumanRightsAbuseAndCorruption)

What I think of the poisoning of Yulia and Sergei Skripal and how we tackle Putin’s fascist regime

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