Mick Whitley

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Mick Whitley

Mick Whitley (born 17 November 1951) is a British Labour Party politician. He has served as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Birkenhead since 2019.

Early life and career

Mick Whitley grew up in Woodchurch. His father and some of his brothers were in the ship building industry. After time in the Merchant Navy, Whitley worked for Vauxhall Motors becoming a trade union organiser and later regional secretary for Unite the Union.

Parliamentary career

Mick Whitley was elected as the Labour MP for Birkenhead in the 2019 general election, defeating Frank Field, a former Labour politician. Field resigned the Labour whip after 40 years as Birkenhead's MP and ran as an independent candidate under the banner of the Birkenhead Social Justice Party. Whitley won the seat with a vote share of 59%, down 17.8% on the result that Field achieved in 2017. Aged 68, he was the oldest MP to be elected for the first time in 2019. Whitley's candidacy was endorsed by Momentum UK and several trade unions. During the 2021 Israel-Palestine Crisis, Whitley signed a letter along with 19 other MPs calling for sanctions on Israel "for its repeated violations of international law.

Socialist Campaign Group

In 2021 Mick Whitley was member of the Socialist Campaign Group in the House of Parliament.

Stop the War Statement on Crisis in the Ukraine

Stop the War Statement on Crisis in the Ukraine was released February 18 2022.

Stop the War opposes any war over Ukraine, and believes the crisis should be settled on a basis which recognises the right of the Ukrainian people to self-determination and addresses Russia’s security concerns.

Our focus is on the policies of the British government which have poured oil on the fire throughout this episode. In taking this position we do not endorse the nature or conduct of either the Russian or Ukrainian regimes.

The British government has talked up the threat of war continually, to the point where the Ukraine government has asked it to stop.

Unlike the French and German governments, it has advanced no proposals for a diplomatic solution to the crisis, and has contributed only sabre-rattling.

Indeed, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has even accused those seeking a peaceful settlement of preparing “another Munich.”

Instead, the British government has sent arms to Ukraine and deployed further troops to Eastern Europe, moves which serve no purpose other than inflaming tensions and indicating disdain for Russian concerns.

It has also declared that Ukraine has a “sovereign right” to join NATO, when no such right exists to join it or any other military alliance.

Britain needs to change its policy, and start working for peace, not confrontation.

Stop the War believes that Russia and Ukraine should reach a diplomatic settlement of the tensions between them, on the basis of the Minsk-2 agreement already signed by both states.

It believes NATO should call a halt to its eastward expansion and commit to a new security deal for Europe which meets the needs of all states and peoples.

We refute the idea that NATO is a defensive alliance, and believe its record in Afghanistan, Yugoslavia and Libya over the last generation, not to mention the US-British attack on Iraq, clearly proves otherwise.

We support all efforts to reach new arms control agreements in Europe and to move towards nuclear disarmament across the continent.

We urge the entire anti-war movement to unite on the basis of challenging the British government’s aggressive posturing and direct its campaigning to that end above all.

The statement had been originally MPs signed by Diane Abbott, John McDonnell, Richard Burgon, Ian Lavery, Beth Winter, Zarah Sultana, Bell Ribeiro-Addy, Apsana Begum, Mick Whitley, Tahir Ali and Ian Mearns. All withdrew their signatues after Labour Party pressure.[1]

Justice for Palestine

Justice for Palestine was a 15th May, 2021 letter from British Members of Parliament.

In the light of the Israeli Government’s military offensive on Gaza and its attacks on Palestinians in the Occupied Territories I have signed the following statement calling for Justice for Palestine issued by the Socialist Campaign Group...

As the former colonial power that issued the Balfour Declaration, and then was responsible for the Mandate leading up to the Nakba of 1948, Britain has a special responsibility to do all it can to ensure a just peace.

We, therefore, call on the UK government to:

  • Demand an end to the siege of Gaza and the illegal occupation of Palestinian territory.
  • Impose sanctions on Israel for its repeated violations of international law, place an embargo on arms sales and end trade with illegal settlements.
  • Demonstrate full support for the International Criminal Court’s opening of an investigation into alleged war crimes in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories.
  • Recognise the state of Palestine.

Signatories included Mick Whitley MP.

Cuba Solidarity at Labour Party Conference

Cuba Solidarity Campaign Monday, 4 October 2021.

After eighteen months and twenty online public meetings CSC was delighted to participate in and host our first face-to-face public meetings, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, in September.

At the Labour Party Conference in Brighton we were invited to speak at ‘The World Transformed’, the Young Labour rally, as well as organising a fringe meeting as part of the main conference fringe programme.

CSC’s conference exhibition stall was extremely busy all week. Several MPs had their photographs taken with our ‘End the US blockade, 60 years too long’ poster, and it was great to see many existing CSC members visit to say hello and give their support, as well as Labour Party delegates who came to ask questions, buy gifts and join. More than 20 new members were recruited during the week.

On Saturday 25 September, CSC’s Natasha Hickman spoke at two events. Joining speakers from Colombia, Brazil, and Bolivia at The World Transformed Festival running concurrently with the Labour Party Conference, she contrasted the lack of mainstream media coverage for the mass demonstrations against imperialism and right-wing governments that had been taking place in these countries for many months compared to the way that the same media had responded to localised and much smaller events in Cuba. The meeting, ‘Latin America Rising: Imperialism, Resistance and Solidarity,’ hosted by Alborada attracted more than 100 people. Later the same evening, Natasha told a crowd of 200 at the Young Labour Rally that there was nothing controversial about standing up against the US blockade whose aim was to starve the Cuban people into submission. Other speakers at the rally included MPs Jeremy Corbyn, Richard Burgon and Zarah Sultana.

On Monday 27 September a further 150 people listened to Cuban Ambassador Barbara Montalvo Alvarez speak at her first fringe meeting since arriving in the UK in March 2020. CSC’s meeting ‘Solidarity and resistance: Cuba’s fight against COVID and the US blockade’, was sponsored by Unite the Union, and chaired by the union’s Assistant General Secretary Steve Turner.

Grahame Morris MP told the audience about the measures taken both in and out of parliament by MPs to pressure the Biden administration to reverse sanctions imposed by Trump including allowing Cuban Americans to send family remittances to the island.

Labour NEC youth representative and junior doctor Lara McNeill shared her first-hand experience of training as a doctor in Havana and told the audience what it was like to work in Cuba’s world class healthcare system. She compared the cost of training to become a doctor in the UK and the debts students would rack up here with Cuba where medical training is free and as a result doctors came from much more diverse backgrounds than in Britain.

CSC Director Rob Miller closed the meeting with a call for solidarity given the current difficulties the island faced. “Cuba has given so much to the world, it is time for us to give something back” he said.

Labour MPs Mick Whitley, Navendu Mishra, Paula Barker, Rachel Hopkins, Kim Johnson and Sinn Fein’s Chris Hazzard and Mickey Brady attended the meeting and expressed their ongoing support.[2]

Cuba Covid letter

April 15 2020, fifty one British members of parliament have written to Dominic Raab, the UK Foreign Secretary and acting Prime Minister to call for the US blockade of Cuba to be temporarily suspended during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Grahame Morris MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Cuba, coordinated the letter which asks the British government to make a public statement and to raise the issue directly with its counterparts in the United States’ government.

The letter from the British parliamentarians cites examples from around the world where governments and international organisations have demanded that humanitarian aid be allowed in to Cuba to help the country fight COVID-19. It quotes Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Arancha Gonzalez, Spanish Foreign Minister, and Josep Borrell, the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs, who have all publicly called for sanctions to be suspended to Cuba and other sanctioned countries to allow for the delivery of essential supplies and medicine to stop the spread of the virus.

Yours sincerely,

Grahame Morris MP, Chair, APPG Cuba.

Dan Carden MP, Vice Chair, Kate Osborne MP, Vice Chair, Kim Johnson MP, Vice Chair, Paula Barker MP, Vice Chair, Alison Thewliss MP Allan Dorans MP, Amy Callaghan MP, Andy McDonald MP, Apsana Begum MP, Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP, Beth Winter MP, Carol Monaghan MP, Chris Law MP, Chris Stephens MP, Claudia Webbe MP, Clive Lewis MP, Dave Doogan MP, Diane Abbott MP, Geraint Davies MP, Ian Byrne MP, Ian Mearns MP, Ian Lavery MP, Imran Hussain MP, Joanna Cherry MP, John McDonnell MP, Jon Trickett MP, Kate Osamor MP, Kenny MacAskill MP, Kirsten Oswald MP, Kirsty Blackman MP, Lloyd Russell-Moyle MP, Margaret Ferrier MP, Marion Fellowes MP, Martyn Day MP, Mary Kelly Foy MP, Mick Whitley MP, Mike Amesbury MP, Mike Hill MP, Navendu Mishra MP, Olivia Blake MP, Owen Thompson MP, Rachel Hopkins MP, Richard Burgon MP, Ronnie Cowan MP, Sam Tarry MP, Sarah Champion MP, Stephen Bonnar MP, Stephen Flynn MP, Yasmin Qureshi MP, Zarah Sultana MP[3]

References

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