Rachel Reeves

Member of Parliament for Leeds West

Yesterday, I visited Armley Mills Industrial Museum, a fascinating insight into past Leeds industries and a glimpse at the future. The Armley Mills celebrate and take pride in Leeds' past and are an exciting learning opportunity for all. I had a great afternoon hearing about the ambitions for the site and I look forward to seeing them realised.

Visiting Armley Mills

Yesterday, I visited Armley Mills Industrial Museum, a fascinating insight into past Leeds industries and a glimpse at the future. The Armley Mills celebrate and take pride in Leeds' past... Read more

I was delighted to raise a glass this week to celebrate the legacy of Alice Bacon who was a real pioneer as Yorkshire’s first female MP. Miner’s daughter Alice was elected as the MP for Leeds North East at the 1945 general election and went on to become both a Home Office and an Education Minister.

She helped introduce comprehensive schools across the country and was passionate about improving the lives of working class people. As we mark the centenary since the first British women won the right to vote, the Five Towns Brewery in Wakefield has specially brewed Baroness Bacon Beer.

The pale ale has already been sold in the working men’s club that Alice opened in Normanton. I have now arranged for it to now go on sale at The Stranger’s Bar in the House of Commons – with a picture of Alice on the beer hand pump. Hopefully, it will help introduce a new generation of politicians and Parliament’s visitors to Alice’s work in transforming people’s lives.


Raising a glass to Alice

I was delighted to raise a glass this week to celebrate the legacy of Alice Bacon who was a real pioneer as Yorkshire’s first female MP. Miner’s daughter Alice was...

We all hoped the chaos on Northern rail could not get any worse after the nightmare triggered by the introduction of their new timetable. However, we now know of the contempt that the London-centric Government has for rail passengers in and around Leeds who are already enduring inexcusable disruption.

Thanks to a series of emails released under freedom of information rules, we learn the line from Southport to Leeds was “not really a valued connection”, but should be kept as a “sop” to local people. This kind of blinkered, arrogant decision-making in the capital only succeeds in widening the North-South divide which I am determined to continue fighting to close.

The Yorkshire Evening Post has helped spearhead a brilliant campaign to end the misery that local rail travellers have faced for a month. Sadly, there is no end in sight yet to the delays and mass cancellations. Meanwhile, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling continues his spectacular failure to get a grip on this issue.

I suspect it would be a very different story if these delays plagued his constituents in Surrey. It is clear from those private emails from within the Department for Transport that ministers and officials knew about the impending chaos looming at Northern rail two years ago. Officials cynically talked about a “classic handling strategy” to manage the concerns of people in the North about the disruption.

I have worked hard to get extra trains stopping at the new Kirkstall Forge station to help people get to the new development there and commute to and from the city centre. But far too many decisions that affect the daily journeys of my constituents in Leeds West and across the city are made 200 miles away in London.

Enough is enough. People in the North are fed up with being the poor relation when it comes to investment in the services we use every day. We need more powers devolved to Leeds and the North so we can make our own decisions about how to run the railways and our transport services. A Labour government would bring these poorly run privatised rail franchises back into public ownership. We will not get the improvements our railways so badly need until we have the power to make those changes ourselves.


We need more powers devolved to Leeds to save our Railways

We all hoped the chaos on Northern rail could not get any worse after the nightmare triggered by the introduction of their new timetable. However, we now know of the...

Whilst in the constituency this weekend I visited the Leeds College of Building and was shown around the various departments. It was a great insight into the important role the college has in supporting construction work across Leeds and it was great opportunity to get in some long overdue welding practise!

Supporting Kirkstall forge Clean air campaign and visiting Leeds College of Building - Work around the Constituency

Whilst in the constituency this weekend I visited the Leeds College of Building and was shown around the various departments. It was a great insight into the important role the... Read more

On Friday I had a fantastic day celebrating the ‘Great Get Together’ at Armley Mosque and was happy to be joined by members of the church, police, council, local businesses, New Wortley Community Centre and Interplay. I was so pleased that so many showed their support for the great work this initiative does and to celebrate Jo Cox’s belief that we have far more in common than that which divides us.

The Great Get Together

On Friday I had a fantastic day celebrating the ‘Great Get Together’ at Armley Mosque and was happy to be joined by members of the church, police, council, local businesses,... Read more

On the 10th June, I was interviewed on Sunday Politics. I discussed sexual entertainment licences, Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in politics, and the recent chaos surrounding Northern Rail.

Interview on Sunday Politics

On the 10th June, I was interviewed on Sunday Politics. I discussed sexual entertainment licences, Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in politics, and the recent chaos surrounding Northern Rail. Read more

On Friday the 8th of June, I was interviewed in ‘The Hot Seat’ on ‘The Big Yorkshire Phone In’. I was grilled on a number of topics, ranging from Brexit to my personal best in the Bramley Park Run!

'The Hot Seat' interview

On Friday the 8th of June, I was interviewed in ‘The Hot Seat’ on ‘The Big Yorkshire Phone In’. I was grilled on a number of topics, ranging from Brexit... Read more

I am thrilled to announce that two events have been arranged in Leeds West for this year’s upcoming Great Get Together.

Great Get Together 2018- Events in Leeds West

I am thrilled to announce that two events have been arranged in Leeds West for this year’s upcoming Great Get Together. Read more

I welcome the recent news that the Council have announced plans to delay their post-16 SEND transport assistance offer. This means that over 16’s with special educational needs and disabilities will continue to receive transport to school for the upcoming academic year, as oppose to having to get by with personal travel allowances.

Council delay cuts to SEND transport following local pressure

I welcome the recent news that the Council have announced plans to delay their post-16 SEND transport assistance offer. This means that over 16’s with special educational needs and disabilities... Read more

Excited to raise a glass of Baroness Bacon beer to Alice in Parliament next month!
Alice Bacon was a pioneer and a role model. She was Yorkshire’s first woman MP, blazing an inspirational trail for women across the county and the country. She also played a key role in some of the most important changes of the 1960s, particularly education reform. It is important that we remember her remarkable life and legacy, so I am delighted to have secured the Baroness Bacon beer brewed in her honour as the guest beer in Parliament’s Strangers’ Bar to give us the opportunity to raise a glass to Alice.

Beer created to honour Yorkshire first female MP.

Excited to raise a glass of Baroness Bacon beer to Alice in Parliament next month!Alice Bacon was a pioneer and a role model. She was Yorkshire’s first woman MP, blazing... Read more

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