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While it may seem as if Christmas decorations have only just come down, the February half-term has already come and gone. School pupils struggling through A Level Winter modules or fighting off cough and colds have had a chance to recharge their batteries. School life for children and teenagers can sometimes be a mad dash between rugby and swimming and choir and homework; it’s important that every so often they get a chance to stop and rest. 

The February parliamentary recess- Westminster’s version of half-term- gives MPs a chance to work in their constituencies – and I have had a very busy schedule including two very important public meetings about the hospital. But half-term is also an opportunity to take stock of the year so far. The economic outlook is again bleak as the impact of Tory cuts and disastrous economic policies continue to restrict economic growth and dominate concerns at Westminster.

However, some events in January were worth celebrating: Ed Miliband’s principled stand against huge pay-outs to bankers which has resulted in the Chief Executive of RBS handing back his bonus. We now need to pursue reform the financial sector.  As the Labour Party looks forward to the rest of the parliamentary year, we will continue to push this Tory coalition to stop putting their top banker friends first, and instead focus on fairness for all.