Luke Pollard

Labour & Co-operative MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport

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The Plymouth Brexit Summit will be held on Friday 25 August from 10am-4pm and is kindly being hosted by Plymouth University at the Sherwell Centre on North Hill. The Brexit Summit was one of Luke's election pledges from June where he promised to hold an event to hammer out the city’s Brexit position within his first 100 days as a Plymouth MP. This event delivers on that promise.

The event will see speakers from business, the City Council, Parliament and the European Parliament talk about what their priorities for Plymouth are from Brexit. Luke has invited Ministers and Shadow Ministers to join the event via Skype if they’re unable to join in person.

The event is designed to be a cross-party, non-political conference giving businesses, community groups, industry and educational bodies in Plymouth the chance to set out their policy asks from Brexit. The summit features set piece speeches and also break out workshops - facilitated by local specialists from different sectors - around the key planks of Plymouth’s economy to create draft positions on Brexit for our city. The workshops will cover: Education and skills, Marine and Energy, Food and the Environment, Jobs and Rights at work, Technology and Digital.

The Member of Parliament for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport, Luke Pollard, said:

“Whether you voted Leave or Remain, Brexit is the biggest challenge facing Plymouth and it is vital that our city gets a good Brexit deal. To do that we need a debate on the detail not soundbites. That is why I’m convening the Plymouth Brexit Summit on Friday 25 August to hammer out our city’s position on Brexit. This isn’t about repeating the referendum – that happened last year. This event is about setting out clearly what our city’s position on the detail of Brexit should be.

Plymouth needs to hear from businesses, trade bodies, trade unions, industry, fishing, the Universities and many more about what specific asks do they have in the Brexit negotiations. With the EU Withdrawal Bill being debated in Parliament in September this event will arm me with the detail I need to fight for Plymouth in Westminster.”

The Brexit Summit will take place over three days with two further dates being announced for the general public and for young people to share their thoughts on Brexit and the deal that Plymouth needs.

The link to register for a ticket is here!

 

 

Luke reveals date of the Plymouth Brexit Summit

The Plymouth Brexit Summit will be held on Friday 25 August from 10am-4pm and is kindly being hosted by Plymouth University at the Sherwell Centre on North Hill. The Brexit Summit was...

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To mark the 100th anniversary of the start of the Battle of Passchendaele Luke has written a short blog. This was first posted on his Facebook page:

100 years ago today in the fields of Flanders in Belgium the third battle of Ypres began. It would see hundreds of thousands of men killed. A century on it is right that we take a moment to remember one of the bloodiest episodes in warfare and the sacrifices made by our armed forces.

Services are being held around the country to remember the start of one of the most horrific battles of the First World War, the Battle of Passchendaele that lasted until November 1917.

I’m very proud to be from Plymouth, a city with a proud military history and home to a great number of military heroes. There are too many to mention and this battle is no exception.

Alongside almost half a million who died, I want to pay special tribute to the men of the Devonshire Regiment, many from Plymouth, who joined up together with their friends and who fought and died in the Third Battle of Ypres, the Battle of Passchendaele.

One was, Percival Edward Finnemore - a keen rugby and cricket player, he went to school in our city before becoming and a Lieutenant in the 9th Battalion of the Devonshire Regiment and eventually dying at Passchendaele aged just 20.

Lasting over three months, there is no clear figure for how many died over the course of the battle. However, it’s estimated between 200,000 and 500,000 losses were suffered on both sides with an untold number of casualties. Losses on that scale are incomprehensible today and the sheer horror of that battle is now unimaginable.

Another Plymothian to fight at Passchendaele was Captain Vernon Christopher Russell Caley, who was born in the constituency I now represent. The 1901 Census records his place of birth as 10, Vicarage St Matthias, Argyle Terrace. He was the son of a Reverend, who went to school in Plymouth before moving to Cheltenham and fighting for the 7th Battalion of the Warwickshire Regiment.

Vernon was also killed in action when he was hit by a shell in this battle. He was just 21 and prior to his final battle, he was awarded the Military cross, described in the 1916 London Gazette:

“For conspicuous gallantry. He led a bombing party against an enemy strong post, and personally accounted for some of the enemy with his revolver and grenades. Later, assisted by one man, he brought in a wounded man under fire.”

The horror of trench warfare, with the sea of mud, the constant fear of shelling and the number of those injured and killed is unimaginable. We are now 100 years on from this battle, in a war described as ‘The War to End all Wars’. We must never forget the sheer horror these men and so many others endured.

The sacrifices these two incredible, yet ordinary Plymothians made in that conflict, amongst countless others are the reason we must remember them today. It is our duty to carry their names forward, to never forget the horrors of war and why it is so important to work for a more peaceful future.

 

100 years on: Remembering Plymouth’s role in the battle of Passchendaele

  To mark the 100th anniversary of the start of the Battle of Passchendaele Luke has written a short blog. This was first posted on his Facebook page:

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Luke Pollard, the Secretary of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Blood Donation, has welcomed the Government’s announcement of a new blood donation policy, allowing more people than ever before to safely donate blood.

The new guidelines, in line with what the APPG for Blood Donation and the FreedomToDonate campaign group had been calling for, see a significant reduction in the deferral period placed on men who have had sex with men, now set at three months. Previously, men who had had sex with men were subject to a 12 month deferral period, something which the campaign group had outlined as unjustifiable and simply flying in the face of today’s medical evidence.  

Also announced today is a long term commitment from the Government to work towards a truly individualised risk-based policy and similar reductions in deferral periods for other groups also excluded - both further key asks of the All Party Group that Luke is a member of.   The campaign group, which helped launch the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Blood Donation and led on its Parliamentary Inquiry, has been working closely with the Department of Health and NHS Blood and Transplant on what it says is a world-leading blood donation policy.  

Luke Pollard MP said:

“Donating blood is one of the most special gifts anyone can offer someone else. The outdated rules for men who have sex with men didn’t match the latest medical advice. It is right that these outdated rules were updated and I’m pleased that the Government has listened to the compelling evidence and the case made by the All Party Group for Blood Donation. I’m proud to be part of this group and I want to pay special tribute to the FreedomToDonate campaign and Paula Sherriff MP and Stewart McDonald MP for their leadership and determined campaigning.”

The founder of FreedomToDonate, Ethan Spibey, welcomed the news and said:

“Today’s announcement from the Government marks a world-leading blood donation policy for gay and bisexual men and the other groups previously restricted. I'm so proud that the work of FreedomToDonate and our supporters will help ensure more people than ever before are allowed to safely donate blood. It’s all down to an incredible team of volunteers and the charities and organisations the campaign represents.  

Stewart McDonald MP, who co-chairs the APPG on Blood Donation who led on the Parliamentary Inquiry said:

“I am delighted at this monumental change in blood donation policy, which will ensure more people than ever before can donate blood and increase blood stock whilst always maintaining its safety and integrity. It is fantastic and right that these outdated restrictions have been reviewed and updated, and it is now crucial this policy is enforced as soon as possible, which will ensure as many people as possible are able to achieve this life-saving act.”  

You can read more about the announcement here.

Luke welcomes reform of rules for gay men to give blood

Luke Pollard, the Secretary of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Blood Donation, has welcomed the Government’s announcement of a new blood donation policy, allowing more people than ever before to...


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