I love being your MP for Hove and Portslade. Recently, Keir Starmer has given me some added responsibilities, by appointing me as Shadow Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology.
As part of my new role, I recently addressed the Labour Party Conference in Liverpool, outlining Labour’s plans for science and technology. Below are some of the key points of my speech:
- Throughout Britain’s history, when new ideas and inventions are made to work for everyone, the economy grows and people’s lives get better.Ever since the industrial revolution, that change has been driven by technology.
- Wave after wave of scientific, technological and research driven progress. Each wave posed risks. Each generated fear.
- And when governments have got it wrong, too often it has been those with least resilience or wealth that either missed out on opportunities or, at worst, been left behind. It’s why this is one of the great progressive causes of our times.
- Understandably, once again people are worried. That’s why the interests of working people will be baked into everything the next Labour government does.partnerships with critical sectors and businesses will reflect our progressive values – technology developed to make the whole country better off.
- A Keir Starmer led government will seek out, nurture, and harness the power of these great new advances. We’ll make sure they become opportunities that benefit our country and its workers.
- The wealth and jobs generated by advancement in scientific and computing power could tackle regional inequality if we make it so. And the data revolution could help transform our cherished public services and the welfare state after years of Tory decline, to the benefit those in greatest need.
- Life Sciences are the crown jewel of our science sector, yet pharmaceutical exports have fallen by a quarter since 2015. The Tory’s boasted about rejoining Horizon after 3 years of uncertainty, having promised access from the day we left the European Union. Their chaos and instability is bad for innovation and bad for investment.
- So Labour will create certainty with 10-year R&D budgets. This would allow relationships with industry to be built, long term partnerships to form and lead to investment in new technology and the infrastructure that underpins it. We will go further than ever before to make Britain the best place to innovate by cutting red tape.