June 13th – June 19th
On Monday 13th June, It was a pleasure to meet with members of the Armed Forces community who, along with their families, make huge sacrifices in the service of our country. I also enjoyed meeting with staff from The Royal British Legion and hearing more about their Count Them In campaign.
I spoke in the Wales debate on the 14th June, my full speech is on my website for you to view.
On 15th June I finally got to meet Christina Rees, a leading lay woman in the Church of England, who has been made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in recognition of her ‘services to the Church of England’. A member of the General Synod for 25 years, she was also a founding member of the Archbishops’ Council and has served in a voluntary capacity on many of the Church’s national bodies, a great and inspiring meeting.
On 15th June I spoke in Westminster debate about the EU, I am very passionate about Remaining in. For my full speech please see my website
On 16th June I attended Westminster Media Forum: The new strategy for UK sport: implementation, participation and investment. I was honoured to chair this meeting. Please see my short bio below which was shown in programme.
Having been a Trade Union and Labour Party member for over 25 years and a former high performance coach for Wales Squash and Racketball, sport and politics have both been very important parts of Chris’ life. Her sporting career started at an early age, representing Wales schools in hockey, tennis and athletics, as well as being a member of Great Britain’s Youth Team to the Munich Olympics. Chris gained her senior black belt in Judo at the early age of 13, retiring at 19 with a black belt 4th Dan. Her dedication to sport continued into her adult life, where she focused on squash, gaining over 100 caps for Wales, winning many tournaments and becoming Wales Squash and Racketball’s National Coach. in 2008 Chris was honoured to be awarded Sport Wales National Female Coach of the Year, becoming the first and only racket sport coach to win this prestigious award. As Tournament Director for Wales SRB, Chris has been responsible for organising many domestic, national and international events. And as National Tutor and Assessor, Chris made sure that Wales SRB has a highly qualified, hardworking, coaching staff. In her spare time Chris watches rugby and last Saturday she was absolutely delighted to be made the Honorary Patron for her local ladies team, Seven Sisters Rugby Club, based in the Dulais Valley, of her beloved constituency of Neath, South Wales. Chris’ political career has been just as varied, from being elected as the youngest county councillor for Mid Glamorgan in 1989, to being selected as the Labour candidate for Arfon, North Wales, for the Welsh Assembly elections 2011 and a Labour candidate for Wales for the European Parliament in 2014. in 2012 Chris became a county councillor for Bridgend and subsequently, the Chair of Health and Wellbeing, thus enabling her to utilise her experience of sport in the political decision making process. Since being elected as MP for Neath in 2015, Chris has been a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Sport and is a Vice Chair of the APPG for Women’s Sport and Fitness.
Sadly on 16th June my friend and colleague Jo cox MP was killed whilst in her constituency. Jo was a wonderful woman who campaigned tirelessly for her constituents. Her work with OXFAM and Syrian refugees will never be forgotten, as she set an example for us all to follow.
In times like this all we can do is offer our thoughts and prayers to Jo’s husband Brendan and her two children, her extended family and many friends.
It is an absolute honour and privilege to be a Member of Parliament and to serve the people of Neath. I am constantly humbled by the kindness and compassion shown to me during my time as your MP. Whilst the dangers of this job are very real they must not stop us from fighting for what we believe.
I would like to echo Jo’s husband’s words and ask that that we all unite to fight against the hatred that killed her.