Mary Kelly Foy’s Newsletter – 3rd May


May I thank every single member who has supported campaign activity over the last few weeks. We have worked hard to secure the re-election of Joy Allen as Police and Crime Commissioner for Durham and the election of Kim McGuinness as our first North East Mayor.

A special thanks must go to Nick Rippin, our CLP campaigns officer, and to my constituency team who used their own annual leave to support GOTV.

We won these important elections because of our members, so a big thanks to everyone who did their bit – especially to our new members. They took to campaigning like ducks to water!

I’ll reflect fully on what they mean for our constituency, and the wider county, in my next newsletter; until, a huge congratulations to Joy and Kim.

Our success, joined with our victories around the country, will hopefully pressure Rishi Sunak to finally call a General Election.

Until then, we’ll take a well earned break from campaigning. Future sessions will be highlighted in my next newsletter. Please make a note of them and come along. You’ll be very welcome!

It was my first proper week back in Parliament since my cancer operation. I have been advised to take things slowly before I can get back to my usual pace, but my constituency team is always on hand to assist people in Durham.

Eagle-eyed readers will know that I am passionate about securing a smoke free generation, so it was only right that I joined the Tobacco and Vapes Bill Committee in order to achieve the first smoke free generation.

This time, I hope the government doesn’t vote down any of my amendments like they did the last time I tried to tackle Big Tobacco!

I also co-sponsored a debate in Westminster Hall on the contribution of volunteers. If you think you’d like to volunteer, head over to Durham Community Action for some local suggestions.

I’ve also written to the Home Secretary this week with concerns regarding the government’s ‘rapid review’ of the graduate route visa for international students. As well as making a notable contribution to the local economy, these students enable universities like Durham to thrive.

The government should not take them for granted!

Look out tomorrow in The Northern Echo for my column on the Battle for St Leonard’s, too.

Locally, may I say thanks to Rotary North East for inviting me to unveil their 100th community public access defibrillator at Farmhouse Dine & Wine in Parkhill as part of their hugely important One Life Initiative.

I opened the first defibrillator back in 2020 and have been a huge supporter of this initiative for the last four years.

The One Life Initiative has helped raise awareness of the importance of CPR, and the early use of a defibrillator, for someone in cardiac arrest.

Speaking to local residents, I could feel just how proud they are to have this installed and whilst I hope they never have to use it, the difference this defibrillator could make is huge.

Well done to everyone who made this happen!

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