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.

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.”

Theresa May backs the return of fox hunting- I do not!

Theresa May has restored the Tories reputation as the nasty party. She has called for a return of fox hunting and if elected will deliver a vote in Parliament.

Conservative peer Lord Mancroft, Chairman of the Council of Hunting Associations, said a Tory victory with a majority of 50 MPs would be a real opportunity to repeal the Hunting Act.

The heinous act of fox hunting is barbaric, completely unnecessary and firmly belongs in the history books.

Easington Labour Candidate Grahame Morris said:

“I am worried. Fox hunting is a horrific type of animal cruelty, plain and simple.

I am appalled that the Prime Minister would support the return of fox hunting, it is yet another reason we need to stop Theresa May returning to Downing Street.

I am proud of Labour’s record on animal welfare and banning fox hunting.  There is no place in a civilised society for such a cruel bloodsport and the Prime Minister views on this matter are simply out of step in modern Britain.

The only way to protect animal welfare and maintain the hunting ban is to vote Labour on the 8th June”   

Labour has a long record of achievement in protecting and promoting animal welfare. We must work towards ending unnecessary suffering of animals and Labour are offering a real alternative to the cruelty and inaction we have seen from the Government over the past seven years.

The Hunting Act is one of Labour’s most popular and successful pieces of animal welfare legislation and we must protect it from being repealed by the Tories.








As Labour’s candidate for Easington,  I wanted to let you know about Labour’s bold new plans for a National Education Service.

Seven years into government, it’s clear that the Tories are failing to deliver on the basics of education. Schools are suffering under their cuts, whilst class sizes are soaring. On their watch there are more unqualified teachers, and yet their obsession with selective education means that their plans for new grammars will only benefit a lucky few.

Labour is ambitious for every child. That’s why we’ve announced plans for a new National Education Service which will deliver opportunities for the many, not the few. Labour will:

  • Stop the cuts to school budgets will a real-terms increase in funding 
  • Cut class sizes to lower than 30 for all five, six and seven year-olds 
  • Introduce free universal school meals for primary school children, funded by VAT on private school fees
  • Bring back Education Maintenance Allowance and maintenance grants for students from low and middle income backgrounds
  • Scrap fees on courses for adults looking to retrain or upskill

Research by the National Union of Teachers warn that under Tory education plans Dene Community School would lose £600 per pupil by 2019.

On a visit to Dene Community School, I spoke to staff regarding these proposed education cuts:

“Dene Community School would be one of the worst affect by Tory education cuts. There can be no justification for such a cut or the failure to invest in our young people.

The Tories are failing our children with their chaotic education policy and constant changes. Millions have been wasted on failing Free Schools, they introduced then withdrew plans to make all schools academies and now they want to turn the clock back with the return of grammar schools.” 

Mr Morris added:

“I believe we need to make every school a good school. This means stopping Tory education cuts and reducing class sizes. 

Education is essential for delivering opportunity and improving the life chances for children in the Easington constituency. 

Education is a public good and is an investment in people which will reap long lasting dividends”

The reason I’m standing as Labour’s candidate for Easington is because I believe that opportunities should exist for everyone.

Election Day Message – Vote Labour

I want to wish all Labour Council candidates the very best in the local elections especially in my constituency in County Durham but also all across the country where elections are taking place. Huge thanks to all the Labour supporters and volunteers who have helped in the campaign. I was a Councillor representing part of my home village of Murton for a number of years when my boys were young so I understand the pressures and the costs to personal and family life of standing for locally elected office.

I am sure we all ask at times why we do it particularly when tested by those who have in the main done little or nothing for their communities but carp criticise and sneer. I have asked at times if I am I done with this, but I don’t think I will ever be done with the Labour Party. My belief in the politics of community and the values of social justice are unshakable. The evidence is clear when we have the opportunity we can achieve great things that transform lives and life chances of those who with all humility we seek to represent. That has been my experience of Labour in power in local government and in national politics. In my youth I have been fortunate to see what I had hoped was an end to hunger homelessness and squalor, and be part of a Labour Council which built decent housing for families and warden controlled sheltered housing for the elderly. It was Labour in power which built the new schools and made education a priority which meant that we have had better lives than our parents and our children have had the opportunity of a good education and a better start in life.

Labour has made a difference to the lives of my family too. When I was battling lymphatic cancer at the turn of the year, it was Labour’s greatest achievement, the NHS, through early diagnosis and prompt treatment which saved my life.

So, regardless of the outcome of tomorrow’s election, I will never be cowed from standing up for Labour, and standing up for the difference we can make when we work together for the common good. I’m not done yet and neither is the Party which I love and owe so much to. So let us push cynicism aside and let’s press on to do our best. We are standing on the shoulders of those who went before and faced many adversities and hardships. I know that the Labour values we stand for are the hope of the world and WILL win through in the end.