Speeches & Articles

A relative in the US recently emailed to tell me that ‘for reasons of security, privacy and ethics, I’ve dumped my Facebook account’. The revelations about Facebook and Cambridge Analytica have probably got us all thinking about who knows what about our lives. The internet is a wonderful thing, Facebook is a great means of keeping in touch and loyalty cards give us points or special deals, but as we are learning they also reveal a great deal of information about us and the lives we lead. We can share with the cyber-world our purchases, the telephone numbers of all our friends, our photos and our views on life and politics. All of this is harvested in order to target advertising at us. It's how companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon make their money.

Hilary's Article for South Leeds Life - April 2018

A relative in the US recently emailed to tell me that ‘for reasons of security, privacy and ethics, I’ve dumped my Facebook account’. The revelations about Facebook and Cambridge Analytica... Read more

It's time to talk about the air we breathe.

High levels of air pollution can make asthma symptoms worse, damage our lungs and is linked to an estimated 40,000 premature deaths in the UK every year. The elderly and people with particular medical conditions like heart and lung disease are most at risk. Leeds is one of the cities with a big problem and the worst spot for nitrogen dioxide pollution is by the Corn Exchange. The truth is we can't go on like this - we're actually breaching the law - and that's why Leeds City Council is drawing up a plan.

Hilary's Article for South Leeds Life - March 2018

It's time to talk about the air we breathe. High levels of air pollution can make asthma symptoms worse, damage our lungs and is linked to an estimated 40,000 premature... Read more

Problems of deregulation

I've been dealing with two problems recently where local residents have been on the receiving end of sharp business practice with distressing consequences.

Hilary's Article for South Leeds Life - February 2018

Problems of deregulation I've been dealing with two problems recently where local residents have been on the receiving end of sharp business practice with distressing consequences. Read more

Time to re-nationalise the railways

First published in the January 2018 edition of South Leeds Life, available online here http://www.southleedslife.com/mps-notebook-time-re-nationalise-railways/  

Seeing the New Year in has its own special traditions, but one that is less than popular is the annual rise in rail fares.

This year they are going up by around 3.4% – the largest increase for five years. Comparing the rise in fares on over 80 routes between when the current Government came to power and this January, the average commuter will now be paying £2,888 for their annual season ticket – that’s £694 more than in 2010. At a time when real wages for many people are stagnant, this will hit family budgets hard.

Hilary's Article for South Leeds Life - January 2018

Time to re-nationalise the railways First published in the January 2018 edition of South Leeds Life, available online here http://www.southleedslife.com/mps-notebook-time-re-nationalise-railways/   Seeing the New Year in has its own special... Read more

First published in the December 2017 edition of South Leeds Life, available online here http://www.southleedslife.com/author/hilary-benn-mp/

It is said that Christmas is the season of goodwill. So it was timely to find myself recently discussing with a senior clergyman and some parliamentary colleagues the way politics is debated and MPs are sometimes treated. What got the discussion started was Brexit and the way it has polarised opinion within political parties and across the country. Those who voted leave can't understand why it's taking so long, and anyone who tries to point out that it is slightly complicated can be attacked for being a mutineer, a traitor or worse. And those who voted remain are really angry at all those who say that Brexit will be wonderful when they think it will be an utter disaster.

Hilary's Article for South Leeds Life - December 2017

First published in the December 2017 edition of South Leeds Life, available online here http://www.southleedslife.com/author/hilary-benn-mp/ It is said that Christmas is the season of goodwill. So it was timely to find... Read more

First published in the Yorkshire Evening Post 21st November, available online here https://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/hilary-benn-we-need-honesty-in-the-brexit-debate-says-leeds-mp-1-8868367

The Brexit negotiations have reached crunch point. The EU says there must be sufficient progress on three key issues – citizens’ rights, Northern Ireland and money – before we can move on to discuss our future relationship on trade, services and lots of other things.

Hilary's Article for the YEP - We need honesty in the Brexit debate

First published in the Yorkshire Evening Post 21st November, available online here https://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/hilary-benn-we-need-honesty-in-the-brexit-debate-says-leeds-mp-1-8868367 The Brexit negotiations have reached crunch point. The EU says there must be sufficient progress on three... Read more

Universal Credit

First published in the November 2017 edition of South Leeds Life, available online here http://www.southleedslife.com/author/hilary-benn-mp/ 

There is a very important debate going on at the moment about Universal Credit and the outcome will affect a lot of people in our community.

Hilary's Article for South Leeds Life - November 2017

Universal Credit First published in the November 2017 edition of South Leeds Life, available online here http://www.southleedslife.com/author/hilary-benn-mp/  There is a very important debate going on at the moment about Universal... Read more

First published in the October edition of South Leeds Life, available online here http://www.southleedslife.com/mps-notebook-2/

There has been a great deal of debate about the Holbeck managed prostitution area ever since it was introduced three years ago as a pilot scheme. The aim was to try and control the impact of prostitution on the lives of local residents as it’s been a problem for a long time. How’s it gone? Well, it seems that women working on the street are now more likely to report men who are violent or otherwise abusive to the police. But it is hard for the businesses inside the area to cope with the mess that’s left behind from the night before. I have always said that the scheme is only going to sustain its credibility with the public if everyone sticks to the rules, including women not working in residential areas and not doing so outside the night time permitted hours. Judging by the complaints I have had recently, this isn’t happening in far too many cases - some of the experiences I have had reported to me are pretty shocking – and that’s why I have expressed strongly my concern on behalf of my constituents to both the police and Leeds City Council. I do hope they will listen and take action.

Hilary's Article for South Leeds Life - October 2017

First published in the October edition of South Leeds Life, available online here http://www.southleedslife.com/mps-notebook-2/ There has been a great deal of debate about the Holbeck managed prostitution area ever since... Read more

EU_Withdrawal_resize.jpg

2.23 pm

Hilary Benn (Leeds Central) (Lab)

First, I just say to the right hon. Member for Chingford and Woodford Green (Mr Duncan Smith) that this is not about defying the will of the British people; it is about how sensibly we are going to give effect to it. The referendum campaign seems a long time ago now, but during it we heard endless assertions that the process of leaving the European Union would be easy, straightforward and all those things. Anyone who looks at the Bill will see with their own eyes just how wrong the people who said that were. Despite the brave face that the Secretary of State habitually puts on things, it must now be dawning on Ministers that their assertion that they would be able to negotiate the whole thing—a comprehensive agreement covering all the things we need and all the benefits we want—by the end of the article 50 process is not now going to be possible. The reason why both those assertions have failed to survive contact with reality is not for want of effort, but because of fundamental disagreements in the Government about what the policy should be, which has resulted in delay, and because the task is Byzantine in its complexity. I do not envy civil servants, who are working hard, or indeed Ministers, and I do not envy the House the task that confronts us, but we have a duty to be honest with each other and with the British people about the choices that we face, their consequences and the fact that we have to do all this against the ticking clock.

Hilary's speech on the EU (Withdrawal) Bill 7 Sep 2017

2.23 pm Hilary Benn (Leeds Central) (Lab) First, I just say to the right hon. Member for Chingford and Woodford Green (Mr Duncan Smith) that this is not about defying... Read more

First published in the September 2017 edition of South Leeds Life, available online here http://www.southleedslife.com/mps-notebook/

Once again, food banks are in the news. Research by the Trussell Trust, which runs a network of food banks across the UK, including in Leeds, has found that more than one third of food distributed goes to needy children. School-age children up to the age of 11 are most likely to require emergency food parcels, especially during the summer holidays.

Hilary's Article for South Leeds Life - September 2017

First published in the September 2017 edition of South Leeds Life, available online here http://www.southleedslife.com/mps-notebook/ Once again, food banks are in the news. Research by the Trussell Trust, which runs... Read more

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