On Monday, Stephen will call for tighter restrictions on the sales of substances used in acid attacks. He will also ask Ministers to introduce harsher punishments for those who carry out such attacks. 

Stephen is leading an adjournment debate in House of Commons. He called for the debate after Jameel Muhktar and his cousin, Resham Khan were attacked in Beckton last month. The pair were left with severe burns which the Metropolitan Police described as ‘life changing’. It is estimated that there were over 450 acid attacks last year in London, up from 261 in 2015, although, unlike the hate crime in Beckton, almost all were connected with a crime such as burglary. 

During the debate, Stephen will ask Ministers to commit to three things: 

  1. Reclassify sulphuric acid – which is commonly used as a drain cleaner – as a ‘regulated substance’ and require a licence for purchase, as proposed by the British Retail Consortium; 
  2. Bring the possession of acid – which is not currently a criminal offence –into line with the law on possession of knives;
  3. Introduce tougher and more consistent sentences for those found guilty of carrying out acid attacks. 

Speaking in advance of the debate, Stephen said: “I very much welcome the opportunity to bring the issue of rising acid attacks to the attention of Ministers. Too many people are frightened of becoming a victim.  Ministers need to act. 

“My three requests to Ministers aim to make it harder to obtain noxious substances, and introduce tougher punishments for those who plan to use them as a weapon. 

“I am pleased that I have the support of Newham Council, and will be looking to work with others in taking this forward in the future.”
 

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AuthorStephen Timms

On Friday 7 July, Stephen - and fifty one other cyclists - set off from London City Airport for a gruelling 185-mile bike ride to Amsterdam. In what is the fourth year in a row that the airport has organised an annual bike ride, it was the most participants ever to join the two-wheel adventure, a special achievement to mark the airport’s 30th anniversary.

The airport has maintained longstanding support for Richard House Children’s Hospice, raising a close to £900,000 since it first began fundraising initiatives over two decades ago.

Having arrived in Amseterdam, Stephen said: “Richard House has done a tremendous job in caring for children and providing support for their families since it opened in 2000. And London City Airport – which stands just a few hundred yards from Richard House – has been a long-term supporter of the hospice.

“I was delighted to join the cycle and take part once again in this fundraising challenge.”

Declan Collier, CEO of London City Airport, said: “The annual charity bike ride continues to grow in scale each year, with colleagues demonstrating tremendous energy and enthusiasm in our 30th anniversary year to fundraise and take part in the endeavour."

Libby Basson, Interim Director of Family and Care Services at Richard House, said: “We are deeply grateful for the support London City Airport has offered to Richard House for more than 20 years. Richard House support children and young people with life limiting conditions and their families. This inevitable strain - emotionally, physically and spiritually - means the whole family are facing a very challenging life.  The hospice is often a huge source of support for them, and the hospice is very reliant on voluntary income. We are therefore so pleased to have partners like London City Airport who are willing to ride hundreds of miles to make sure we raise fund to support our families. A huge thank you from everyone at Richard House.”
 
The route took the group through Essex and Suffolk to Harwich, before boarding the ferry to the Hook of Holland and completing the final leg on Dutch soil, arriving in Amsterdam late on Saturday afternoon. 

Among the participants was customer service agent Pam Kaur, who remarkably had never ridden a bike before the Amsterdam trip, using the opportunity as an incentive to learn, and training twice a week ahead of the trip. Cyclists were also met with supporters and onlookers during the journey, including two little girls from Harwich, India Cranston and Avaleigh Brockman, who donated £1.50 of their pocket money. 

Previous destinations for the airport’s annual bike ride include Lille (2016), Rotterdam (2015) and Amsterdam (2014).

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AuthorStephen Timms

Earlier this week Stephen attended an Alzheimer’s Society event for parliamentarians to learn more about the issues affecting people with dementia. There are 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK and it is the 21st Century’s biggest killer.

There is currently no cure for dementia, and very few effective treatments. Funding for dementia research has lagged behind that of other major health conditions such as cancer or heart disease. In recent years progress has been made, with £250million investment (including £50million from Alzheimer’s Society) committed to the establishment of the world’s first dementia research institute (DRI). 

Dementia and social care is another important issue, on which the Alzheimer’s Society is campaigning on. We cannot talk about social care without talking about dementia: currently 65% of social care places are used by people with dementia, and therefore we must ensure people with dementia are involved in the government’s forthcoming consultation on a long term solution for social care.

Speaking afterwards, Stephen said: "In Newham there are estimated to be 1,424 people living with dementia. Having dementia can have a devastating impact on the day-to-day lives of people with dementia and their families, and could happen to any one of us, in any community. That is why we must all take action to tackle dementia".
 

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AuthorStephen Timms

Stephen has hosted a reception in the House of Commons to celebrate the launch of Working with Carers, a project designed to assist and support carers with job and education opportunities.

The project, set up by the Carers Trust UK, aims to support unpaid carers across Greater London, and provide them with guidance in finding careers, or returning to education, focusing on over 25s.

Speaking  at the event, Stephen said: “I am very glad to support the project. Unpaid carers play a vital role in our society, it’s pleasing to see them receiving an accessible support network”. Stephen also took to Twitter to pledge his support for the project, photographed alongside other speakers, in order to highlight a need for accessible support for carers.

According to Working for Carers, ‘close to 70% of carers have quit work or reduced their hours due to the stress of juggling work with care.’ The project is being jointly funded by the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund.

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AuthorStephen Timms

Stephen has been successful in tabling for an end of day Adjournment Debate on acid attacks. The debate will take place on Monday 17 July. 

Stephen said: “I am pleased that Parliamentary time will be given to discussing acid attacks. They are causing a lot concern to many residents in Newham. During the debate, I will press Ministers to consider licensing the sale of corrosive liquids to combat the surge in acid attacks.”

An adjournment debate is held at the end of each day’s sitting. They are an opportunity for an individual backbench MP to raise an issue and receive a response from the relevant Minister.

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AuthorStephen Timms