Blog: Keep up-to-date with the latest happenings in the Parliament last week

Whilst Westminster has been in recess for Party Conference season, the work hasn’t stopped for your MEPs and last week we were in Strasbourg.

It was a busy few days in the European Parliament – it always is.

Labour MEPs voted in favour of the Legal Aid Directive which establishes minimum standards on the right to a legal aid across the EU ensuring access to justice across for millions of people across the EU. We also met with human rights campaigner, Andy Hall about his continued work on justice issues.

During the week there was great news – the Paris Agreement, known as #COP21, was ratified by the European Parliament. The Agreement is a great example of a positive and constructive approach to tackling a crucial global issue. By working together co-operatively fighting climate change, we can achieve a safer future, fair for all, on a healthy planet.

Labour MEPs also voted to strengthen legislation banning exports of torture equipment from the European Union. The new legislation introduces a ban on marketing and promotion of goods which have no other practical use than execution or torture, like electric chairs, automatic drug injection systems or spiked thumbscrews. These measures will seek to guarantee that the UK and the EU in no way contribute to trade in torture and capital punishment and are no longer indirectly complicit in torture or executions beyond its borders. This is definitely something we should be proud of.

As I am sure many of you are aware, North West MEP Steven Woolfe was taken ill in the European Parliament on Thursday. Steven and I have very different politics, but violence has no place in political debate in the UK, the EU or anywhere. I wish him well in his recovery.

Over the weekend I was in Copenhagen at a EUFORES conference on security and growth potentials in the Energy Union, where I spoke about the work I have been doing on energy poverty and focussing on the needs of our most vulnerable people. Nobody should have to choose between heating, cooling and eating.

Don’t forget that you can follow the work I’m doing on Facebook – @TheresaGriffin and on twitter – @TheresaMEP