Gower MP joins new cross-party multi-nation alliance calling on all 4 UK nations to the ban handcuffing of innocent children in care
Tonia Antoniazzi MP is calling on the governments of all 4 UK nations to take action to ban the handcuffing of innocent children in care when being transported from one care setting to another.
Today, Tonia Antoniazzi MP joined other politicians in the House of Commons to mark Child Safety Week and to commemorate Wales’s recent progress on this issue, where strong guidelines have been introduced. The new alliance has also called for similar guidelines to be implemented UK-wide by governments in London, Edinburgh and Belfast.
A number of the politicians, including Tonia have also posed with photographs of themselves on social media posing in the style of the Hope Instead of Handcuffs campaign logo with their wrists touching, to show their support for the campaign and to send a message to the UK that they oppose this brutal practice and that action must be taken to prohibit it.
Currently, some private transportation providers handcuff vulnerable children on journeys whilst they are being transported between care settings, causing them significant pain and distress, and in complete breach of their human rights as laid out by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. To be clear, these are innocent children who have not been accused of any crime.
A particular concern is that there is no regulation or responsibility for transport providers to report any official record of instances of handcuffing, so the scale of the issue is likely far greater than we are currently aware of, not to mention the shocking lack of transparency and accountability.
Other MPs who are major supporters of the campaign include prominent Labour politicians, such as former Shadow Women and Equalities Minister Sarah Champion and former Shadow Minister for Children and families Steve McCabe.
These politicians and others are calling for mandatory regulations of this process in all 4 UK nations, ensuring that restraint is only used an absolute last resort, and that any instances of restraint must be carefully recorded and monitored by local authorities to improve transparency and accountability. The campaign’s aim is that this increased transparency and accountability will eventually end the handcuffing of innocent children altogether.
Tonia Antoniazzi MP said: “It’s vital that more is done to protect children’s rights and I hope the government in Westminster bans the awful practice of private transportation providers violently restraining innocent children.
“I’m delighted that Wales has taken positive steps in becoming the first UK nation to introduce regulations to protect innocent children in care from being unnecessarily restrained. But now the Tory government in Westminster needs to make sure that similar regulations are introduced to protect vulnerable children in England as well.”
Thousands of households in Swansea hit by Tory mortgage penalty as families face paying thousands more in increased mortgage bills.
8100 families in Gower hit by Tory mortgage penalty as families face annual mortgage payment increase of £2500 this year under the Conservatives. 7300 households in Swansea East will face an estimated £1500 increase, and 5700 households in Swansea West will face an estimated £2000 increase.
Labour analysis reveals that the average household in Swansea is set to be put under more pressure than ever by Conservative mismanagement of the economy.
Analysis from the Labour Party allows people to search the amount that mortgages are predicted to rise, including by £2500 in Gower constituency.
It follows the news that many mortgage deals are being withdrawn by Banks and interest rates being increased, with Moneyfacts data suggesting the typical rate on a two year fixed-rate loan had increased to almost 6%, almost double a year ago, and the Resolution Foundation estimating that 6.5m households will be affected by the post-mini budget rise in mortgage rates by 2026.
This week, economists warned that there is a real risk of job losses and a sharp recession. The latest forecasts of economic growth this year suggest that the UK is struggling to get out of the slow lane, with growth of just 0.2% forecast on the year.
Tonia Antoniazzi MP, Labour MP for Gower, said:
“The Tory mortgage penalty is devastating for family finances and is holding back our economy.
“The country is buckling under 13 years of Conservative mismanagement and a crashed economy, and it is families being asked to pay more on their mortgage once again.
“People are asking themselves whether they or their family are better off under the Tories. The answer is no.
"Labour will bring financial and economic security back, so that families are not constantly on a cliff edge, and so that we can urgently grow our economy to grab hold of opportunities of the future."
Tonia Antoniazzi, the Member of Parliament for Gower showed support for the rights of guide dog owners at an event in Parliament organised by the charity Guide Dogs.
Guide dogs are key for many people with sight loss to getting around independently, but research from the charity Guide Dogs has shown that 81% of guide dog owners have been turned away from shops, restaurants and others businesses because of their dogs.
This discrimination can be humiliating and debilitating, with almost half of guide dog owners saying they have changed their plans or restrict visits to avoid being refused.
Tonia Antoniazzi MP learnt more about the charity’s campaign to strengthen the law and requirements for training to prevent access refusals from happening in the first place.
Commenting on the event, Tonia Antoniazzi MP said:
"We must strengthen the law and improve training requirements to put an end to this unacceptable treatment. Guide dog owners deserve equal access and the freedom to live their lives without obstacles."
Eleanor Briggs, Head of Policy, Public Affairs and Campaigns at Guide Dogs, said: “Guide dog owners deserve to be able to live the lives they want and feel confident, independent, and supported in the world. However, too many guide dog owners continue to face discrimination and are turned away because they have their guide dog with them. That’s why we are calling for action to strengthen the law to end this unacceptable discrimination.”
Tonia Antoniazzi, MP for Gower took a break from political battles last week to take part in a more light-hearted contest to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.
The 35th annual Macmillan Tug of War saw MPs battle it out against Peers from the House of Lords on the 6th June in the grounds of Westminster Abbey. Sponsored by Banham Charitable Foundation, the event was hosted by sports broadcaster, Mark Pougatch and raised £130,000 and counting for Macmillan Cancer Support.
Tonia Antoniazzi, who captained the “Mighty MPs” team won against a team from the House of Lords in a fiercely fought battle of brawn over brains.
The parliamentary matches were keenly watched by the Speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle MP and Lord Speaker, Lord McFall of Alcluith.
Gemma Peters, CEO of Macmillan Cancer Support welcomed guests to the event and announced the launch of a new campaign for the charity.
Tonia Antoniazzi MP said: “Being a captain for the charity tug of war competition was an incredible experience and every year it’s a privilege to take part. The Lords team had a few new recruits this year but they couldn’t match us! I am overjoyed at the incredible support Macmillan has received yet again this year. I am hopeful to contribute a bit more to the fundraising when I complete the Mighty Hike around Gower next month!”
Click the link below to donate! https://bit.ly/TeamTonia2023
Gemma Peters, CEO, Macmillan Cancer Support said:
“The Macmillan Tug of War is a fun and unique event with a serious message.
People living with cancer are facing among the worst cancer waiting times on record and these delays are risking lives. This isn’t good enough. We’re determined to do whatever it takes to make sure everyone gets the cancer care they need, when they need it. That’s why later this month Macmillan Cancer Support will be launching a campaign - What Are We Waiting For? - calling on decision makers across the UK to take action to reduce waiting times.”
“I’d like to thank all our generous Tug of War donors and sponsors. Thanks to the incredible £130,000 raised this year, Macmillan can continue doing whatever it takes to support people living with cancer.”
To take part in a Macmillan fundraising event this summer, visit: https://www.macmillan.org.uk/fundraise
For cancer support and advice, call the Macmillan Support Line free on: 0808 808 00 00 (8am – 8pm, 7 days a week).