Kate writes a bi-weekly column for the Burton Mail. This column was originally featured in the 4th November print edition.
Last week, the prorogation of Parliament marked the end of the current parliamentary session. This is ahead of the State Opening which will take place on Tuesday next week and will be the first ‘King’s Speech’ we have seen in over 70 years.
Over the previous session, the Government has delivered a number of landmark Bills, now Acts in law, which take long-term decisions to deliver a brighter future. These included laws to stop the boats, bolster our energy security, and keep people safe by cracking down on disruptive protests, protecting children from harmful content online, and ensuring minimum service levels during strikes.
To highlight, the Illegal Migration Act aims to stop the boats and put fairness back at the heart of the immigration system by blocking asylum based on the mode of entry. This means 90% of arrivals who claimed asylum in 2022 would have their claim heard in Rwanda or another safe third country.
More recently, local residents will be pleased to know that a hotel currently being used to temporarily accommodate asylum seekers will be one of the first to return to community use. The Government has been clear that it will end the use hotels for this practice and I have been clear in my meetings with the Immigration Minister that Burton must have its hotels back. This is good news and a direct result of the welcome progress the Government is making on this issue. There is of course still more to do but it is a step in the right direction and highlights the Government’s commitment to delivering on this priority.
I am pleased to have also played a role in bringing forward the Online Safety Act, protecting children from harmful content online and holding social media companies to account. I supported amendments on intimate image abuse to ensure this was part of the legislation and that stronger protections are in place for victims in the future.
It has been a busy session of Parliament and I suspect when we eventually hear the Kings Speech on Tuesday it will be another packed legislative agenda for the upcoming session.