Honeyball’s Weekly Round Up

Labour Party

Five days ago a father and son from Romania were given jail sentences for trafficking five young women to England. The women were regularly raped, beaten and punished if they attempted to escape. The shocking truth has been revealed after the EU criminal intelligence agency said in today’s Observer that minors are still being trafficked into Britain.

Campaign groups such as the Poppy Project fear that the current government are intent on downgrading trafficking as a priority, something which they (the government) deny. However, the evidence is stacked against them after they failed to sign an EU directive on Human Trafficking – something which shadow home secretary, Yvette Cooper will condemn.

The story in today’s Observer is a harrowing account but you can read the full story of Marinela Badea, a 17-year-old Romanian student from Romania who was taken from her flat, sexually assaulted and forced into prostitution in Britain.

I know it isn’t easy to read this kind of graphic story but it’s important we understand the true nature of this harrowing crime. You can read the full story in todays Observer here.

Last week saw rumours that Question Time host, David Dimbeleby, will quit following a row over the shows relocation. He has fronted the show for the last 17 years, but I hear the ‘unofficial’ shortlist is all male. Quite rightly Harriet Harman has pointed out several strong female contenders in the form of Emily Maitlis, Kirsty Wark and Martha Kearney.

Harman has branded the unofficial list as full of ‘dreary men’. If he does go the BBC execs will be foolish to ignore the top female political talent they have within their ranks and I sincerely hope they are added to the shortlist. You can read the story here.

I am concerned to learn that a London project, which helps unemployed parents back to work, is to be axed after it was claimed it had not met targets. However one London council, Harrow, which benefits from funding from the Xcite project, insisted the scheme is a great success and was well on track to get 100 parents into permanent employment by April, thus meeting its target.

The London Development Agency, which admittedly is under pressure having its funding cut by the government, said the project as a whole had under-achieved. Projects like these are what help lift families out of poverty it is vital they’re not scrapped in order to reduce the deficit. Surely this is a counterproductive move in the long term. I will keep you posted on any developments I become aware of. You can read the full story and case study of successful stories here.