Grahame pledges support for local pubs and brewers

Grahame Morris, local Labour party candidate for Easington in the General Election has pledged his support for pub-goers and beer drinkers in the North-East by backing CAMRA’s Election Manifesto.

CAMRA’s 187,000 members are asking candidates to promote and celebrate Britain’s 1,540 breweries and over 50,000 pubs by considering a range of measures to help make pub-going and beer drinking more affordable for UK consumers.

Grahame has committed to:

  • Celebrate and promote Britain’s breweries
  • Support action to help pubs thrive
  • Represent the interest of pub-goers, beer and cider drinkers if elected into the next Parliament

Beer, brewing and pubs support nearly 900,000 jobs and contribute £23.1bn to the economy annually. Candidates are therefore being urged to ensure the sector is not left behind in the Brexit negotiations due to take place in the coming years.

Grahame says: “I am proud to be speaking up for pubs and real ale. Well-run community pubs play a crucial role in local life and can have a huge impact on people’s happiness and social inclusion. If elected, I will continue to show my support in the next Parliament.”

Colin Valentine, CAMRA’s National Chairman says: “We are delighted that Grahame has pledged his support for beer and pubs. Pubs are a uniquely British institution which showcase our nation’s brewing tradition while providing an essential community facility for those that use them. It is therefore critical that pub-goers and beer drinkers are not left behind when it comes to negotiating Britain’s future over the coming years.”

Labour Brexit would put jobs first

Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party, will say today, in Basildon, that the choice is not between Brexit or no Brexit, but between a Labour Brexit for jobs and a Tory Brexit that will risk a jobs meltdown.

Jeremy will say:

“The Conservatives’ reckless approach has left us isolated and marginalised, increasing the chances of Britain crashing out of the EU without a deal, which would be the worst outcome for Britain.

“Britain is leaving the EU. But let’s be clear, there is no such thing as ‘no deal’. If we leave without a positive agreement because we have needlessly alienated everyone, we still have to trade with the EU. But on what terms?

“Theresa May says no deal is better than a bad deal. Let’s be clear: ‘no deal’ is in fact a bad deal. It is the worst of all deals because it would leave us with World Trade Organisation tariffs and restrictions, instead of the access to European markets we need.

“That would mean slapping tariffs on the goods we export – an extra 10 per cent on cars – with the risk that key manufacturers would leave for the European mainland, taking skilled jobs with them.

“In sector after sector, ‘no deal’ could prove to be an economic disaster – Theresa May’s approach risks a jobs meltdown across Britain.”

Contrasting Labour’s experienced team of negotiators with the Tory trio, he will say:

“The British people have a choice over what priorities, what principles, the British Government will take into talks, and which team they trust to lead the difficult negotiations ahead.

“I am proud to be joined here today by Labour’s team of Brexit negotiators: Keir Starmer; Emily Thornberry; and Barry Gardiner. A team with the skills and experience to get the best for Britain, as we move towards leaving the European Union.

“We know the three Tories in whose hands Theresa May has placed our national future – David Davis, Boris Johnson and Liam Fox. Now you know I don’t do personal attacks, so let me just say that in Labour’s Brexit team, there is no one who has fibbed to the British people about spending an extra £350 million a week on the NHS because of Brexit, and nobody who has promised to use Brexit to slash workers’ rights or slash tax for big corporations in a continental race to the bottom.”

Jeremy will pledge a Labour Brexit which will include:

“A deal that will allow us to upgrade our economy through public investment in infrastructure and high skilled jobs. A deal that will make Britain a centre for science, technology and research, attracting the brightest and best from around the country and the world, through strategic investment.

“A deal that allows us to transform Britain into a country with the strongest rights and protections, and ends exploitation and undercutting in the labour market. A deal that allows us to become a country that values and protects its public services and invests in its communities.

“And a deal that will allow Britain to be a safe and outward looking country, strengthening friendships and working with allies to create a better future for our country, continent and our planet.”

Save the Stapylton Arms!

An application has been made to DCC in respect of converting the Stapylton Arms. A meeting of the Parish Council which was attended by planning officers from Durham County Council along with local residents has been held. This has resulted in the Parish Council objecting to the application.

If you feel strongly about this application then you must submit your own comments and objections to either Barry Gavillet (Senior Planning Officer) Planning Department, County Hall, Durham, DH1 5UL or


The Planners base their decision on 3 main criteria:

  1. Whether the business is or is not financially viable.
  2. Whether there is significant demand for a pub in this community.
  3. Whether or not there are similar accessible facilities nearby.

Individual objections are important!- Two residents at the same property counts twice!


Protecting East-Durham Firefighters

Tony Curry from the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has warmly welcomed commitments made in the Labour Party manifesto for greater investment in the fire and rescue service, and has expressed support for Grahame in his re-election campaign.

Labour will recruit at least 3,000 new frontline firefighters, give fire services in England a statutory duty to tackle flooding and guarantee that Police and Crime Commissioners will not be given control over fire services.

Labour will also abolish the public sector pay cap that has meant firefighters are on average £2,000 worse off than they were in 2010.

In addition, the manifesto sets out plans to repeal the Trade Union Act that will mean less bureaucracy for unions trying to represent their members.

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said: “There are clear dividing lines for who to vote for in this election. Labour will invest in firefighters in order to keep people safe, whereas the Tories will continue to cut and decimate our service, putting public safety at risk.

“Having 3,000 more firefighters on the frontline is a promising start, and we welcome their commitment to review staffing levels across the service as a whole.

“Fire deaths have risen for the first time in 20 years since the Tories came to power, and response times to emergencies are getting slower. The service is in crisis and the Tories don’t have a plan to save it. Labour are the safe pair of hands who will deliver a properly resourced fire service to protect public safety.”

Labour’s Promise to Pensioners

The Pensioners’ Pledge Card lays out Labour’s four promises to protect older people in our communities:

  • Protect pensioner incomes by legislating to keep the Triple-Lock on state pensions up to 2025
  • End Tory unfairness on the women’s pension age, compensating those worst affected
  • Protect the pensions of UK citizens living overseas
  • Keep the Winter Fuel Allowance and free bus passes for pensioners

Alongside the pledge card, Labour will publish new analysis from the House of Commons Library showing pensioners will be at least £650 better off by the end of the next parliament from keeping the triple-lock.

Highlighting an increase in pensioner poverty over the last year, Labour will also commit to compensating women worst affected by the Government’s speeding-up of the state pension age; protecting pensioner benefits and protecting the pensions of UK citizens living abroad.

John McDonnell MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, will say:

“I am delighted to be launching this pledge card that will inform many elderly people in our communities that Labour is not only promising to stand up for pensioners; but is determined to ensure they keep the hard-won entitlements they currently hold.

“It’s a national scandal that pensioner poverty is rising and the Tories are refusing to commit to keeping the triple-lock or compensate women worst affected by the speeding up in the state pension age.

“Only a Labour Government will stand up for pensioners and protect them throughout the next parliament.”

Labour will transform educational opportunity for all in East Durham

Labour offers a clear choice this election. A Tory Government slashing school funding in East Durham by on average £319.98p, or Labour’s National Education service that will work from the cradle to the grave. We will provide free hot meals at lunch time for every primary school child, bring back EMA and scrap University Tuition Fees. Hear Labour’s powerful message from our excellent Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner.

Grahame will ensure football is a game for the many, not the few

Labour’s Parliamentary candidate for Easington, Grahame Morris, is enthusiastically backing the Labour Party’s manifesto commitment to ensure five per cent of the Premier League’s domestic and international television rights income is diverted to the grassroots game.

The pledge will help the next generation of players and coaches by drastically improving facilities and pitches across the country.

Labour have also committed to working with train operating companies, broadcasters and clubs to develop a new ‘Flexible Football Ticket’ so that fans experience minimal disruption when games are inevitably switched over the course of a season.

This will stop fans being left with worthless train tickets and having to fork out again for new tickets when games are re-arranged at short notice.

Labour’s manifesto also commits to:

Put fans at the heart of their clubs – by legislating for accredited supporters trusts to be able to appoint and remove at least two club directors and to purchase shares when clubs change hands. Labour will also review fan participation in sports governance more widely.
Fix the broken ticketing market – by enforcing anti-bot legislation and implementing the recommendations of the Waterson review to ensure fair opportunities for fans to buy tickets
Improve access provision for disabled sports fans – by ensuring that rapid improvements are made and by prioritising action to make clubs comply with obligations under the 2010 Equality Act.
Ensure that investment and support is given to grassroots women’s football so as many women and girls as possible can benefit from participating in football.

Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Easington Grahame Morris said:

“The English Premier League is the wealthiest football league in the world by some distance, and it’s time football supporters and the broader community got a fairer deal in terms of tickets, fan participation and flexible train tickets.

“Labour will ensure the footballing talent of young girls and boys is harnessed, and football is a game for the many, not the few”.

Last Chance to Register to Vote

Tomorrow is the last day to register to vote.

Registering to vote online is quick and easy.

The deadline to register to vote in the general election is 22 May 2017.

You can now register to vote online, all you need is your national insurance number and to answer a few questions about yourself.

To register to vote please visit –

Labour pledges to protect education

A Successful Education – Make Every School a Good School

Our schools are facing a cash crisis. Under Tory education proposals per pupil funding to schools in East Durham will be cut by an average of £319. The Tory chaotic education policy is failing to deliver school places where they are need. Millions have been wasted on Free Schools which have gone bust or closed after failing to meet basic educational standards. The Tories introduced then withdrew plans to turn all schools into academies and now they want a return to devise grammar schools.

Universal free school meals in Primary schools at the cost of 700 million pounds to 900 million pounds a year- depending on uptake. We will pay this by a levy VAT on private school fees to raise between 1.3 billion and 1.5 billion pounds a year depending on costing. It’s an absolute disgrace that often due to circumstances out of their control, parents do not have enough money to feed their children.

Labour’s policy will benefit the educational attainment and health of all children while ending a subsidy to the privileged few.

Research confirmed by the National Centre for Social Research and the Institute for Fiscal Studies has shown offering universal access to free school meals improves educational attainment through improvements in pupils’ productivity, enabling primary school pupils to advance by around two months on average.

The provision of free school meals also has been proven to improve the health of pupils through better nutrition – with over 90 percent of pupils eating a school lunch consuming food or drink containing vegetables or fruit (including fruit juice) compared with only 58 percent of pupils who eat packed lunches.

A Labour Government will ensure that the children you teach never go hungry.

Re-instating Student Maintenance Grants and Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) at the cost of 1.7 billion and 700 million pounds respectively. Our young people deserve a decent education without financial blocks.

Research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies thinktank suggested the EMA, which was worth £30 a week, helped to boost participation among 16-18 year olds. But it was abolished in England in 2011 as part of the coalition government’s efforts to reduce the deficit and replaced with a much less generous bursary system, following claims it did not represent good value for money.

While the Tories continue to burden our young people with debt, the Labour party is committed to investing in them. It is only by investing in education that we can ensure that all of our young people, whatever their background, are able to succeed in whatever they aspire to do.

When we can help improve the education of over a million young people with a small increase in corporation tax, it is an investment we would be foolish not to make.

Cuts to school budgets need to be stopped. It is an insult to the great work teachers do by slashing their budgets, meaning they struggle to pay for essential equipment and retain staff.

School budgets are being pushed beyond breaking point. The government’s £3 billion real terms cut to education funding must be reversed or we will see education and care suffer dreadfully.

In Durham alone we will lose just under 25 million in the budget for schools which will cause a average loss of 405 pounds per pupil, losing around 670 teachers. Its an absolute disgrace.

The unfair and divisive funding formula is an attack on our education system. Increasing the headline rate of corporation tax gradually from 19% at present to 26% by 2020-2021. This still will remain the lowest corporation tax in the G7.

This increase in corporation tax will also be used to pay for free life long education. This is absolutely fundamental in improving the current workforce and giving people from working class backgrounds the opportunity to succeed. I completely reject the Tory rhetoric that tuition fees have little to no influence when making the decision to venture into further education. A lifetime saddled with debt, with Tory cuts ensuing there are no jobs, is completely disheartening, and is creating a generation of apathetic voters who see the education system as having failed them. In reality, this was a political decision to undermine working class voters who quite simply cannot face 9 thousand pounds worth of debt per year. This is why Labour will change this.

Labour has always prioritised education. Education is our route to success, providing skills for our children to grasp opportunities and lead successful lives. A Labour Government delivered Building Schools for the Future, which led to our schools being transformed, such as the Academy at Shotton Hall and Easington Academy.

The next Labour Government will build on our past success

Just as Labour established the NHS, it will set up a National Education Service to offer everyone the chance to study for “cradle to grave.”

-All primary school children in England will get free school meals paid for by removing tax breaks for private schools.

-There will be a properly funded system of free childcare which will eventually extended to all two-year-olds and, in some cases, to one-year-olds.

-The cap on teachers’ pay will be lifted and teachers will have more control of the national curriculum.

-Labour will also abolish university tuition fees and bring back maintenance grants for students.

-We will stop Tory education cuts and fund our school to cut class sizes.

Through high quality teaching, smaller class sizes and adequate funding Labour will make every school a good school.

Labour pledges to protect Firefighers!

Easington Labour Candidate met firefighters during a campaign visit at Peterlee Fire Station on Tuesday 16th May.

The manifesto, published yesterday, confirmed that Labour will recruit at least 3,000 new frontline firefighters. Give fire services in England a statutory duty to tackle flooding and guarantee that Police and Crime Commissioners will not be given control over fire services.

Labour will also abolish the public sector pay cap that has meant firefighters are on average £2000 worse off than they were in 2010.

Speaking about cuts to frontline services and attacks on staff pay, pensions and conditions, Mr Morris said the country faced a stark choice at the election, he said:

“In little over three weeks the country faces a choice. I do not believe our public services can afford another five years of a Tory government.

Fire deaths have risen for the first time in 20 years since the Tories came to power, and response times to emergencies are getting slower. The service is in crisis and the Tories don’t have a plan to save it.

Labour are the safe pair of hands who will deliver a properly resourced fire service to protect public safety. Jeremy Corbyn offers real change which has not been seen for a generation. He wants to tilt the balance in favour of those who for to long have been rejected and overlooked by a political establishment.

Labour’s manifesto will deliver seismic change for our country, if we do not grasp the opportunity now, it may take a long time before we get the chance to create real, positive change.”