Tag: Mike Kane MP

Rashford makes emotional plea to MPs to back free school meal voucher U-turn

Marus Rashford    Pic: Дмитрий Голубович

Manchester United and England footballer, Marcus Rashford has made an impassioned plea for the government to scrap its plan to cancel the free school meal voucher scheme for children during the summer holidays.

Rashford, who was brought up in a single parent family in Wythenshawe, has written to MPs recounting his childhood experiences and visits to foodbanks and soup kitchens and calling for action to help poorer families cope with the economic impact of the Covid 19 pandemic.

Speaking to the BBC, Rashford said: “It’s written from the heart and it’s about how my life was at the moment – the letter is to open up and let people understand the impact on families and to know I’ve done the right thing.

“What families are going through now, I’ve once had to go through that – and it’s very difficult to find a way out. It’s very important for me to help people who are struggling. Whether the outcome changes or doesn’t change – that’s why I wrote it.”

The footballer has raised about £20m to provide meals for  vulnerable people while working with charity FareShare UK during the coronavirus lockdown.

Campaigners have threatened legal action against the government for not extending the food voucher scheme into the summer holidays.

In his open letter, Rashford told MPs: “Food poverty in England is a pandemic that could span generations if we don’t course correct now. Whilst 1.3 million children are registered for free school meals, one quarter of these children have not been given any support since the school closures were ordered.

“We rely on parents, many of whom have seen their jobs evaporate due to Covid 19, to play substitute teacher during lockdown, hoping that their children are going to be focussed enough to learn, with only a small percentage of their nutritional needs met during this period. This is a system failure and without education, we’re encouraging this cycle of hardship to continue.”

Recalling his family’s reliance on breakfast clubs, free school meals and the sacrifices made by his mother he said: “The system was not built for families like mine to succeed, regardless of how hard my mum worked… It is only now that I really understand the enormous sacrifice my mum made to send me away to live in digs aged 11, a decision no mother would ever make lightly.”

In his plea for the government to reverse its decision to cancel the food voucher scheme, Rashford adds: “As a black man from a low income family in Wythenshawe, I could have been just another statistic. Instead, due to the selfless actions of my mum, my family, my neighbours and my coaches, the only stats I’m associated with are goals, appearances and caps. I would be doing myself, my family and my community an injustice if I didn’t stand here with my voice and my platform and ask you for help.

“The government has taken a “whatever it takes” approach to the economy. I’m asking you today to extend that same thinking to all vulnerable children across England. I encourage you to hear their pleas for humanity.”

Rashford has attracted widespread support and has been dubbed “the Pride of Wythenshawe”. The town’s MP and former  shadow schools minister, Mike Kane, has backed his U-turn call.


MP warns closure will lead to Wythenshawe school places squeeze


Wythenshawe  MP  Mike Kane is calling on the government to reverse the controversial plans to close Newall Green High School.

The Shadow School’s Minister has told Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson, he opposes the DfE decision to shut the school saying it could lead to a shortage of school places.

In a letter to the DfE boss he said: “Manchester City Council’s place planning shows the secondary school population in south Manchester will increase in the next two to three years. With the school closing, how will the DfE ensure the area has enough school places for our community’s children in the years ahead?”

Parents were told earlier this month that the DfE will close the academy school because of falling numbers.

A petition to save the school has been launched, signed by more than 650 people and students staged a protest calling on the decision to be reversed.

The school had been put in special measures following an OFSTED inspection, but in its latest monitoring report, inspectors said the school had made improvements.

Mike Kane was involved in establishing a Wythenshawe Education Board with the Regional Schools Commissioner, Vicky Beer.

All four Wythenshawe high schools are on board, aiming to raise standards and give a ‘good offer’ for schools in the town. The schools board aims combat o raise OFSTED.

The MP says  he is very disappointed the school is being closed while we’re in the middle of this project.


In his letter to education bosses, Mr Kane has also asked: “How did this once desirable and popular school end up being so under-subscribed that it is no longer financially viable to remain open?

“When the school closes and the land returns to the Department for Education, what will become of the buildings and large open spaces?”

The Department for Education has been approached by the Wythenshawe Reporter for a comment.

Brexit: Wythenshawe MP, Mike Kane condemns Parliament shutdown

wp-1478947269179.jpegWythenshawe MP Mike Kane has condemned Boris Johnson’s shutdown of Parliament as “an affront to our democratic principles”.

Earlier this week, Wythenshawe church leader, Dave Warnock, urged the Labour MP to share his views on what he calls a “democratic crisis” following the decision by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to prorogue (suspend) parliament, seen by many as an attempt to prevent MPs from blocking a no-deal departure from the European Union.

And in a statement to the Wythenshawe Reporter, Mr Kane today condemned Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to prorogue Parliament.

The Labour MP said: “Given the situation facing our country as we approach the Brexit deadline of 31 October, and the impact it could have on people’s jobs and living standards, I believe it is deeply concerning to suspend Parliament and I am opposed to it.

“The Labour Party and Parliament must do everything we can, working on a cross party basis to block a No Deal Brexit. I cannot sit back and allow the Prime Minister to drag us out of the EU without a Withdrawal Agreement because we have seen the potential economic consequences for the country.

“I believe we’re at the stage in our history where party advantage must be put to one side, we must look at the long-term interest of our country.

“Prorogation at this time is an affront to our democratic principles. Long prorogations raise fundamental questions about whether the Government of the day commands the confidence of a majority of MPs and whether it can legitimately govern.

“Finally, I want to reiterate my opposition to a No Deal Brexit. Businesses, trade unions and the Government’s own analysis have warned about the disruption No Deal would result in and the damage it would do to our economy. I am committed to working across Parliament, to do whatever is necessary to stop it happening.”

Mr Kane has previously voted against No Deal in Parliament and abstained on proposals for a second referendum and to cancel Brexit.

What does proroguing parliament mean?

A Parliament lasts for the time between general elections – supposedly five – but it is divided into sessions, usually lasting about a year. The current session has lasted 26 months.

At the end of a session, a Prime Minister formally advises the Queen to prorogue  Parliament, usually for a few days, after which a new session will begin with a state opening of Parliament and a Queen’s Speech which will outline the laws the Government intends to introduce. During the suspension the Government can continue to do its job, but MPs cannot debate in Parliament, pass laws or scrutinise what the Government and Prime Minister is doing.

Proroguing  Parliament is different to recess, when the session continues but MPs do not attend the House of Commons, usually during the summer and when the parties take part in their conferences.

Proroguing Parliament is a power exercised by the PM, officially held by the Queen. MPs have no say in the matter. MPs do have a say in whether a recess can take place, and there was speculation that Parliament would vote against a recess for the upcoming party conferences so that MPs could debate Brexit ahead of the UK’s scheduled departure from the EU on October 31.

MPs from all parties have condemned the suspension, some calling it a coup and some an attack on parliamentary democracy.

The move has sparked demonstrations across the country,  a legal challenge and a petition signed by 1.6 million nationwide so far, including 2,331 people in Wythenshawe and Sale East. A protest is planned for Monday at 6.30 at the Peterloo Memorial in Manchester.

Cabinet minister Michael Gove, who had previously opposed prorgation said the suspension,  was “certainly not” a political move to obstruct opposition to the UK leaving the EU without a deal.

The Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg said this parliamentary session had been one of the longest in almost 400 years, so it was right to suspend it and start a new session.

Ruth Fox – director of parliamentary experts the Hansard Society – said this prorogation was “significantly longer than we would normally have” for the purpose of starting a new parliamentary session.

Ms Fox said that depending on the day the suspension began – and on whether MPs would have voted to have a party conference recess at all – the prorogation could “potentially halve” the number of days MPs have to scrutinise the government’s Brexit position.

Tommy Robinson plans to stand as Euro-MP for the North West


Former EDL leader Stephen Yaxley-Lennon aka Tommy Robinson has announced plans to stand as a candidate for the North West in the European elections.

The the anti-Islam activist was due to address supporters at an event in Wythenshawe this evening saying there would be an announcement about his plans.

If the elections go-ahead it will mean he will be competing for votes with Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party and UKIP despite him having a position as an adviser to the party.

Community leaders in Wythenshawe and anti-racist campaigners have condemned the move.

Lennon and his supporters complain he has been smeared as a racist, and insist he does not care about skin colour and his objection is to Islamist political ideology rather than people.

He has been filmed visiting an estate branding muslims as “enemy combatants who want to kill you, maim you and destroy you”. He said “Somalis are backward barbarians” and that refugees are “raping their way through the country”.

Lennon, a former member of the far right British National Party, has a string of convictions for various offences including common assault and mortgage fraud and last year was jailed for contempt of court for live streaming outside court case when he confronted defendants in a child sexual exploitation trial.

It was feared the trial, which was linked to two other major trials involving men accused and later convicted for their part in a grooming gang in Huddersfield, could have been wrecked because of his actions.

Contempt laws restrict the reporting of trials that are linked together to prevent juries being influenced by the media. Lennon had claimed the “main stream media” were deliberately covering up the case.

Following Lennon’s conviction for contempt, a local journalist Stephanie Finnegan, who covered the case and the grooming trial received rape and death threats from his supporters.

Lennon was released after the prison term was overturned but faces being returned to prison after the contempt case was referred to the Attorney General. The hearing is expected to take place next month.

Earlier today faith leaders and Wythenshawe’s MP said Lennon’s views were not welcome in the town and the anti-racist charity Hope Not Hate has launched a campaign to stop him being elected.

Tommy Robinson not welcome in Wythenshawe say religious leaders

KaneWythenshawe’s MP along with religious and community leaders have united to oppose a planned event in Benchill today featuring the far right anti-muslim activist known as Tommy Robinson.

The former leader of anti-Islam group the English Defence League, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, says he will be at a barbecue in Wythenshawe tonight.

And seven religious leaders from Christian, Jewish and Muslim communities along with Wythenshawe MP, Mike Kane have signed a statement saying Yaxley-Lennon is not welcome in the town. Continue reading “Tommy Robinson not welcome in Wythenshawe say religious leaders”