After a short break last week, I was back in Parliament on Monday. The shock of the murder of journalist Lyra McKee and the appalling atrocity in Sri Lanka dominated a very sombre Prime Minister’s Questions. There were no developments from the Brexit talks and the environmental protests by Extinction Rebellion with a visit to Parliament by 16 year old environmental activist Greta Thunberg took centre stage. The Open University turned 50, European Elections are on the way and there was the announcement of a state visit for Donald Trump next month.
The Open University Turns 50!
This week the Open University celebrated its 50th anniversary. With the headquarters of OU Wales in Cardiff Central, I co-sponsored a Parliamentary Motion congratulating the OU on reaching this milestone, as well as calling for the Government to continue to properly support and incentivise inclusive life-long learning.
The creation of the OU remains one of Labour’s proudest achievements – transforming the lives and opportunities of those locked out from traditional academic study. It is now the UK’s largest academic institution, providing flexible distance-learning opportunities to about 9,000 people in Wales.
European Parliament Elections Voter Registration
I have spent the last week engaging with Cardiff Council, our four universities, the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and the largest student halls of residence to ensure they are doing all they can and should to get people registered to vote in time for the likely European Parliament elections on 23rd May.
The deadline to register is May 7th, and if you are an EU national living in Cardiff, there is an additional step you have to take by completing an extra form and returning it to Cardiff Council (this should have been mailed to you). If you haven’t received this form, or want any further information on registering to vote for these vital elections, please click here.
Horizons/BBC Wales Music Event in Parliament
On Wednesday Parliament played host to BBC Wales – celebrating the 5th year of Horizons – the programme which promotes 12 new up and coming Welsh musical acts every year. The event showcased the newest Welsh music from last year’s acts. The Horizons 12 are offered opportunities to perform at events across Wales and through BBC Cymru Wales’ national radio stations as well as benefiting from a programme of support to assist with the development of their music careers.
Donald Trump/BBC Radio Wales Interview
On Wednesday morning I spoke to Good Morning Wales about the granting of a State Visit to Donald Trump in June. State visits are a ceremonial honour that only two previous US Presidents have received, and I made my view clear that the taxpayer should not have to bear the huge expense of a lavish visit for a President who is a racist, sexist, online sharer of far-right extremist ideology, a serial liar and a cheat who mocks war veterans and people with disabilities.
I have also signed the cross party Parliament motion calling on the Government to rescind its advice to offer a state visit to Donald Trump. You can view it by clicking here.
I rounded off the week with a very busy constituency surgery in Roath today – thanks to everyone who popped in. I’ll be spending the weekend European election campaigning, cheering on Cardiff Blues for our huge Judgement Day clash with the Ospreys tomorrow (along with the Bluebirds who have a must-win game at Fulham at the same time!) and good luck also to Cardiff RFC in their WRU cup final on Sunday against Merthyr.