The Prime Minister has succeeded in his pledge to halve inflation and he has done so ahead of schedule. The rate is now 4.7 %, still elevated but much improved on more than 10% not long ago due to the war in Ukraine and post-pandemic supply issues.
The cost of living is the number one challenge, and the government continues to support those on low incomes with direct payments, plus support for older people and the disabled. The best thing any government can do to ease cost of living challenges is to keep inflation under control. It is delivering on that and I am meeting the Chancellor again this week, ahead of the Autumn Statement.
I am disappointed with this week’s ruling from the Supreme Court on Rwanda.
We must do everything we can to stop dangerous small boat crossings and stop the human traffickers preying on those wanting to come here.
However, the judges made it clear the principle of deporting asylum seekers to a safe third country is sound. A number of our European neighbours are following in our footsteps on exactly this arrangement.
The Prime Minister said a new treaty with Rwanda - addressing many of the issues the court mentioned in its judgement - is being worked on and The Prime Minister has announced emergency legislation so Parliament can confirm that Rwanda is safe and people cannot further delay flights by bringing legal challenges in UK courts.
Rwanda is not the only measure. Our small boat numbers are down by more than 30% on the same time last year due to increased cooperation with France and a deal to return asylum seekers to Albania. This is in contrast to mainland Europe where numbers are only rising.
The government remains committed to making further progress on this issue that concerns many people in Eastbourne and Willingdon.
Another area of concern and contention this week as evidenced by my postbag at 700+ emails and protests on Wednesday in Westminster - and at our own Town Hall - is the Israeli-Hamas conflict in Gaza and the appalling loss of innocent lives. Our Foreign & Commonwealth Office Minister has been in Egypt this week on a mission to get more aid through to Gaza.