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When part of the London Mayor’s Policing and Crime plan included closing Tottenham Police Station at night, or in fact altogether, I led a campaign strongly against this move, and we succeeded in keeping Tottenham station open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
It seemed ludicrous to me that less than two years after the riots that Tottenham would have a downgraded police presence. The station is now the largest in Haringey, houses the Borough Commander, and thankfully retaining a strong presence in our community.
However, this doesn't stop the fact that the police cuts are causing stations to close throughout London, to be replaced by ‘contact points’ across communities. Tottenham is now Haringey's sole 24-7 station, and it is the case in most London boroughs that there is now only one station open all the time. But this money saving move towards ‘bobbies before buildings’ will be no substitute for the security people can feel in knowing that there is somewhere permanent they can go to safely find help and report crimes.
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Securing equal civil rights for people regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation or ethnicity has always been a key priority.
As a Minister, I was proud to have taken through the Gender Recognition Act through Parliament, and following an impassioned speech in the House of Commons, I was proud to have voted for the crucial piece of legislation to give LGBT couples the right to marry.
The passage of Marriage (same Sex Couples) Act in 2013 was a momentous day for equality, and that was clearly reflected by the flurry of photos cast across the internet that has sent an important and enduring message to the next generation: people should be allowed to have their love recognised, regardless of their sexual orientation.
I was totally humbled to have been invited to attend the wedding of my constituents and good friends Subodh and Niranjan at Haringey Civic Centre in Wood Green, at the first gay marriage in the borough of Haringey.
You can watch the speech I gave in Parliament supporting Gay Marriage here:
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