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‘Tory cuts are responsible’ for the mental health crisis, says Bristol West MP

‘They made this problem, which has now reached the ages of 18-21’

Thangam Debbonaire, who is hoping to retain her seat at the upcoming General Election, told The Bristol Tab that ‘Tory cuts are responsible’ for the mental health crisis.

The Bristol West MP has previously spoken to Bristol uni staff and students, as well as parents of some students who have sadly taken their own lives.

She maintains however, that the mental health crisis is not a university issue, but is instead one facing all young people.

“The suicide rate [at Bristol Uni] is tragically no worse than the suicide rate of young people of that age group in general.”

Thangam thinks that mental health issues often start before a student gets to uni and that it's essential to tackle the causes of mental health problems while children are still developing at school.

Thangam believes that The Conservative party "made this problem, which has now reached the ages of 18-21.”

The Bristol West MP had plenty more to say on issues affecting young people at the upcoming election.

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Thangam on the campaign trail.

“I have reported instances of antisemitism within my own party and outside”

Thangam actively opposes antisemitism wherever it may be.

“I have consistently stood up for Jewish members and Jewish people who are not members of the Labour party.” She told The Bristol Tab.

Thangam has reported complaints to the police and has even demonstrated against antisemitism within her own party.

She admits: “Within the Labour party it is my view that complaints have been dealt with slowly.”

Addressing Bristol students, Thangam said: “In me, as their MP, they would have somebody who would consistently challenge the Labour Party as well as other people on antisemitism."

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“I would campaign for Remain as would, I expect, most Labour MPs”

On Brexit, Thangam is an unequivocal supporter of Remain.

Addressing Bristol students, Thangam said: “If they want to remain in the European Union, the only way we’re going to achieve that is through a second referendum, and the only way we’re going to get a second referendum is with a labour government.”

Thangam also stresses the importance of putting a credible deal on the table and not just a Tory deal that she deems threatening to many aspects of our society.

Thangam thinks that The Green Party and The Lib Dems, though they support Remain, have failed to consider what will be on the other side of the ballot paper, in the event of a second referendum.

“We would negotiate a deal on labour values and we’d put that versus remaining in the EU back to the public for the final say, within 6 months, and I would campaign for Remain.” Thangam told The Bristol Tab.

“You can’t do that just by having great policies in a manifesto, you’ve actually got to win power, you have to win an election”

Thangam thinks that Labour are the only credible choice for environmentally conscious students.

She thinks that The Green Party don't have a chance of getting into power and that they know this to be true.

Thangam said: “[The Labour Party] passed the world’s first Climate Change Act with the world’s first legally binding carbon emission reduction targets.”

“We’d put controls on dodgy landlords and make sure they abide by health and safety.”

Thangam thinks there’s a housing crisis in Bristol West and wants to do something about it.

She said: “Under a labour government we’d be building thousands and thousands of new homes.”

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“Students have a right to have a good time while being a student, but I’d also like students to get to know the city a bit more and maybe think about living in different areas"

On student noise, Thangam thinks students often take the rap when they aren’t to blame.

She said: “There are other lively young people living in Bristol, quite often who have a larger disposable income.”

Thangam thinks student population density may be related to a large number of noise complaints.

If student houses were spread across the city, this problem may ease.

Thangam said: “I’d really like students who’ve chosen Bristol to get to know the full variety of life in Bristol.”

“It’s utterly undermining democracy and people’s faith in elected politicians”

Thangam described The Conservative Party's recent underhand tactics as “very clever.”

During the leaders debate on ITV, Conservative Campaign HQ changed their twitter name to factcheckUK, misleading the public with anti-Labour posts.

They also created an equally misleading fake Labour Manifesto site.

Thangam said: “It diverted attention from Boris Johnson’s terrible performance.”

“[It was] pandering to the very worst parts of the Trump play book: Make stuff up and keep saying it over and over again until people think it’s true.”

She described Boris Johnson as saying “things at best which you could call misleading and at worst it is possible to call them inaccurate.”

She added: “I don’t want to live in a world where everyone around me doesn’t trust anything. Mistrust breeds more mistrust. So we should be worried about this."

Book, TV Show, Album

Book: Siege by Helen Dunmore

TV show: The Great British Bake Off

Album: A very specific recording of Shostakovich’s 7th symphony or either "Fear of Music" or "Remain in Light," both by Talking Heads.


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