JILL MORTIMER: Saddened the US decided to withdraw from Afghanistan

I signed off last week by sharing my concern over the situation in Afghanistan – since returning to Parliament to discuss the developing situation, I would like to update you.

Thursday, 26th August 2021, 12:00 am
Taliban fighters

Last Wednesday the chamber was full and voices across the house were unanimous in our fears for the Afghan people. It is encouraging to hear that Ben Wallace, Secretary of State for Defence is focusing on bringing all British nationals, as well as the people who have aided and supported out British troops in Afghanistan to safety. We must continue to concentrate our efforts on getting these individuals out of the country.

I am deeply saddened that the Americans took the decision to leave Afghanistan. I know that the Prime Minister has been working to try to keep American forces in situ, as well as encouraging G7 countries to help in the evacuation process – it remains sad, however, that we could not persuade our other allies to help. As a nation, I believe we have no choice but to withdraw our troops and personnel from Afghanistan, as a unilateral force would always be viewed as an occupation, rather than a peace keeping mission – lessons of history have showed us what happens to a unilateral force in Afghanistan.

Moving forward, my focus has to remain on Hartlepool, and the people of our borough. With this in mind, I was pleased to meet with Angela Lockwood, Chief Executive of the North Star Group this week. She filled me in on the community housing the Group provides across Hartlepool, and I accompanied her on a visit to the women’s refuge – I was delighted to meet with Lesley and her amazing team. It was really encouraging to hear the impact the Group has across Hartlepool, providing rehabilitation housing and safe environments for individuals who need their help. North Star do more than just provide suitable housing for those who need it – the non-profit organisation provides all kind of support, whether it be through welfare advice or community support, as well as good housing management.

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I look forward to working with North Star, as well as other housing associations in the future, and endeavour to support their mission to provide a safe home environment for residents across Hartlepool.

This week will conclude with my latest surgery – I always look forward to meeting my constituents one-to-one. Please book into one of my surgeries if you would like to discuss an issue that you think I may be able to help with – [email protected]