26 November was a cold day but hundreds turned out in Westminster to mark the “excess winter deaths” due to fuel poverty in 2020 – 21. The statistics published that day were confused and obscured due to Covid, but even in an average year over 10,000 people die in cold homes. This year Fuel Poverty Action and the National Pensioners Convention co-organised a rally outside Parliament, and delivery of a letter to 10 Downing St. Speakers Ruth London from FPA, Lord Prem Sikka, and Sue Ferns, TUC President, all emphasised that these deaths are totally avoidable — that there is plenty of money available in this wealthy country.
The protest was joined by a wide range of organisations including trade unions, pensioners’ organisations, tenants, and Friends of the Earth, who kindly provided a sound system for the day (full list below — thank you for coming!) And singer-songwriter Gary Jackson warmed us up to start the event with his rousing new song: “Heating or Eating”.
The day ended with the letters given in at Downing Street, a huge wreath laid at the cenotaph for this past year’s fallen fighting the cold, and a strong message to the Prime Minister who had begged for forgiveness when he lost his place in speaking to the CBI — No, Prime Minister, you will not be forgiven!
Fuel Poverty Action (FPA) and London Region National Pensioners Convention (NPC) were joined by TUC London East and South East region (TUC LESE), TSSA, CWU, UNISON retired members, NUJ 60+, Thames Valley NPC, South East NPC, Lambeth Pensioners Action Group, Southwark Pensioners Action Group, Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) London and Scotland, Friends of the Earth, Camberwell and Peckham Labour, Southwark Group of Tenants Organisations.
You can read Ruth London’s speech from the event here. See below for photos from the event.