North London MPs back There With You This Winter campaign

Clockwise from top left: Keir Starmer, Tulip Siddiq, Karen Buck and Catherine West

Clockwise from top left: Keir Starmer, Tulip Siddiq, Karen Buck and Catherine West - Credit: UK Parliament

North London's Labour MPs have roundly agreed the cut to universal credit will hurt constituents this winter.

We asked four Labour MPs for their thoughts on our There With You This Winter campaign and what their constituents might be experiencing.

The campaign aims to recognise the financial challenges people face, raise awareness and offer support.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer  - Credit: PA

A £20 weekly uplift to universal credit (UC) came to an end in October and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said: "You are absolutely right to be shining a light on this important issue and I am glad to see you signposting people towards advice and support.

"Winter can be a difficult time for many families, but the sharp rise in energy prices this year has made things significantly worse.

The Holburn and St Pancras MP added: "I have been calling on the government to get rid of VAT on domestic energy bills to ease some of these pressures, as well as to take action to address the rising cost of living, including cancelling the cut in UC which is forcing too many families to choose between heat and food."

MP for Hampstead and Kilburn Tulip Siddiq

MP for Hampstead and Kilburn Tulip Siddiq - Credit: Lauren Hurley/PA

Tulip Siddiq said: “So many of my constituents in Hampstead and Kilburn are facing a cost of living crisis this winter due to rising prices and damaging Conservative polices like the removal of the £20 a week UC uplift.

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"I am seriously concerned about the sharp rises in poverty we are seeing as the financial impact of Covid-19 continues to hit family finances.

"It’s excellent to see one of my excellent local papers fighting for those who are struggling to make ends meet and putting the amazing organisations and volunteers offering support in our community front and centre in their work.”

Catherine West, MP for Hornsey and Wood Green

Hornsey & Wood Green Catherine West MP - Credit: Chris McAndrew

Catherine West said she was "delighted" with the campaign.

"As a local MP I am often contacted by my constituents who are agonising over the cost of living crisis and I know that the campaign will be a vital lifeline for many who are seeing their bills rise with record-high energy prices,” the Hornsey and Wood Green MP added.

Karen Buck MP at the protest outside Queens Park nursery. Picture: Polly Hancock

Karen Buck MP - Credit: Archant

Westminster North's Karen Buck said: "The cost of living crisis, combined with cuts to UC affecting tens of thousands of local households, mean many people are at real risk of hardship this winter.

"We need to do everything we can to help people through these tough times, and that includes making everyone aware of the assistance which is available."

Support

For support and advice, there are several north London organisations available:

Call the free-phone Green Camden Helpline for advice and tips on saving energy, changing fuel tariff/ suppliers, dealing with fuel debt and more. You can call the Green Camden Helpline for free on 0800 801 738 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm).

Haringey Council has partnered with the SHINE London energy advice service to help residents keep well and warm and reduce the anxiety of paying for large fuel bills. Contact SHINE on 0300 555 0195 or contact@shine-london.org.uk

Camden Age UK offers advice on accessing benefits, housing and other services. Contact the Information and Advice Service by phone: 020 7837 3777, 10am-4pm, Monday to Friday, 
or by email: duty@ageukcamden.org.uk

Age UK Camden can be contacted on 0207 837 3777, by emailing duty@ageukcamden.org.uk or by visiting www.ageuk.org.uk/camden

Haringey Community Mental Health Team for Older People offers support for people over 65 experiencing mental health difficulties. Call the team on 020 8702 6300

Contact Citizen's Advice to get support from highly trained volunteers and help with accessing foodbank vouchers. Find out more at www.citizensadvice.org.uk/

Call the Samaritans for free on 116 123.

Domestic abuse charity Solace can be found at www.solacewomensaid.org

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