I would like to congratulate my Labour colleagues across England and Wales after a brilliant set of results in both the Police and Crime Commissioner and local elections.

We saw Jane Mudd elected as the first woman Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent and I know she will work hard to strengthen community links which means safer streets for us all.

By going out to vote, we are not only sending the Tories a message – we are voting to turn a new page and voting for change.

This set of elections was the first step to getting Britain’s future back. Labour has a plan to right the course after 14 years of decline under the Conservatives and I am very much looking forward to making that positive case whenever Rishi Sunak calls a General Election.

Ruth Jones, Jayne Bryant and other Labour campaigners in Afon village, Rogerstone
Ruth Jones, Jayne Bryant and other Labour campaigners in Afon village, Rogerstone

Last month, I visited a number of businesses in Newport West ranging from the newly reopened Lamb pub to McDonald’s on Cardiff Road.

As Shadow Minister for Environmental Protection, I finished the month with a trip to Cadbury World in Birmingham to learn more about the company’s sustainability goals and had the chance to try tempering Dairy Milk.

I was struck in all my conversations with business leaders by their willingness to be a positive force in the community. Restaurants and others in Newport West have adapted well to the Welsh Government’s new waste separation law which should only enhance our position as a global leader in recycling.

At McDonald’s, I met with franchise owner Jane Blackwell, restaurant manager Ethan and other team leaders. We discussed the importance of a cohesive community effort to keep our streets clean and I agreed to join them on a future litter pick.

Ruth Jones MP meets Vladyslava at The Lamb
Ruth Jones MP meets Vladyslava at The Lamb

Last month, I also secured an important Westminster Hall debate about the impact of the latest Tory Budget on Wales. My constituents are still paying the price after Liz Truss crashed the economy and Rishi’s recession is hurting families every day.

These are the real costs of a Tory Government that is painfully out of touch and knows it is out of time. Rather than offering us the change we need, I am afraid this Budget barely papers over the cracks after 14 years of economic failure.

 

I recently visited the Ibis Budget on Malpas Road after an incident in which right-wing extremists intimidated a member of hotel staff and uploaded unsolicited footage of the encounter to social media sites.

The group accused the hotel of “selling out” by accommodating migrants. Newport is, and always has been, a welcoming city and we welcome asylum seekers and refugees. Our diversity is a strength and I will not let that change because of a misguided minority.

There are however no asylum seekers or refugees staying at the hotel because it is considered unsuitable for such a scheme. I believe this episode highlights the danger of misinformation online and we must be mindful of it – especially in a General Election year, with so much at stake.

Best wishes / Cofion cynnes,

Ruth Jones MP
Ruth Jones MP
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