New Hornsey and Wood Green MP makes her "maiden speech" in Parliament

Newly elected MP for Hornsey and Wood Green Catherine West MP has made her "maiden speech" in Parliament - just four weeks after the election date. In line with Westminster Tradition a maiden speech is usually uncontroversial, fairly short and contains a tribute to the MP's predecessor and favourable remarks about the constituency. Catherine West spoke yesterday, June10th, in a debate on Housing as part of the Opposition Day of debates.

A section of the speech included a celebration of the local area:

My constituency is one of great contrasts, with households on low incomes living in the graceful, but dilapidated, Victorian Noel Park estate. I was always amazed by our Victorian and even our post-war predecessors who saw the need to invest in housing for working communities and made it happen ...

In the west of my constituency, leafy boulevards of Edwardian splendour nestle in the foothills of Alexandra Palace Park and run along the boundaries of the spooky Highgate and Queen’s woods—28 hectares of ancient woodland known for its archaeological treasure trove of Roman pottery. The famous landmark of Alexandra Palace, originally known as “the Palace of the People” was leased to the BBC in 1935 for its new television service, and its glass dome provides a magnificent backdrop, which today’s shoppers can gaze at from the Wood Green shopping city.

One hundred and eighty languages are spoken in our local schools. As an immigrant myself, I am proud of our rich diversity. Immigration is too commonly seen as a handicap when, in truth, it is our strength.

You can read Catherine West's full speech - and the rest of the debate on the crucial issue of Housing Policy and the urgent need to build more homes in the Hansard Record.

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