Luke Pollard

Labour & Co-operative MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport

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Yesterday, to mark World Mental Health Day, Luke signed a joint letter, led by Luciana Berger MP, calling for Theresa May to ring-fence mental health funding.

In Theresa May’s speech to the Conservative Party Conference she said the government are 'investing more in mental health than ever before.’  We have heard a number of previous announcements of specific funds for mental health. However, this money is not reaching the front line. That's why Luke joined over 160 MPs calling for the ring-fencing of mental health spending, as a 'transformative policy that would make a real difference to local services'.

You can see the full text of the letter Luke signed below. Luke also recorded a video on his Facebook page to mark World Mental Health Day:

Luke said:

“I am very proud to sign this open letter to the Prime Minister, for World Mental Health Day, calling on her to guarantee that the money announced as specific funding for mental health be ring-fenced. This is Labour party policy which many of us have campaigned for and all of us see the misery and suffering that mental health issues cause in the constituencies we represent every single day.

While the Government needs to do its bit by protecting that funding, we all need to do our bit too in reducing the stigma that surrounds mental health and make it easier for those who suffer to speak out

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Luke signs joint letter urging Theresa May to ring fence mental health funding

  Yesterday, to mark World Mental Health Day, Luke signed a joint letter, led by Luciana Berger MP, calling for Theresa May to ring-fence mental health funding.

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This morning, Luke Pollard MP responded to a story on BBC News that the Conservative Government are considering scrapping Devonport based HMS Albion and HMS Bulwark as part of a package of cost-cutting measures. Luke has strongly condemned these plans and pledged to fight them "tooth and nail."

You can read the BBC news article here. Responding to the piece, Luke wrote a blog on his website and also appeared on the Gordon Sparks show on BBC Radio Devon, which you can watch here.

There’s been persistent speculation about cuts to Plymouth’s Armed Forces for many months. If Devonport loses its amphibious assault crafts, that means the Royal Navy could lose its capability to fight that type of war completely.  Luke is worried these leaks are a deliberate strategy to soften us up for more bad news. Devonport Dockyard and naval base is the backbone of Plymouth’s economy. Scrapping the UK's amphibious capabilities could be a prelude to reducing the size of our Royal Marines, massively reducing the role of Plymouth in terms of our national defence.

Luke said:

"The Conservatives are thinking about scrapping all the Royal Navy’s amphibious assault ships in the biggest betrayal of Devonport by any Government in a generation.

The BBC is reporting that the Devonport-based HMS Albion and HMS Bulwark will join HMS Ocean in being scrapped due to Minister’s mismanagement of the defence budget and rising costs due to Sterling’s plummeting value since the Brexit referendum.

Let me be clear: I will fight these Tory defence cuts tooth and nail in Westminster. The Tories have no military strategy, no coherent policy and are destroying our naval capabilities to satisfy over-zealous Treasury accountants without consideration for our military or national defence.

In uncertain times we need a strong Royal Navy. Scrapping three of Devonport’s most capable ships will remove our nation’s amphibious capabilities and usher in dark clouds over the Royal Marines too.

I will fight these cuts and stand up for Plymouth’s defence jobs. As the son of a submariner I know how vital theses Royal Navy jobs are for our city and I won’t let the Tories cut them without one hell of a fight.

I’ve contacted Plymouth’s Conservative MPs and Council Leader to put together a cross party campaign opposing these cuts. If we don’t make that case now, I fear we will lose these warships and suffer major cuts to our Royal Marines with it. This is how high the stakes are."

On Tuesday 10 October Luke was able to ask a question on the chamber on this issue that you can watch below: 

Luke attacks possible Tory plan to scrap HMS Albion and HMS Bulwark

This morning, Luke Pollard MP responded to a story on BBC News that the Conservative Government are considering scrapping Devonport based HMS Albion and HMS Bulwark as part of a...

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Monarch Airline’s overnight collapse has affected 110,000 customers travelling overseas and cancelled 300,000 future bookings. Have you been affected? If you have, or know family and friends that have been affected, here are the contact details you need as well as some questions and answers that will prove helpful. 

Luke has recorded a short video here for advice on what to do if you, or you know someone who is caught up by Monarch's collapse:

Q. What should I do now? 

A. The Government has told Monarch customers to continue their holidays as planned and is organising special flights back for passengers who are affected at no cost to them. 

At least 48 hours before you are due to return home you should visit the dedicated website monarch.caa.co.uk, call the helpline on 0300 303 2800 if calling from the UK or +44 1753 330330 if calling from overseas to confirm your new flight details. 
Repatriation flights are for all passengers who purchased tickets with Monarch irrespective of their nationality. 

Q. When will I be able to fly? 

A. You should expect to be flown as close as possible to your planned departure dates, no earlier, and prepare for disruption to journeys. Some passengers may need to speak with their accommodation provider in case they need to extend their stay. 

Q. When should I go to the airport? 

A. You should arrive at the airport more than three hours before your confirmed new flight as they will not be able to take earlier services. 

Foreign Office staff will be available at affected airports to help any vulnerable British citizens with specific needs.

Any Britons requiring additional consular support should visit gov.uk/world

Q. Can I check in online? 

A. There will be no online check-in. You will be issued with a new flight and new boarding card and will not be able to check in with your old flight details. 

Q. Will I have to pay for the flight? 

A. Once on board the plane, you will be asked to provide details of your original Monarch booking. 

If you are not Atol (Air Travel Organiser’s Licence) protected, this will allow the Government to claim the cost of their replacement flight directly from your credit or debit card company. You will not be asked to pay for your flight yourself. 

Q. Do I have to pay for extra accommodation costs? 

A. Passengers with Atol protection are entitled to reasonable accommodation and subsistence costs if they are delayed by more than four hours. Those without Atol protection may be able to claim from credit card providers or insurers. Further information will be made available via the website.

The CAA will process your refund as quickly as possible – check the dedicated website for more information. 

Q. How do I know if I am Atol protected? 

A. Check if you have received an Atol certificate, or check with your travel agent. 

Q. Will I be flown back to my departure airport? 

A. You may be flown back to different UK airports, with coaches available to take you to your destination airport. 

For Monarch customers yet to travel 

Check the dedicated website or contact your travel agent if you booked with one. They will be able to advise on whether you can change your holiday booking or are entitled to a refund or compensation. If you are not covered by the Atol scheme, you should also contact your credit card company or travel insurer.

ABTA has developed specific guidance for customers in relation to each individual company, including how to progress a claim where applicable, which is available at abta.com/monarch

https://abta.com/news-and-views/news/monarch-travel-group

Holiday protection is an issue close to Luke's heart. It was in fact the first time he spoke in the Commons.

 

Affected by Monarch Airlines? Read this blog

Monarch Airline’s overnight collapse has affected 110,000 customers travelling overseas and cancelled 300,000 future bookings. Have you been affected? If you have, or know family and friends that have been...


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