It seems that as every month goes by, a new by-election is announced. This time it is Scott Benton who is stepping down as an MP after he was found to be in a “very serious breach” of lobbying rules by the House of Commons Standards Committee.

This is a continuation of the chaos that this Conservative Government have been in for some time, as it goes from crisis to crisis. Put simply this is a divided party under the weak leadership of Rishi Sunak. Just look at the sewage crisis that is wrecking environment havoc to our rivers. According to the Environment Agency, in 2023 there were 3.6 million hours of spills, compared to 1.75 million hours in 2022.

The Conservatives are unable or indeed unwilling to get tough with polluting water companies. Meanwhile, Labour will put the water companies under tough special measures whilst strengthening regulation so law-breaking water bosses face criminal charges.

With polling looking miserable for the Government, the Budget that was held last month was a chance for the Government not only to undo the damage they have inflicted on the country for 14 years but also to set policies in place to help people during the cost-of-living crisis.

Despite the Chancellor’s less-than-subtle attempt to win over voters with a National Insurance tax cut from 10% to 8%, the UK now has the highest tax burden in 70 years. Additionally, the Office for Budget Responsibility has confirmed this will be the worst Parliament on record for living standards. During the debate on the Budget, I put on record how local people in Lewisham East have suffered under this Conservative Government which includes increased poverty and poor housing conditions. You can read my speech here.

The only way to change course is to vote for Labour. That is why it is so important that we as local Party Members do all we can to elect as many Labour councillors in the upcoming Local Elections and to re-elect Sadiq Khan as our Mayor of London.

I know many people have been impacted by a number of violent incidents that have occurred in the local area this month, including the shooting of Shaquille Graham in Catford Broadway. I have been in close contact with the police, and I am looking at how to press the Government on how it improves their response to violent crime and to ensure it is properly tackled once and for all. If not, then Labour stands ready to implement it’s national mission to make Britain’s streets safe.

To see what I have been working on in Parliament and in Lewisham East please see my newsletter below. If there is something you would like to make me aware of whether it is a local or national issue, please email me via


International Instability

After recent events and as the number of casualties in Gaza increases, it is vital that a ceasefire that lasts and is observed by all sides is ultimately secured. I was shocked and appalled to hear about the IDF’s drone strike that killed seven aid workers in Gaza, which included three British nationals.

There must be a full investigation into this shocking incident and those responsible must be identified.

As a result, calls continue to grow for the U.K. to suspend arms sales to Israel as it did in 1982 and 2002. Consequently, the Government must release legal advice they have had on the sale of arms to Israel. If the advice supports the suspension of sales, then the Government should adhere to this.

On the wider issue of delivery of aid into the region, I was pleased to see that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has called on Israel to act “without delay” to allow the “provision… of urgently needed basic services and humanitarian assistance”. However, we remain a long way from away from ensuring that everyone who needs aid in Gaza receives it. Restrictions on aid flows are completely unacceptable and must be lifted.

The UN Security Council’s call for an immediate ceasefire must also be implemented in full, and the UK Government must play its part in applying diplomatic pressure to make it happen. Last month I published an updated statement on what is happening in Gaza and in Israel. You can read it here. I will look to update this statement soon.

As Ukraine lowers its minimum conscription age from 27 to 25 it serves as a reminder of how entrenched this conflict is. It is therefore important that the UK Government continues to support Ukraine and encourages other nations to follow its lead. If elected Labour will stand with NATO allies in providing military, economic, diplomatic and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine in the face of Putin’s illegal invasion.


Shadow Minister for Youth Justice Responsibilities

It has been a busy month in respect to my Shadow Ministerial brief. For instance, the Government has recently announced that it repurposing Cookham Wood YOI into an adult male prison. This comes after the Government failed to build the prison places needed to keep inmates and staff safe in the adult & youth estate. HM Chief Inspector of Prisons published a report last year stating that “Cookham Wood was the near total breakdown in behaviour management”.

As a result, it was issued an Urgent Notification and the Government committed itself to ensuring sustained improvement at Cookham Wood. However, with violence still high and children kept in their cells during most of the day the Government has decided to close the YOI and make it into an adult prison instead. In the here and now the transition period must be handled with care and attention. Young people who were at Cookham Wood must be supported as they are relocated so the violence is stopped from continuing at future YOIs. You can see me press the Prisons Minister on this in the House of Commons Chamber here.

The other development in the Shadow Youth Justice brief that caught national attention was the horrendous case where a vulnerable girl held in Wetherby YOI was pinned down and stripped by an all-male group of officers on more than one occasions at the all-male Young Offender Institution at Wetherby. I also challenged the Prisons Minister on this, and called for the Government to rethink its use of the Keppel unit in Wetherby YOI as an appropriate location to place vulnerable girls in the criminal justice system. You can read my interaction with him here.

The Government is clearly not keeping children or staff in YOI’s safe. If Labour were in Government our justice system would be reformed to tackle crime and to protect young people.


Clean Air

Janet Daby MP speaking at PMQs
Janet Daby MP speaking at PMQs

Since I first became the Member of Parliament for Lewisham East, I have repeatedly stressed that we all have a right to breathe clean air. If the Government are serious about delivering clean air, they need to follow Labour’s lead.

That is why I pressed the Prime Minister in the chamber of the House of Commons on the need to follow Mayor of London’s pilot for 200 of London’s most impacted schools to access air quality filters to improve air quality in classrooms. You can watch my interaction with the Prime Minister here.


All Party Parliamentary Groups

Janet Daby MP chairing the AGM of the Children in Police Custody APPG
Janet Daby MP chairing the AGM of the Children in Police Custody APPG

Due to administrative Parliamentary rule changes, I had to call a meeting for the to All Party-Parliamentary Groups (APPG) that I chair to appoint no more and no less than 4 officers including one chair. I am happy to announce that I was reappointed as Chair for the Children in Police Custody APPG and the Sickle Cell and Thalassemia APPG.

I look forward to continuing my work on the inquiry into Achieving the Rights of Children in Police Custody as well as implementing the recommendations of the No One’s Listening Report to improve the lives of those with Sickle Cell.


Housing in Lewisham East

Janet Daby MP with residents of Moat Housing
Janet Daby MP with residents of Moat Housing

Last month I was appalled to discover that some of my constituents who live in Catford, are being affected by rent increases of 9% and service charge increases of up to 62% by their housing provider, Moat Housing. These increases are unacceptable and do not fit the meaning of affordable in any dictionary I know.

As a result, I visited impacted residents with Cllr Natasha Burgess to collect a petition from residents. I submitted this to the House of Commons on Tuesday 26 March 2024 to raise this issue nationally, and to signal that more needs to be done to stop runaway rent inflation. You can watch my speech on this here. I also handed in a separate petition to Moat Housing as well.

Affordable housing is meant to be affordable. I will continue to press all the avenues available to me.



Janet Daby MP with members of the Hummingbirds holding up a copy of the programme of their event.
Janet Daby MP with members of the Hummingbirds holding up a copy of the programme of their event.

Last month I was delighted to attend a Hummingbird appreciation event along with Brenda Dacres, the Mayor of Lewisham. During this event, Hummingbirds who are a local group of first and second-generation Windrush pioneers, were celebrated for the part they played in building up Britain. I also took some members of Hummingbirds for a tour of Parliament. You can see photos of this here.


Youth First

Janet Daby MP with members of Youth First
Janet Daby MP with members of Youth First

Recently I visited Youth First in Bellingham to see the work that is done to support young people in the local community. It was brilliant to see these young people cook some delicious food with a great atmosphere throughout. The staff were also friendly and very committed.


Thank you for reading this newsletter.


Best wishes,



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