Aylestone | Castle | City Centre | Clarendon Park | Crown Hills | De Montfort University | Evington Road | Eyres Monsell | Wycliffe | Gilmorton | Highfields
Knighton | Knighton Fields | Leicester University | Leicester Royal Infirmary | Saffron | Spinney Hills | St. Andrews | St. Matthews | St. Peters | Stoneygate
It's a busy schedule working as the MP for Leicester South. We try to make sure we keep everyone up-to-date with important issues, topics that affect constituents. We do this with regular updates on the website, including this page, where we highlight news items.
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MAY 2012

Jon Ashworth MP has called on the government to abandon its policy of including temporary international students in its permanent immigration cap

Thursday May 31 2012

Jon Ashworth argued that this cap will have detrimental effect on the UK's universities including Leicester University and De Montfort University in his Leicester South constituency.

Writing for the blog site Labourlist Leicester South MP Jon Ashworth said:

"Our HE sector represents our 7th biggest export with 400 000 students coming to the UK every year to study. Estimates suggest the sector is worth around £15 billion a year. What's more the influx of international students to towns and cities not only contribute hugely to the local economy they also enrich the our international links, as the IPPR observed ‘they take friendships and loyalties home with them that later become trade links, cultural bonds and diplomatic ties".

"I know from the experience of my own Leicester constituency of the hugely positive contribution locally international students make. I'm lucky to have two of the nation's most exciting dynamic universities in my patch – De Montfort and Leicester – both of whom work hard to attract international students. Restricting international students will put more pressure on theirs and other Universities' finances."

"The IPPR recently identified that international students make up the largest chunk of immigrants in the net migration figures and yet students are not long term at all.

They are in fact more likely to return home than other immigration categories. By including international students in these calculations the IPPR estimate we would be forced to cut international student numbers by 50 000 with a cost to the UK economy of up to £3 billion a year."

"Export earnings from our HE sector could double by 2025 and yet by including temporary international students in our permanent immigration totals ministers are seriously disadvantaging the UK's universities and colleges."

Jon Ashworth added: “I know how important Leicester University and DMU are to the local Leicester economy. I'm seriously worried that this government policy will have a detrimental effect on economic growth in Leicester.”
Jon listening to students during the visit to De Montfort University's Students' Union
Photo above shows Jon talking with students during a recent visit to De Montfort University.

Click photo for enlargement

NHS funding changes will cost NHS Leicester City over £65 million

Tuesday May 22 2012

Tory-led Government plans to change the NHS funding formula will see areas with the highest levels of deprivation lose billions from their healthcare budgets, with wealthier areas benefitting from the change.

New figures calculated by health expert Professor Bambra shows that Leicester City PCT area stands to lose over £65 million a year - £197per person in Leicester. Whilst the same rule-change would see Surrey's NHS gain over £400M.

Department of Health considerations, revealed by Andrew Lansley last month, would introduce an age related funding model for the NHS. In a speech the Health Secretary let slip that deprivation should not be taken into account when setting budgets and greater focus should be given to age and population size.

Jon Ashworth, Labour MP for Leicester South, stated:“I am a strong supporter of our local NHS. I was delighted to spend a day at the Royal recently and I have also campaigned against the disastrous NHS changes the Government has forced through.”

Jon went on to comment:“This study by Professor Bambra highlights the single biggest attack on improving public health in Leicester. Deprivation has a massive impact on the demand on our NHS and it is scandalous for the Government to consider no longer taking this into account. Local hospitals and patients will struggle, whilst the money is directly channelled to areas where there is least need and people already live longest.”

“This Government is attacking the NHS from every angle – thousands of nursing jobs are being axed and waiting times are spiralling upwards. Last week the Department of Health revealed a 155% increase in people who waited longer than 18 weeks for operations since this Tory-led Government came to power. Patient and the NHS deserve better.”

Clare Bambra, Professor of Public Health Policy, calculated the full effect of changes for the British Medical Journal. The academic's research shows budgets for affluent areas with a higher life expectancy will increase at the expense of poorer areas with a lower life expectancy.

Tory-led Government plans to change the NHS funding formula will see areas with the highest levels of deprivation lose billions from their healthcare budgets, with wealthier areas benefitting from the change

Professor Bambra said: “Severing the link between deprivation and NHS spending is very dangerous.”

“My research also found that there is a trend for the regions that are more likely to vote for Labour will lose money whereas the areas that are more likely to vote for the Conservatives will increase their funding.”

Jon Ashworth MP urges everyone to ‘get behind the Hump'

Friday May 18 2012

Leicester South MP Jon Ashworth caught up with Leicester's own Engelbert Humperdinck at the annual BPI ‘Rock the Boat' event in Westminster this week.

Jon Ashworth MP said “I'm a huge fan of Engelbert Humperdinck and even mentioned him in my maiden speech last year in the Commons. I was so thrilled to catch up with him and wish him good luck at Eurovision. I have selection of Engelbert's hits on his ipod including Please Release Me and Quando Quando Quando."


“Engelbert is a hugely important ambassador for Leicester not just because of his singing but also because of his extensive charity work as well."

“I know everyone will be cheering him on and getting ‘behind the Hump.'”


Photo right shows Jon with Engelbert during the event in Westminster.


Jon Ashworth MP with Engelbert Humperdinck during the event in Westminster
Click photo for enlargement
Photo copyright john marshall / jmenternational

Jon Ashworth MP demands Government do more to help Leicester build deeper trade links internationally

Friday May 18 2012

Jon is the guest speaker at a Turkish Trade Dinner hosted by the Leicester Asian Business Association (LABA) on Friday 18 May.

Uday Dholakia, Chairman of the Leicester Business Association, stated: “The importance of international trade to the UK, and especially to a City like Leicester, is vital to the UK economy. International trade is essential if the UK is to sustain its economic strengths and progress in an increasingly competitive global economy.”

“The diverse communities in Leicester, like the British Asian communities and the Turkish communities, have a unique inside track to the countries of their ancestral origins - be it cultural, religious, trade, banking, bilateral trade, inward investment and academic and research links.”

The Trade Dinner will be attended by the Turkish Ambassador and the Consul General along with Turkish Airlines.

Jon will say: “My top priority as Leicester South's MP is calling for investment so we can win and secure jobs for our future. That's why I fully support LABA's drive to enhance Leicester's credentials as an international hub for trade and investment. The East Midlands has some £300 million worth of bilateral trade with Turkey. I am very keen that we support further links with Turkey, one of the fastest growing economies in the world.”

“I am delighted to welcome the Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey, and the Consul General to the City and will be we writing to Lord Stephen Green, the International Trade Minister, to seek direct government support in encouraging bilateral trade missions between Leicester and Turkey.

Experts have predicted that if we maximised our export potential it would benefit the UK economy by £20 billion."

“In the House of Commons on Thursday I demanded the Government do more to support small and medium sized businesses in cities like Leicester trade internationally.

With international trade patterns shifting, the Government must help cities like Leicester build on our extensive links with countries such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Turkey so we can deepen trade and attract investment and jobs to Leicester in the future.”

Jon Ashworth MP speaking in the House of Commons debate on Thursday May 17 2012
Jon Ashworth MP at the LABA Trade Dinner with the Turkish Airlines representative.
Photos show, top, Jon during the debate in the House of Commons, below, at the LABA Trade Dinner with the Turkish Airlines representative.

Click photos for enlargement

Jon Ashworth MP congratulates and visits local mosque for fundraising following his Somalia appeal

Friday May 4 2012

At the height of the devastating famine that hit the horn of Africa, including Somalia, last year Jon Ashworth encouraged all local places of worship to raise funds to help the humanitarian efforts.

Darus Salam Mosque raised funds which will be donated to Iqra Aid Trust's appeal. The Trust has so far raised sufficient funds to purchase three ambulances, medical equipment and medical supplies for Somalia.

Jon stated: “I am very pleased that Darus Salam Mosque raised over £500 towards the cost of the Ambulances for Somalia following my appeal to local places of worship to raise funds to humanitarian efforts following the devastating famine in Somalia last year. And I am delighted to accept this money on behalf of the Iqra Aid Trust.”


The Ambulances alone cost £3,000 each plus the transportation costs to Mogadishu, Somalia, where they will be used to meet the health needs of the capital's citizens.

Nizan Chowdhury, a Trustee and General Secretary of the Darus Salam Trust, commented: “Darus Salam Mosque was honoured to be able to assist in this crucial appeal. The Ambulances purchased will provide essential care to the citizens of Mogadishu.”

Photos show, right top, Councillor Dr Chowdhury, Jon, Councillor Abdul Osman and Abul Bashir, (Chair of the Mosque), right bottom, includes Nizan Chowdhury (General Secretary) with Councillor Abdul Osman accepting the funds on behalf of the Iqra Aid Trust's appeal
Click any photo for enlargement
Councillor Dr Chowdhury, Jon, Councillor Abdul Osman and Abul Bashir, (Chair of the Mosque)
Councillor Dr Chowdhury, Jon, Councillor Abdul Osman and Abul Bashir, (Chair of the Mosque), Nizan Chowdhury (General Secretary) with Councillor Abdul Osman accepting the funds on behalf of the Iqra Aid Trust's appeal
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