Munitions Workers to march at Cenotaph ceremony

This year’s Remembrance Day ceremony in London will mark a historic moment in the campaign for formal recognition of the work carried out by munitions workers.

On Sunday 11th November a small group of former workers will take part in the annual event at the Cenotaph on Whitehall.  This will be the first time ever that munitions workers have been able to take part and is a big step towards proper recognition of the work they did and the sacrifices they made.

For more information about this campaign or to sign the petition, visit the new campaign website by clicking here.

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Rob backs Guide Dogs’ ‘Safe and Sound’ campaign

Rob has given his support to a Guide Dogs campaign ( which highlights the potential danger that quiet electric and hybrid vehicles present to visually impaired people.

Rob Flello MP showed their support for the Safe and Sound campaign by visiting Guide Dogs’ stand at the Labour Party Conference. The imaginative stand featured a large Scalextric track, complete with ‘Guide Stig’, and delegates were invited to post their best times on a leader board.

After achieving the fastest lap time of the conference season of 2.7 seconds, Rob Flello MP said: “I’m pleased to support Guide Dogs’ Safe and Sound campaign, because quiet vehicles pose a real danger to all pedestrians, especially those living with sight loss.

“I think Guide Dogs did a great job of raising awareness of a serious issue in a fun way.”

Guide Dogs launched its Safe and Sound campaign at this year’s party conferences. Last month the charity released a report called Silent But Deadly, which examines the danger that quiet vehicles pose to blind and partially sighted pedestrians, who rely on hearing them approach in order to cross roads safely.

Guide Dogs believes that the risks will only increase as more quiet vehicles are sold, and so the charity wants these types of vehicle to be fitted with artificial engine noises so pedestrians can hear them approaching.

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Rob’s Westminster Update: 8 July 2012

Welcome to this week’s Update.

Monday was a day full of administrative issues, office-related meetings, correspondence, and casework.  It was also a fairly late night with final votes at 11.30pm!

Tuesday saw me discussing insurance-related matters with the ABI as well as preparing for Justice Questions that afternoon, where I raised the issue of Bailiffs and the long-awaited reforms.  I managed to find a few minutes to attend a Motor Industry event and got to try out a lap of Silverstone in a mock-up F1 car.  I don’t think 1minute 58seconds is going to get me an alternative career but it was interesting to hear about the motor sports industry.  Then it was off to a Memorial Service at Westminster Cathedral for the campaigner Phyllis Bowman.  Later I had discussions with the Association of International Courier and Express Services about the issues affecting them, in my role as Chair of the All-Party Freight Transport Group.

After the usual Justice Shadow Team Meeting I met with the Bishop of Lichfield, Jonathan Gledhill, to discuss the issues affecting North Staffordshire and the difficulties likely to arise for my constituents. Continue reading

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Rob’s Westminster Update: 1 July 2012

Welcome to the 1st of July 2012 edition of my Update.  It’s hard to believe that the summer is one third over and we have past the longest day so the nights will begin to draw in…

On a more cheerful note.

Monday was once again consumed with preparation for the final day in Committee of the Defamation Bill.  While I have certainly enjoyed the experience and it’s good to be leading for the Labour Party on this important topic as a shadow minister, nevertheless without the support of an army of civil servants I have been totally reliant on lobby groups such as the Libel Reform Campaign and on Lloyd in my office to assist.  As I have written before, It’s hard to see how democracy is best served when scrutiny of government legislation is reliant on the hard work of a shadow minister and campaign groups. Continue reading

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Rob’s Westminster Update: 24 June 2012

Welcome to this week’s Update from Westminster and Stoke South.

Last Monday began with a chance to show some friends around the Palace of Westminster before getting down to some seriously hard work.  Aside from a meeting with my prospective Westminster intern and a discussion with Sense about Science concerning the Defamation Bill it was total focus on drafting my speeches and other last minute preparation for the Bill; and leaving my desk at 1am as a result!

Tuesday then saw the first day in Committee of the Defamation Bill with a session at 10.30am until 1pm and then again from 4pm until 7pm.  Despite having five and a half hours we managed only to get to the end of Clause Four of the Bill.  There is a lot to go through in Committee and the early parts of the Bill deal with important defences in a libel case, such as Truth! Continue reading

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Westminster Update: 17 June 2012

It’s a fortnight since my last update and this one’s now delayed by the Defamation Bill but here’s a quick canter through the events to date.

Monday 4th and Tuesday 5th June were great days celebrating the Queens Jubilee.  I was delighted to have invitations to Bromford Housing’s event in Meir South off Normocot Grange, Lady Bennett Court’s event, The Yard’s Race Night, Fenton’s Albert Square event, and the Blurton event in Ingestre Square.

The rest of that week was spent with casework meetings, delivering invites for my community event, and preparing for my Defamation Bill speech.  We also had the excellent Constituency Party Quiz Night and karaoke – any reports of me singing should be disregarded…

After my advice surgeries I was pleased to visit the Whiz Kids briefing to hear about the challenges faced by young people with disabilities and particularly those using wheelchairs.

On the Sunday (10th June) was Trentham rowing club’s annual regatta which was a fantastic event and very well attended.  Afterwards it was on to Longton Park for the Queen’s Park Partnership’s postponed Jubilee celebrations – another fantastic event.  Later that day I attended the Lidice Commemoration event at Stoke Minster.  If you don’t know the story of Lidice, can I recommend you spend ten minutes on the Internet and read about it. Continue reading

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3 June 2012: Rob’s Westminster Update

Welcome to this shorter version of my weekly Westminster Update.  The reason, in case you’re not aware, is that the Commons is in Recess.  Of course, despite what the media say that doesn’t mean all MPs have a 2 week holiday – although, yes I admit I did take Monday and Wednesday afternoon off…

Before I begin, can I just add my best wishes to Her Majesty on her Diamond Jubilee.  Whatever your view of the Monarchy, being in the public eye for all your life and with everything you do being the subject of the media’s all-seeing eye is enough of itself to deserve a medal – and a very large one at that!

Tuesday began with an early morning train ride back down to London.  As you may recall, and if not you will have heard enough from me in the next few weeks to last a lifetime, I am leading for the Labour frontbench on the Defamation Bill.  So Tuesday was a chance for me to meet with a leading libel lawyer to go through the Bill and hear from an expert about what each clause means, the benefits and pitfalls, and how I should consider our approach to the legislation.  It was incredibly helpful whilst at the same time showing up some of the weaknesses in our democratic system where opposition parties have to rely on experts giving their time freely in order for us to hold the government to account! Continue reading

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