A big day for marriage equality in the Republic of Ireland

Irish Marriage Referendum

Today is an exciting one for equality campaigners in Ireland, with thousands going to the polls to vote in a referendum on marriage equality. This is the first referendum to be held on same-sex marriage anywhere in the world, so …

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EU must raise awareness of links between alcohol use and cancer

First published on The Parliament Magazine, May 2015

wineEurope is the world’s heaviest drinking region, with alcohol consumption reaching double the global average. Alcohol is the second largest lifestyle-related cause of disease in many European countries – second only to …

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World Malaria Day 2015: progress at risk with spread of drug resistance

pillsAs the international community prepares to take stock of the achievements of the Millennium Development Goals, Members of European Parliament are gravely concerned by the looming threat of drug resistant malaria.  Currently concentrated in Asia, drug resistance could rapidly spread …

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Disappointment for bird lovers after result of Maltese referendum

Turtle doveThe EU has long recognised the importance of maintaining biodiversity in the EU, and keystone legislation like the Birds Directive and the Habitats Directive are vital for protecting our wildlife.

Unfortunately, this week the hunting lobby in Malta won a …

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Tales from the campaign trail (part 3)

Gloucester Local Election count at Oxstall's Tennis Centre. Checking the paperspicture by Mikal Ludlownews 22-5-14One of the most interesting aspects of knocking on doors is hearing the wide variety of concerns that your average voter has and trying to get to grips with solving them. Although the UK media understandably focuses on national news, …

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Opportunity and education for young people is the key to Britain’s future

Job CentreWe should always be striving for the next generation to do better than the last, and education is vitally important to achieving this. The launch of Labour’s education manifesto this week demonstrates a sincere commitment to opportunity for all.

The …

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Clean water can save a newborn baby’s life; let’s commit to giving them a #HealthyStart

clean water pumpToday is World Water Day which is an important annual milestone for international development. Providing universal access to clean drinking water has long been something I have campaigned on and a key goal of the United Nations and countless brilliant …

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We are still fighting against racial discrimination in the EU

iStock_000018447670MediumOn this day in 1960, South African police opened fire against 69 people demonstrating peacefully against apartheid ‘pass laws’ in Sharpeville, South Africa. The United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination marks this tragedy every year, and …

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Tales from the campaign trail (part 2)

Outside Radmoor Centre 2As I continue campaigning in the run-up to this year’s all-important general election, I’ve been reminded recently of the old Bob Monkhouse joke: “They laughed when I said I was going to be a comedian.  Well, they’re not laughing now!” …

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30 years on from the first .com domain, the internet has transformed our lives

ethernet cables

Today marks 30 years since the first .com domain name was registered. Back in 1985, American computer manufacturer Symbolics acquired the first web address at a time when their most advanced machines could just about fit on a sturdy desk …

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