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A leaked government document has revealed the steel industry has been classified as a 'low priority' industry in the upcoming Brexit negotiations.

Responding to the news, Anna said:

“The Government’s classification of steel as a ‘low priority’ in the Brexit negotiations is outrageous and proves yet again that ministers do not appreciate the crucial role the sector plays as a foundation industry for British manufacturing.

“UK steel is already at a disadvantage with many of our European competitors due to issues around energy costs and business rates. The UK Government has also continued to frustrate EU efforts for tougher action against Chinese dumping.

“As our Steel 2020 report set out, the industry needs the government to act in a number of key areas to save it from crisis. It cannot be side-lined once again and I will continue to work with the industry and my colleagues in Parliament to make sure the Government listen.”

Classification of steel industry as 'low priority' in Brexit negotiations is outrageous

A leaked government document has revealed the steel industry has been classified as a 'low priority' industry in the upcoming Brexit negotiations.

  • New legislation would require social media platforms to filter out abusive messages
  • Children under the age of 18 to have automatic screening of abusive messages
  • Anna Turley says the platforms have been failing to protect their users from harmful abuse for too long

Anna Turley, Member of Parliament for Redcar, has brought a landmark piece of legislation before Parliament – the first of its kind to deal directly with social media.

The Malicious Communications (Social Media) Bill 2016-17 is a Private Members Bill, secured by Anna, which seeks to improve the regulatory framework around social media platforms.

The legislation would place a responsibility on social media platforms to filter out abusive content before it reaches the intended recipient, rather than the current practise where users report abuse after receiving it.

Offensive and threatening content can cause emotional distress or harm. An NSPCC report on child safety in the UK published in 2016 found that in 2015/16 there were 4,541 Childline counselling sessions where cyber bullying was mentioned - a 13% increase since 2014/153.

The problem of online abuse is growing and the volume of cases places intense pressure on police services, who have limited resources to handle these cases. This bill creates a simple filter so that people can enjoy communicating with others on these platforms whilst protecting themselves from harm.

For social media operators who do not take reasonable means to prevent abuse, the Bill gives OFCOM the power to fine them up to £2,000,000 or 5% of their global turnover.

Anna said:

“For many years social media platforms have been failing to protect their users from harmful abuse. Every day thousands of people are victims of intimidating, offensive, indecent, obscene or menacing messages which can cause a great deal of distress and harm, particularly to children and young people.

“This bill doesn't get in the way of free speech, it simply creates an optional filter for online abuse; a bit like a spam filter on your emails. These social media platforms already have highly sophisticated tools and algorithms that would enable them to screen out abusive content. It's about time they used them to protect people. Everyday users of social media have a right to use their platforms without receiving unsolicited abuse.

“Abusive messages would still be accessible should the police need to take action where an actual crime has been committed, or if indeed the victim choses to see it.

“I have been really pleased with the cross-party support this Bill has received. Social media platforms have been dragging their feet while there has been an epidemic of bullying and abuse on their sites. I hope the government will see it as a useful tool to tackle the growing menace of online abuse.”

The Bill will receive its second reading on Friday 24th March 2017.

A copy of the bill can be found online here: https://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/cbill/2016-2017/0044/17044.pdf

Landmark social media bill brought forward by Anna Turley MP

New legislation would require social media platforms to filter out abusive messages Children under the age of 18 to have automatic screening of abusive messages Anna Turley says the platforms...

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I was delighted to have been asked to open today’s Disability Confident Initiative Event, held by the local DWP and hosted at Redcar and Cleveland College.

In 2013 Disability Confident was launched with the aim of improving work opportunities for disabled people. The initiative encourages employers to recruit and retain disabled people with the skills and the talent that they are looking for.

Around 17% of working age people in the UK have a disability but they are twice as likely as members of the general public to be unemployed. The government has set out its ambition to halve this disability employment gap but at the current rate it would take more than 200 years to do so.

Fewer than 1 in 10 people receive any employment support at all and a recent study by Scope showed that disabled workers are still discriminated against with three quarters of disabled people being reluctant to reveal details of their disability for fear of discrimination.

Disability Confident is a welcome step to try and change this.

The Disability Confident campaign offers employers tips on how to attract, retain and recruit disabled people and highlights the business benefits of an inclusive workforce.

Disability Confident employers are those who have identified and removed barriers in the recruitment of disabled people, tapped into the support available, and successfully offered an opportunity to or hired local disabled job seekers. Many employers are at different stages on their journey to becoming Disability Confident, and many need support to break down barriers.

I would like to congratulate and thank all those who are on this journey.

I support in any scheme to get equality of opportunity for disabled people in our community.

A disability should never limit what you can do in life and businesses and organisations should be looking to harness our local talent and potential.

Disability Confident

I was delighted to have been asked to open today’s Disability Confident Initiative Event, held by the local DWP and hosted at Redcar and Cleveland College.

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Yesterday evening Parliament voted to give Theresa May the power to invoke Article 50 and start the negotiations for Britain’s exit from the European Union. In Redcar & Cleveland 66% of people who voted in the referendum opted to Leave the EU. I completely respect that verdict and joined the majority of my fellow Labour MPs in voting with the Government to invoke Article 50.

During the referendum people on Teesside sent Westminster a clear message that the current social, economic and political settlement is not working and that they wanted to see change. I heard that message loud and clear in the conversations I have had with residents when out knocking on doors. It is my job now to ensure that the views, concerns and interests of all of my constituents from Marske and Redcar, through to Greater Eston and Ormesby are heard in the exit negotiations.

Whilst the verdict for Leave was clear, the terms of Brexit were not on the ballot paper. For this reason I think it is absolutely right that MPs should have a role in scrutinising the Government’s negotiations. Every MP has the opportunity to speak up for the needs of their own area. This is the democratic sovereignty so many voted for in action.

People in Redcar & Cleveland and across Teesside voted for Brexit. However they did not vote to give the Government a blank cheque to negotiate away their jobs, their rights and their security. Many of the people I spoke to voted leave because they wanted to see a more active, interventionist Government that would intervene to support industries like steel. They certainly didn’t vote to allow the Tories to turn Britain into a tax haven with less regulation, lower standards, fewer workers’ rights and lower taxes on international businesses.

My focus has been on protecting jobs and investment and creating an environment that will attract more to our area. I also want to see levels of regional development funding protected by the Government so we not lose out.

There are four key issues which I think I should be concentrating on, based on the needs of our area and what you have told me:

  1. The best possible trade deal to help local businesses and bring new jobs to our area
  2. Making sure Teesside doesn’t lose a penny of EU funding - between 2014 and 2020 we were due to receive £162m, or £243 per person.
  3. A plan on immigration and freedom of movement which addresses people’s concerns but doesn’t hurt the economy.
  4. No cuts to employment rights like paid holiday, parental leave and working hours.

We have to make the most of the opportunities provided by Brexit, and I urge the Government to ensure that they help rather than hinder areas such as Teesside.

I welcome the views of residents in Redcar constituency, which includes Eston, South Bank, Grangetown, Normanby, Ormesby, Dormanstown, Marske & New Marske, so please do get in touch with your opinion of what my priorities should be. There is a survey on my website to fill in: http://www.anna4redcar.org.uk/eu_survey.

It is vital that Brexit empowers our region and allows us to attract the inward investment we need to bring new businesses and industries to the area, creating the decent, secure, and well paid jobs we desperately need.

I will now fight for the best deal to achieve that.

Triggering Article 50

Yesterday evening Parliament voted to give Theresa May the power to invoke Article 50 and start the negotiations for Britain’s exit from the European Union. In Redcar & Cleveland 66%...

Auschwitz. A single word that conjures up so many emotions. The unimaginable horror of the Holocaust. Murder on an industrial scale that can barely be processed by the mind. The pinnacle of man’s inhumanity to man, woman, child, and grandparent. I thought I knew what Auschwitz was.

To be honest, when the invitation from the Holocaust Educational Trust to go to Auschwitz arrived I didn’t really think I needed to go. I had studied it and knew my history. I remembered from school the grainy black and white video images of shaven headed skeletons. The piles of lifeless bodies. Why did I need to actually go there? Would it be too much?

I was persuaded by learning that 200 young people from schools across the North East would also be attending, including from my own constituency. I remembered the profound effect that learning about the Holocaust had on me as a young person and I wanted to see if I would learn something new or gain a new perspective by seeing it through their eyes. And I am glad I did. What I learned and felt had a huge impact on me. It wasn’t so much new information that I didn’t already know, but that Auschwitz and the horrors of the Holocaust actually became real to me.

The scale – six million Jews murdered – is difficult to comprehend, and black and white videos and photos in a textbook allow a comforting distance from the reality. It was too easy to think that what happened was another time, another place. I remembered thinking as a kid “that could never happen now. We would never allow that to happen, thank goodness we are now more enlightened, more tolerant. We have learnt the lessons”.

It was easy to put Nazi Germany down as an aberration in history, a society that collectively lost it senses and got swept away by a charismatic leader and ideology. But when you visit Auschwitz and see the camp first-hand, walking between the huts and seeing the gas chambers you are forced to confront the uncomfortable truth that this was not a story or a video. It happened. It happened not too far from here and not too long ago. And many, many people made it happen. To organise the logistical operation of moving millions of people across a continent to their deaths took a lot of work and a lots of people. They knew. They were ordinary people, not comic book Nazis, but a mass movement of normal people involved in the systematic murder of others.

So how could this be done? How could a continent collectively turn its back or even facilitate mass murder on this scale? That’s the other lesson that Auschwitz taught me. They were dehumanised. The Nazi’s anti-Semitic propaganda was just the start, creating the climate for the persecution of Europe’s Jewish people and enabling them to be removed from communities. It is easy to close your eyes and to justify this if you make them less than human. The wearing of stars to objectify the individual, and once in camp; the uniform, possessions removed, hair shaved – any means of personal identification taken away.

These are the lessons to learn today – to guard against for ever. The dehumanising of the “other”, scapegoating people for economic or social problems, objectifying the foreigner or the refugee or someone of a different faith, appearance or colour of skin. All of this helps create a climate in which it is easy to turn away and justify man’s inhumanity to man. We have seen in this last year a rise in intolerance and hatred which cannot be dismissed because Auschwitz shows us where it can end.

The most powerful thing at Auschwitz for me was the photographs of the victims. They re-humanised those victims to me, showing real people full of love and hope, laughter and talent. Families at weddings, couples on the beach, children at parties, young people singing. The photos could have been of my own family – the same smiles, the same 1930s hair styles, the same glasses and clothes. When I think of the people who died there now, they are no longer the naked, shaven headed skeletons of the videos. They have names. They have faces. They are people like you and me, or our parents and grandparents.

The young people I went with behaved with the most impressive dignity and thoughtfulness. They gave me great hope that not only did they understand the horrors of the past, but the trip and the education they received meant they would be the ones who would step up in future and challenge the prejudice and hatred which paves the way to those railway lines at Auschwitz where we laid the candles to those who perished.

Holocaust Memorial Day: Reflects on visit to Auschwitz

Auschwitz. A single word that conjures up so many emotions. The unimaginable horror of the Holocaust. Murder on an industrial scale that can barely be processed by the mind. The...


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