Rachel Reeves

Member of Parliament for Leeds West


On the 10th June, I was interviewed on Sunday Politics. I discussed sexual entertainment licences, Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in politics, and the recent chaos surrounding Northern Rail.

I believe that strip clubs lead to people treating women’s bodies as commodities. This is extremely oppressive, and leads to a wider symptom of the objectification of women in our society. Despite campaigning groups arguing otherwise, an increasing number of democratically elected local authorities are coming to the conclusion that strip clubs are incoherent with our values. Throughout my time as MP for Leeds West, we have taken steps to limit the impact of strip clubs. Six Years ago, we issued a cap on the number that should be allowed in Leeds. We also prevented the creation of strip clubs near certain public places, such as schools.

I was asked about the growing concerns of Islamophobia within the Conservative Party, and whether as a Labour MP, I could take the moral high ground when my own party has come into question due the disturbing presence of anti-Semitism within it. I would argue that many parallels exist between the two issues. The Labour Party must do even more to wipe out anti-Semitism within its ranks. The Labour party cannot be considered to be a broad church as long as someone is discriminated against purely because of ethnicity, religious belief or orientation. The same goes for the Conservative Party. I believe that the Labour party must work tirelessly to reconcile with Jewish groups across the UK, and reassure them that they have a place with us.

On the show, my counterpart, Stuart Andrew, attempted to downplay the disruption that has hit Northern Rail due to timetabling changes. It really appears that there is no end in sight for the plight of commuters reliant on Leeds’s train network. Two weeks ago, Northern Rail cut 6% of its services in an attempt increase efficiency, but yet if you were to go to Bramley or Pudsey station, you would still find packed platforms and sparse trains. I continue to call for the resignation of Chris Grayling, as he is fundamentally failing commuters across the north of England.

To watch my discussion on Sunday Politics, please click the link below and skip to 38 minutes in.




Interview on Sunday Politics

On the 10th June, I was interviewed on Sunday Politics. I discussed sexual entertainment licences, Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in politics, and the recent chaos surrounding Northern Rail.

On Friday the 8th of June, I was interviewed in ‘The Hot Seat’ on ‘The Big Yorkshire Phone In’. I was grilled on a number of topics, ranging from Brexit to my personal best in the Bramley Park Run!

In regards to Brexit, it is incredibly important that we leave the European Union in March 2019 with a deal in place. No deal will lead to the implementation of tariffs. This means that for shoppers, the prices of imported goods will increase. Manufactured exports would also have a higher price, meaning that jobs will be threatened. We have a once in a generation opportunity to re-define our relationship with our international partners; and while it is important to use this to engage with exciting, emerging economies, we must also ensure that we have a coherent trading relationship with our European neighbours. People voted to hand power back to Parliament, not as my colleague Hillary Benn put it: 'jump off the ship without a lifeboat'. We have a responsibility to protect the rights of both shoppers and workers during this process. I have been completely underwhelmed with the Government’s attempt to successfully leave the European Union, it appears that there have been more negotiations within Theresa May’s divided cabinet than with Brussels.  

People in Leeds are currently being weighed down by a failing transport system. Chris Grayling must take responsibility for this, as he is responsible for the implementation of timetable changes that Northern Rail simply could not accommodate to. Delays and cancellations have meant that people have turned up to work late, and through no fault of their own, have had to face a dock in pay. The dysfunctional public transport system has also led to more people driving in an attempt to claw back some control over their commute. This has increased congestion on our roads, and has contributed to the growing air pollution problem in the area. Unfortunately, Leeds is one of the most polluted cities in the U.K. This is an example of climate change transforming itself from a local issue, into a global one. As long as we have a public transport system that is not up to scratch, we will continue to contribute to the worldwide climate change crisis. Equally, it is important that we begin to transition to using electric cars and buses so that the city of Leeds can reduce its carbon footprint.

I received many calls about anti-social behaviour in Leeds West, especially in and around Armley Town Street. I want to stress that I will not rest until we have sorted out the problems in Town Street. I am working with the council to ensure that we can cut down on the street-drinking, drug taking and public congregations that all contribute to anti-social behaviour in Town Street. The council has recently rejected planning permission for another off-licence, and we want to halt the selling of cheap and strong alcohol in the area. More needs to be done to take care of the dilapidated buildings in the area, as these are acting as hotspots for antisocial behaviour. Armley Town Street would also benefit from a greater police presence to enforce public drinking laws. However, it is difficult to provide this because of inadequate funding from Westminster. Make no mistake, Armley Town Street needs a massive overhaul, we must make sure that it can be enjoyed by both residents and businesses once again.  On a more positive note, I am looking forward to the upcoming Armley Festival. This will be a great chance for the local community to come together and celebrate the area.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time in ‘The Hot Seat’. It was great to be able to speak to so many local residents about issues affecting them. To listen to the hour-long interview, please click the link below, and start the programme from two hours in.


'The Hot Seat' interview

On Friday the 8th of June, I was interviewed in ‘The Hot Seat’ on ‘The Big Yorkshire Phone In’. I was grilled on a number of topics, ranging from Brexit...

I am thrilled to announce that two events have been arranged in Leeds West for this year’s upcoming Great Get Together.

The Great Get Together was created in memory of Jo Cox by her family, and is motivated by the belief that ‘we are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us’. This year it is running between Friday 22nd and Sunday 24th of June, and community organisations around the country are celebrating this historic moment by throwing tea parties, family events and various activities that bring people together. It is an excellent opportunity to get to know others in our local community, and I believe that this has been reflected in both the events that have been organised.

On Friday 22nd of June, I will be hosting a special EqualiTeas event at Bramley Community Hub (Hough Lane, L13 3ND). This will celebrate the life of my colleague and much-missed friend, Jo Cox. Additionally, it will also mark the 90th anniversary of the Representation of the People (Equal Franchise) act, which allowed some women to vote for the very first time. Please feel free to drop by for tea and cakes, and discuss what equality really means to you. I will be in attendance between 13:30-15:00, but you are welcome to come for however long you can.

Later that day, Armley Mosque (Brooklyn Terrace, LS12 2BX) will be hosting a celebration of all faiths, and invite all local people to share in food and festivities. Members from churches, temples and community groups across Leeds West will bring people, and food that we can all enjoy. It will be a wonderful opportunity for the local community to come together, and I am looking forward to seeing as many local people as possible in attendance. The event will run between 15:30-17:00.

There are an abundance of events taking place across the country throughout the weekend, with over 30 'get togethers' in and around Leeds alone. If you are unable to attend either of the two events that I have mentioned, I hope that you will be able to find something else that suits you. 

To find an event near you, please visit: https://www.greatgettogether.org/find/

Great Get Together 2018- Events in Leeds West

I am thrilled to announce that two events have been arranged in Leeds West for this year’s upcoming Great Get Together.

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