10/01/2017 House of Commons


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10/01/2017

Live coverage of the day's proceedings in the House of Commons, including an urgent question on HMRC and the remaining stages of the Commonwealth Development Corporation Bill.


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proposition might be substantial support for it. I tried to expand

:00:00.:00:00.

the envelope but there are limits, if we don't have a longer session,

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people will have to be brief in questions and answers. Urgent

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question. John McDonnell. I would support two hours, Mr Speaker. To

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ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer to make a statement on the National

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Audit Office report into the government's management of the HMRC

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estate as published today. Minister. Thank you, Mr Speaker. The

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transformation plans of HMRC will allow it to become efficient and

:00:34.:00:36.

effective tax collector said for the digital age. The large estate is

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ageing and not delivering the best value for money for the taxpayer.

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The audit office has confirmed that savings of ?80,000,000 a year will

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be made by 2025. The size of the estate has been reducing since 2006,

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the report published today shows some effective changes have been

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made since 2010 while reducing staff numbers by a quarter and saving the

:01:01.:01:05.

taxpayer over ?300,000,000. But HMRC wants to keep up the momentum to

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provide better service at a reduced cost. They announced in 2015 at

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means taking forward big reforms to have the estate works which will see

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over 170 small offices consolidated into 13 larger regional offices, an

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approach used across government. This brings a range of advantages

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from efficient sharing of resources and quality digital infrastructure

:01:30.:01:35.

to better support and career opportunities for staff who can

:01:36.:01:39.

effectively share expertise and for the public it means a better and

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bolder in service, run by fewer staff, costing around ?80,000,000 a

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year less by the time changes take effect. The report today suggests

:01:49.:01:53.

the cost of bringing this transformation are likely to be

:01:54.:01:56.

higher than was 1st forecast. Certain aspects of the programme

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could not be definitively made at the start. There are a wide range of

:02:02.:02:05.

factors behind that from rising property costs and changes made to

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the programme, for example to help staff the just and ensures smooth

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transition for customers and the programme costs are updated to

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reflect that. I thank the National Audit Office for their timely report

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of the strategy to modernise the HMRC service is the right approach

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and reflects the way taxpayers into rack with it. It's a plant is a good

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IT manual processing of casks that can be done more easily with

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technology. In short, we remain fully committed to taking forward

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the changes to the HMRC estate that will help us bring a bad tax service

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with the people of this country. -- a better tax service. In reality,

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the report is damning of the government plans to close offices.

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Be warned consistently but the government proposals will have a

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detrimental impact on the HMRC ability to provide advice and tackle

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tax evasion and avoidance. The report confirms our fears. Firstly

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it calls the original closure van unrealistic at the estimate of the

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costs of the move increased by 22%, ?600,000,000 extra, forecasting a

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further 5000 job losses, finding the cost of redundancy and travel have

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tripled from 17,000,000 2 54 million and says HMRC can demonstrate how

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services can be improved. It hasn't even produced a clear programme

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business case for the closures. As we predicted this is an emerging

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disaster. Even the government accepts there is a gap of at least

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36,000,000,000, these plans will do nothing but hinder tackling tax

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evasion and avoidance. 73% of staff in the survey said it will undermine

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their ability in terms of providing tax collection services, 50% saying

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it will undermine their ability to clamp down on evasion and avoidance.

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On the Minister Colet halt to the plant closures, and the job cuts at

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HMRC and come back with a realistic plan to fully resource HMRC. In its

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vitally important tax collection role. Of course the Shadow

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Chancellor is right to say it's a vitally important role and at the

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heart of the lot of the changes that have been made since the original

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estimates and planning for this part of the transformation, at the heart

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of that, a lot of it is about supporting staff that and putting

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more things in place to support their move. It's interesting that

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the Shadow Chancellor makes no mood of the potential benefits to staff

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of this move. Of course some people will not be able to make the move

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but the vast majority will live an average journey and will be

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supported, 1-to-1 conversations happen with staff at head of moves.

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And I think actually what he just said does not represent actually --

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accurately what the National audit says, recognising that the move to

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regional offices is central to aims to increase tax revenue, improve

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customer service and make cost savings. The move to regional

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centres has never been just about cost savings or buildings, it's

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about the way they work in those buildings. Ultimately we have an

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opportunity to change the way we work. 1982 my 1st job after going to

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school was in an old tax office, some of those officers are over 100

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years old and some of them haven't changed since I worked in them as a

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school either. It's right we commit to making sure staff can work in a

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modern environment. Staff will be offered the chance to move and for

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those who cannot, there is 1-to-1 support, bespoke support and indeed

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some of those staff will go to other government departments. That is

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absolute nonsense. A lot of chuntering from the front bench but

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they are not listening to the facts and they haven't read what BN AO

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said. This is a major programme, right that the periodic overall

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costs are reviewed but HMRC is not looking to make significant changes

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to its overall strategy. We wanted staff to work closer together in

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regional centres and specialist sites in a modern, flexible, high

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quality working space and lastly on the subject of tax evasion and the

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tax gap, no government has done more than this. It's absolute nonsense to

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say that HMRC capacity to tackle those issues is diminished, far from

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it. The tax gap in the UK is 1 of the lowest in the world, at its

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lowest level ever, and in the summer budget we gave HMRC an extra

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?800,000,000 to tackle tax evasion which it's done extremely well and

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once again, we've reached record levels of compliance with regard to

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money from measures against tax evasion. I read but entirely the

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point is the Shadow Chancellor made in that regard. Sir Nicholas Soames.

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With my honourable friend take it from me that in my own experience

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dealing with constituents and with corporations in my own constituency

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who have had enquiries with HMRC, in my judgement, their response time

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and the way they handled the cases has immensely improved over the last

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few years. In respect of them seeking to deal with tax evasion and

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avoidance, there is absolutely no doubt they've raised the game very

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considerably indeed. I thank my right honourable friend for those

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comments and I think, I'm glad that he's put on board his pre- CH and

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for a start. He is absolutely right. For the past 6 months, waiting times

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have been less than 5 minutes on average and in fact customer service

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has improved to the best service levels in years. This is something

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management keep under review, it's right we seek to provide the best

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service possible but we cannot do that in an modernised offices.

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Recognising and failing to invest in digital technology... We need to

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bring people together in an environment that is that for the

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future both for staff and customers. The National Audit Office actually

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said, the original plan proved unrealistic, suitable property will

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not be available within the time frame set out, the revenue estimates

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it may lose up to 5000 staff, simultaneously requiring recruitment

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while carrying out redundancies. The plans were overly optimistic and

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they carried too high a risk of disruption. Very similar warnings to

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the turned failings of the step programme. Given how there and start

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the warnings actually are, would it not simply make more sense to cause

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this, rip it up and start again? No, I don't think that's right. I really

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can't agree with that. Because the reasons that are driving this

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programme, the reasons we want to transform HMRC into the most modern

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digital tax authority in the world all still stand. It is right that of

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course in any major programme and there are a number of them running

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at the same time, we've always been open, this is an ambitious

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transformation and it's right that it slip that regularly and of course

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HMRC will respond in detail to the report. But the principle that

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drives it stands absolutely good for all the reasons I've talked about,

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but ever customers, Verstappen, but the taxpayer. With regard to the

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right honourable gentleman who mentioned the step programme, the

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National Audit Office report noted the fact that HMRC has managed the

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programme better, the programme initiated under the last Labour

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government but the report is complimentary about the way HMRC is

:10:20.:10:23.

managing that and has got some of those PFI costs under control but

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it's right that we constantly re-evaluate programmes of this

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importance but I don't agree with the central thrust of this question

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and it was not involve Scotland is 8% of the UK population, 12% of the

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HMRC workforce will remain in Scotland is a Scotland remains a

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very important part of the HMRC estate. Anne-Marie Trevelyan. Thank

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you. It's good to hear the Minister raising the point that the telephone

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answering is improving. On the Public Accounts Committee we looked

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at this on an ongoing basis and it's been probably the biggest part of

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our information coming through from MPs across the House. With the

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digital world moving forward and we support this programme, could the

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Minister said out how we are going to make sure staff who are on the

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end of the phone will have the right qualifications to be able to support

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businesses and individuals who need information? Again I thank my

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honourable friend and important for her as a member of the Public

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Accounts Committee to have the record that a lot of effort has gone

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into improving customer service levels and they are good at the

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moment and improving, that remains a key focus. Supporting staff, to

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cover the point she makes about supporting staff as training will be

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so much easier in regional centres. For example, at the moment, you have

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large numbers of officers, it's not possible because of the nature of

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the tasks and the volume, the number of people there, it's not possible

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to have easy, effective training programmes, to plan career

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progression, in the same way it will be when you get a larger number of

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people together. If something reflect did across government and

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the private sector, that you can do a lot more for people when you're

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able to concentrate on a different range of skills so that people have

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a chance to plot a career within the same office and I think that goes to

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the heart of how we intend to prove the service to customers. -- to

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improve. Chris Bryant. The trouble with this talk of regional centres

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is that this is exactly what happened in every other department,

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in constituencies like mine and for that matter across the South Wales

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valleys of fields as a government has said, no we're not interested,

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everything is going to forget about it. Can I urge her to think again,

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the Treasury and the whole of government has a social

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responsibility, in particular to areas like the Rhondda valleys and

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the valleys, to make sure it has a local presence. It's certainly the

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case that we want to, I can't agree with what he says, but the

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honourable gentleman says about the motivation but equally, as I said

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before, there is a balance to be struck between the service,

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customers, the way we support staff, and how we serve the wider taxpayer

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interest. And you see across government, yes, there has been a

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move towards more modern, perhaps in some cases more centralised

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services. There is a balance to be struck but there is a really robust

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programme of support in place for staff who can't move and for those

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who can move and extra money has been put into transitional costs

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associated with transport, for example. But HMRC is also working

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with other government departments to make sure thing we can we take

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advantage of the high skills they have to move people into other

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government departments were those skills can be used. The Minister

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noted in the report there were some compliments about how HMRC has moved

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to a more realistic plan for the project and is managing the existing

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provider that they stay better than it had been. But she said out how

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they will build on the progress to make sure skills are in Hampstead?

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Of course he is quite right to say that and as I said before, obviously

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HMRC will be responding in detail to this in a report and I will be

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looking to discuss that with them. One of the NA's commendations is

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just that that he has drawn our attention to that there should be a

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process from learning from every part of the move and making sure the

:14:46.:14:49.

first regional centre opens and it is reviewed and we've learnt

:14:50.:14:52.

lessons. It is a long programme and not an overnight situation. We need

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to review it at every stage and learn as we go along. In Workington

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and you are proposing to close a modern office and the NAO says that

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the distance between regional offices is 18 miles. Workington has

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been paired with Liverpool. It will take three hours. It is

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unacceptable. The workers in the Workington cannot transfer to

:15:33.:15:36.

Liverpool. I don't know how they can be re-skill to work in equivalent

:15:37.:15:41.

jobs in Workington. I would love to know what your suggestions. To me,

:15:42.:15:47.

this is unacceptable. I have no plans to close that office. To my

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very great life impoverishment I have two admit that I am not aware

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to date of having been to Workington. I certainly would not

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take it upon myself to close something that I have not even

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visited. We recognise that you are busy enough without taking charge of

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HMRC's transformation programme as well. The honourable lady has

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written to me about this and I said I am happy to make with her. Whilst

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the average that is cited in the report, we accept that the move will

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be impossible for some people. The move will be supported, hopefully

:16:37.:16:40.

where they will be other jobs in other departments. There is a lot of

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work going into supporting staff and helping them into other jobs. I have

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written to her before, but I will write to her again on the more

:16:56.:17:01.

specific points. HMRC are planning a regional centre in Leeds. They have

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not identified any site. Any site they do come up with will be

:17:08.:17:12.

expensive and it will crowd out private sector investment in Leeds.

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A few miles up the road in Bradford, a site is readily available. It

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would be cheaper for the taxpayer than it would be in Leeds and it

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would help the economy in the Bradford district. Can I urge the

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Minister to use the NAO report, pause and look again and make sure

:17:31.:17:34.

the regional centre in Yorkshire is not in Leeds, but in Bradford where

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many people in HMRC already work. As much honourable friend knows, I am

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familiar with all the localities he describes and it is fair to say, I

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mean Bradford was disappointed not to be the chosen site for the

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regional centre, but it is equally true that his constituents, the

:17:56.:18:01.

railway station of Shipley is merely ten minutes from Leeds on the train.

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I hope for his constituents that will be quite a realistic move, for

:18:06.:18:10.

those who wish to move. I will reflect on what he said and if I can

:18:11.:18:15.

provide further detail I will write to him, but HMRC have provided

:18:16.:18:21.

detailed responses, explaining the criteria and wine leads -- and a

:18:22.:18:30.

wide Leeds was chosen over Bradford. The Minister will be aware that some

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HMRC offices have already closed in Northern Ireland is causing

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consternation to employees who have to be redirected to Belfast. It has

:18:45.:18:53.

also caused problems for all very people dealing with the taxation

:18:54.:18:57.

affairs. But the Minister please put a pause on any further closures as

:18:58.:19:01.

they simply cause chaos and upheaval. I am not entirely sure

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that I recognise the description of chaos and upheaval, bearing in mind

:19:10.:19:13.

what I have said about average customer service times at the moment

:19:14.:19:16.

and the fact that the standards are being achieved at the moment. I

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don't think that aligns with what she said, but I recognise that

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changes of this scale can be a truly difficult for the people affected by

:19:25.:19:28.

them. If I could just pick up one thing she said about people, the way

:19:29.:19:36.

they interact at HMRC. It is a different world to the last time the

:19:37.:19:40.

estates were looked at. The boss amount of taxpayers who interacts

:19:41.:19:47.

with HMRC do so digitally or on the phone and we have to adjust to the

:19:48.:19:51.

way the world is now and not to what it was like some decades ago. I want

:19:52.:19:56.

to see my constituents get the best possible service from HMRC when they

:19:57.:20:02.

have a problem, particularly when things go wrong. As HMRC have around

:20:03.:20:07.

58,000 employees, would my honourable friend at least consider

:20:08.:20:12.

the feasibility of HMRC allocating at least one named employee for

:20:13.:20:18.

every constituency so that each MP has someone permanent they can

:20:19.:20:26.

contact within the HMRC? Obviously over the course of working through

:20:27.:20:32.

the recent challenges around the concentric 's contract and the

:20:33.:20:39.

fallout from that, I have looked personally at the issue of how HMRC

:20:40.:20:44.

interacts with members of Parliament. I have looked at that

:20:45.:20:47.

specific ideal and I will reflect on what my honourable friend has said,

:20:48.:20:56.

but I am looking to make sure that resources allocated to members of

:20:57.:21:07.

Parliament were very effective and results are gotten quickly. HMRC

:21:08.:21:13.

should be serving colleagues on all side of the house effectively. The

:21:14.:21:18.

modernisation and improvement in Northern Ireland has led to closures

:21:19.:21:24.

in towns with already high employment. There is frustration

:21:25.:21:28.

with difficult cases and the loss of expertise in border cases where the

:21:29.:21:31.

evasion of tax is widespread. How does this fit in with the

:21:32.:21:35.

government's commitment to spread economic growth, give better service

:21:36.:21:42.

to customers and reduce tax evasion? On a broader point, Mr Speaker, it's

:21:43.:21:47.

worth noting that employment in our country is at an all-time high. We

:21:48.:21:51.

would always want to retain expertise within HMRC, but within

:21:52.:21:56.

any large organisation, you will always simultaneously have people

:21:57.:21:59.

leaving and people you are recruiting and training up. I

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referred the honourable gentleman to what I said earlier that for people

:22:04.:22:08.

who want to join an organisation, become highly skilled and

:22:09.:22:12.

professional and then plot a career through HMRC, it is going to be much

:22:13.:22:16.

easier to support people to have those long-term fulfilling careers

:22:17.:22:21.

in a variety of different areas of HMRC in the new modernised

:22:22.:22:29.

structures. The Minister said a number of times that there will be

:22:30.:22:33.

better service customers in these regional centres, but I note from

:22:34.:22:38.

the NAO report it says the HMRC have not demonstrated that. Can the

:22:39.:22:42.

Minister just reassure me how do she reach a conclusion there will be a

:22:43.:22:45.

better service and it will be more efficient and effective the

:22:46.:22:52.

customers? I noted that. I'm not sure I quite agree with how it was

:22:53.:22:58.

expressed, but I noted the point she made. Let me give her one example.

:22:59.:23:05.

Many of the buildings inhabited by HMRC are very old. If you look at

:23:06.:23:12.

the latest digital infrastructure and many, many more taxpayers are

:23:13.:23:18.

interacting digitally. We have over 7 million personal tax accounts now.

:23:19.:23:22.

It is difficult as anybody knows to bring an old office up to modern

:23:23.:23:29.

standards in terms of giving it the right digital infrastructure. If we

:23:30.:23:32.

want to make sure that staff can make the most of modern computer

:23:33.:23:37.

systems and put those at the service of customers who increasingly

:23:38.:23:40.

interact digitally it is much better to do that in newer buildings which

:23:41.:23:44.

have been bought for the purpose will be planned from the start for

:23:45.:23:52.

that sort arrangement. The minister speaks about saving money and having

:23:53.:23:56.

modern offices. In my constituency the HMRC offices are high tech with

:23:57.:24:04.

high school star. There is plenty more space. It will save the

:24:05.:24:10.

government ?70 million to keep it and develop it. Will she meet with

:24:11.:24:18.

me to consider keeping the harbour in West Lothian rather than moving

:24:19.:24:22.

it to the city centre where rents will be more expensive? I have had a

:24:23.:24:28.

number of conversations, particularly with some of her

:24:29.:24:31.

colleagues based in Scotland. I'm always happy to meet any

:24:32.:24:36.

Parliamentary colleagues to discuss anything. No change to that regional

:24:37.:24:43.

centre is envisaged. I'm happy to have a conversation, but we don't

:24:44.:24:52.

envisage a plan of change. Sheffield staff are already commuting

:24:53.:24:55.

considerably distances to the HMRC office because of previous office

:24:56.:25:02.

closures. HMRC can ill afford to lose 5000 experienced that this

:25:03.:25:07.

time? Given that HMRC have struggled to find suitable properties in the

:25:08.:25:11.

location suggested, could she reassess property locations based on

:25:12.:25:16.

cost and the ability to retain experienced staff and customer

:25:17.:25:27.

service. You shouldn't be about where is easiest for Whitehall civil

:25:28.:25:33.

servants to get to in those regions. The latter points she makes is not

:25:34.:25:37.

the Russian now as to have the sites were chosen. Of course, I'm going to

:25:38.:25:43.

read the report and reflect on it and as I say, HMRC will be looking

:25:44.:25:47.

to respond in detail, but a lot of thought has gone into choosing

:25:48.:25:51.

regional centres. I acknowledged some people will not be able to make

:25:52.:25:56.

a move because the travel will be too far. It is very much a case that

:25:57.:26:00.

we want to retain experienced staff. The people who can't move with HMRC

:26:01.:26:07.

will be a variety of different levels of experience within the

:26:08.:26:09.

organisation but where we can keep their skills at the service of the

:26:10.:26:12.

tax payer to other government departments we office we will try

:26:13.:26:17.

to. As I say, HMRC will respond in detail to the report, but I don't

:26:18.:26:23.

quite recognise the characterisation she gives a choosing locations. In

:26:24.:26:33.

likelihood the Welsh language unit will be centralised in Cardiff in

:26:34.:26:45.

our region. 71% of the population can speak Welsh and it is the

:26:46.:26:48.

working language of county administration. We have looked at

:26:49.:26:54.

this issue and in part we are looking to what with other

:26:55.:26:57.

government departments. I'm happy to have a conversation with colleagues

:26:58.:27:02.

about this, not in Welsh! I will write to her about the detail

:27:03.:27:06.

because this issue of the Welsh language has been raised with me

:27:07.:27:08.

before and I know it has been taught in some detail. It is not that often

:27:09.:27:17.

the honourable member for Shipley and I are on the same page, but on

:27:18.:27:22.

this occasion we certainly are and he makes an excellent point in

:27:23.:27:29.

defending Bradford. Additionally, Mr Speaker, by closing offices in

:27:30.:27:33.

Bradford, HMRC will be turning their back on the skilled and diverse

:27:34.:27:37.

workforce, access to building universities on one of the best MBA

:27:38.:27:41.

programmes in the UK, all of which will help them to achieve their aim.

:27:42.:27:46.

But the Minister reconsider and take a more sensible approach? Mr

:27:47.:27:51.

Speaker, I can give the house and the honourable gentleman might

:27:52.:27:55.

assurances that as a Bradford girl I would not do anything to harm

:27:56.:27:59.

Bradford, but equally as a Bradford girl I make many times a year the

:28:00.:28:04.

very, very short commute between Bradford and Leeds and I think

:28:05.:28:12.

therefore that we would not wish to lose any expertise, but of all the

:28:13.:28:16.

possible moves, Bradford to Leeds is the shortest commute that any HMRC

:28:17.:28:24.

staff transferring war have to make and we want to retain all the

:28:25.:28:34.

experienced staff we can. Can the Minister tell us if an equality

:28:35.:28:45.

impact process has begun through? The loss of expertise does not only

:28:46.:28:49.

applied to tax evasion, but the noncompliance of the national

:28:50.:28:52.

minimum wage, a statistic that is On the latter point as the

:28:53.:29:04.

honourable member will know, we have been tackling noncompliance on the

:29:05.:29:08.

national minimum wage in the Autumn Statement and there's been a

:29:09.:29:10.

considerable stepping up of that activity. I think I answered a

:29:11.:29:15.

Parliamentary question on that this week if the honourable jazzman would

:29:16.:29:19.

like to refer to Hansard for statistics. We want to make sure as

:29:20.:29:24.

much as possible we support people to move and it takes a long time for

:29:25.:29:29.

people to get to the highest level of skill and we want to make sure we

:29:30.:29:34.

retain people for me are at their peak professionalism. On the issue

:29:35.:29:37.

of the equality impact assessment I will write to him. Mr Speaker will

:29:38.:29:44.

the Minister look again at the Wales tax Centre and 30s and instead of

:29:45.:29:49.

putting it in Cardiff in Swansea Bay, city region, on the grounds

:29:50.:29:52.

that property prices and other costs are lower, urban deprivation is much

:29:53.:30:00.

lower in terms of the skills or abundant, we have two universities

:30:01.:30:04.

and that was the logic of putting the DVLA there, we need all the

:30:05.:30:08.

support we can get is the biggest urban footprint in Wales. And it's

:30:09.:30:18.

costly in Cardiff. Mr Speaker, the honourable gentleman neatly

:30:19.:30:19.

illustrates the challenge in deciding on locations as part of a

:30:20.:30:25.

programme like this. He makes the case for Swansea, other members make

:30:26.:30:29.

the case of their area. It's always the case you need a set of objective

:30:30.:30:35.

criteria to be able to assess against. I will write 10 on the

:30:36.:30:38.

specifics of the choice of location in Wales but it goes to neatly

:30:39.:30:43.

illustrate the fact that you need to assess against a set of objective

:30:44.:30:47.

criteria because every area will rightly have its advocates in

:30:48.:30:51.

Parliament. Gregory Campbell. Is the Minister aware of the concerns that

:30:52.:30:55.

exist across the United Kingdom particularly in Northern Ireland

:30:56.:31:00.

that a policy that the Minister has outlined of regionalisation will

:31:01.:31:04.

become centralisation and a very small number of officers with large

:31:05.:31:07.

and bus of implies won't adequately service the needs of the community?

:31:08.:31:16.

At the heart of the wider transformation of HMRC to become the

:31:17.:31:22.

best digital tax authority in the world is the desire to do better for

:31:23.:31:27.

customers, to collect smaller tax, to serve people better, to

:31:28.:31:31.

constantly bear down on customer waiting times. -- to collect tax.

:31:32.:31:38.

These programmes are designed to that end. I am aware of that. Does

:31:39.:31:45.

the Minister accept that the closures will have a devastating

:31:46.:31:48.

impact on some communities up and down the country, there is going to

:31:49.:31:54.

be ?150,000,000 less to tackle tax avoidance as a result of the HMRC

:31:55.:31:57.

failure to plan the move properly and they are even less effective at

:31:58.:32:01.

saving money as they are at collecting it from slippery global

:32:02.:32:08.

corporations? For the most part that was just a political point scorer.

:32:09.:32:14.

In fact, as I've already mentioned, the facts do not bear out the point

:32:15.:32:21.

from the honourable gentleman. Since 2010 HMRC has secured over

:32:22.:32:27.

?130,000,000,000 in additional compliance revenue and as I said

:32:28.:32:31.

before the UK tax gap fell in 201415 to its lowest ever level of 6 1/2

:32:32.:32:41.

percent. Ian Lucas. In Wales, the facts are that this government is

:32:42.:32:45.

creating a national centre in the most expensive site in the country

:32:46.:32:50.

in Cardiff. The facts are that there isn't a small office in Wrexham, it

:32:51.:32:54.

employs 350 people and the alternative site put forward by HMRC

:32:55.:33:00.

in Liverpool which has not been identified yet. This is a shambolic

:33:01.:33:05.

policy, ill-conceived, been badly implemented and the Minister,

:33:06.:33:11.

listening to my colleagues from Wales, she's heard from many of

:33:12.:33:15.

them, Jiri Vesely is policy and reconsider. It's very bad indeed. I

:33:16.:33:21.

know the honourable gentleman and his criticisms and I can't agree

:33:22.:33:25.

with the thrust of his points. HMRC will respond in detail to this

:33:26.:33:32.

report but also, this is a programme over a period of time and we will

:33:33.:33:36.

learn from each move but I don't recognise the description he just

:33:37.:33:42.

gave... Well I might just do that, but I do understand the point that

:33:43.:33:46.

he's been making especially around some of the larger offices and I

:33:47.:33:51.

realise until the side in Liverpool is identified it's a bit more

:33:52.:33:54.

unsettling for his constituency workers than it might otherwise be.

:33:55.:34:01.

Stuart MacDonald. Cumbernauld tax office takes the boxes in terms of

:34:02.:34:06.

what HMRC 6 in a regional centre, the right size, experienced staff,

:34:07.:34:10.

excellent locations of what America is the point closing at, disrupting

:34:11.:34:16.

staff and damaging communities? I've had a number of conversations

:34:17.:34:22.

specifically about this site, I will write to the honourable gentleman

:34:23.:34:25.

with the detail of that but there are a lot of different factors that

:34:26.:34:29.

go into choosing where to centre it and some of them I've touched on in

:34:30.:34:32.

my statement and my response to the urgent question. Inevitably I can't

:34:33.:34:37.

touch on all of them and much of that will come out in our response

:34:38.:34:41.

to the report. I think the Minister would be outraged if people living

:34:42.:34:48.

in villages, towns and small cities all suddenly stopped paying tax. And

:34:49.:34:52.

yet, suddenly the civil service is being centralised in a few cities.

:34:53.:34:58.

Can she please reconsider these points, it's totally outrageous for

:34:59.:35:04.

people in North Wales? I'm not entirely sure I recognise the point

:35:05.:35:09.

being made, most of our taxpayers now whether businesses or

:35:10.:35:13.

individuals into rappers HMRC on the phone or digitally. The number of

:35:14.:35:17.

people making personal visits and expects to be able to make a

:35:18.:35:23.

personal visit to a local office is to radically different audible is a

:35:24.:35:26.

generation or two ago. I do think it's right that we pursue this

:35:27.:35:32.

modernisation but it's also right, as the National Audit Office reminds

:35:33.:35:35.

us that we review the programme at every stage to make sure we are

:35:36.:35:39.

getting everything right and that we learn from each iteration of it.

:35:40.:35:45.

Chris Evans. Thank you. I'm sorry I have to disagree with the Minister

:35:46.:35:49.

on customer service. Why wife waited for 30 minutes for someone to answer

:35:50.:35:52.

the phone in HMRC over Christmas and in a previous National Audit Office

:35:53.:35:58.

report shows 3 in 10 people giving up before a call is answered. She

:35:59.:36:04.

will know this was only resolved when HMRC recruited an additional 2

:36:05.:36:09.

1/2 thousand members of staff to deal with this crisis at the end of

:36:10.:36:13.

2015. Is she confident even know report says for every pound saved by

:36:14.:36:17.

this change for pounds will go on telephone bills, she confident this

:36:18.:36:22.

change will not see any decline in customer service? The focus on

:36:23.:36:30.

customer service is absolutely vital. It's at the heart of this

:36:31.:36:35.

wider transformation programme, not just the estate transformation. Is

:36:36.:36:41.

the desire to make sure that HMRC is both the most effective tax

:36:42.:36:43.

collector it can be but also dealing with customer service. That is

:36:44.:36:48.

central to all the questions I ask of HMRC and the questions they ask

:36:49.:36:53.

of themselves. On the specific point I'm sorry to hear his wife waited

:36:54.:36:56.

for that long, I'm concerned about the number of people who while a

:36:57.:36:59.

small proportion of the customers who ring wait for that length of

:37:00.:37:05.

time because of the large numbers who ring HMRC, that's still quite a

:37:06.:37:10.

lot of people that an issue I've been specifically discussing with

:37:11.:37:13.

senior customer service managers within HMRC with a view to

:37:14.:37:17.

addressing it further. Patrick Grady. Given that the DWP is

:37:18.:37:24.

conducting an estate reviewed and threatening to close a job centres

:37:25.:37:27.

in Glasgow for discussions is she having with colleagues about the

:37:28.:37:31.

cumulative impact of the governments ranking its estate and what impact

:37:32.:37:36.

is that going to have, how many HMRC employees will find themselves

:37:37.:37:40.

without a job and without a local job centre to go to? This to speak

:37:41.:37:46.

at the last question is difficult to answer because ultimately

:37:47.:37:47.

individuals will decide what's right for them at a time when the facts of

:37:48.:37:53.

a possible move are known. I know a great deal of support has been put

:37:54.:37:57.

in place to help them, help them make the choice about moving or help

:37:58.:38:01.

them to move to other jobs and I've had the chance to speak to not only

:38:02.:38:04.

managers who are managing this programme but also to people

:38:05.:38:08.

affected by front line services, when some of them came for an event

:38:09.:38:16.

in London a few months ago. Specifically, the HR department of

:38:17.:38:19.

HMRC are working closely with DWP because there are opportunities

:38:20.:38:24.

there to have people move between departments. For the specifics at

:38:25.:38:28.

his local office I'm afraid it's not easy to say or answer that until

:38:29.:38:31.

more is known about what the actual move will be and the numbers

:38:32.:38:36.

affected. Tom Elliott. Thank you. The vast majority of staff in HMRC

:38:37.:38:42.

in my constituency in Enniskillen will be closer to 2 1st journey than

:38:43.:38:50.

1 hour. Does the Minister not see merit in the audit office report

:38:51.:38:53.

suggesting she should step back from the proposals? As I've said the

:38:54.:39:02.

nature of responding to an urgent question is that it is 1 has not had

:39:03.:39:07.

the chance to look at the whole report and reflect on it and HMRC

:39:08.:39:10.

will respond to that. Know the Chief Executive is also coming to the

:39:11.:39:15.

Public Accounts Committee Furley imminently, I imagine this is likely

:39:16.:39:19.

to be raised by them so of course we are going to look at this. It's an

:39:20.:39:23.

important report, we will look at what it says, but the central reason

:39:24.:39:28.

for driving these plans still stands in terms of being able to modernise

:39:29.:39:33.

the estate and provide a service to the customer that reflects modern

:39:34.:39:37.

life and to make sure the working environment for staff and the career

:39:38.:39:40.

progression open to them is the best it can be. Order. Statement, the

:39:41.:39:46.

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. Secretary James

:39:47.:39:54.

Brokenshire. With permission Mr Speaker I would like to make a

:39:55.:39:58.

statement about the political situation in Northern Ireland. As

:39:59.:40:01.

the House will be aware yesterday Martin McGuinness submitted his

:40:02.:40:07.

resignation as Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland. This also means

:40:08.:40:12.

the First Minister Arlene Foster also ceases to hold office though

:40:13.:40:16.

she is able to carry out some limited functions. Under the terms

:40:17.:40:22.

of the Northern Ireland act 1998 as amended ID St Andrews Agreement to

:40:23.:40:29.

thousands 7, the position is clear. Should the offices of 1st and Deputy

:40:30.:40:32.

First Minister not be filled within 7 days from the resignation of Mr

:40:33.:40:39.

McGuinness then it falls to me as Secretary of State to set a date for

:40:40.:40:46.

an Assembly election. -- 2007. While there is no fixed timetable in the

:40:47.:40:50.

legislation for me to do this, it needs to be within a reasonable

:40:51.:40:55.

period. In his resignation letter Mr McGuinness said in the available

:40:56.:40:59.

period Sinn Fein will not nominate to the position of Deputy First

:41:00.:41:04.

Minister. I am very clear that in the event of the offices not been

:41:05.:41:09.

filled, I have an obligation to follow the legislation. As things

:41:10.:41:15.

stand, therefore, an early Assembly election looks highly likely. I

:41:16.:41:20.

should add that once an election has been held, the rules state that the

:41:21.:41:26.

Assembly must meet again within 1 week with a further two week period

:41:27.:41:32.

to form a new Executive. Should this not be achieved, as things currently

:41:33.:41:37.

stand, I am obliged to call another election. So right honourable and

:41:38.:41:43.

honourable member should be in no doubt, the situation we face in

:41:44.:41:46.

Northern Ireland today is greater. And the government treats it with

:41:47.:41:52.

the up most seriousness. It is worth reflecting for a moment on how we

:41:53.:41:56.

have reached this point. The immediate cause of the situation we

:41:57.:42:01.

now face is the fallout from the development and operation of the

:42:02.:42:04.

Northern Ireland Renewable Heat Incentive scheme. Under this scheme

:42:05.:42:10.

launched by the Northern Ireland Department for enterprise trade and

:42:11.:42:12.

investment in 2012 and equivalent to a scheme in Great Britain,

:42:13.:42:16.

businesses and other nondomestic users were offered financial

:42:17.:42:19.

incentive to install renewable heat systems on the premises. The scheme

:42:20.:42:24.

was finally shut down to new applicants from February last year

:42:25.:42:28.

when it became clear that the lack of an upper limit on payments,

:42:29.:42:31.

unlike the GBA Cleveland meant the scheme was open to serious abuse. In

:42:32.:42:36.

recent weeks there has been sustained media focus and widespread

:42:37.:42:41.

public concern about how this situation developed. The renewable

:42:42.:42:46.

heat initiative scheme was and remains an entirely to vault matter

:42:47.:42:51.

in which the UK Government has no direct role. -- devolved matter. Its

:42:52.:42:59.

primary responsibility of the Northern Ireland Executive and Cindy

:43:00.:43:01.

to take the necessary action to address concerns expressed about it.

:43:02.:43:08.

But I do believe it's imperative that a comprehensive, transparent

:43:09.:43:12.

and impartial inquiry into the development and meditation of the

:43:13.:43:16.

scheme needs to be established as quickly as possible. In addition,

:43:17.:43:22.

effective action needs to be taken by the Executive and the Assembly to

:43:23.:43:29.

control costs. While the RHI might have been the catalyst for the

:43:30.:43:34.

situation we now face, it has, however, expressed a number of

:43:35.:43:37.

deeper tensions in the relationship tween the parties within the

:43:38.:43:41.

Northern Ireland Executive. This has led to a break down in the trust and

:43:42.:43:46.

co-operation that is necessary that the power-sharing institutions to

:43:47.:43:52.

function effectively. Over the coming hours and days I will

:43:53.:43:56.

continue to explore whether any basis exists to resolve these issues

:43:57.:44:01.

prior to me having to fulfil my statutory duty to call an election.

:44:02.:44:06.

I have been in regular contact with the leadership of the DUP and Sinn

:44:07.:44:11.

Fein and also with the Justice Minister Claire Sugden, an

:44:12.:44:14.

independent unionist. Yesterday evening I had a round of calls with

:44:15.:44:18.

the main opposition parties at Stormont. I am in close contact with

:44:19.:44:24.

the Irish Foreign Minister Charlie Flanagan. Immediately after the

:44:25.:44:28.

statement I will return to Northern Ireland and I will continue to do

:44:29.:44:30.

whatever I can to find a way forward. Both the UK and Irish

:44:31.:44:36.

governments will continue to provide every possible support and

:44:37.:44:39.

assistance to the Executive parties. We do however have to be realistic.

:44:40.:44:45.

The clock is ticking. If there is no resolution in an election is

:44:46.:44:50.

inevitable. Despite the widely held view that this election may deepen

:44:51.:44:53.

divisions and threaten the continuity of the devolved

:44:54.:44:57.

institutions. Mr Speaker, over recent decades Northern Ireland's

:44:58.:45:02.

politicians have rightly earned plaudits from across the globe for

:45:03.:45:06.

their ability to overcome difference and work together for the good of

:45:07.:45:12.

the whole community. It is required courage and risk on all sides. We

:45:13.:45:18.

are currently in the longest period of unbroken devolved government

:45:19.:45:23.

since the 1960s. This political stability has been hard gained and

:45:24.:45:26.

it should not be lightly thrown away. In the 14 months since the

:45:27.:45:32.

fresh start agreement significant advances have been made in areas

:45:33.:45:36.

such as addressing paramilitary activities, supporting shared and

:45:37.:45:39.

integrated education and putting the Executive finances on a footing.

:45:40.:45:45.

This parading season passed off peacefully and a long-running

:45:46.:45:48.

dispute North resolved. We've also been working intensively to build

:45:49.:45:53.

the necessary consensus to bring forward the bodies to address the

:45:54.:45:57.

legacy of the past set out in the Stormont house agreement.

:45:58.:46:07.

What Northern Ireland needs is strong stable government, not the

:46:08.:46:13.

collapse of the institution. Northern Ireland deserves fair and

:46:14.:46:19.

effective government. To continue implementing the Belfast agreement,

:46:20.:46:22.

to strengthen the economy and ensure Northern Ireland response to the

:46:23.:46:30.

challenges of an EU exit. There needs to be respect for everyone and

:46:31.:46:36.

they need to address the legacy of the past that will allow Northern

:46:37.:46:40.

Ireland to move forward. We must not put this at risk without every

:46:41.:46:44.

effort to resolve differences. We must continue to do all that we can

:46:45.:46:50.

to continue to build a brighter more secure Northern Ireland that works

:46:51.:46:54.

for everyone. I therefore urge Northern Ireland Pozner political

:46:55.:46:58.

leaders to work together, to come together to find a way forward from

:46:59.:47:02.

the current position in the best interests of Northern Ireland and I

:47:03.:47:10.

commend this statement to the house. If only we won here today, but we

:47:11.:47:17.

are. Can I thank the secretary of State for the advance notice of his

:47:18.:47:20.

statement. We've made it clear from the start that we in the Labour

:47:21.:47:24.

Party will support him and his endeavours to maintain political

:47:25.:47:26.

stability in Northern Ireland. Those of us with long memories can

:47:27.:47:33.

remember a time when there was not the piece we see today and any

:47:34.:47:41.

damage on our watch should provoke shame. The issues are many.

:47:42.:47:47.

Including how do we deal with Northern Ireland and its legacy, how

:47:48.:47:52.

do we help people in poverty and how do we handle the impending exit from

:47:53.:48:02.

the European Union? We must remember that Northern Ireland has the only

:48:03.:48:08.

land border with an EU region. It is that these reasons any division now

:48:09.:48:15.

will be most damaging for Northern Ireland and we should all be

:48:16.:48:19.

focusing on coming together to combat the common problems faced by

:48:20.:48:24.

us all. This impasse does not help victims families or the economy and

:48:25.:48:28.

these are the reasons why we in this house must come together, all of us,

:48:29.:48:34.

put aside partisan concerns and try and support those in Northern

:48:35.:48:37.

Ireland in order to maintain an enduring and peaceful devolution

:48:38.:48:44.

settlement. The issues surrounding the RHI scheme have come to impasse

:48:45.:48:48.

after many weeks of development and now it seems we may inevitably move

:48:49.:48:52.

towards an election. An election that will see constituency numbers

:48:53.:48:59.

reduced from six to five seats and we may see the loss of the many

:49:00.:49:14.

voices in the Assembly. We could be back to square one with the

:49:15.:49:20.

underlying issues unresolved. Potentially there could be more

:49:21.:49:23.

polarised position than we face. If we have an election what will it be

:49:24.:49:30.

for Tom? It should be who could deliver the best for Northern

:49:31.:49:34.

Ireland, for the schools, for hospitals. We look forward to

:49:35.:49:37.

progress and not backwards division. With so much at stake, surely it is

:49:38.:49:47.

time for moderation. Lines in the sand are needed. I do not believe

:49:48.:49:50.

from the feed that we are getting for the people on the ground in

:49:51.:49:57.

Northern Ireland that the population want an election. -- from the

:49:58.:50:04.

feedback that we are getting. It is not just about us, it is about the

:50:05.:50:08.

world. The world is watching us and there is a huge amount of goodwill

:50:09.:50:12.

towards Northern Ireland and admiration for the success we have

:50:13.:50:15.

seen after decades of despair. They look to the Assembly to lead and the

:50:16.:50:20.

responsibility is on them and this house. They don't want us to fail,

:50:21.:50:26.

they want us to rise to hard challenges and work through them and

:50:27.:50:28.

not just walk away when things get tough. We know from some experience

:50:29.:50:35.

that the worst thing that you can do in Northern Ireland is leave a

:50:36.:50:41.

vacuum. Six weeks of campaigning will not move the RHI campaign

:50:42.:50:53.

forward one inch. For these reasons we ask that the Secretary of State

:50:54.:50:56.

to convene around the table in Northern Ireland to discuss ways to

:50:57.:51:02.

avoid this impasse. I'm glad to say he has been engaging with his

:51:03.:51:05.

counterparts in the Irish government and with politicians in Northern

:51:06.:51:10.

Ireland. Let's keep up and not give to despair. Regarding the RHI, what

:51:11.:51:23.

will the effect of the projected overspend have Northern Ireland? We

:51:24.:51:26.

thank the Secretary of State the coming to the house today. We in the

:51:27.:51:29.

Labour Party will do all we can to ensure the devolved institutions

:51:30.:51:39.

remain for many years. I am grateful for the support of the right

:51:40.:51:43.

Honourable gentleman and his comments and I think he underlines

:51:44.:51:47.

the significance of the issues here and why it is important that we have

:51:48.:51:52.

a strong working functioning Executive to be able to take

:51:53.:51:56.

Northern Ireland forward. There is so much to be positive about. When

:51:57.:52:01.

you look at the jobs that have been created, the incredible businesses

:52:02.:52:04.

that have been established and the really positive sense that I always

:52:05.:52:09.

get in terms of that spirit and that believe in terms of what Northern

:52:10.:52:11.

Ireland can be and what Northern Ireland will be and

:52:12.:52:26.

how I think it does have a bright future to look forward to, but

:52:27.:52:28.

clearly we need parties to come together, to work together as I have

:52:29.:52:31.

said. A message that he himself has underlined in his comments. I can

:52:32.:52:34.

certainly say to him that my intent over this short period is to

:52:35.:52:36.

continue to engage with the parties to see what support we can provide

:52:37.:52:39.

as the UK Government to find a way forward, to find a solution, to find

:52:40.:52:44.

a way to pull back from the current situation we find ourselves commonly

:52:45.:52:49.

in if things do not change. Certainly I will permit to do all I

:52:50.:52:54.

can in my role to be able to support that activity. In terms of the cost

:52:55.:52:58.

to the Northern Ireland budget, I know that the Executive itself has

:52:59.:53:04.

given an estimate of around ?490 million over a 20 year period.

:53:05.:53:09.

That's if no mitigation takes place, but I think one of the key issues to

:53:10.:53:13.

take forward is to see what mitigation can be put in place to

:53:14.:53:17.

see and support what proposals may come forward to be to mitigate that

:53:18.:53:23.

in the best interests of taxpayers in Northern Ireland and certainly we

:53:24.:53:26.

stand ready to work with the Executive to see if we can play a

:53:27.:53:34.

role if necessary to assist. It is that focus that we have. As I say,

:53:35.:53:39.

time is short in terms of that period before which I have to

:53:40.:53:42.

consider my responsibilities to call that election and again, it is why

:53:43.:53:49.

we need to work together. Unsurprisingly, a significant number

:53:50.:53:51.

of colleagues are seeking to catch my eye and I would like to

:53:52.:53:56.

accommodate most if not indeed all of them. By prospects of doing so

:53:57.:54:00.

will be greatly enhanced if colleagues who are customarily

:54:01.:54:03.

addicted too long or multifaceted questions today will contain

:54:04.:54:14.

themselves and the will be minimal preamble. Given that new elections

:54:15.:54:25.

would probably return the party is more or less in the same numbers as

:54:26.:54:29.

they are now, does he agree with me that repeated callings of elections

:54:30.:54:34.

were really address the fundamental issue? Don't we therefore need to

:54:35.:54:40.

look closely at how the institutions are actually constructed and

:54:41.:54:43.

formulated so that we can move away from this constant threats of those

:54:44.:54:47.

very institutions collapsing or being collapsed? I think the chair

:54:48.:54:54.

of the select committee, and I welcome his comments on the need for

:54:55.:55:03.

focus on the issues that hands. Our attention now has to be on this

:55:04.:55:06.

period between now and next week on seeking to establish whether there

:55:07.:55:11.

is a way forward between the parties to encourage that, but that has to

:55:12.:55:20.

be the immediate focus. Various points and questions have been

:55:21.:55:24.

raised, but my responsibility at this time is to seek some form of

:55:25.:55:28.

resolution to see if that is possible and obviously to take stock

:55:29.:55:35.

of circumstances as they develop. As the Secretary of State alluded to in

:55:36.:55:38.

his statement and this has been coming down the line for a couple of

:55:39.:55:42.

months, it is deeply regrettable to see the Assembly stumble, it may

:55:43.:55:50.

need a job to get it going again. There is limited room to manoeuvre

:55:51.:55:57.

after the resignation of Mr McGuinness. What steps are being

:55:58.:56:02.

taken to ensure that public confidence remains in the

:56:03.:56:06.

institutions of Northern Ireland? Will democracy remain at the centre

:56:07.:56:10.

of the debate in Northern Ireland? It is clear that the relationship in

:56:11.:56:16.

the Executive has broken down. As he said in his statement, the clock is

:56:17.:56:20.

ticking and it is unlikely to all parties will get back around the

:56:21.:56:32.

table. His opportunities to affect Brexit negotiations appear as

:56:33.:56:46.

limited as the Scottish Minister's. Northern Ireland voted to remain.

:56:47.:56:50.

What is he doing to ensure the interests of the people of Northern

:56:51.:56:56.

Ireland will be looked after? Finally, will you tell us about his

:56:57.:57:03.

discussions with the leader of the UUP about suspending the Assembly

:57:04.:57:12.

until an investigation into RHI is completed? One of the primary roles

:57:13.:57:18.

of the UK Government is to provide political stability. We take our

:57:19.:57:22.

responsibilities seriously in that regard and as I have already

:57:23.:57:26.

indicated to the house, if the time period it lapses and the First

:57:27.:57:34.

Minister and that a diverse minister are not in place, I have the duty

:57:35.:57:39.

and obligation to move in the appropriate way to call the

:57:40.:57:47.

election. -- Deputy First Minister. Obviously she highlights the issue

:57:48.:57:52.

of confidence in the Northern Ireland political institutions. That

:57:53.:57:55.

is why it is incumbent on me to use the period to work with the

:57:56.:57:58.

different parties to see how that can be injected because it still

:57:59.:58:01.

remains the best outcome that a resolution is found. If that way can

:58:02.:58:06.

be found in the days ahead and that is where my focus will be. She also

:58:07.:58:14.

highlights on the issue of Brexit and speaking of Northern Ireland. I

:58:15.:58:18.

can assure her that is precisely what I have done and continue to do

:58:19.:58:23.

with the regular meetings I have across Northern Ireland. Even

:58:24.:58:27.

earlier this week I continue to do so and I'm ensuring the voice will

:58:28.:58:31.

be heard. Having a strong Executive in place and remaining in place is

:58:32.:58:37.

important and therefore the ability for the Executive to make points to

:58:38.:58:40.

the UK Government I think underlines the need for us to find out -- find

:58:41.:58:45.

our way forward to make sure Northern Ireland's voice is heard to

:58:46.:58:49.

that mechanism as well as the strong voice that I will continue to give

:58:50.:58:56.

in that regard. Does the Secretary of State agree that whilst the

:58:57.:59:00.

election looks likely, it should be possible to come up with a

:59:01.:59:05.

comprehensive and rigorous weight to investigate the overspent of the RHI

:59:06.:59:10.

that will not lead to the break-up of the coalition all of the First

:59:11.:59:16.

Minister standing down? I certainly believe that there should be

:59:17.:59:21.

opportunities to find a way forward. That is precisely what I intend to

:59:22.:59:25.

use the days ahead to do, to see if we can find that agreement. It is

:59:26.:59:30.

that sense of establishing some form of enquiry and I think that there is

:59:31.:59:34.

indication from all of the parties as the ways in which that could come

:59:35.:59:40.

forward and also to give that sense of accountability and confidence in

:59:41.:59:43.

what happens next and I'll certainly be using my influence to see what

:59:44.:59:44.

can be done to achieve that. Will the Secretary of State and the

:59:45.:59:57.

House except that we share the deep regret of the responsibility or Sinn

:59:58.:00:00.

Fein to single-handedly cause the elapse of the present Executive and

:00:01.:00:04.

precipitate what the Secretary of State calls a threat to the

:00:05.:00:06.

continuity of devolved institutions and it's clear from what Sinn Fein

:00:07.:00:12.

said in a resignation letter, it's not about RHI, had this continued we

:00:13.:00:18.

would have had the investigation and according to them, they are not

:00:19.:00:21.

getting their own way in a series of demands including rewriting the

:00:22.:00:24.

past, more soldiers and security forces in the dock. We had just

:00:25.:00:30.

agreed a programme of government in Northern Ireland. The Secretary of

:00:31.:00:35.

State and the House needs to be assured we want a full investigation

:00:36.:00:38.

into RHI, we have proposals to mitigate costs, this mustn't be

:00:39.:00:43.

blocked by the actions of Sinn Fein which is the ironic outcome of what

:00:44.:00:47.

they are planning to do and overall, he can be assured that we in this

:00:48.:00:51.

party will continue to work with him and other parties to ensure a stable

:00:52.:00:55.

Northern Ireland moving forward, based on good government. We want to

:00:56.:00:59.

see institutions continue and we will do everything in our power to

:01:00.:01:03.

make this process work. We deeply regret that Sinn Fein have decided

:01:04.:01:11.

to walk away. Aluko many indications as to the parties working together

:01:12.:01:15.

and I think we need to take this opportunity to establish what

:01:16.:01:21.

arrangements can be put in place and therefore I will be continuing my

:01:22.:01:24.

discussions with all of the political parties in the days ahead

:01:25.:01:29.

and I think the right honourable gentleman highlights the issues that

:01:30.:01:35.

are at stake. The need for a continued strong governance within

:01:36.:01:37.

Northern Ireland to be able to take those issues forward. That is what I

:01:38.:01:41.

want to see and I think that is what the whole house wants to see,

:01:42.:01:44.

establishing further there is a way for it to be able to achieve that

:01:45.:01:49.

end. Many hard working people across Northern Ireland to want to get on

:01:50.:01:53.

with their lives will be exasperated by recent events and will welcome

:01:54.:01:56.

the Secretary of State's measured tone and the comments of shadow

:01:57.:02:02.

Secretary of State. In his discussions will he remind all

:02:03.:02:06.

parties of the huge effort and immensely difficult compromises that

:02:07.:02:10.

brought about the current settlement and will he stressed the enormously

:02:11.:02:14.

valued long-term benefits must not be jeopardised for short term

:02:15.:02:21.

political motives. I thank my right honourable friend and thank him and

:02:22.:02:25.

by right honourable friend the Member for Chipping Barnet for all

:02:26.:02:28.

the work they've done over many years to provide that stability and

:02:29.:02:34.

security. The hard effort that's gone into achieving the games we see

:02:35.:02:37.

today and I think it's with that focus we need to approach the days

:02:38.:02:40.

ahead to see what resolution can be found. If there were to be an

:02:41.:02:48.

election does the Secretary of State expect a government to be formed

:02:49.:02:52.

after it and can he can burn that it is the government's intention that

:02:53.:02:57.

under no circumstances will emergency legislation be introduced

:02:58.:02:59.

into this House to introduce or reintroduce direct rule. I think it

:03:00.:03:07.

is an helpful to talk about either the suspension of devolution or

:03:08.:03:10.

direct rule, I think that's entirely premature and an helpful and I think

:03:11.:03:14.

that's the tone and way in which the right honourable gentleman has made

:03:15.:03:20.

his point. The next stage is if we are not able to reach a resolution

:03:21.:03:23.

over the course of the next 7 days for an election to be called, as

:03:24.:03:27.

I've indicated it is likely that election will be divisive,

:03:28.:03:32.

difficult, tough and therefore the ability to reach resolution at the

:03:33.:03:36.

end of that point may be challenging which is why I think we need to use

:03:37.:03:39.

this time now to address a number of the points raised. The Secretary of

:03:40.:03:45.

State touched in his statement on the possibility of an impartial

:03:46.:03:48.

inquiry into the energy deal. Could he give more information about that,

:03:49.:03:52.

the timescale and with that happen quickly with the result and a

:03:53.:03:57.

possible election looming? Ultimately that will depend on the

:03:58.:04:02.

Executive and the parties in Northern Ireland reaching a

:04:03.:04:06.

resolution in relation to that. This is entirely within the double space

:04:07.:04:10.

and therefore I think it's right and proper that a solution for this

:04:11.:04:13.

should be created within that environment. But equally, I think it

:04:14.:04:17.

underlines the need for us to get on with this were possible, to give a

:04:18.:04:21.

sense of assurance, to respond to concerns raised and to show where

:04:22.:04:27.

accountability may or may not rest, depending on the evidence that

:04:28.:04:36.

emerges. Doctor Whittaker was 1 of the constant voices for peace and

:04:37.:04:39.

reconciliation in Ireland between North and South and between Ireland

:04:40.:04:42.

and Britain over his outstanding lifetime of public service. Doctor

:04:43.:04:50.

Whittaker died last night for weeks after his hundredth birthday. The

:04:51.:04:53.

Secretary of State join with the offering sympathy and condolences to

:04:54.:04:57.

the family and friends of Ross Trevor Horn Doctor Whittaker who was

:04:58.:05:03.

a major driver and creator of modern Ireland. He bestrode the narrow

:05:04.:05:11.

world like a colossus. But Mr Speaker could I welcome the

:05:12.:05:16.

Secretary of State's statement and his reference to the view that a

:05:17.:05:20.

comprehensive inquiry is needed urgently. There are deep tensions

:05:21.:05:25.

there in the government. Does the Secretary of State except that while

:05:26.:05:30.

RHI may have been the last straw is at work, the major factor in the

:05:31.:05:36.

current crisis was the UK but for Brexit against the wishes of the

:05:37.:05:40.

people of Northern Ireland and Scotland, leading to considerable

:05:41.:05:42.

political confusion and damage to the Northern Ireland economy and has

:05:43.:05:47.

in turn played a significant part in compounding political difficulties?

:05:48.:05:52.

I admire the honourable gentleman enormously that I hope you won't

:05:53.:05:56.

take offence if I say he is an incorrigible fellow. I thought his

:05:57.:05:59.

question had concluded that it was only the 1st 3rd that I heard about

:06:00.:06:05.

point. Secretary of State! Can I thank the honourable gentleman for

:06:06.:06:09.

highlighting the news of the sad passing of Doctor Whittaker. At this

:06:10.:06:14.

time I think it's worth reflecting on those who have contributed so

:06:15.:06:19.

much to see the advancement of political stability, the strength of

:06:20.:06:24.

the economy and why I passed my condolences to all who will mourn

:06:25.:06:29.

the passing of TK Whitaker and to join the honourable gentleman in

:06:30.:06:32.

that way. Where I have difference with him, I don't share his analysis

:06:33.:06:38.

in relation to Brexit, I think there are opportunities that can come

:06:39.:06:41.

through for Northern Ireland in relation to what it can be and will

:06:42.:06:46.

be, following the departure of the United Kingdom from the European

:06:47.:06:50.

Union but I am in no doubt of the special circumstances and factors

:06:51.:06:54.

that are very relevant here and while -- why I will continue to

:06:55.:06:58.

advocate agree strongly in the interests of Northern Ireland to get

:06:59.:07:03.

the best possible outcome. I was going to Astro Mr Speaker for an

:07:04.:07:06.

urgent question today relating to the investigation and prosecution of

:07:07.:07:11.

veterans but I was to rid because of the events of last night. But with

:07:12.:07:15.

the Secretary of State informed the House about what measures he thinks

:07:16.:07:18.

will happen now is the result of this, to stop this very 1-sided

:07:19.:07:26.

judicial process? I'm grateful to my honourable friend for his point and

:07:27.:07:34.

I am absolutely clear as to the huge contribution that our Armed Forces

:07:35.:07:40.

and the RUC played to see that we have seen the games in Northern

:07:41.:07:43.

Ireland in recent years and he makes a point that some of the ways in

:07:44.:07:47.

which the system operates within the moment, I think there is a need for

:07:48.:07:52.

greater proportionality, greater balance within the system and that

:07:53.:07:54.

is precisely what I think the Stormont House Agreement and bodies

:07:55.:07:58.

will provide. Not withstanding current events, I remain committed

:07:59.:08:04.

in terms of taking that forward and leading to a public face in relation

:08:05.:08:08.

to that work which I judge is the right next step. There has to be an

:08:09.:08:12.

independent investigation and transparent investigation into the

:08:13.:08:16.

failings of RHI but is this not a symptom of a wider problem? Which is

:08:17.:08:20.

a breakdown of mutual trust and respect between the majority parties

:08:21.:08:24.

in Northern Ireland. Leaders do not have to be friends. But in the

:08:25.:08:28.

nature of the constitutional arrangements in Northern Ireland

:08:29.:08:32.

there has to be mutual respect and trust and is in this purely a

:08:33.:08:36.

symptom of a breakdown of that, do not need to see leaders who are

:08:37.:08:39.

committed to putting personal differences aside in the interests

:08:40.:08:45.

of the institutions? I say to the honourable gentleman and he may have

:08:46.:08:48.

noticed what I said in my statement that obviously the focus has been an

:08:49.:08:54.

RHI but there are other issues that have come through from this and

:08:55.:08:58.

indeed in the letter that Mr McGuinness published yesterday he

:08:59.:09:00.

highlighted a number of those things. That's why I make the point

:09:01.:09:05.

at this time of parties coming together, working together in the

:09:06.:09:08.

best interests of Northern Ireland, given so much opportunity that

:09:09.:09:11.

reside there and having that focus on the big issues that are in the

:09:12.:09:16.

best interests of Northern Ireland. If there are constructive talks in

:09:17.:09:20.

the next few days with the Secretary of State be willing to extend the

:09:21.:09:23.

7-day period before an election is called? As I've indicated below is

:09:24.:09:31.

quite clear in terms of the 7-day time period and I must act within a

:09:32.:09:37.

reasonable period following that. Obviously if the time period lapses

:09:38.:09:40.

I will need to consider the position very carefully at that point in

:09:41.:09:45.

time. But I am under that statutory duty and I will follow through on

:09:46.:09:50.

that. Alistair Carmichael. This is not the 1st time the institutions

:09:51.:09:53.

have been brought to the brink. Each time it requires the leadership to

:09:54.:09:58.

bring them back. Principally that leadership has to come from the

:09:59.:10:00.

parties in Northern Ireland themselves but there is a role from

:10:01.:10:04.

leadership from the government here and the Secretary of State. He has

:10:05.:10:09.

the power under the 2005 act to constitute a public inquiry into the

:10:10.:10:14.

handling of the Renewable Heat Incentive itself and will he do so

:10:15.:10:17.

and as he fights his way through this was he give an undertaking that

:10:18.:10:21.

he will speak to all parties in Northern Ireland not adjust to the

:10:22.:10:26.

DUP and Sinn Fein? On the last point I said to the right honourable

:10:27.:10:29.

gentleman that I had a round of calls yesterday evening to the

:10:30.:10:32.

opposition parties, the main opposition parties in Northern

:10:33.:10:36.

Ireland and will continue to maintain that contact with parties

:10:37.:10:42.

at Stormont. In respect to this point in relation to RHI and the

:10:43.:10:46.

nature of an inquiry, I absolutely remain of the view that the best

:10:47.:10:53.

solution that a way forward for this be found within Northern Ireland.

:10:54.:10:56.

Taking his point in relation to issues of leadership, actually

:10:57.:11:01.

showing that the devolved institutions are able to deal with

:11:02.:11:03.

the challenges that are there and that is where my focus will be in

:11:04.:11:08.

the days ahead. My honourable and gallant friend for Newbury has ably

:11:09.:11:13.

expressed the dismay at the grotesquely partisan and inequitable

:11:14.:11:16.

decision to instruct Police Service of Northern Ireland to start

:11:17.:11:21.

receiving retired British service personnel whilst amnestied former

:11:22.:11:27.

terrorists freely walk the streets. On the government bring forward

:11:28.:11:30.

legislation urgently to offer them at least the same protection as the

:11:31.:11:37.

amnestied terrorists undeservedly enjoy? I can say to my honourable

:11:38.:11:46.

friend that there are no amnesties. We have been very clear on this in

:11:47.:11:50.

relation to Fort was the on the run scheme as it was known and Lady

:11:51.:11:55.

Justice Hallett's report in 2014 concluded they never amounted to an

:11:56.:11:59.

immunity from prosecution but my honourable friend makes a broader

:12:00.:12:03.

point in relation to the need for a proportionate alert approach between

:12:04.:12:09.

legacy to ensure that all aspects are investigated properly, rather

:12:10.:12:13.

than looking at 1 side rather than the other side. That is precisely

:12:14.:12:16.

the approach I think be taken forward. Thank you Mr Speaker, we

:12:17.:12:23.

have a debate later on the serious subject. And can I say to the

:12:24.:12:26.

Secretary of State we are going to have more talks, let's deal with

:12:27.:12:30.

this issue once and for all, it's unacceptable that veterans of the

:12:31.:12:33.

armed Forces who served the Crown are waiting on the knock at the door

:12:34.:12:40.

whilst the terrorists walk free. I say to the honourable gentleman I

:12:41.:12:44.

know the interests he has taken in this issue on legacy over many, many

:12:45.:12:49.

years. And I agree it's totally unfair that the alleged mistakes of

:12:50.:12:53.

soldiers and former police officers should be investigated while at the

:12:54.:12:57.

same time, perpetrators of terrorist atrocities are ignored and their

:12:58.:13:00.

victims forgotten. It is precisely that part that was reflected into

:13:01.:13:05.

the proportionate, balanced, fair and equitable stance taken in

:13:06.:13:09.

relation to the Stormont House Agreement while we continue

:13:10.:13:12.

discussions around the agreement and why are you a wee will move to a

:13:13.:13:19.

public face to take that forward. The historic investigations unit,

:13:20.:13:24.

had not been structured as it was, tour but has agreed that would have

:13:25.:13:29.

failed at the Executive. Now that it has failed to does he share my

:13:30.:13:32.

sadness that the unit was set up as it was and had to investigate

:13:33.:13:36.

chronologically but that servicemen were bound to be at the point of

:13:37.:13:43.

most of its investigations into terrorist sadly don't keep records

:13:44.:13:46.

and they don't respond to letters from the MoD inviting them to

:13:47.:13:47.

unburden themselves. I say to my honourable friend that

:13:48.:13:57.

the historical enquiries unit has not been established a chronological

:13:58.:14:01.

approach he highlights is not in place. Is why I think there is a

:14:02.:14:06.

need for reform and change that was reflected through Stormont house and

:14:07.:14:11.

that is precisely why it is necessary to take this forward and

:14:12.:14:14.

notwithstanding and I believe there is still that opportunity for us to

:14:15.:14:18.

move forward with the parties to see that we can get that political

:14:19.:14:21.

stability in order that these issues can be taken forward precisely for

:14:22.:14:28.

the cross community that resides around us. Does the secretary of

:14:29.:14:34.

State not recognise that it is the hubris of the outgoing First

:14:35.:14:38.

Minister that has brought about the humiliation for our institutions of

:14:39.:14:41.

him now having to contemplate the sort of options he has discussed

:14:42.:14:46.

today? Does he also note that Sinn Fein are saying they have called

:14:47.:14:51.

time on the DUP status quo which now seems to be the description for a

:14:52.:14:56.

fresh start. Will a real fresh start not involve a return to the key

:14:57.:15:02.

precept of the Good Friday agreement that the First Minister and Deputy

:15:03.:15:06.

First Minister are jointly elected by an Assembly and then they might

:15:07.:15:14.

act accordingly and we will avoid these difficulties? I say to the

:15:15.:15:17.

honourable gentleman that where we need to focus at the moment is to

:15:18.:15:20.

use the time available over the course of these coming days to see

:15:21.:15:25.

what resolution can be found. To see how people can work together in the

:15:26.:15:29.

best interests of Northern Ireland because I think there are so many

:15:30.:15:33.

issues at stake here and part of that is how we can move forward and

:15:34.:15:45.

get an enquiry in place and accountability based on the outcome

:15:46.:15:49.

of the enquiry is allowed to happen. Like so many members in the house I

:15:50.:15:55.

have grave concerns at the seems to be a disproportionate and

:15:56.:15:57.

politically motivated investigation of those who believe they were just

:15:58.:16:01.

doing their job. I'm sure my right honourable friend is aware of the

:16:02.:16:05.

concerns but he should know that as the MP representing many members of

:16:06.:16:09.

the serving British Army it is having a measurable effect on

:16:10.:16:15.

recruiting to our Armed Forces. This period of uncertainty could provide

:16:16.:16:18.

an opportunity to set the record straight about what is with and --

:16:19.:16:32.

what is within the enquiry? I underlie the points I have made

:16:33.:16:35.

about how I think we need to see a change in the system. That the way

:16:36.:16:40.

in which the attention of the state means that cases where for example

:16:41.:16:45.

those who have been murdered as a consequence of terrorist activity is

:16:46.:16:50.

not being pursued. I think there are mechanisms that provide for that. I

:16:51.:16:55.

am intent to take that forward and notwithstanding the current issues,

:16:56.:17:00.

that remains a priority. Could the Secretary of State confirmed that

:17:01.:17:03.

other ministers in the Northern Ireland Executive remain in post and

:17:04.:17:06.

can govern the Northern Ireland Assembly as now and therefore could

:17:07.:17:11.

he exercise maximum discretion to make sure the objectives of the

:17:12.:17:25.

Stormont house agreement are met? I appreciate the viewpoint the right

:17:26.:17:30.

honourable gentleman makes from that direct experience when he served as

:17:31.:17:33.

a minister in Northern Ireland. He is right that the relevant Northern

:17:34.:17:38.

Ireland ministers remain in place in the Executive. There is this

:17:39.:17:43.

situation we find ourselves in, but stability can be maintained through

:17:44.:17:46.

this period, albeit that their actions will be limited. Nonetheless

:17:47.:17:52.

that stability remains we need to continue to work with the Executive

:17:53.:17:57.

at this time to find a solution. I serve twice in Northern Ireland

:17:58.:18:01.

during my time in the Army so I know about the challenges faced. I must

:18:02.:18:08.

echo the contributions of colleagues who have discouraged the Secretary

:18:09.:18:12.

of State from allowing investigations of British troops. No

:18:13.:18:16.

matter how well designed, these investigations break the covenant of

:18:17.:18:19.

those who are serving and who have served in our Armed Forces. Can I

:18:20.:18:23.

encourage my honourable friend to block these investigations right

:18:24.:18:30.

away? I'm not able to intervene. The wall of law issues here and there

:18:31.:18:35.

for the prosecutorial and other aspects that sit around this come

:18:36.:18:39.

into play. I am concerned about the balance of effort and the need to

:18:40.:18:43.

ensure that there are proper investigations. They are following

:18:44.:18:47.

the evidence rather than anything else and therefore reform is needed.

:18:48.:18:50.

The situation as it is at the moment is wrong and has to change and that

:18:51.:18:59.

is what I'm committed to doing. The previous Prime Minister intervened

:19:00.:19:01.

by writing letters which got a lot of people off the hook. Could he

:19:02.:19:08.

confirmed that in the absence of the Northern Ireland Executive which

:19:09.:19:11.

will probably now be for a period of months, that the Secretary of State

:19:12.:19:16.

will assume all responsibility and power in relation to have the Brexit

:19:17.:19:20.

negotiations applied to Northern Ireland and they will not allow

:19:21.:19:25.

Northern Ireland to be prejudiced by the petulance of those who have

:19:26.:19:34.

walked away? I am very clear about my role and response to Article 50.

:19:35.:19:38.

The work I have done over many months to engage with all aspects of

:19:39.:19:42.

Northern Ireland and continue to do so and will continue to articulate

:19:43.:19:46.

firmly and clearly within Whitehall and elsewhere as to the best

:19:47.:19:50.

interests of Northern Ireland through the Brexit negotiations.

:19:51.:19:54.

That is strengthened by having a functioning capable Executive to

:19:55.:19:57.

support that work, to be able to work with the UK Government to

:19:58.:20:01.

ensure we get the best possible deal for Northern Ireland through those

:20:02.:20:06.

negotiations. The Secretary of State would have received correspondence

:20:07.:20:27.

from me recently. He said that... When was his predecessor first made

:20:28.:20:32.

aware of this abuse? The point to make about this was a -- that it was

:20:33.:20:39.

a devolved decision and it is not something the UK Government has had

:20:40.:20:45.

a direct role in and that is why made the point I did and therefore I

:20:46.:20:53.

think his questions are more directed towards the ongoing enquiry

:20:54.:20:58.

about getting answers about decisions made around the RHI and I

:20:59.:21:00.

think it is that poker that needs to be given. -- focus. This is about a

:21:01.:21:19.

political wish list from Sinn Fein. From the First Minister's to view it

:21:20.:21:26.

is a red herring. About the legacy issue, will members of Sinn Fein

:21:27.:21:30.

stands aside and resigned when we are investigating the past? I know

:21:31.:21:36.

that the honourable gentleman will know that the Stormont house

:21:37.:21:41.

agreement provides an important framework that was agreed by all of

:21:42.:21:45.

the parties in relation to how best to respond to these issues of the

:21:46.:21:50.

past. That is where my focus annotation is and remains. I

:21:51.:22:04.

will continue to support and encourage that. The Secretary of

:22:05.:22:13.

State will be aware of the list of issues that the Deputy First

:22:14.:22:18.

Minister had in his resignation yesterday. Can the Secretary of

:22:19.:22:21.

State confirm to me and to this house that he will not be weak and

:22:22.:22:25.

Her Majesty 's government will not be weak in any negotiations with

:22:26.:22:28.

Sinn Fein to allow the rewriting of history? I will not be party to any

:22:29.:22:37.

rewriting of history and have said that on a number of occasions in

:22:38.:22:41.

relation to the issues of the past. What we need to focus on is the time

:22:42.:22:45.

at hand to see that we are able to find a way forward from the very

:22:46.:22:49.

difficult situation we are now presented with. We need to see

:22:50.:22:58.

Northern Ireland moving forward and we use this time to bring people

:22:59.:23:01.

together rather than looking at things that separate and divide, and

:23:02.:23:05.

obviously using these days to focus on how that trust and confidence can

:23:06.:23:09.

be re-established and working with the parties to do that. Fundamental

:23:10.:23:15.

to the political institutions in Northern Ireland where the

:23:16.:23:18.

principles of power-sharing, partnership and respect for

:23:19.:23:21.

political difference. In the last number of weeks we have seen the

:23:22.:23:25.

disappearing and the withering away of the principle of power-sharing.

:23:26.:23:33.

You walked away from it! With the Secretary of State ensure in his

:23:34.:23:38.

discussions with political parties in Northern Ireland that those

:23:39.:23:42.

principles are adhered to and that everybody comes back to the

:23:43.:23:50.

principle of power-sharing? I think the important part of the political

:23:51.:23:56.

settlement within Northern Ireland is that fact that it works for all

:23:57.:24:00.

communities across Northern Ireland, and that was very much at the heart

:24:01.:24:04.

of the agreements that have been reached and indeed the work that I

:24:05.:24:08.

think needs to continue to be taken forward in that respect and

:24:09.:24:13.

therefore it is why I make the point about the need to look at those

:24:14.:24:18.

things that bind people together. How we use this time at hand rather

:24:19.:24:22.

than the risk out what may be a divisive election that six to create

:24:23.:24:25.

more difference and actually makes that job harder. The Secretary of

:24:26.:24:32.

State mentioned legacy issues in his statement. Can he give the house on

:24:33.:24:36.

practical details on how he will progress that and hand dealer-macro

:24:37.:24:51.

-- and can he talk about the roundtable meeting? I need to engage

:24:52.:24:54.

with the relevant political parties and establish the right way that we

:24:55.:25:03.

can facilitate a way forward that can hopefully be achieved without

:25:04.:25:16.

calling an election. On his bike in relation to legacy, I've underlined

:25:17.:25:20.

that I want to establish the necessary political consensus to be

:25:21.:25:23.

able to move forward and the next step on that is a more public phase

:25:24.:25:28.

of that. An element to bring all of Northern Ireland's and to have their

:25:29.:25:34.

say over proposals. That is the next point I had to take. That is the

:25:35.:25:39.

Secretary of State recall that two years ago Sinn Fein plunge the

:25:40.:25:43.

institutions into crisis over the implementation of welfare reform and

:25:44.:25:51.

cost the Executive over ?100 million. In a bizarre irony the

:25:52.:25:57.

decision to resign and walk out of the Northern Ireland Executive means

:25:58.:26:01.

there will be no Assembly to pass them mitigation measures that were

:26:02.:26:04.

due from the Stormont House agreement. Sinn Fein will be

:26:05.:26:07.

delivering the bedroom tax in Northern Ireland in six weeks times.

:26:08.:26:14.

I'm not sure I detected a question in the stream of consciousness from

:26:15.:26:21.

the honourable member. Secretary of State. I am in no doubt as to be

:26:22.:26:26.

tensions that exist at the moment, but I do look back on those days in

:26:27.:26:30.

relation to welfare where there were differences. They were very strongly

:26:31.:26:37.

held views and yet a way forward was established and at this time I do

:26:38.:26:41.

call upon the parties to reflect on that, to reflect on that experience,

:26:42.:26:44.

to work together and to use this time now to find a solution. Thank

:26:45.:26:56.

you very much, Mr Speaker. We all want to see a stronger society where

:26:57.:26:59.

there is respect for everyone, but we need to have a completely new

:27:00.:27:05.

look at this. Get it back to the Belfast agreement so we don't go

:27:06.:27:09.

round and round in circles and if I can end by saying can we get back to

:27:10.:27:13.

that? Please remember that Einstein said that insanity is doing the same

:27:14.:27:17.

thing over and over again and expecting different results. I know

:27:18.:27:23.

the honourable gentleman has put down some thoughts and I read his

:27:24.:27:29.

article at the weekend, but I think the primary focus now is to see how

:27:30.:27:34.

we can use this short time ahead to work together, to build together, to

:27:35.:27:40.

see that we are able to get through this current difficulty and ensure

:27:41.:27:46.

that we can look to a bright, positive prosperous Northern Ireland

:27:47.:27:50.

because ultimately that is what we are about. That is what is at stake

:27:51.:27:54.

here and why I will certainly be doing all I can to establish if a

:27:55.:27:59.

way forward can be found, a solution can be created with that intense.

:28:00.:28:07.

Point of order Mr Stephen Dowty. I wanted to make a clarification

:28:08.:28:11.

regarding a question I asked earlier in the Foreign Office questions and

:28:12.:28:15.

asked advice on the rizz matter. The Foreign Office minister appeared to

:28:16.:28:19.

be confused over what I was referring to in my question. I was

:28:20.:28:26.

referring to his own statement on July 2016. Four errors have been

:28:27.:28:30.

made regarding Parliamentary questions and the issue over whether

:28:31.:28:37.

the UK Government had assessed violation of human rights in Saudi

:28:38.:28:49.

Arabia. I'm concerned that the government has tried to prevent

:28:50.:28:52.

scrutiny over what they know about Saudi Arabia's activities. The

:28:53.:29:02.

member from Leeds is was told that the ministry had acted immediately.

:29:03.:29:07.

However a Freedom of information requests released just before

:29:08.:29:11.

Christmas reveals otherwise. It is important to make you aware, Mr

:29:12.:29:18.

Speaker, that this information was only released when the government

:29:19.:29:24.

were ordered as they were in breach of the Freedom of Information Act.

:29:25.:29:29.

This information reveals that not only did the Minister and indeed the

:29:30.:29:32.

Foreign Secretary nerd there have been errors in information as early

:29:33.:29:38.

as the 28th of June 2016, they then took nearly a month to provide that

:29:39.:29:43.

information to Parliament. They only provided it in the routing statement

:29:44.:29:48.

on the 21st of July 20 16. It makes clear that they were worried about

:29:49.:29:52.

the views of Parliament and the courts. This constitutes a potential

:29:53.:29:57.

breach of the ministerial code and the courtesy of this house over

:29:58.:30:02.

providing information timely when errors have been made. Can I seek

:30:03.:30:05.

your guidance on how I might pursue the matter and find out whether a

:30:06.:30:14.

The ungrateful to the honourable to run for his point of order and has

:30:15.:30:20.

courtesy in giving me add once at notice of his intention to raise it.

:30:21.:30:27.

I am grateful. It is the exclusive responsibility of those ministers,

:30:28.:30:30.

if a minister comes subsequently to realise that he or she has dared in

:30:31.:30:37.

saying something incorrect or even in giving and inadvertently

:30:38.:30:41.

misleading impression by failing to include in an answer information

:30:42.:30:45.

that should have been abolished it is a responsibility of that minister

:30:46.:30:51.

to correct the record. -- erred. The honourable gentleman asks how he can

:30:52.:30:57.

best recede in this matter. My instinct is he should if he feels

:30:58.:31:00.

that there has been a potential breach of the ministerial code,

:31:01.:31:07.

right directly to the Prime Minister for it is for the Prime Minister

:31:08.:31:12.

under our existing constitutional arrangements to decide whether to

:31:13.:31:18.

refer an alleged and claimed breach to the independent adviser on

:31:19.:31:24.

ministerial interests. That therefore is the course that I

:31:25.:31:28.

recommend to him. It may avail him, if it does not, and the matter in

:31:29.:31:34.

his mind or perhaps that of others remains unresolved, and he feels the

:31:35.:31:40.

House is in the possession of wrong information that hasn't been

:31:41.:31:44.

corrected, he can always return to the matter by Dave Radzi of means.

:31:45.:31:52.

We believe that there are for now. -- by a variety of means. We come to

:31:53.:31:57.

the 10 Minute Rule Motion for which the honourable lady has been

:31:58.:32:01.

patiently waiting. Christina Rees. Thank you. I beg leave to introduce

:32:02.:32:08.

a bill to make provision for the creation of mutual guarantee

:32:09.:32:12.

societies. For the membership is small and BD sized businesses, for

:32:13.:32:18.

the purpose of lending to and by such business and for the operation

:32:19.:32:23.

and for connected purposes. Madam Deputy Speaker, I am a Labour and

:32:24.:32:29.

cooperative member of Parliament, I am proud that I am introducing this

:32:30.:32:32.

bill at the start of the co-operative party centenary year.

:32:33.:32:39.

My thanks also to cooperative UK and Philip Ross for their work in

:32:40.:32:42.

pressing the case for this legislative change. For 100 years

:32:43.:32:48.

the co-operative party has been putting forward the case for more

:32:49.:32:51.

co-operation in our country. I believe that correct link the

:32:52.:32:57.

legislative anomaly of the UK not benefiting from mutual guarantee

:32:58.:33:01.

societies is not just another step towards expanding co-operation but

:33:02.:33:05.

it would also importantly ensure that the increase the level of SME

:33:06.:33:13.

Hank lending. Put simply, my bill seeks to harness the positive power

:33:14.:33:17.

of co-operation in order to increase SME lending in this country. --

:33:18.:33:25.

anchor. SMEs are vital to the economy and our major drivers of

:33:26.:33:27.

employment and wealth for the country. Ensuring they have access

:33:28.:33:33.

to the right type of finance at the right time is essential to ensure it

:33:34.:33:36.

they maximise their growth potential. And develop new job

:33:37.:33:44.

opportunities. An economy which allows for SME investment and

:33:45.:33:48.

financial system prepared to lend to SMEs is essential. House of Commons

:33:49.:33:53.

research shows that while SME lending is for the 1st time since

:33:54.:33:57.

the global economic crisis starting to become net positive, I look at

:33:58.:34:03.

the broader Bank of England credit conditions survey 2016 makes less

:34:04.:34:12.

positive reading. It shows the availability of credit remains

:34:13.:34:15.

static at best and indeed the proportion of loan applications for

:34:16.:34:18.

small businesses which were improved, approved, declined and

:34:19.:34:26.

quarter to and caught 3 of 2016. It also shows this decline is

:34:27.:34:33.

predicated to continue. This trend must be reversed. I believe the

:34:34.:34:37.

creation of mutual guarantee societies can only be part of the

:34:38.:34:42.

solution. My bill will allow the creation of mutual guarantee

:34:43.:34:46.

societies which are private guarantee institutions created by

:34:47.:34:55.

beneficiary SMEs. Whilst there are different forms of mutual guarantee

:34:56.:34:59.

societies across Europe, they typically share a cooperative or

:35:00.:35:04.

mutual status. This means the mutual guarantee society's capital is

:35:05.:35:11.

provided directly by the SMEs that apply for a loan guarantee, in form

:35:12.:35:17.

of cooperative or mutual shares. Each member has an equal footing

:35:18.:35:22.

right and participate in electing the General Assembly and board of

:35:23.:35:25.

directors of the mutual guarantee society. -- equal voting. SMEs can

:35:26.:35:35.

negotiate a better deal from banks whilst banks, the underpinning of

:35:36.:35:38.

the mutual guarantee provides partial security an otherwise

:35:39.:35:45.

unsecured enterprise lending. The risk is lower, so the price of money

:35:46.:35:52.

is lower, the deal flow is greater, underpinned by peer review from SME

:35:53.:35:56.

members so access to capital is easier. A guarantee provided by a

:35:57.:36:03.

mutual guarantee society on behalf of the SME to the bank, replaces

:36:04.:36:09.

this collateral, enabling the bank to grant the loan. The guarantee is

:36:10.:36:16.

a financial commitment by the society to repay a certain

:36:17.:36:19.

percentage of the loan if the SME member cannot honour its payment. In

:36:20.:36:27.

many ways this bill is a no-brainer. Mutual guarantee societies provide

:36:28.:36:33.

access to finance, achieved better credit conditions, provide

:36:34.:36:38.

assessment of the companies in tangible and on qualitative

:36:39.:36:44.

elements, serve as a bridge between SMEs and financial entities and can

:36:45.:36:49.

provide better advice and supervision in financial management.

:36:50.:36:56.

The creation of these societies in the UK would also be good for the

:36:57.:37:02.

banks. Among other aspects they read Jews the bank's overall risk,

:37:03.:37:05.

provide quality of information for the bank, provide more detailed risk

:37:06.:37:12.

assessment at no cost and allow them to work with supervised and reliable

:37:13.:37:19.

financial intermediaries. The OECD concluded in 23rd team that mutual

:37:20.:37:26.

guarantee schemes represent a key policy to to address the SME

:37:27.:37:34.

financing gap. Whilst limiting the burden on public finances. The UK is

:37:35.:37:39.

almost unique in not raking use of mutual guarantee societies. In

:37:40.:37:45.

Europe, estimates are around 2,000,000 guarantees have been made

:37:46.:37:51.

for a value of ?70,000,000,000 to over 2,000,000 customers. This

:37:52.:37:58.

represents around 8% of all SMEs in the European Union that have

:37:59.:38:01.

benefited from the activity of mutual guarantee societies. The UK

:38:02.:38:07.

has no mutual guarantee market for SMEs to improve access to finance

:38:08.:38:10.

because of inappropriate regulatory barriers. The provision of mutual

:38:11.:38:18.

guarantees by SMEs is indicative as requiring the full regulatory burden

:38:19.:38:25.

of being and approved insurer and other surety guarantee. With far

:38:26.:38:30.

higher capital requirements and regulatory burdens as a result than

:38:31.:38:37.

any other EU country. Other countries have been able to specify

:38:38.:38:41.

mutual guarantee societies in transposing EU directives so bad

:38:42.:38:46.

they are regulated in a distinct and appropriate way. Because the UK has

:38:47.:38:51.

no such arrangement, we essentially have regulatory gold plated

:38:52.:39:01.

blocks... Following work with the cooperative sector in 2012, the FSA

:39:02.:39:08.

clarified that the best fit for any mutual guarantee society founded in

:39:09.:39:13.

terms of current regulated activities under current

:39:14.:39:21.

legislation. But this imposes significantly greater capital

:39:22.:39:23.

requirements than is the case in counties which have a this book

:39:24.:39:27.

scheme for mutual guarantee societies. And is not a particularly

:39:28.:39:32.

good fit anyway. My bill changes this. This bill provides a

:39:33.:39:38.

definition of the mutual guarantee society and outs mutual guarantees

:39:39.:39:41.

to the list of regulated activities as set out in the financial services

:39:42.:39:50.

and markets act, 2000, regulated activities order 2001. Despite the

:39:51.:39:57.

problems and barriers in the regulatory system there is 1 UK ace

:39:58.:40:01.

member of the European Association mutual guarantee societies, the

:40:02.:40:08.

British business bank. This institution created to drive SME

:40:09.:40:13.

lending may not be the type of mutual which I believe will be

:40:14.:40:18.

created using the legislative change contained within this bill, however,

:40:19.:40:24.

I believe it neatly demonstrates the point that mutual guarantee

:40:25.:40:26.

societies must be part of the answer to the question of how we increase

:40:27.:40:32.

SME lending. I hope we are pushing at an open door. I know that in

:40:33.:40:38.

written answers to my honourable friend the Member for Wolverhampton

:40:39.:40:42.

Southwest, Treasuries ministers stated officials plan to meet with

:40:43.:40:46.

the SCA to discuss the possible development of mutual guarantee

:40:47.:40:50.

societies. I believe this bill will create a welcome you chill addition

:40:51.:40:56.

to the financial services sector and will allow the UK to benefit from

:40:57.:40:59.

the SME lending in the same way that other countries have done for many

:41:00.:41:03.

years. Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. The question is that the

:41:04.:41:08.

honourable member have leave to bring in the bill. As many as are of

:41:09.:41:11.

that opinion say aye. To the contrary no. The ayes habit. You

:41:12.:41:25.

will prepare and bring in the bill? Gavin sugar, Lucy Powell, Stephen

:41:26.:41:34.

Dowty, Adrian Bailey. Gareth Thomas. John Woodcock. Jonathan Edwards.

:41:35.:41:40.

Tristan Matheson. Hannah Borrowdale and myself. Christina Rees.

:41:41.:42:12.

Mutual guarantee societies built. 2nd reading of what day? The 24th of

:42:13.:42:27.

February. The 24th of February. The clerk will now proceed to read the

:42:28.:42:34.

orders of the day. Commonwealth Development Corporation Bill not

:42:35.:42:39.

amended lips is to be considered. We begin with new clause 1. With which

:42:40.:42:45.

it will be convenient to consider the other clauses and amendments

:42:46.:42:47.

grouped together on the selection paper. Kate is more to move. Thank

:42:48.:42:55.

you. I rise to move new clause 1 and to speak on the new clauses

:42:56.:42:58.

amendments on which my name is included. We on this side of the

:42:59.:43:03.

House are unswerving in our belief that the UK must continue to spend 0

:43:04.:43:09.

points 7% of gross national income on overseas aid. It is imperative

:43:10.:43:14.

that the government delivers this aid in a way that is accountable,

:43:15.:43:18.

insurers are you from money and delivers on the UK's development

:43:19.:43:23.

object is. While we support the aims of the bill given that it is going

:43:24.:43:28.

into report stage without amendment, we remain concerned about the lack

:43:29.:43:33.

of safeguards. I speak to new clause two Fritsch asks that no increase of

:43:34.:43:37.

limit is given without a report or business case. I would like to talk

:43:38.:43:43.

to new clause 3 and 9 which is I believe at the heart of the work of

:43:44.:43:51.

David. It leads the UK's work to end extreme poverty. We on the front

:43:52.:43:55.

bench are asking the government that the Minister must be satisfied that

:43:56.:43:59.

any new investment enabled by any proposed increase in the limit must

:44:00.:44:04.

have a significant impact on the reduction in poverty. I said to the

:44:05.:44:08.

Minister that the department must be at the forefront of tackling double

:44:09.:44:09.

poverty reduction. It is vital that bolstering CDC

:44:10.:44:20.

resources does not mean that funds for humanitarian aid in places like

:44:21.:44:26.

Nigeria, Yemen and Syria and other parts of the world facing grave

:44:27.:44:33.

humanitarian crises is not reduce. Can the Minister commit to ring

:44:34.:44:38.

fencing those funds so that those in need receive help. Long-term

:44:39.:44:45.

investment and establishing an economy to kick-start growth and

:44:46.:44:49.

jobs are crucial to any credible development programme. But a

:44:50.:44:52.

development programme should at its core be a coalition of long-term

:44:53.:44:56.

investment and short-term relief and the consequences of losing sight of

:44:57.:45:02.

that latter element in the future would be grave indeed. Just as the

:45:03.:45:07.

UK have a duty to help lay the foundations for secure sustainable

:45:08.:45:13.

economies in the poorest every is a risk that few are willing to take,

:45:14.:45:18.

the UK also have a duty to assist those bearing people. Conflict,

:45:19.:45:23.

climate change and food insecurity. As laid out during the second

:45:24.:45:27.

reading of the build transparency should be the driving force behind

:45:28.:45:30.

any shifting focus of the aid budget. I speak to new clause four

:45:31.:45:36.

and new clause eight. It is vital that taxpayers money is not only

:45:37.:45:41.

spent effectively but also as transparently as possible. To this

:45:42.:45:44.

end it is incumbent on the government to put in place

:45:45.:45:49.

mechanisms that ensure maximum visibility regarding wet aid money

:45:50.:45:54.

is being spent and that minimises public scepticism. We all know that

:45:55.:46:00.

transparency is something that defeat does very well indeed. I'm

:46:01.:46:12.

grateful for you giving way. She was talking about balance. I think it is

:46:13.:46:17.

fair to make the point isn't it that CDC's proportion of development

:46:18.:46:22.

budget for its type is an FTI is actually lower than comparable is up

:46:23.:46:30.

4% compared to the French FTI of 12% and the Dutch at 30%. Just for

:46:31.:46:36.

proportion's say, even with the increase, the UK are still spending

:46:37.:46:39.

a large amounts on foreign aid the most of our peers and it will be a

:46:40.:46:47.

smaller proportion. The honourable member makes a valuable point but it

:46:48.:46:51.

still needs scrutiny and that is what I am laying out here today. We

:46:52.:46:55.

all know that transparency is something that is done well. Its

:46:56.:47:01.

performance in the aid transparency index represents an international

:47:02.:47:04.

gold standard in this regard but historically the same cannot be said

:47:05.:47:08.

the CDC and it is the utmost importance that the proportion of

:47:09.:47:12.

the ODA budget that is channelled through CDCB subject to the same

:47:13.:47:16.

checks on outcomes and value for money to which defeated holds

:47:17.:47:29.

itself. That should be an agreed framework that is reached with the

:47:30.:47:34.

independent commission for a impact and CDC and proper measurements of

:47:35.:47:38.

outcome on an annual basis will be a welcome addition to the bill. Madame

:47:39.:47:43.

Devitt is Speaker relating to new clause one new clause eight,

:47:44.:47:52.

separate financial centres where countries do not have robust... We

:47:53.:48:04.

on this side of the house know the importance of addressing and

:48:05.:48:07.

tackling CDC's use of tax havens. This Madame deputies Speaker cannot

:48:08.:48:15.

be understated. Whilst we may have heard assurances from the chief

:48:16.:48:29.

Executive CDC that using offshore investors, more is needed to ensure

:48:30.:48:36.

transparency on this point. We need clear legislative safeguards. That

:48:37.:48:39.

is why the front bench will take new clause one to the boat. New clause

:48:40.:48:48.

one with buyers -- requires a thorough analysis of CDC's use...

:48:49.:48:57.

I'd like to make some headway. Whether countries in question have

:48:58.:49:11.

robust -- don't have robust centres... Make way. Would she not

:49:12.:49:18.

agree with me that the changes made to CDC five years ago where CDC was

:49:19.:49:23.

encouraged to make direct investments in developing countries

:49:24.:49:27.

contrary to the preceding situation where it was making investments in

:49:28.:49:31.

funds which were situated offshore were in fact a major step forward in

:49:32.:49:36.

the regard that she is seeking? The honourable member makes a valid

:49:37.:49:40.

point and as I go on in my speech I will touch on that but I have two

:49:41.:49:45.

said that regardless of any development, we must always be

:49:46.:49:49.

robust and we must also be able to show taxpayers that we have a system

:49:50.:49:55.

in place which is transparent and accountable and that for me is that

:49:56.:50:00.

the forefront of this speech and of our objections to the bill itself. I

:50:01.:50:05.

would like to seek assurances from the Secretary of State that the

:50:06.:50:13.

Minister will... The minister, not the Secretary of State, will support

:50:14.:50:17.

such safeguards. It must be applauded that the whole ethos of

:50:18.:50:21.

CDC has been transformed since it was the subject of widespread

:50:22.:50:25.

controversy some years ago. It is a testament to the organisation's

:50:26.:50:31.

willingness to change that bad reaction and criticism to a more

:50:32.:50:37.

positive institution and an overhaul of the systems in place. These

:50:38.:50:43.

efforts were praised by the recent NA oh report which assessed CDC's

:50:44.:50:57.

progress. -- NAO. It was suckling to read that CDC has been successful in

:50:58.:51:04.

adapting its strategy in accordance with the NAO's recommendations,

:51:05.:51:09.

including frameworks to limit excessive pay. Rather than -- it was

:51:10.:51:24.

encouraging to learn that CDC has not only met but exceeded that

:51:25.:51:33.

targets agreed with DFID and has improved its procedures for the

:51:34.:51:35.

documented fraud and corruption. Whilst we on the front bench praise

:51:36.:51:41.

CDC from making the changes we must not forget the recent NAO report was

:51:42.:51:47.

by no means unequivocally positive and did in fact highlights

:51:48.:51:51.

significant areas for improvement. Allow me to directly quote from the

:51:52.:51:55.

report from a passage examining the efficiency of CDC's methods of

:51:56.:52:01.

capturing development impact. The report says it remains a significant

:52:02.:52:06.

challenge for CDC to demonstrate its Ottoman objective of creating jobs

:52:07.:52:10.

are making a lasting difference to people's lies in some of the world's

:52:11.:52:15.

poorest places. Given the plans to invest further in CDC a clearer

:52:16.:52:19.

picture of actual deployment impact will help to demonstrate the value

:52:20.:52:28.

for money for the Department's investment. That's quite some

:52:29.:52:33.

statement. It's a significant challenge the CDC to demonstrate how

:52:34.:52:36.

effectively it does the very thing it was setup to do. I'm happy to

:52:37.:52:43.

give way. The honourable lady refers to a quote which talks about the

:52:44.:52:49.

challenges of capturing impact. That is an ongoing challenge, but in

:52:50.:52:55.

terms of efficiency which is what she referred to. The NAO report also

:52:56.:53:04.

said that the CDC has through tight cost controls and closer alignment

:53:05.:53:10.

with the departments objectives and now has an efficient and effective

:53:11.:53:15.

operating model. Would she not agree that that is testament to the

:53:16.:53:19.

improvements made to CDC's work over the past few years? The comments

:53:20.:53:27.

honourable member has made, in my opening speech I did say that CDC

:53:28.:53:33.

has improved, but that same report has said it is still very hard to

:53:34.:53:40.

know how the impact on development has been demonstrated. That piece of

:53:41.:53:44.

work still needs to be done. It's not totally scathing, but we have to

:53:45.:53:54.

see whether or not things are transparent and if they were, those

:53:55.:53:58.

on this side of the house would not be saying what we are saying now.

:53:59.:54:11.

There has been an issue of sectors, including fossil fuel and health

:54:12.:54:17.

care which charge at the point of contact. The building of real

:54:18.:54:22.

estate, mineral extraction and work in the oil sector. If DFID's

:54:23.:54:30.

investment in CDC is to increase, the challenge must be urgently

:54:31.:54:38.

addressed and resolved. In spite of CDC's welcome improvements

:54:39.:54:40.

recommendation show we should not forget it remains a work in

:54:41.:54:45.

progress. This organisation to demonstrate transparently and

:54:46.:54:48.

robustly that it is achieving its objectives and with that in mind we

:54:49.:54:52.

cannot regard this bill as the end of the process there is no room for

:54:53.:55:00.

complacency within CDC or DFID over the need to further alter processes.

:55:01.:55:09.

Given the scale of the increase of the funding proposed by DFID and the

:55:10.:55:17.

resulting consequences that this will have for the UK development

:55:18.:55:22.

programme and for the developing countries it supports, it is right

:55:23.:55:26.

that this bill is robustly challenged and meticulously

:55:27.:55:28.

scrutinised where it is found lacking and stringent precautions

:55:29.:55:34.

appended to it when necessary. I speak to new clause ten which lays

:55:35.:55:37.

out that any proposed increase in the current limit will not only in

:55:38.:55:43.

any one calendar year constitute more than 5% of total official

:55:44.:55:47.

development assistance. Happy to give way. I'm grateful to the

:55:48.:55:55.

honourable lady for giving way. I just want to take her back to the

:55:56.:55:59.

point where I was trying to intervene where she was listing

:56:00.:56:05.

remuneration to clause seven and sectors which she feels should be

:56:06.:56:08.

excluded. Would she not agree in specifically mentioning education

:56:09.:56:14.

providers that trusty end-user as an exception. -- charge the end-user as

:56:15.:56:33.

an exception. For many children the only way of getting any education is

:56:34.:56:37.

provided by these means. The honourable member makes a valid

:56:38.:56:43.

points, but what I'm talking about his private education where somebody

:56:44.:56:48.

who has no money has to pay for education and I don't think in a

:56:49.:56:51.

developing country that should be what we are transported because we

:56:52.:56:55.

don't have that year. If someone was the pay to go to university, there

:56:56.:56:59.

are challenges around that. I'm talking about primary education

:57:00.:57:06.

ideally. I'll give way. The amendment is in my name and I will

:57:07.:57:11.

speak about it in due course, but would she agreed that there is an

:57:12.:57:15.

important choice here for DFID. Previously they invested in

:57:16.:57:18.

promoting free health care and education and making it available to

:57:19.:57:25.

all people and removing use the -- user fees. The honourable member

:57:26.:57:36.

makes a valid point. While some decide of the house I need to make

:57:37.:57:44.

some progress. We remain positive about the bill to achieve its aim to

:57:45.:57:51.

improve the quality of life of people in some of the least

:57:52.:57:55.

developed countries in the world, but safeguards need to be in place

:57:56.:57:58.

so this can be achieved and we need to retain the right to withdraw our

:57:59.:58:05.

support for the bill if the government has not made sufficient

:58:06.:58:14.

progress. Thank you. The question is that new clause one B read a second

:58:15.:58:28.

time. Flip Drummond. Order. It is the beginning of a long-term. It has

:58:29.:58:32.

been a long Christmas holiday, but may I remind people that if they

:58:33.:58:37.

want to speak it is really easy. You just have too. Flip Drummond. I was

:58:38.:58:43.

expecting the minister to respond to the original one. I didn't realise I

:58:44.:58:53.

was speaking next. There was a complete disconnect between this

:58:54.:58:56.

side of the house and the other side of the house which is unusual in the

:58:57.:59:02.

area of overseas development which is broadly consensual. There is a

:59:03.:59:06.

divide and we have seen it in the amendments tabled. New clause one

:59:07.:59:10.

and eight would restrict the ability of the Secretary of State to drive

:59:11.:59:14.

the CDC forward. This bill is that the first stage in a process which

:59:15.:59:20.

the house will have oversight of the rout of boosting an existing proven

:59:21.:59:25.

a delivery mechanism. This bill enables DFID to provide it with the

:59:26.:59:33.

necessary funding. It does not automatically give the CDC any money

:59:34.:59:38.

and only the first state of checks and balances before money will be

:59:39.:59:43.

provided. So the target of those new clauses which will restrict the

:59:44.:59:47.

CDC's ability to use external financial sectors is misplaced. We

:59:48.:00:00.

will help underdeveloped markets to develop, which is our aim. CDC has

:00:01.:00:06.

not invested in a particular way to dodge tax or get round regulatory

:00:07.:00:14.

framework. The financial and revelatory frameworks of developing

:00:15.:00:17.

countries will never develop if we treat them with suspicion and starve

:00:18.:00:21.

them of investment. The purpose of the CDC is that going to places

:00:22.:00:26.

where conventional investors fear to tread. We should not try to prevent

:00:27.:00:29.

that in legislation and I hope that there will be a time when the

:00:30.:00:37.

regulatory system will be robust and we won't have to go offshore. We are

:00:38.:00:38.

not at that point yet. Does she not accept there is a

:00:39.:00:51.

double point here? The Secretary of State issued a letter... Making it

:00:52.:00:59.

clear that they shouldn't be investing in tax havens yet appears

:01:00.:01:03.

unwilling to apply that same to CDC which is in receipt of taxpayer

:01:04.:01:07.

funding. Isn't there a double standard? Because we are investing

:01:08.:01:12.

in difficult areas where it may not be robust systems in place already

:01:13.:01:17.

plus the CDC has clear guidelines as to further money is going, we can

:01:18.:01:21.

track it more easily than you can track it another aid agency. With my

:01:22.:01:25.

honourable friend give way? Would she agree that the issue is not so

:01:26.:01:31.

much the offshore centres that are invested in by funds because you are

:01:32.:01:37.

getting funds from other D of jurisdictions but the tax paid for

:01:38.:01:41.

the activity which are undertaken in the country and in that respect, the

:01:42.:01:44.

investments that CDC makes our excellent and provide major tax

:01:45.:01:50.

revenues of billions of dollars a year for the country's Treasuries.

:01:51.:01:55.

Can I thank my honourable friend for a clear explanation of that which

:01:56.:01:58.

beats up what I said earlier. In the case of raising investment limits,

:01:59.:02:04.

we have a number of clauses before us which would hamper the CDC. We

:02:05.:02:08.

have already extensively debated the need to extend the limit and we had

:02:09.:02:12.

assurances from the Minister and from the CDC itself that the

:02:13.:02:15.

business case for further capital will be clearly made. We will have

:02:16.:02:21.

the stroll. The true document this year backed by a CDC analysis on

:02:22.:02:25.

development impact and we will have those before any additional money

:02:26.:02:30.

goes through CDC. The focus of spending I agree with the Minister

:02:31.:02:35.

that it must be delegated to CDC and DFID, specific investments made.

:02:36.:02:39.

That would give government oversight of it and ensure sustainable

:02:40.:02:43.

development goals are at the heart of it. Or countries and sectors

:02:44.:02:51.

limit... I believe it would hamper the CDC. Yes... Does she agree that

:02:52.:03:02.

supporting the CDC is absolutely vital if we are going to achieve the

:03:03.:03:07.

global goals with sustainable development by 2013. We need to

:03:08.:03:11.

mobilise the private sector to fill the annual financing gap of about 2

:03:12.:03:17.

1/2 trillion dollars every single year. My honourable friend makes an

:03:18.:03:23.

excellent point, 1 of the reasons why I'm so passionate about the CDC,

:03:24.:03:27.

we need to build the capacity of developing countries and I think in

:03:28.:03:32.

my 1st speech on this subject I said if you give a man a fish he deleted,

:03:33.:03:37.

but if you give him a fishing rod that is a friend for life and that's

:03:38.:03:41.

the philosophy behind the CDC. There are also circumstances where there

:03:42.:03:47.

are relatively development countries hosting much poor ones. Misplacing

:03:48.:03:53.

fears about offshore financial centres we shouldn't close any party

:03:54.:03:58.

investment and development, new clause 3, four, 6 and 9 fail in that

:03:59.:04:04.

respect. The amendments before us sure a fundamental weakness and a

:04:05.:04:06.

misunderstanding of the role of the CDC in the world. We put less of our

:04:07.:04:11.

development investment through the CDC that other countries do 3 Kudla

:04:12.:04:15.

bodies as my right honourable friend mentioned. We should be doing more

:04:16.:04:20.

through CDC if we want to develop mature and robust market economies

:04:21.:04:23.

in the developing world which is why I welcome this bill. Bar codes are

:04:24.:04:28.

transparent, flexible and they empower people that take part in

:04:29.:04:34.

them. The aim of our development policy should always encourage

:04:35.:04:37.

self-sufficiency and the development of market economies. As I said in my

:04:38.:04:42.

1st contribution, the CDC is transparent and the ordered report

:04:43.:04:45.

agreed and I championed the philosophy behind the CDC, enabling

:04:46.:04:49.

people to build their own businesses rather than handing out grants. This

:04:50.:04:53.

is an efficient, transparent model and I think we should give this bill

:04:54.:04:57.

wholehearted support and continue to be a major investor in improving the

:04:58.:05:01.

lives of fellow citizens in developing countries. Patrick radio.

:05:02.:05:09.

Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. I want to speak to the amendments in

:05:10.:05:12.

my name and offer support for the opposition party amendments. My

:05:13.:05:21.

amendments are 3 and a new clause 6. I think it's worth saying at the

:05:22.:05:26.

start that no 1 here is arguing that the CDC shouldn't exist. We

:05:27.:05:30.

recognise there is a role for development finance and private

:05:31.:05:35.

investment and as I noted in the secondary din, the Scottish

:05:36.:05:37.

Government has set up its own investment mechanism in Malawi. But

:05:38.:05:42.

even if we did want to change some of the deeper fundamentals, that's

:05:43.:05:47.

not the scope of the bill. The government probably deliberately has

:05:48.:05:50.

presented a very narrow bill with the aim of increasing the statutory

:05:51.:05:55.

limit of its investment and by definition, that's what the

:05:56.:05:58.

investments have to be focused on. I hope the government will see the

:05:59.:06:02.

amendments I put forward and I think the Labour ones, we've tried to

:06:03.:06:05.

respond to concerns expressed in committee about the amount once and

:06:06.:06:12.

it will at least attempt to take them on board. It's now up to the

:06:13.:06:16.

government to respond and indicate how it will take our concerns on

:06:17.:06:20.

board. We all want to work constructively with the government

:06:21.:06:24.

on this, we want to reckon dies and painting the consensus that exists

:06:25.:06:30.

on the importance of aid, the commitment to pursue a .7%.

:06:31.:06:37.

Amendment 3 in my name and 2 and for which are contingent on at get to

:06:38.:06:42.

the heart of the technical aspect of the bill and what the cap investment

:06:43.:06:47.

should be. The government has been repeatedly asked for the reasons

:06:48.:06:51.

behind the figures of 6 billion and 12,000,000,000 in the bill and it

:06:52.:06:55.

still afraid has come up short. The best we've heard is that this is

:06:56.:06:58.

roughly what think is needed or can be managed over the coming years and

:06:59.:07:02.

in the lifetime of this Parliament that could equate to a maximum

:07:03.:07:10.

?2,000,000,000 a year invested from the budget to the CDC and as he

:07:11.:07:14.

repeatedly said, every penny invested into CDC is a penny not

:07:15.:07:19.

investment into other mainstream grassroots, not-for-profit

:07:20.:07:25.

development projects. That is why in the 2nd reading I asked about the

:07:26.:07:30.

use of a formula to link the capital for all budgets and I proposed such

:07:31.:07:35.

a formula in committee. The Minister's 1st concern about the

:07:36.:07:38.

formula is that it would blur the line between stock and flow but the

:07:39.:07:43.

aid budget is a flow, going up and can theoretically go down as well.

:07:44.:07:47.

While I recognise the CDC investment is a stark and wants that is

:07:48.:07:52.

transferred, that's for its days, what the formula doors is ask the

:07:53.:07:56.

government each time that it wants to disburse funds to the CDC to

:07:57.:07:59.

calculate how those funds for the late to its overaged spending in the

:08:00.:08:07.

coming years. -- to its overall spending. Amendment 3 and the

:08:08.:08:17.

continuing amendments take a number of things into account. My

:08:18.:08:20.

calculations based on figures from the House of Commons Library, this

:08:21.:08:22.

formula would allow the government to invest an extra 3,000,000,000 or

:08:23.:08:28.

a total of 4 1/2 billion in the CDC by 2021. Even if the government

:08:29.:08:31.

won't accept this amendment and if we can't persuade enough of its

:08:32.:08:35.

backbenchers to join us in the lobby in support, I hope it will commit to

:08:36.:08:39.

recognising the 6,000,000,000 figure in the current legislation is a

:08:40.:08:45.

maximum and any additional investment will reflect the ebb and

:08:46.:08:49.

flow of water for all ODA calculations in any given spending

:08:50.:08:54.

round. A respective of the caps and limits, much concern has been

:08:55.:08:57.

expressed about the build process overall of how some aspects of CDC

:08:58.:09:01.

resources have been spent in the past and how they will continue to

:09:02.:09:04.

be spent in the future and that's what I seek to address with my new

:09:05.:09:09.

clause 6. I think this is particularly important in the

:09:10.:09:13.

context of increasing and potentially quadruplet resources

:09:14.:09:17.

overall available to the CDC. I welcome the range of amendments

:09:18.:09:20.

brought forward at committee and hear today attempting to place

:09:21.:09:23.

various conditions on the exercise of the power to increase the limit

:09:24.:09:27.

and as I said at the start, because of the scope of the build my

:09:28.:09:30.

amendments and those from honourable friends in the Labour Party have to

:09:31.:09:35.

relate to the limit of 6,000,000,000 to 12,000,000,000, try as we might

:09:36.:09:41.

under the terms, it's not been impossible for us to find a way to

:09:42.:09:46.

attach conditions. The government has indicated its timetable for

:09:47.:09:50.

using the statutory instrument powers would be suddenly in the

:09:51.:09:53.

distance so I think it's not unreasonable to suggest they should

:09:54.:09:56.

be some kind of conditionality and review process before those powers

:09:57.:10:02.

are used, particularly when we apparently bill has so much time to

:10:03.:10:06.

prepare. Plus 6 combines conditions that I called for at committee

:10:07.:10:10.

stage, before the government can increase the limit of its investment

:10:11.:10:14.

the Secretary of State is required to make an assessment have an

:10:15.:10:16.

increased limit will contribute to the reduction of poverty which is a

:10:17.:10:20.

statutory aim under the International development act 2002

:10:21.:10:24.

and how that increase would help to meet sustainable development goals.

:10:25.:10:28.

The government has repeatedly argued that the CDC is doing both of these

:10:29.:10:32.

things here effectively at which case this surely is hardly an owners

:10:33.:10:37.

request? But the close, putting this into legislation would have the

:10:38.:10:40.

effect of making it clearer this is the overall purpose of the CDC, the

:10:41.:10:45.

commercial aim, returns and investment, even raw figures about

:10:46.:10:50.

jobs created are not an end in themselves, they are only the means

:10:51.:10:53.

to the end of reducing poverty and building a more stable and secure

:10:54.:10:59.

world. Again, responsibility is the government, if that doesn't respect

:11:00.:11:02.

or amendments at least acknowledge the concerns we express and give

:11:03.:11:05.

commitments to show in any business case publishers for further

:11:06.:11:09.

investment how poverty reduction and global sustainable development goals

:11:10.:11:14.

will be advanced. I want to speak briefly in favour and indicate the

:11:15.:11:18.

SNP support for the range of amendments brought forward by the

:11:19.:11:21.

Shadow Liberty Mandy honourable member for Cardiff South and Penarth

:11:22.:11:24.

who sits on the international developer committee. I welcome the

:11:25.:11:28.

fact has been cross-party support for these amendments, and I suggest

:11:29.:11:33.

the government pays attention, that there remains consensus in this

:11:34.:11:36.

House and across the country in support of the principal of aid at

:11:37.:11:46.

0.7%. What many of the Labour amendments say, it's as King DFID

:11:47.:11:51.

told CDC to the same standards that it's now demanding of its external

:11:52.:11:56.

stakeholders. Its recent bilateral and multilateral development reviews

:11:57.:11:59.

were pretty much in a lateral declarations of everything that was

:12:00.:12:04.

terrible and wasteful on the part of so many of its stakeholders and

:12:05.:12:07.

demanding that the highest standards of efficiency impact and

:12:08.:12:12.

transparency be applied to them and it stands to reason the standard

:12:13.:12:15.

should be demanded from the CDC. A government that says it wants to

:12:16.:12:19.

crack and an tax dodging shouldn't be allowing an agency of which it is

:12:20.:12:23.

the sole stakeholder to be making use of offshore tax havens and the

:12:24.:12:27.

government that wants value for money should not be afraid to ask

:12:28.:12:30.

for reporting on exactly those areas. My colleagues and I will be

:12:31.:12:36.

happy to join the party and other party members, to meet them in the

:12:37.:12:43.

lobby in support of any amendments they wish to press. By the David is

:12:44.:12:48.

bigger asset of the 2nd reading I was disappointed the scope is

:12:49.:12:52.

narrow. The government had the opportunity to widen the scope,

:12:53.:12:54.

strengthen its transparency and accountability. It also had the

:12:55.:13:00.

opportunity with a substantial and in some cases creative amendments

:13:01.:13:04.

proposed by opposition members, if the Minister continues to indicate

:13:05.:13:09.

an unwillingness to accept amendments and it's disappointing we

:13:10.:13:12.

didn't bring forward any of their own to reflect concerns raised, but

:13:13.:13:16.

it must give the strongest possible commitment now in response to the

:13:17.:13:21.

concerns we have raised. And it must recognise as the Labour front bench

:13:22.:13:23.

spokesperson said this is the beginning and at the end of the

:13:24.:13:32.

process. Richard Fuller. Madam PPD speaker. I am taking your suggestion

:13:33.:13:36.

that we must stand up and we get the chance. I would like to start if I

:13:37.:13:41.

may, by thanking all of the members of staff at CDC for the work they do

:13:42.:13:48.

on behalf of British taxpayers and more reportedly on behalf of the

:13:49.:13:55.

people on whom they depend on to depend on CDC for the claimant in

:13:56.:13:58.

many of the most troubled and difficult countries in the world.

:13:59.:14:02.

CDC over the last few weeks has been subject to much ill founded and

:14:03.:14:05.

hostile criticism, it must make their job much harder and I think

:14:06.:14:10.

it's important to put on the record the support for the work they do in

:14:11.:14:15.

helping to achieve our country's development goals. I would also like

:14:16.:14:20.

to thank the front bench spokesman for the Labour Party. I think she

:14:21.:14:25.

did a very good job today in putting forward some points of scrutiny and

:14:26.:14:29.

if I could also say in holding back on perhaps some of the wilder

:14:30.:14:33.

suggestions that might happen foisted upon her to take up and

:14:34.:14:38.

batter on this bill. The fact that there has been historically and

:14:39.:14:42.

continues to be, given what the lady of the front bench said, a

:14:43.:14:46.

consensus, cross-party consensus about the valuable role of CDC in

:14:47.:14:50.

achieving the development goals, it's an important board, a

:14:51.:14:54.

long-standing institution. It's part of the British brand internationally

:14:55.:14:57.

but I think she's done a great service focusing on 1 amendment, but

:14:58.:15:02.

pushing back on other ideas that other members

:15:03.:15:10.

I'm sure he's aware last year the CDC upped its investment pace to

:15:11.:15:18.

$1.5 billion. The level projected for the next five years. Do you

:15:19.:15:22.

think this investment rate show as recaptainisation is not about some

:15:23.:15:27.

supposed new direction for CDC but it's about allowing the good work

:15:28.:15:30.

they've done under its management to continue? My honourable friend is

:15:31.:15:36.

right. We have to be clear what is proposed. It is not proposed to do

:15:37.:15:42.

more than is being done now. It is to enable CDC to continue to do what

:15:43.:15:47.

it is doing now. If we were to take suggestions proposed from the SNP

:15:48.:15:50.

and others, that might imply that amount of support should be reduced

:15:51.:15:55.

in the future. That would be to the detriment of not only those

:15:56.:15:56.

countries but to the British countries but to the British

:15:57.:16:05.

taxpayer as well. One does recognise ODA flows can go up and down. If for

:16:06.:16:12.

some reason GNI were to consider and the ODI budget were to contract it

:16:13.:16:17.

makes sense for the CDC to contract so more money was available for the

:16:18.:16:24.

traditional equals? That's his point of view. I'll come to the point

:16:25.:16:30.

about balance in a minute. I want to talk, the general view in these

:16:31.:16:35.

amendments is they are seeking to solve problems that don't exist but

:16:36.:16:39.

may exist. I don't think statute is the right way to approach those

:16:40.:16:44.

types of circumstances the. That is a matter of oversight and scrutiny

:16:45.:16:48.

by ministers on behalf of our taxpayers. It is not about putting

:16:49.:16:54.

things into bills. I oppose any amendment on that basis. There's

:16:55.:17:00.

some validity if there was a question about this aspect of FDI

:17:01.:17:04.

being unusually large. There might be something if there was a poor

:17:05.:17:09.

investment record. She were losing shed loads of taxpayers very

:17:10.:17:13.

investment or clearly ignoring development goals and being held to

:17:14.:17:17.

account for doing that. Or if there was a problem in the reporting

:17:18.:17:22.

oversight that was evidence and explained in various reports. Not

:17:23.:17:26.

one single one of those conditions pertains to the circumstances of

:17:27.:17:32.

CDC. Therefore, there is no prior reason for why these amendments

:17:33.:17:36.

should be put in place. As I was mentioned earlier on, if you look at

:17:37.:17:42.

the proportion of our development budget that goes to CDC, it is 4% of

:17:43.:17:48.

our development budget. If you take our development systems over five

:17:49.:17:52.

years, the usual investment period for a fund. That compares to France

:17:53.:18:01.

12% of their budget. Germany, 8% of their budget and FMO in Holland, 30%

:18:02.:18:05.

of their budget. So, we're not unusually large. We're actually

:18:06.:18:10.

unusually small. We should be looking to these sorts of

:18:11.:18:16.

initiatives for a measured and slow increase in our ability to invest so

:18:17.:18:20.

we can play a fuller role in that. I don't think that really holds. The

:18:21.:18:23.

poor investment record doesn't hold either. The truth of the matter is,

:18:24.:18:30.

I have the numbers here, the CDC's annual return, commercial returns we

:18:31.:18:34.

have to understand there is a commercial return was set a target

:18:35.:18:41.

of 3.5%. The CDC asheaved an 8.7% over the last five years. There

:18:42.:18:45.

isn't really grounds to say they are performing in terms of their core

:18:46.:18:51.

function of investing in line with a commercial basis with them being

:18:52.:18:54.

poor performers or dog something under doored. In terms of missing

:18:55.:18:59.

development goals. There is a little bit of a laundry list of sectors

:19:00.:19:05.

that the honourable member wishes to turn his knows up to in -- nose up

:19:06.:19:11.

to in terms of development goals. Not sure if this is a full list or

:19:12.:19:16.

things he doesn't like. There are good reasons to support parts of

:19:17.:19:20.

those things. Clearly, we'll hear from him in a minute, I'm sure he'll

:19:21.:19:24.

make an excellent case for that laundry list. In the meanwhile, I

:19:25.:19:29.

would say there isn't really any evidence, is there, for CDC missing

:19:30.:19:36.

its development goals? Even the NAO, in their report, mentioned the CDC

:19:37.:19:41.

has met Bolt targets for its financial -- both targets for its

:19:42.:19:49.

financial and in clause 12, it has exceeded the target for prospected

:19:50.:19:53.

developmental impact. No basis on those for the amendments either. Is

:19:54.:19:59.

there and are there concerns about reporting for CDC? There may be. I

:20:00.:20:03.

haven't heard it. I can't point to something that says there are

:20:04.:20:07.

concerns. But I don't think in either of second reading or in the

:20:08.:20:12.

evidence stages, the report stage or today we've heard concerns about the

:20:13.:20:16.

reporting. There may be additional pieces of information we wish to

:20:17.:20:20.

have. They are listed in the some of the amendments. There's no real

:20:21.:20:25.

concern that's been raised they have been available in the past and

:20:26.:20:29.

therefore we need to ensure they provide those. I think on the issues

:20:30.:20:37.

of, is there a problem at CDC? The amendments are needed to correct,

:20:38.:20:44.

there's very limited basis in my case, no justification for them

:20:45.:20:47.

whatsoever. I think we have to be clear about what the role of tax

:20:48.:20:52.

havens has been. The honourable lady in her speech was very fair in

:20:53.:20:57.

pointing out the CDC's Chief Executive had made it clear they do

:20:58.:21:02.

not use tax havens in its policies. She explained the Chief Executive of

:21:03.:21:07.

the CDC explained why and why those are used. I'm perfectly happy

:21:08.:21:16.

resting on the judgment of CDC, its governance structures and the

:21:17.:21:21.

oversight of the development department to make sure that

:21:22.:21:24.

continues. I don't see there is an evidence problem at the moment to

:21:25.:21:28.

see they've wandered off from what they said they would do. If there

:21:29.:21:32.

was a problem, I would say, OK, maybe the time is now for statute.

:21:33.:21:37.

The honourable lady hasn't presented a recent concern where that's

:21:38.:21:41.

happened. Therefore, I can't see the reason for supporting a new clause 1

:21:42.:21:46.

though I understand she wants to put it to a vote. We broadly accept, and

:21:47.:21:52.

having a discussion about this is valuable, there is a strong message

:21:53.:21:56.

from Parliament about the use of tax havens and what is appropriate and

:21:57.:21:59.

what is not. If that is her intention it is a perfectly

:22:00.:22:05.

reasonable point for her to make. CDC is a valuable institution. It

:22:06.:22:08.

holds support from both sides of the House. I look forward to having

:22:09.:22:13.

further discussion on the amendments and then supporting the bill at

:22:14.:22:21.

third reading. In July of last year as part of our ongoing inquiry, the

:22:22.:22:28.

international development committee visited the democratic rob lick of

:22:29.:22:35.

Congo. We saw a hydroelectric power plant which is part-funned by CDC.

:22:36.:22:44.

It is reinvesting parts of its earnings into preteching the

:22:45.:22:47.

environment. It is bringing electricity to a region in which

:22:48.:22:52.

only 15% of the population has previously had access to power and

:22:53.:22:55.

has the potential to generate millions of dollars every year and

:22:56.:22:57.

thousands of jobs for local communities. I cite this because I

:22:58.:23:03.

believe projects like this are impressive. They demonstrate the

:23:04.:23:07.

positive impact CDC is already having. We know as other colleagues

:23:08.:23:13.

on both sides of the House have says... I'm happy to give way. I

:23:14.:23:18.

also, as he knows, was on that visit. I think that's probably one

:23:19.:23:24.

of the most impressive projects I have ever seen providing light to so

:23:25.:23:30.

many people who desperately need it. Those are just the sorts of projects

:23:31.:23:35.

that we've talked about and said CDC should be investing more in. They

:23:36.:23:39.

are creating jobs but making life better for so many more people. I'm

:23:40.:23:46.

grateful to the honourable lady who is a very highly valued member of

:23:47.:23:49.

the international development committee. The purpose of my remarks

:23:50.:23:54.

during report stage is to reinforce the points she's just made. These

:23:55.:23:58.

are positive projects. We want to ensure that high level of the

:23:59.:24:02.

quality we saw in that particular example in Congo becomes the norm

:24:03.:24:07.

across all of CDC's investments, particularly as the limit is

:24:08.:24:11.

increased. I'll come on to that in a moment. We know the private sector

:24:12.:24:16.

provides nine out of every ten jobs in developing countries. Its

:24:17.:24:21.

development, its success is vital to helping countries achieve

:24:22.:24:23.

sustainable and long-term development. Therefore, I think it

:24:24.:24:29.

does make sense for the CDC's involvement threshold to be in

:24:30.:24:34.

ceased. Poverty reduction must be at the heart of the Government's

:24:35.:24:39.

development agenda. That must explicitly include in the work of

:24:40.:24:46.

the CDC. In 2011, the predecessor international development committee

:24:47.:24:49.

produced a report entitled the future of CDC as the group

:24:50.:24:55.

approached its then cap of ?1.5 million set out in the 1999 act. The

:24:56.:25:00.

report cln colluded the mandate of the CDC should be changed to a

:25:01.:25:05.

specific focus on poverty alleviation. Given job creation is

:25:06.:25:11.

one of the Very best ways to reduce poverty, it is important that the

:25:12.:25:14.

Government has a development investment arm that will help poorer

:25:15.:25:20.

countries create new and innovative jobs. As has been said on both sides

:25:21.:25:26.

of the House, the CDC made some significant changes following the

:25:27.:25:31.

2008 National Audit Office report and the 2011 international

:25:32.:25:35.

development committee report in line with recommendation to move towards

:25:36.:25:39.

a focus on the alleviation of poverty. As has been said, these

:25:40.:25:45.

changes were reviewed recently by a further National Audit Office report

:25:46.:25:48.

released just before second reading of this bill in November 2016. The

:25:49.:25:54.

report was mostly positive. It noted in particular that the 2012/16

:25:55.:26:01.

investment strategy shifted the investment focus of the CDC to

:26:02.:26:07.

poorest countries. That is welcomed. The it noted the CDC met targets to

:26:08.:26:12.

#2ki6ed and financial performance and im#35k9. It also said the CDC

:26:13.:26:16.

should be doing more to measure the development impact of its

:26:17.:26:20.

investments. This will not only provide a better basis for

:26:21.:26:25.

investment decisions. But will also increase the transparency of the

:26:26.:26:30.

CDC. Poverty alleviation is absolutely central if we're going to

:26:31.:26:35.

make a success of the global goals. The sustainable development goals

:26:36.:26:39.

agreed in 2015. Africa needs to generate 15 million new jobs every

:26:40.:26:44.

year if it's to achieve its global goals. That can only be achieved by

:26:45.:26:50.

working with the private sector, including with organisations like

:26:51.:26:54.

CDC. CDC has helped create nearly 25,000 jobs in Africa and South Asia

:26:55.:26:59.

directly. They say over a million indirectly. The businesses in their

:27:00.:27:03.

portfolio support around 18 million jobs. I'm-y to see the threshold

:27:04.:27:11.

being raised. However, I have a number of concerns that I want the

:27:12.:27:15.

minister to respond to when he speaks in report stage this

:27:16.:27:22.

afternoon. Thanks for giving way. He will know I very much respect hads

:27:23.:27:25.

passion in this area, more particularly the very balanced way

:27:26.:27:29.

in which he's dealt with the issues around CDC. Does he share some of my

:27:30.:27:36.

concerns however, we are risking have a more press scriptive approach

:27:37.:27:41.

towards this part private sector organisation than we are to a range

:27:42.:27:47.

of NGOs who are beneficiaries of large scale problems in relation to

:27:48.:27:53.

Dyfed? That might actually also be somewhat disstoring? He makes valid

:27:54.:27:58.

points about the concerns, equally, if we're going to hamstring CDC in

:27:59.:28:03.

the way one or two of these amendments would have us do, that

:28:04.:28:09.

would be an undesirable outcome for DFID of? I'm not arguing for

:28:10.:28:18.

prescriptions to the applied to CDC that I wouldn't to other

:28:19.:28:24.

organisations in DFID. The Secretary of State, shortly before Christmas,

:28:25.:28:27.

set out a number of conditions for suppliers to the department and I

:28:28.:28:31.

think he makes a very valid point that should apply to CDC in the same

:28:32.:28:34.

way that it applies to other suppliers. I'm emphasising my

:28:35.:28:40.

support for the amendment which says poverty reduction should be at the

:28:41.:28:45.

heart of the work of CDC. All of us would agree poverty reduction should

:28:46.:28:49.

be at the heart of the entire development and aid strategy of DFID

:28:50.:28:53.

and other parts of Government. I can plead not guilty to the charge he's

:28:54.:28:58.

putting to me. I'm not proposing in any sense to hamstring CDC. I'm

:28:59.:29:03.

certainly not proposing or the side of the House seek to propose

:29:04.:29:11.

any restriction on CDC that would be out of step to other Cree

:29:12.:29:15.

restrictions to other bodies funded through overseas development

:29:16.:29:16.

assistance. With my honourable friend agree it

:29:17.:29:28.

is about bringing CDC more in line with other countries and the

:29:29.:29:34.

restrictions it places on users? Yes, I agree with that and that's

:29:35.:29:36.

why I think it is very important... why I think it is very important...

:29:37.:29:41.

I have read what the Minister is written during committee stage, but

:29:42.:29:44.

I look forward to hearing him again today. The sense that what is a very

:29:45.:29:49.

substantial increase in the potential money that could be going

:29:50.:29:51.

through CDC that we make sure this through CDC that we make sure this

:29:52.:29:56.

money really is geared to poverty reduction wherever it is invested,

:29:57.:30:01.

and part of that, as my honourable friend rightly points out, is which

:30:02.:30:06.

parts of the world, which countries will be invested in because

:30:07.:30:09.

investment in some countries can deliver a lot more both in terms of

:30:10.:30:14.

jobs and poverty reduction than investment in others. I'm happy with

:30:15.:30:22.

there being an increase in investment threshold but we have to

:30:23.:30:25.

make sure the money is spent wisely. The current investment plan has now

:30:26.:30:31.

expired and we are yet to see the next investment plan for 2017 -

:30:32.:30:39.

2021. It would have been beneficial for this bill, the Government and

:30:40.:30:45.

CDC itself if we have seen the plans for the next four years of

:30:46.:30:49.

investment before parliament was asked to raise the investment

:30:50.:30:54.

threshold. The amendment from the shadow Secretary of State would

:30:55.:30:57.

ensure that if the Government brings forward regulations to further

:30:58.:31:00.

increase the limit, this would have to be preceded by a detailed plan of

:31:01.:31:06.

investment from CDC which could be scrutinised by Parliament and I

:31:07.:31:12.

welcome and support that amendment. Successive governments can be very

:31:13.:31:16.

proud of the role the Department for International of all and has played

:31:17.:31:19.

in improving the lives and economies of some of the world's poorest

:31:20.:31:25.

countries but in light of the public debate around International of other

:31:26.:31:28.

and spending, not only is what my honourable friend said correct in

:31:29.:31:35.

principle, does he agree with me this is essential for maintaining

:31:36.:31:39.

and building on public confidence in international development spending.

:31:40.:31:45.

I absolutely agree with what my honourable friend said and it chimes

:31:46.:31:48.

with what I will conclude with, which is to talk about the

:31:49.:31:52.

importance of scrutiny, including scrutiny by this House both of CDC

:31:53.:32:03.

and the Government. Whilst I have a lot of sympathy for what he says, it

:32:04.:32:07.

would be useful in the context of this debate to have an idea of the

:32:08.:32:11.

sort of programmes that the CDC might have in mind for the future, I

:32:12.:32:16.

hope that whilst this bill goes through the passage in another place

:32:17.:32:19.

well there might be an opportunity for us to do that at some point.

:32:20.:32:25.

However, would he also perhaps recognise that given the nature of

:32:26.:32:31.

CDC's expertise and experience that it might well have to an extent

:32:32.:32:40.

slightly different goals to other non-governmental organisations who

:32:41.:32:44.

receive Dyfed money. In other words this absolute predominance for the

:32:45.:32:48.

alleviation of poverty could in some cases perhaps not entirely apply to

:32:49.:32:54.

everything they CDC does, given its expertise and experience. I think

:32:55.:33:02.

the focus, the priority I guess, needs to be on poverty alleviation

:33:03.:33:06.

and I gave the example when I started, and the honourable member

:33:07.:33:15.

for Derbyshire reinforced my point, about a project that delivered

:33:16.:33:19.

things beyond poverty reduction but at the heart of that investment and

:33:20.:33:22.

the impact of that investment is the reduction in poverty and I think

:33:23.:33:29.

that always to be kept in mind is a very useful lodestar for Dyfed when

:33:30.:33:34.

it is approaching the work of CDC. I would need persuading other cases.

:33:35.:33:52.

The recent N a L report, as was said rightly by the Member for Bedford,

:33:53.:33:57.

revealed that the development impact score is on average being met but

:33:58.:34:02.

that is only on average. CDC is making some investments that do fall

:34:03.:34:08.

below target. 23% of investments since 2013 have fallen below the

:34:09.:34:13.

target score based on their investment difficulty and propensity

:34:14.:34:18.

to generate employment. Even that the objectives stated in CDC's

:34:19.:34:23.

current investment policy is to focus its investments into the

:34:24.:34:26.

geographies and sectors where there is the most potential for

:34:27.:34:31.

development impact, it is not clear as to why CDC is investing in

:34:32.:34:34.

projects that achieve lower scores so I would say to the Minister,

:34:35.:34:39.

along with the more robust approach to developing impact is highlighted

:34:40.:34:44.

by the NAL, I would like to see some sort of minimum threshold for impact

:34:45.:34:49.

implemented in the new investment strategy. As with all Dyfed

:34:50.:34:56.

spending, the International Development Secretary will

:34:57.:35:00.

scrutinise very closely CDC's work in the months and years ahead. It is

:35:01.:35:04.

vital that we make sure the British taxpayer gets value for money for

:35:05.:35:09.

every pound that is spent on international development. As has

:35:10.:35:14.

been said on all sides of the House, CDC has become more transparent

:35:15.:35:17.

following the reports of the committee in 2011 and the NAO in

:35:18.:35:24.

2008 but more can still be done to make sure money is being spent as

:35:25.:35:27.

well as possible. One way in which that could be achieved, and I would

:35:28.:35:32.

ask the Minister to explore this, is to allow the Independent commission

:35:33.:35:36.

for aid impact to play a bigger role, for example carrying out a

:35:37.:35:41.

regular assessment of CDC investments, allowing scrutiny so we

:35:42.:35:44.

can really ensure full effectiveness and value for money for the

:35:45.:35:50.

programmes in which CDC invests. I think we can say CDC has been a

:35:51.:35:57.

world leader among the relevant finance institutions in publishing

:35:58.:36:00.

details of their investments since 2012 under the International aid

:36:01.:36:03.

transparency initiative and that is very welcome but I would suggest it

:36:04.:36:08.

would improve transparency further if they published similar details on

:36:09.:36:13.

their entire active investment portfolio, including those made

:36:14.:36:20.

prior to 2012. I think this would enable greater scrutiny of CDC's

:36:21.:36:26.

entire portfolio and hopefully provide assurance to the public that

:36:27.:36:30.

all CDC investments are being focused where they need to be on the

:36:31.:36:35.

goal of poverty reduction. In conclusion, I do believe that CDC

:36:36.:36:41.

has helped the United Kingdom to be a leader in global development, but

:36:42.:36:45.

as with any area of government spending, we need to make sure that

:36:46.:36:49.

every penny is going to the places where it can have the greatest

:36:50.:36:52.

effect, the right places and the right people delivering value for

:36:53.:36:57.

money for the taxpayer. One of the ways in which we can achieve this is

:36:58.:37:02.

by regular scrutiny of the CDC, including by Parliament, and I give

:37:03.:37:06.

a commitment that the international of and select committee will play a

:37:07.:37:10.

role in making sure we hold to account both the departments and CDC

:37:11.:37:16.

as the additional money is allocated, but most importantly, as

:37:17.:37:20.

with all areas of development spending, we need to make sure the

:37:21.:37:24.

ultimate goal is poverty alleviation and eradication and we never lose

:37:25.:37:32.

focus on that. I am grateful for your generosity to allow me to

:37:33.:37:36.

contribute for a short time in this debate this afternoon. The CDC has a

:37:37.:37:44.

really discreet role in our portfolio. There are few

:37:45.:37:47.

organisations with the skills and abilities to manage such risks in

:37:48.:37:52.

the most difficult markets. It has a situation where often, in many

:37:53.:37:59.

examples, it will actually bring an economically frontier country the

:38:00.:38:08.

opportunity to risk profile that more established, traditional

:38:09.:38:10.

investment vehicles can get involved in and that's to be welcomed.

:38:11.:38:18.

Supporting more than 1200 and 70 developing countries, creating jobs.

:38:19.:38:22.

When I was serving on the bill committee, we discussed a number of

:38:23.:38:28.

things. One of them being about the fact they weren't necessarily direct

:38:29.:38:33.

investments. I know some of the amendments being debated today are

:38:34.:38:36.

talking about whether that is diverting resources away from the

:38:37.:38:42.

least developed countries. What I would say however is that sometimes

:38:43.:38:47.

it is necessary to invest in opportunities in other countries. As

:38:48.:38:52.

long as the outcomes are those that are going to the most needy, the

:38:53.:38:56.

least developed countries. That is of the day is what we are trying to

:38:57.:39:01.

do with our International Development Secretary. It is

:39:02.:39:09.

important to concentrate on our core goals. I know the Minister in

:39:10.:39:14.

committee was very specific when he was saying he didn't believe we

:39:15.:39:17.

needed legislation because those already legislation in the

:39:18.:39:28.

international assistant development act, and the need to focus on

:39:29.:39:36.

poverty reduction and SDGs as well. Also Dyfed's processes have that

:39:37.:39:41.

enshrined in as well so I don't believe we need more primary

:39:42.:39:45.

legislation repeat that, effectively. In terms of the limits

:39:46.:39:49.

that were discussed in some of the amendments, we have to remember that

:39:50.:39:55.

this is effectively an enabling legislation, not an immediate call

:39:56.:40:05.

to spend, not saying here is ?6 billion tomorrow and we will raise

:40:06.:40:09.

it further the day after. This is simply enabling to bring CDC up to

:40:10.:40:17.

similar situation of other organisations that have similar

:40:18.:40:22.

requests of departments. And I would hope, and again I know the Minister

:40:23.:40:27.

spoke at committee to save the fact that any request for money, and the

:40:28.:40:31.

actual request for money would have to be subject to Dyfed's strategy,

:40:32.:40:37.

have a robust business plan and be considered fully before any money

:40:38.:40:43.

was handed over. That can easily be done at a departmental level and I

:40:44.:40:47.

totally agree with my colleague, the chairman of the International do and

:40:48.:40:51.

committee. As a new member, I will look forward myself to scrutinise

:40:52.:40:56.

the work of CDC and what it is doing there. I know the CDC has changed. I

:40:57.:41:05.

agree with my honourable friend, the Member for Bedford, when he spoke

:41:06.:41:09.

about some of the amendments looking at future problems that may not

:41:10.:41:12.

occur but also its rehearsing some old problems that occurred before

:41:13.:41:18.

2010 when the then Secretary of State reorganised CDC and I don't

:41:19.:41:23.

want to have amendments on primary legislation that is looking at

:41:24.:41:31.

things that may or may not happen or happened in the past and have been

:41:32.:41:35.

largely sorted out. That's why the move from the CDC had before 2010,

:41:36.:41:42.

and a lot of examples when it was looking at high impact programmes to

:41:43.:41:50.

a far more proactive viewpoint to make sure we do take into account

:41:51.:41:59.

the SDGs and poverty reduction. I will be scrutinising that with my

:42:00.:42:03.

colleague and I just do not believe I will be supporting amendments for

:42:04.:42:08.

those reasons. They can best be done at Department level, committee

:42:09.:42:15.

level, and so I look forward to this bill becoming an act. I beg to move

:42:16.:42:31.

amendments in my name and the name of my honourable friend. It is

:42:32.:42:34.

fantastic today we have a great degree of consensus around the room

:42:35.:42:40.

on the issue of the 0.7% target and the role Britain plays in the

:42:41.:42:43.

International of them and, perhaps in contrast to some of the debate

:42:44.:42:47.

that has gone on in the media in recent weeks. And also it may

:42:48.:42:52.

surprise some of the honourable members put there is actually an

:42:53.:42:57.

agreement on a role for CDC. I believe CDC has a role to play. I

:42:58.:43:01.

made it clear in the committee stage and I'm sure the Minister will

:43:02.:43:07.

acknowledge that. It plays a vital part in the wider portfolio of

:43:08.:43:10.

international development efforts this country makes, and indeed the

:43:11.:43:16.

spending of our official development assistance. Can I thank my fellow

:43:17.:43:21.

co-operative party MPs on the front bench as well as members from a wide

:43:22.:43:25.

range of other parties across the House for adding their names to many

:43:26.:43:29.

of the amendments I've tabled for today's report stage which show the

:43:30.:43:34.

level of reasonable concerns about the many unanswered questions about

:43:35.:43:39.

the priorities and operations of the Commonwealth development Corporation

:43:40.:43:41.

that I believe need to be addressed before we countenance such a large

:43:42.:43:46.

increase in the official development assistance resources that it

:43:47.:43:52.

receives from DFID. This isn't about suggesting CDC shouldn't get more

:43:53.:43:56.

resources. Clearly it has reached the cap that was set in 1999, it

:43:57.:44:01.

needs to have some had room to expand its activities but it's worth

:44:02.:44:05.

recognising it has coped well with recycling resources within itself,

:44:06.:44:08.

partly because of some of the successes it has enjoyed.

:44:09.:44:13.

This is about choices. Choices where we spend those precious, relatively

:44:14.:44:19.

small amounts of development assistance. We have a wide range of

:44:20.:44:22.

routes where we can spend that money. Bilaterally, multilateral

:44:23.:44:29.

agencies, through NGOs, in some cases in joint work with other do

:44:30.:44:32.

have departments and through vehicles like the CDC. The question

:44:33.:44:37.

fundamentally for me, is about the balance between those things and the

:44:38.:44:41.

coherence between them. Are we ensuring we're coherent in the

:44:42.:44:45.

countries we're operating in, the ways and sectors. And u

:44:46.:44:50.

financedmently, in that focus on poverty eradication for those people

:44:51.:44:54.

who most need it. Clearly, madam departmenty speaker, we will not be

:44:55.:44:58.

able to address all concerns in today's report stage. I don't want

:44:59.:45:05.

to reiterate too much the arguments mate in the second reading. Some of

:45:06.:45:09.

these are clearly probing amendments to try to get some clearer answers

:45:10.:45:12.

from the minister when he stands up as to the plans. He said some

:45:13.:45:17.

helpful things during the committee stage and I hope he can elaborate on

:45:18.:45:22.

those further. I want to focus my comments on firstly the volume of

:45:23.:45:26.

the new investment being proposed by the Government for CDC. Secondly,

:45:27.:45:31.

the continued use of tax havens by CDC, the third, the continued

:45:32.:45:36.

investment by CDC in sectors which do not appear to be coherent with

:45:37.:45:41.

the wider development spending and appear often counter to it. It is

:45:42.:45:44.

right we should question these things. The CDC only needed ?1.5

:45:45.:45:52.

billion of capital investment from the UK Government between 1999 and

:45:53.:45:56.

2016. There in lies my fundamental concern. How can we up to ?6 million

:45:57.:46:05.

and then ?12 million? The minister made helpful comments saying this

:46:06.:46:08.

wouldn't happen in one year, it would be spread out over a longer

:46:09.:46:13.

period. In the explanatory notes to the bill it makes clear this is

:46:14.:46:19.

about accelerating spending in this spending round in forecast market

:46:20.:46:24.

demands. I agree with the chair of the select committee t would have

:46:25.:46:29.

been a lot better had we had a much clearer plan, not a detailed

:46:30.:46:33.

business plan, but some assessment of the investigators very could be

:46:34.:46:37.

investing in before we got to the stage of agreeing this new headroom

:46:38.:46:43.

for CDC. I think another fundamental point is that the Government and CDC

:46:44.:46:48.

admitted in the evidence we had at the committee stage it was the

:46:49.:46:51.

Government who came up with the figure, it was not a request from

:46:52.:46:58.

CDC. This strikes me as somewhat odd if there is this forecast demand and

:46:59.:47:04.

if CDC is in need of such an injection of resources, ten fold in

:47:05.:47:09.

comparison to what it's had over the last 16 years, was this plucked out

:47:10.:47:14.

of the air as a figure? It would have been much more helpful to set

:47:15.:47:21.

out why that amount reaching ?12 billion with secondly legislation.

:47:22.:47:25.

There's some very important amendments we have down in this

:47:26.:47:30.

regard today to the report stage. Firstly, new clause 2 which rightly

:47:31.:47:35.

calls for a business case. I hope when the minister gets up, can

:47:36.:47:38.

explain further how this process around a business case will work.

:47:39.:47:42.

What scrutiny there will be for parboil to understand what is being

:47:43.:47:47.

proposed before resources are drawn down by CDC, what opportunities

:47:48.:47:51.

there are for scrutiny, to ask the important questions we've all raised

:47:52.:47:58.

and, crucially, can CDC absorb this funding? If we were prop Pos this

:47:59.:48:06.

for an NGO or other multilateral institution, there would be howls,

:48:07.:48:09.

how can they have the staffing, planning processes in place to cope

:48:10.:48:14.

with this uplift? It doesn't malter who it is, but if you massively

:48:15.:48:19.

increase the resources its receiving without that degree of planning and

:48:20.:48:24.

staffing needed to ensure it's done effectively and transparently and

:48:25.:48:27.

uses that money in a good way, that you can see resources being skewed

:48:28.:48:30.

and perhaps not being used in the most effective way. I will happy

:48:31.:48:35.

give way. Just for the point of clarity, is it not true or the case

:48:36.:48:40.

that actually the level of investment right now is consistent

:48:41.:48:46.

with this increase? So, actually, CDC's current level of activity to

:48:47.:48:51.

be maintained requires this level of increase. So the concerns about it

:48:52.:48:55.

growing to rapidly perhaps can be overstated? I don't believe that

:48:56.:48:59.

case has been made. We haven't had it made at any point, the

:49:00.:49:05.

justification for the figures. To maintain CDC at its current level of

:49:06.:49:11.

activity, it's managed well with ?1.9 billion. If it was going up by

:49:12.:49:18.

1.52 billion I could understand. ?6 billion and ?12 billion seems out of

:49:19.:49:22.

that space. I'm grateful to the honourable gentleman. I think, from

:49:23.:49:27.

my understanding of the bill and reading through the evidence given

:49:28.:49:32.

at the committee stage, forgive me for reading this out, no money will

:49:33.:49:37.

go to CDC until a full business case is written in huge detail which will

:49:38.:49:41.

be prepared in the summer of 2017. To perhaps give the impression that

:49:42.:49:44.

we're going to straightaway give this huge chunk of money to CDC is

:49:45.:49:49.

perhaps creating an unfair impression. The honourable lady

:49:50.:49:53.

didn't listen clearly to what I was saying. I didn't say that. I said

:49:54.:49:56.

the minister said clearly it wouldn't be spent in one year. That

:49:57.:50:00.

was the fear initially when this was proposed. What we're asking for this

:50:01.:50:04.

this amendment is for that clear business case. I hope the minister,

:50:05.:50:08.

he was nodding his head earlier on, how that process will occur and

:50:09.:50:12.

scrutiny. It is only right that does occur. There was very limited

:50:13.:50:16.

scrutiny of the last amount, quite a significant amount. I'm grateful to

:50:17.:50:21.

my honourable friend. What he's describing in civil service language

:50:22.:50:26.

is the ghastly phrase abso tiff capacity. He will know unfortunately

:50:27.:50:31.

the Department for International Development has allocated some

:50:32.:50:35.

funding into various World Bank trust funds which have not been

:50:36.:50:41.

fully spent within the timescale originally envisaged suggesting the

:50:42.:50:45.

department is struggling to find suitable sources to absorb the money

:50:46.:50:49.

it wants to. Therefore, he is right, in my view, to worry allowed this is

:50:50.:50:56.

a huge increase of money without any pro-en capacity to send the upon

:50:57.:51:04.

money. Indeed. He makes a very important point. I've spoken to

:51:05.:51:10.

other experts in the sector who suggest that to absorb that amount,

:51:11.:51:16.

each a doubling would be is a strug. But the struggle. But the levels we

:51:17.:51:20.

are seeing. That's why it needs to be clear what is the level of this

:51:21.:51:25.

spending. What is the number of years over which this increase would

:51:26.:51:28.

be spent before requiring another act to increase it further? I will

:51:29.:51:33.

give way in a moment. I think also, we've put down some crucial

:51:34.:51:38.

amendments from the Scottish National Party, clauses 3, 4 and 6

:51:39.:51:45.

and my own, clause 9, but importance of focusing on the poorest, least

:51:46.:51:48.

development countries, low income countries. Ensuring we're coherent

:51:49.:51:54.

with the sustainable dome goals, goals by the UN and poverty

:51:55.:51:58.

eradication and not other priorities. Thank you very much. I

:51:59.:52:03.

think my honourable friend is making excellent case. Is it not the case

:52:04.:52:10.

that divvied has led the world on the importance DFID on transparency

:52:11.:52:14.

and poverty why I reduction. The problem at the very heart of these

:52:15.:52:19.

proposals is there is absolutely very little prospect of transparency

:52:20.:52:24.

in terms of the way these resources are spent and equally, very little

:52:25.:52:27.

ability for the Government to guarantee that the resources will be

:52:28.:52:33.

deployed and focussed on poverty why I reduction? Isn't that a matter of

:52:34.:52:38.

major concern? It is. It gets to the point. There is a lot of information

:52:39.:52:44.

provided by CDC online. It is important to acknowledge that. You

:52:45.:52:48.

can see projects and individual spending. When it gets to the will

:52:49.:52:54.

have, being able to pro-prospective development impact, to show where

:52:55.:52:59.

that's going, the the the NAO looked at the issue of funding going into

:53:00.:53:03.

the Health Secretarier in India. Being clear where that was being

:53:04.:53:05.

spent in a particular hospital group. Was it going to the poorest

:53:06.:53:12.

or middle-income patients. The NEO told us it was going to middling

:53:13.:53:16.

income patients. That doesn't strike me as a correct use of CDC's money.

:53:17.:53:23.

Not to say it is not good. Enabling access to hospitals for people in

:53:24.:53:29.

general is a thing. But sharply we should be footballing using on the

:53:30.:53:33.

poorest. When you get into the depths of the figures, the overall

:53:34.:53:38.

proportion of spending going to the least developed countries rather

:53:39.:53:42.

than middle-income countries, whilst the proportion has gone up it is

:53:43.:53:47.

#1iing9ly less than going to the middle-income countries. When we

:53:48.:53:50.

look into individual countries, if we look at the example of India, and

:53:51.:53:56.

we look at which states the money is being invested in in India, the

:53:57.:54:01.

majority of the money is being spent in what are determined to be the

:54:02.:54:07.

richest states in India. The highest proportion of spend something in

:54:08.:54:11.

Mumbai. I'm not saying the individual investments being made

:54:12.:54:14.

there are not good or effective or doing useful things. The question is

:54:15.:54:20.

the priorities. It was helpful to hear the minister speak in the

:54:21.:54:23.

committee stage about a cap or restriction on #23u7beding going

:54:24.:54:29.

into India and South Asia versus Africa. Paul said he shared that

:54:30.:54:37.

concern. Is CDC spoke using resources enough on the poorest

:54:38.:54:43.

countries -- focusing resources. I think the wider issue about the

:54:44.:54:48.

proportion versus other spending routes that has been raised by both

:54:49.:54:56.

the SNP amendment number 3, our new clause 10, is crucial. Not saying

:54:57.:55:02.

CDC shouldn't get more money or expand operations but it is about

:55:03.:55:06.

having it in proportion to other forms of official assistance. It is

:55:07.:55:11.

important we put safeguards in, in this respect. By 2019, 26% of UK

:55:12.:55:16.

official development systems will be spent by other Government

:55:17.:55:19.

departments. We see money going into the prosperity funds and other funds

:55:20.:55:23.

across Government with far less scrutiny and far less oversight than

:55:24.:55:28.

is going on in the Department for International Development. It

:55:29.:55:31.

worries me and others. It is about having a fair balance and ensuring

:55:32.:55:37.

CDC has that role to play but in proportion to other ways we can

:55:38.:55:41.

spend that money and ensuring we're pulling all the levers of the

:55:42.:55:46.

development. In that respect, I would be very inclined to support

:55:47.:55:50.

amendment 3 were that pushed to a vote at a later stage. I want to

:55:51.:55:54.

turn briefly to the issue of tax havens. I don't want to go over this

:55:55.:56:00.

at great length. We discuss it had a lot in the committee and today. It

:56:01.:56:05.

seems surprising to me, in reference to new clause 1 and 8, that CDC

:56:06.:56:12.

continues to use tax havens. There's a fair point being made about the

:56:13.:56:16.

importance of stable financial arrangements for investments and

:56:17.:56:19.

clearly, in some countries, it is not possible to be setting things up

:56:20.:56:23.

within the legal structures of those countries to ensure the ride

:56:24.:56:27.

fiduciary controls are in place. However, what I can't understand is

:56:28.:56:31.

why we're simply not setting up these vehicles in England or Wales?

:56:32.:56:37.

Why are so many in the came enisland our Mauritius. I asked parliamentary

:56:38.:56:42.

questions about this, we are paying fees, management fees to financial

:56:43.:56:46.

services organisations in Kay men and elsewhere which are supporting

:56:47.:56:52.

the far less transparent activities or others. We might, indirectly,

:56:53.:56:59.

whether or not anything untoward, we might be indirectly be supporting

:57:00.:57:05.

the tax evasion industry which exists in overseas territories and

:57:06.:57:08.

other places. Is my honourable friend aware of comments that the

:57:09.:57:12.

Secretary of State made about tax evasion and the use and trying to

:57:13.:57:17.

limit the use of tax havens when she was a Treasury minister? Why does

:57:18.:57:21.

the Treasury seem to be concerned about this issuend a the Department

:57:22.:57:25.

for International Development suddenly not concerned about this

:57:26.:57:29.

issue? One would have thought it would be joined up on such a crucial

:57:30.:57:34.

issue as this. It seems a great surprise to me. I mentioned the

:57:35.:57:39.

letter earlier on. The letter the Secretary of State sent. Clearly

:57:40.:57:45.

making a point about not using tax avoidance measures, not using tax

:57:46.:57:49.

havens. There was a whole series of criteria. Most reasonable and things

:57:50.:57:54.

we should expect from organisations in receipt of our aid spending. Why

:57:55.:58:00.

are they not being applied to the CDC The sectsry of state implied

:58:01.:58:03.

they would be. One rule for one and another rule for others. The fact is

:58:04.:58:11.

whether you look at the research, 118 out of 157 fund investments made

:58:12.:58:16.

by CDC went through jurisdictions that go through systems of the tax

:58:17.:58:22.

haven industries. That is not coherent with other statements from

:58:23.:58:27.

the Government. About cracking down on tax avoidance and tax evasion.

:58:28.:58:32.

Lastly, I want to return to this issue of coherence. Particularly I

:58:33.:58:36.

would urge colleagues to support new clause 7. The honourable gentleman

:58:37.:58:43.

opposite referred to is as a laundry list or a suggestion I was creating

:58:44.:58:49.

hypothetical straw men out there, that is not the case. I am talking

:58:50.:58:54.

about things happening now. It is a fact as data revealed to me since

:58:55.:58:58.

the committee stage in parliamentary questions shows in 2015 alone, CDC

:58:59.:59:09.

invested 156.9 million it private fee education and ?169 million in

:59:10.:59:13.

pre-sat health care. The reality, I'm sure honourable health members

:59:14.:59:19.

will allude to this, there are private, voluntary providers, faith

:59:20.:59:21.

providers providing health and education in developing countries.

:59:22.:59:27.

This that is a fact. It is how our health education systems started

:59:28.:59:30.

out. Where is the priority for our spending of money? Is it in further

:59:31.:59:40.

supporting and expanding those fee paying health and educational

:59:41.:59:43.

providers or providing prepublic health care education. Supporting

:59:44.:59:49.

teacher and nurses salaries, health and education. Removing user fees.

:59:50.:59:54.

As this country has done in the past, removing user fees to ensure

:59:55.:59:58.

access for the poorest people. It is a reality even very small user fees

:59:59.:00:04.

can be a huge disincentive, particularly to those on lowest

:00:05.:00:09.

incomes. Whether you look at the rainbow's Hospital Trusts in India

:00:10.:00:13.

or gems Africa which seem to be funding private schools who charge

:00:14.:00:18.

up to ?10,000 a year in Kenya, it seems to be an incoherence here

:00:19.:00:23.

between what we say we're doing, our priorities in health and education

:00:24.:00:28.

and what CDC is doing. The other examples are based on current

:00:29.:00:35.

examples. Palm oil, we've heard about scandals related to that, a

:00:36.:00:41.

highly unsustainable product. Concerns about human rights. Whether

:00:42.:00:46.

or not there have been improvements to that project it seems inCronk

:00:47.:00:51.

reious to provide taxpayers' money which are not in line with other

:00:52.:00:54.

objectives. It is important for the CDC to

:00:55.:01:05.

invest in infrastructure. We have the example earlier on about

:01:06.:01:11.

excellent investment in infrastructure in Africa but it

:01:12.:01:15.

seems odd to me that we would be continuing to invest in fossil fuel

:01:16.:01:18.

led programme when we have our climate change objectives. We should

:01:19.:01:26.

be setting some bigger standards here and prioritising and shifting

:01:27.:01:30.

resources to ensure the best practice. I would certainly be keen

:01:31.:01:36.

to see new clause seven put to a vote. I hope the Minister would be

:01:37.:01:42.

able to answer some of the concerns raised in this report stage before

:01:43.:01:45.

we move further with the bill. I think it's right we answer these

:01:46.:01:53.

questions. It is not a few million here or there, it is potentially

:01:54.:01:58.

billions of pounds of spending and a significant portion of the budget

:01:59.:02:02.

and it seems only right that is subject to scrutiny. I want to speak

:02:03.:02:07.

in support of the number of amendments on the order paper but

:02:08.:02:10.

before doing that I would like to make a couple of comments about the

:02:11.:02:14.

political context in which I think this debate is taking place. I

:02:15.:02:17.

turned on the television over the weekend on the ticker tape on the

:02:18.:02:24.

screen on the news channel the information the Government had

:02:25.:02:27.

stopped funding a girl band in Africa. I was shocked by this and

:02:28.:02:34.

thought I didn't realise we were funding bands of any kind in Africa

:02:35.:02:45.

and so I looked into it, and it was based on girl effect in Ethiopia,

:02:46.:02:50.

the huge programme aimed at empowering women in that country. It

:02:51.:02:58.

has 10,000 participants online and operates in schools around the

:02:59.:03:03.

country, designed to use performing arts and music to give confidence to

:03:04.:03:06.

women in those countries so they can take part in the political and

:03:07.:03:12.

social life of Ethiopia. Undeniable that it is a good thing. It was set

:03:13.:03:18.

up by DFID, every time DFID has reviewed it it has been given and a

:03:19.:03:24.

star rating. However it is unusual, it is not the same as handing out

:03:25.:03:29.

food to people who are starving sewer case needs to be made for it

:03:30.:03:34.

and we need to be aware of how these things can be caricatured and used

:03:35.:03:37.

to try and argue against the things we are talking about here today.

:03:38.:03:48.

That entire project, Girl Effect was described by the Daily Mail as the

:03:49.:03:52.

British Government funding the Spice Girls. It claimed the taxpayers'

:03:53.:04:04.

money was not being used to feed the starving but being given to people

:04:05.:04:17.

to make them pop stars. For many people reading the Daily Mail and

:04:18.:04:21.

other papers that took it up, reading the ticker tape across the

:04:22.:04:24.

screen, that's the impression they are given and we have lots of

:04:25.:04:28.

people, including some in this chamber who ran to the press to make

:04:29.:04:32.

comments about it, who will use these caricatures in order to try

:04:33.:04:36.

and denigrate and oppose any foreign aid activity by this country, using

:04:37.:04:42.

the ridiculous argument that we should be spending money at home

:04:43.:04:46.

before we spend it abroad, as if the poverty and inequality which we have

:04:47.:04:50.

in this country which we must tackle, but as if that was on a par

:04:51.:04:57.

to the hell that is sub Saharan Africa where the poverty and

:04:58.:05:02.

oppression is the normal way of existence for most people in those

:05:03.:05:06.

countries. Knowing these caricatures are there and knowing we have to be

:05:07.:05:10.

careful about how we present these arguments, that brings us back to

:05:11.:05:13.

the amendments on the order paper before us today. The honourable

:05:14.:05:20.

gentleman makes a good case but would he not, in considering that a

:05:21.:05:25.

third of all Ethiopian girls don't actually get to go to school,

:05:26.:05:32.

wouldn't with regard to female empowerment, wouldn't giving them an

:05:33.:05:44.

education be more empowering? Of course, but the importance of this

:05:45.:05:48.

project was that it understood Digital communication was a much

:05:49.:05:52.

more effective way to reach people in Ethiopia in the bricks and cement

:05:53.:06:01.

of the formal education establishment. It also understands

:06:02.:06:04.

that music and lyrics are sometimes a better way to get through to

:06:05.:06:09.

people and educate them and inspire them than formal text so these

:06:10.:06:15.

things can contribute to the education of young women in Ethiopia

:06:16.:06:20.

and DFID itself said it was a project worth supporting. The

:06:21.:06:25.

importance, I think, of all of these debates is we can win public support

:06:26.:06:29.

for foreign aid, we can rally the public behind the 0.7% contribution,

:06:30.:06:36.

providing we are transparent about what we are doing and providing we

:06:37.:06:41.

demonstrate that at every turn the people who are getting the money are

:06:42.:06:45.

the people who really need it. Therefore it is important in the

:06:46.:06:50.

work of the CDC group and others that those criteria are demonstrated

:06:51.:06:54.

and the evidence is produced. I'm not sure which amendments have been

:06:55.:06:59.

taken to the vote, but I think all of them have the intention of trying

:07:00.:07:04.

to strengthen the existing bill. In my 20 months in the chamber this is

:07:05.:07:07.

the first time at a report stage I have seen a bill come back without a

:07:08.:07:13.

single government amendment which I find surprising. I know the bill is

:07:14.:07:18.

concise and brief, but nonetheless, given the concerns expressed in this

:07:19.:07:23.

chamber about the work of CDC group, I would have thought it could have

:07:24.:07:26.

been tightened up a little bit but I hope the Government will consider

:07:27.:07:28.

supporting some of these amendments which will have that effect, the

:07:29.:07:34.

effect of making the Bill more effective, more efficacious about

:07:35.:07:38.

doing what its objectives are. The first one of those I want to focus

:07:39.:07:42.

on is new clause six, which says that before CDC group get major

:07:43.:07:49.

uplift in funding the case has to be made that that means the sustainable

:07:50.:07:53.

development goals and it is tackling poverty and inequality in the

:07:54.:07:59.

country within which it is being employed. If the project is not

:08:00.:08:04.

tackling poverty and not combating inequality and is not contributing

:08:05.:08:09.

to achieving the goals, why should we be funding it? When money is

:08:10.:08:17.

tight, we have to see these things are being spent on what they say

:08:18.:08:25.

they are being spent on. We've had a discussion about the mistakes of CDC

:08:26.:08:29.

in the past, we spoke about the luxury hotels and other

:08:30.:08:33.

inappropriate projects in which the CDC group had invested in the past.

:08:34.:08:39.

We were assured that those things were in the past, those mistakes

:08:40.:08:43.

have been learned and they would not be repeated in the future. If that's

:08:44.:08:48.

the case, what's the difficulty of building this into the bill so that

:08:49.:08:52.

in future the CDC have an obligation to demonstrate when they get a

:08:53.:08:56.

budget uplift that the reason they are getting that and what they will

:08:57.:09:00.

be spending it on will contribute to meeting these goals and fulfilling

:09:01.:09:14.

these criteria. The other area I think we should look at is in

:09:15.:09:20.

amendments three and four, to which I put my own name, where there is an

:09:21.:09:29.

intention to try to uplift the link in CDC group funding to the ODA.

:09:30.:09:42.

There is an idea abroad that what may be happening here is the

:09:43.:09:46.

outsourcing of our foreign aid, the privatisation of our foreign aid

:09:47.:09:53.

activity, the pre-eminence given to market approaches rather than other

:09:54.:09:57.

things. If that impression is not counted, we would be in problems. Of

:09:58.:10:03.

course there is a role for spending public money to try and support the

:10:04.:10:08.

creation of the small-business sector in developing countries, to

:10:09.:10:11.

try to invest in it and see if we can create jobs, but let's not kid

:10:12.:10:16.

ourselves. The bulk of our priority aid should be directed directly to

:10:17.:10:22.

the people who need to combat malnutrition, illiteracy, poverty

:10:23.:10:25.

and starvation that is happening throughout those countries. That be

:10:26.:10:30.

done by setting up a small business to do it. That needs to be done by

:10:31.:10:35.

direct state and NGO intervention and that's why we should be clear

:10:36.:10:40.

that going forward the vast bulk of our foreign aid effort will remain

:10:41.:10:45.

in that sphere. Whilst CDC and the market has a contribution to make,

:10:46.:10:50.

particularly in countries which are along the process of development, it

:10:51.:10:54.

is not going to be the primary way in which we do things going forward.

:10:55.:10:59.

Amendments three and four give effect to that and I would commend

:11:00.:11:04.

them to the House. If we do this we can strengthen the bill and

:11:05.:11:07.

demonstrated people what our intentions are, which is to make

:11:08.:11:12.

sure the hard earned taxes they pay and which they will politically

:11:13.:11:16.

agree a small slice should be deployed for foreign aid, that they

:11:17.:11:19.

are spent doing the things they want done and that is really combating

:11:20.:11:23.

poverty and inequality in the developing world and making sure we

:11:24.:11:28.

get to a more equal world society which is in our long-term interests

:11:29.:11:36.

as well. I'm particularly pleased to follow the Speaker from Edinburgh

:11:37.:11:44.

East because I'm here today because of concerns brought to me by

:11:45.:11:52.

constituents. No NGOs have lobbied me in the making of this

:11:53.:11:56.

intervention in this debate. Constituents contacted me before the

:11:57.:12:00.

second reading of the bill, concerned that if it was past we

:12:01.:12:03.

would run the risk of aid money being spent inappropriately and our

:12:04.:12:07.

commitment to aid of which we can all be proud Ian on the mind. That

:12:08.:12:14.

was their concern. So I want to return to that concern, a concern

:12:15.:12:17.

that I raised at second reading of the bill. I want for me and my

:12:18.:12:25.

constituents are the core issues. Directing the money to where it is

:12:26.:12:28.

needed most, scrutiny and transparency. During second reading

:12:29.:12:35.

I quoted, and I know it's been quoted already today, but it bears

:12:36.:12:43.

listening to it again. In a recent report of the CDC, its conclusion

:12:44.:12:48.

that it remains a significant challenge for CDC to achieve its

:12:49.:12:54.

objectives of creating jobs and making a lasting difference to

:12:55.:13:02.

people's lives in some of the poorest places in the world.

:13:03.:13:19.

Basically we are being asked to trust. I

:13:20.:14:01.

Education, the use of the school in the box model, where large classes

:14:02.:14:11.

are taught using technology to teach standardised lessons. CDC has

:14:12.:14:15.

invested in the expansion of such schools in Kenya, Uganda and Liberia

:14:16.:14:19.

Troubridge International Academy to the tune of between 6 and $15

:14:20.:14:26.

million. The model however offers no guarantee of quality education.

:14:27.:14:34.

63 bridge academies in Uganda werersed to close following a court

:14:35.:14:41.

ruling which found education and legal standards regarding the use of

:14:42.:14:47.

certified teachers, accredited cripple Lumb and appropriate

:14:48.:14:51.

teaching models were neglected. Utilities. We heard about a good

:14:52.:15:00.

example of utility development. CDC established a company called Unema

:15:01.:15:08.

in 2005 to run Uganda's elect trisity distribution following

:15:09.:15:11.

privatisation. The company's been highlighted as an example of the

:15:12.:15:17.

positive impact such an initiative can have. However, Uganda says power

:15:18.:15:27.

out ages are often and prices high. Research at the University of

:15:28.:15:32.

Greenwich noted it was one of the most corrupt institutions in the

:15:33.:15:36.

country by an international survey. Health care. A unison commissioned

:15:37.:15:44.

study found the majority of CDC health care initiatives in India are

:15:45.:15:50.

private fee paying hospitals targeting international tourists.

:15:51.:15:54.

This means public funded health care suffers and low income groups are

:15:55.:16:01.

denied access. As I've said, we've been told CDC operations have

:16:02.:16:04.

improved considerably over the last few years. But giving it free reign

:16:05.:16:10.

to invest with no conditions attached is far from ideal. If we

:16:11.:16:16.

are to be standard barers of international development we need to

:16:17.:16:20.

ensure our delivery of aid whether directly or through investments is

:16:21.:16:25.

traps parent and of tangible benefits of those at the receiving

:16:26.:16:30.

end. The examples I've mentioned suggest a tendency to invest in

:16:31.:16:35.

programmes which produce a quick fix rather than create sustainable

:16:36.:16:39.

regular basis. But increasingly in the last couple of weeks, in

:16:40.:17:14.

234 in relation to international development, it is an area people

:17:15.:17:23.

come back to over and over again. Last week, I spoke to Porthcawl's

:17:24.:17:29.

Newton WI. I took many questions in relation to spending on

:17:30.:17:33.

international development spending. I hope the amendments here today

:17:34.:17:40.

will allay many of the fears that my constituents have raised and place

:17:41.:17:46.

the important work that the Department for International

:17:47.:17:46.

Development does, the change makes to lives in some of the

:17:47.:17:54.

poorest countries in the world, absolutely something that our

:17:55.:17:58.

constituents can all support because they can see it is transparent. They

:17:59.:18:02.

can see it's scrutinised and see it as accountable. Without that,

:18:03.:18:10.

we face yet more weeks of negative, often false new reporting, which

:18:11.:18:12.

undertakes. Thank you. If I can will undermine the

:18:13.:18:26.

undertakes. Thank you. If I can begin by thanking very much

:18:27.:18:28.

honourable and Rt Hon Members. This has been a very strict-of-process.

:18:29.:18:35.

The amendments brought forward reflect a really good committee

:18:36.:18:39.

stage. Basically, this side of the House, the Government has huge

:18:40.:18:43.

respect for the intelligence, focus and precision of these amendments.

:18:44.:18:49.

We hope you will see in the strategy produced all these concerns raised

:18:50.:18:52.

will be addressed through that strategy. Let me take these

:18:53.:18:58.

amendments in turn. Before I do that, pay tribute very strongly to

:18:59.:19:03.

the members of Parliament on all sides of the house who have

:19:04.:19:08.

demonstrated support for their international development.

:19:09.:19:12.

Particularly to the member of Edinburgh East, a powerful speech in

:19:13.:19:15.

the support of international development and the importance of

:19:16.:19:22.

standing up and supporting complex and innovative projects. I wonder

:19:23.:19:30.

why in his remarks he can explain why the legislation preceded the

:19:31.:19:35.

strategy? I'll deal with that in the second group of amendments. If I

:19:36.:19:38.

could continue in paying tribute to the other members of the Parliament,

:19:39.:19:44.

both sides of the House and their support of CDC struck by the member

:19:45.:19:52.

for Liverpool West and Derby for his support for the Orunga project. The

:19:53.:19:58.

support from the member for Glasgow West and the member for Edmonton

:19:59.:20:03.

which is getting this balance between long-term investment and

:20:04.:20:10.

short-term need. Finally, just to recapitulate the extraordinary work

:20:11.:20:13.

that CDC itself has done and to echo the thanks of the honourable member

:20:14.:20:16.

for Bedford. It has been a really tough time. We are used, as members

:20:17.:20:21.

of the Parliament, to being under full public scrutiny and attack. CDC

:20:22.:20:25.

works very hard. They've delivered some very high quality projects.

:20:26.:20:29.

This has been a very tough period for them. There are three types of

:20:30.:20:34.

amendment. First set of amendments basically says yes, we should be

:20:35.:20:39.

giving more money to CDC but slightly less money to CDC. The

:20:40.:20:44.

second set of amendments says there should be restrictions on the

:20:45.:20:48.

Government's ability to give money to CDC. The third set restricts what

:20:49.:20:56.

CDC itself can do with the money. Essentially the Government's

:20:57.:21:00.

position here is these are all very good points but are better dealt

:21:01.:21:08.

with through governance mechanisms than strat trilegislation. Let's

:21:09.:21:13.

deal with clause 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 10. We should give money to CDC but

:21:14.:21:19.

we should give less money to CDC. Why do we disagree with this? This

:21:20.:21:26.

was e-Select Committeesly the argument put forward firstly

:21:27.:21:29.

because, with respect, I still believe the honourable member for

:21:30.:21:33.

Glasgow North is confusing the stock and the flow. The fact is that the

:21:34.:21:39.

money put into CDC will be recycled. So, for the sake of argument, if an

:21:40.:21:46.

investment is 10-12 years in length and CDC had ?12 billion in the pot,

:21:47.:21:50.

it will be in a position to maintain the current rate of investment

:21:51.:21:54.

$10-12 years in length and CDC had ?12 billion in the pot, it will be

:21:55.:21:56.

in a position to maintain the current rate of investment of a

:21:57.:21:59.

billion a year. It isn't fair to compare what happens in a capital

:22:00.:22:02.

stock used for equity, death investment with the annual

:22:03.:22:05.

expenditure of a department. Secondly, the question of demand,

:22:06.:22:11.

which the member of Cardiff south #25uked about, the demand is almost

:22:12.:22:16.

limitless. It's calculated 2.5 trillion dollars is going to be

:22:17.:22:22.

required annually by 2030 to meet the SCGs which is why the relevant

:22:23.:22:26.

question is not the demand for this money but the question of the

:22:27.:22:33.

absorptive capacity. Thirdly, this is enable legislation, setting a

:22:34.:22:37.

ceiling, a maximum limit. This is not saying this is the amount of

:22:38.:22:43.

money it will get. This money is designed to be a patient, long-term

:22:44.:22:48.

investment. The three-year review proposed simply will not work for

:22:49.:22:52.

investments which are intended to be on average ten years in length. I

:22:53.:22:56.

give way. I thank the minister for giving way. Is it not the case that

:22:57.:23:02.

if this bill is passed and you add the consequences of that to the fact

:23:03.:23:08.

over 25% of DFID's spending will be through other Government

:23:09.:23:10.

departments, the consequences of that is that over 50% of our aid

:23:11.:23:15.

will no longer be spent through DFID as a Government department. Does

:23:16.:23:19.

that raise serious questions about the Government's intentions for DFID

:23:20.:23:22.

to remain as a stand-alone department with a place at the

:23:23.:23:27.

Cabinet table if over 50% of the department's spending will be spent

:23:28.:23:32.

by the CDC and other Government departments? No other Government

:23:33.:23:35.

department would come to this House and ask for over 50% of its

:23:36.:23:40.

resources to be spent by other means. There are two distinct points

:23:41.:23:46.

there. The question of DFID's spending and the other spending. CDC

:23:47.:23:52.

is 100% owned by the development for international development. That's

:23:53.:23:57.

one of the reasons why a number of these amendments are not

:23:58.:24:03.

appropriate. In terms of proportion of money spent as the honourable

:24:04.:24:08.

member for Bedford pointed out, the small increase we'll be talking

:24:09.:24:13.

about in terms of the annual amount CDC can invest will be much smaller

:24:14.:24:18.

than comparable organisations in Holland, Germany and France. About a

:24:19.:24:25.

third of the amount that O PE C, one of the US can investment, only about

:24:26.:24:29.

a sixth of what the IFC puts out a year. We're not taking

:24:30.:24:36.

comparatively, globialy about that money. About 8%. That other 92%

:24:37.:24:42.

would continue to go in the normal way through NG 06789s, through

:24:43.:24:47.

organisations such as Unicef for the objectives we pursued. One thing

:24:48.:24:51.

which would be helpful for the minister to clarify is the time

:24:52.:24:54.

period over which this increase, if granted, would be played out with

:24:55.:24:59.

CDC, the explanatory notes to the bill say clearly the ?6 billion is

:25:00.:25:03.

intended to be use in the this Spending Review. Is that his view

:25:04.:25:07.

and what about the 12 billion? Is this over a ten or 20 year period,

:25:08.:25:12.

five year period? Give us a ballpark figure. Thank you. In order to

:25:13.:25:19.

clarify, the six billion represents an additional 4.5 billion. They

:25:20.:25:23.

already have 1.5 billion. We would anticipate that would cover the next

:25:24.:25:31.

five-year period. I don't expect them to draw down the max, I expect

:25:32.:25:36.

it to be lower, to make the kinds of investment they made last year. The

:25:37.:25:41.

next six billion, not an additional 12, would apply to the next period.

:25:42.:25:45.

So the next five-year period. We're looking at a steady state allocation

:25:46.:25:51.

which might at maximum allow them to meet the kind of expenditure levels

:25:52.:25:55.

they got next year. If I can move on to new clause 2, 5, 4 and amendment

:25:56.:26:02.

6, these are essentially a series of clauses about restricting the power

:26:03.:26:05.

of the Government to give money to CDC. Either saying it should not be

:26:06.:26:12.

able to boost the amount of money that CDC has through delegated

:26:13.:26:16.

legislation or trying to ask for a strategy to be in place before the

:26:17.:26:24.

money is dispersed. Again, these are appropriate. The role of Parliament

:26:25.:26:32.

as PEsified for CDC in the 148 act and 199 act relate to two things.

:26:33.:26:37.

Setting up this body and creating a cap on the amount of money that this

:26:38.:26:42.

body is given. It is not normal for Parliament to get involved in the

:26:43.:26:45.

detailed implementation of specialist business cases. That is

:26:46.:26:50.

true in everything that the ledge Is hatture does in its relationship to

:26:51.:26:56.

the executive. The money allocated through the budget is then delegated

:26:57.:26:59.

to civil servants and to the Government to determine how that

:27:00.:27:03.

money is spent. The same will be true here. But, the strategy that

:27:04.:27:09.

will come forward will reflect very closely the argument the that have

:27:10.:27:13.

been made in committee stage that have been made in report stage, we

:27:14.:27:17.

will continue to remain in very close touch with members of

:27:18.:27:21.

Parliament and we will be judged by our ability to deliver through that

:27:22.:27:24.

strategy something that will address those concerns. Above all, through

:27:25.:27:30.

the development impact grid and the development impact assessments on

:27:31.:27:34.

the individual business cases which will address these particular cases.

:27:35.:27:39.

Yes? The minister specifically commented on the use of tax havens

:27:40.:27:44.

by CDC and whether he and other ministers in the department will

:27:45.:27:50.

echo previous statements by the Secretary of State and instruct CDC

:27:51.:27:55.

to desist from using tax havens for future investments? This is an

:27:56.:28:00.

invitation to move on to the last group of amendments, new clause 8,

:28:01.:28:07.

9, 3 and 7, one of which relates to the question of offshore financial

:28:08.:28:11.

centres. These are restrictions op what CDC itself can do. There is a

:28:12.:28:17.

suggestion there should be an annual obligation to produce reports on CDC

:28:18.:28:23.

and restrictions on the routes through which CDC can put its money

:28:24.:28:31.

and restrict the investment in which CDC, can invest. On the question of

:28:32.:28:43.

IKI CDC has been scrutinised by the National Audit Office, by Public

:28:44.:28:46.

Accounts Committee, we expect it to be Krout knewed in that way and we

:28:47.:28:53.

welcome scrutiny from Ikai. We do not think it is the position of the

:28:54.:28:58.

Government to impose obligations on an independent regulator. It should

:28:59.:29:03.

be for Ikai to determine its priorities where it thinks the

:29:04.:29:06.

problems are and be able to apply that Krout any accordingly. It may

:29:07.:29:12.

not determine an annual scrutiny of ten year investments does not make

:29:13.:29:17.

sense and do it more trick wently. But that should be for Ikai. Not for

:29:18.:29:24.

this House. We do not put our money through tax haveence if by that you

:29:25.:29:30.

mean that CDC is ever attempting to avoid tax or to conceal its

:29:31.:29:35.

activities. CDC is not involved in that. CDC only invests in offshore

:29:36.:29:42.

financial centres approved by the OECD at its highest level. We take

:29:43.:29:47.

on board the points made, the honourable member for Cardiff south

:29:48.:29:52.

and others, we will be pushing EOCD to improve those standards further.

:29:53.:29:56.

We will focus on those offshore financial centres and we will only

:29:57.:30:00.

use them for two reasons. One, because occasionally, we we are

:30:01.:30:05.

investing in the Central African Republic, it may be necessary to

:30:06.:30:09.

protect UK taxpayers' money by not putting all the as sets of CDC into

:30:10.:30:15.

jury Is tickses where we can secure that money. Secondly, we may do so

:30:16.:30:19.

in order to pool money from other investors. That relates to the

:30:20.:30:22.

suggestion that we should only operate through London. It would be

:30:23.:30:26.

very difficult to convince other African investors to invest in funds

:30:27.:30:31.

in London. They would face a triple taxation. Taxation in country of

:30:32.:30:35.

origin, in country of business and in London. We hope, through CDC's

:30:36.:30:41.

operations, to ensure every dollar we spend brings in $3, $5 or even

:30:42.:30:45.

$30 of additional money. That brings me to the last

:30:46.:30:56.

restrictions proposed by the House, one of those is the number of

:30:57.:31:01.

countries in which CDC should invest. We don't think appropriate

:31:02.:31:05.

for primary legislation to restrict what the parliament can do to

:31:06.:31:10.

respond to a flexible, changing world. We would not have imagined in

:31:11.:31:15.

2010 for example that there would have been needed in Syria. If we

:31:16.:31:20.

stipulated only lower-income countries or least developed

:31:21.:31:23.

countries could receive the money, the suggestion from the chairman for

:31:24.:31:29.

the international development committee and its members that CDC

:31:30.:31:35.

work in Syria, Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon would be impossible. We need

:31:36.:31:39.

the flexibility for a changing world, and the world affected by

:31:40.:31:41.

conflict. We also need to allow for conflict. We also need to allow for

:31:42.:31:46.

the possibility another government may take a different view on very

:31:47.:31:51.

poor people in countries like India. A lot of the very poorest people in

:31:52.:31:55.

the world live in countries like India and it's a perfectly valid

:31:56.:32:01.

discussion for a government and its department to have and not be

:32:02.:32:04.

restricted by primary legislation to decide whether to put money in that

:32:05.:32:09.

country. Finally we have to think about the cross-border

:32:10.:32:12.

possibilities, again a restriction that prevented us putting money into

:32:13.:32:16.

South Africa for example would mean we couldn't put money into Brindrod,

:32:17.:32:25.

the great South African company, because we could not do cross-border

:32:26.:32:39.

negotiations. Finally, it is not appropriate for individual members

:32:40.:32:43.

to ensure that we restrict those members, those sectors indefinitely.

:32:44.:32:47.

It needs to be at the discretion of the department to determine what

:32:48.:32:58.

those sectors are. In particular, private health care, I have seen

:32:59.:33:01.

myself and many other members have seen the way in which private health

:33:02.:33:04.

care providers are able to reach some of the most needy people in the

:33:05.:33:09.

world who are not able to access public health care. Minerals can be

:33:10.:33:15.

in environments such as Afghanistan almost the only drivers of decent

:33:16.:33:20.

economic growth and there are very few other options available. Real

:33:21.:33:24.

estate, we need to look at the people who construct the buildings.

:33:25.:33:29.

Not the people who use them. Those investments in the construction

:33:30.:33:31.

industry are benefiting the people who build them and that's why CDC

:33:32.:33:41.

makes those investments. On palm oil, many jobs are secured by that

:33:42.:33:46.

investment and decent investment in infrastructure and health as well.

:33:47.:33:50.

In renewable energy would be a great pity if the only investments we

:33:51.:33:55.

could make in energy in Africa in renewables, that would not be

:33:56.:33:58.

acceptable in this country. In Africa where they have struggled to

:33:59.:34:04.

build six megawatts of generating capacity, 6000 megawatts of

:34:05.:34:07.

generating capacity over a decade period, to rule out investments in

:34:08.:34:10.

natural gas would have a fundamental event on the economic future of

:34:11.:34:14.

Africa which is why to conclude this has been an extremely thoughtful

:34:15.:34:19.

analysis for which we are very grateful. The strategy will

:34:20.:34:22.

demonstrate we have listened hard to all the points in the second

:34:23.:34:27.

reading, the points in the committee stage, but we believe this simple

:34:28.:34:33.

legislation sets the right balance between economic development and

:34:34.:34:40.

above all makes a significant contribution to the lives of the

:34:41.:34:45.

world's poorest people and with that I would ask these amendments be

:34:46.:34:53.

withdrawn. The question is that new clause won't be read a second time.

:34:54.:34:59.

Aye? No? Clear the lobbies. The question is that new clause one

:35:00.:36:17.

be read a second time. As many of that opinion say aye? No?

:36:18.:43:28.

DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Order! The ayes to the right 246. The ins to

:43:29.:49:07.

the left, 293. -- the nos to the left, 293. The nos have it. Unlock!

:49:08.:49:25.

We now come to amendment 3. The question is that amendment 3 be

:49:26.:49:35.

made. As many of that opinion say aye, the contrary, no. Clear the

:49:36.:49:37.

lobbies. DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order. The question

:49:38.:51:10.

is that amindment 3 be made, as many of that opinion say aye, the

:51:11.:51:20.

contrary, no. For the nos, Chris Eden Harris and Steve Brian. Thanks,

:51:21.:51:22.

folks. Ayes, 244. Noes, 299. The noes have

:51:23.:02:44.

it. The question is the bill now be read a third time. I beg to move

:02:45.:02:55.

that this bill be read a third time. If I could just begin again by

:02:56.:03:00.

reiterating my thanks and the tribute we owe to right honourable

:03:01.:03:04.

members on every side of the House for their shared belief in the

:03:05.:03:12.

importance of international and. At the core of this Bill is our moral

:03:13.:03:15.

obligation to some of the most vulnerable and poorest people in the

:03:16.:03:20.

world. Also pay tribute to the important points raised, which will

:03:21.:03:24.

be reflected in the new strategy as it comes forward. If I could just

:03:25.:03:30.

very briefly just lay out once more why we believe this is a good piece

:03:31.:03:38.

of legislation. The core of this is our understanding there is extreme

:03:39.:03:41.

poverty in the world, that there is extreme suffering in the world, and

:03:42.:03:46.

that economic develop meant is going to be a very important part of

:03:47.:03:50.

addressing that. There's an enormous demand in the poorest countries of

:03:51.:03:55.

the world for well-paid jobs. It's one of the first things any one

:03:56.:03:59.

discovers when we go to Africa or any other developing country, and

:04:00.:04:04.

indeed as the chairman of the International of element committee

:04:05.:04:07.

pointed out in his speech, currently 90% of the growth, 90% of the

:04:08.:04:12.

employment in the poorest countries of the world is driven by the

:04:13.:04:16.

private sector. 15 million more jobs a year are required in Africa. Every

:04:17.:04:25.

one of those well-paid jobs is an opportunity for that family to

:04:26.:04:28.

deliver the stuff we all care about. That is their opportunity to provide

:04:29.:04:32.

education for their children, provide the health care therefore

:04:33.:04:36.

Molly needs, and through the revenue that these jobs generate for the

:04:37.:04:40.

Government, above all that is the long-term sustainable future. That's

:04:41.:04:44.

what allows the Government to pay for its education system. It allows

:04:45.:04:48.

it to pay for its health care system. It allows the Government, if

:04:49.:04:53.

there is an earthquake or natural disaster, to have the resources to

:04:54.:04:58.

address it. So in the end the only long-term, sustainable path will be

:04:59.:05:06.

to generate that growth. Why CDC? Because CDC brings together two

:05:07.:05:11.

important things - the rigour of the private sector, in other words the

:05:12.:05:14.

ability of the private sector to work out whether these investments

:05:15.:05:19.

make sense, are there genuinely markets for these goods? Can these

:05:20.:05:23.

jobs really be sustained the one hand? And on the other hand the

:05:24.:05:27.

values of the public sector, making sure we are going into the hardest

:05:28.:05:30.

countries in the world, making sure we are renewable energy in the

:05:31.:05:35.

Central African Republic, making sure we are getting into Sierra

:05:36.:05:41.

Leone when Ebola happens, and above all making sure these investments

:05:42.:05:45.

are not short-term commercial returns but patients, long-term

:05:46.:05:48.

investments that the commercial sector often will not deliver. Why

:05:49.:05:54.

CDC? Since 1948 it has not only been the longest serving but the best

:05:55.:05:58.

development finance institution in the world, proven in the 1960s in

:05:59.:06:04.

its investments in Kenya, but it has improved its much more recently with

:06:05.:06:10.

the fantastic reforms that have been introduced, reforms we have talked

:06:11.:06:14.

about at all stages of this Bill. Reforms on salary, transparency,

:06:15.:06:20.

offshore financial centres, reforms on the geography in which we invest,

:06:21.:06:24.

reforms in the sector in which we have invested, and all of this

:06:25.:06:28.

summed up in the development impact great. That's what answers a lot of

:06:29.:06:32.

the points made in the discussion today. That's what allows us to make

:06:33.:06:37.

sure every investment focuses on areas that generate the most jobs,

:06:38.:06:42.

that are in the countries where investment is the most difficult,

:06:43.:06:46.

where the least capital is available and where the GDP per capita is

:06:47.:06:51.

lowest. You can see this in the real world, in the indirect jobs created

:06:52.:07:02.

by CDC. You can see it in the investments they are making, in

:07:03.:07:04.

places like Blondie on the Central African Republic. You can see it in

:07:05.:07:09.

the hydroelectric investment. You can see it actually in the global

:07:10.:07:17.

investment, where CDC's investment will help to generate 5000 megawatts

:07:18.:07:21.

of power in Africa over the next decade, and putting that in context,

:07:22.:07:26.

Africa only managed 6000 megawatts over the previous decade. That's

:07:27.:07:30.

almost the entire generation of Africa over the previous decade

:07:31.:07:36.

which will be driven by single company supported by CDC. The value

:07:37.:07:40.

for money is there for the taxpayer because it is recycled. The need is

:07:41.:07:45.

there. We can see this in the fact that we need $2.5 trillion of

:07:46.:07:52.

investment by 2030. So in conclusion, there are many other

:07:53.:07:56.

things that our department will do other than CDC, much of the money

:07:57.:08:03.

will continue to go through NGOs such as Oxfam, a lot of our

:08:04.:08:07.

investments will be with valued partners such as Unicef. More than

:08:08.:08:11.

90% of the money we will spend through overseas assistance will be

:08:12.:08:18.

on humanitarian assistance, and within that not all the money and

:08:19.:08:23.

economic develop it will go through CDC. It will also go through our

:08:24.:08:29.

investments that take place through support to governments, technical

:08:30.:08:33.

assistance. But that CDC investment combining the rigour of the private

:08:34.:08:37.

sector, the focus on markets, the values of the public sector reflect

:08:38.:08:41.

the values of the British public, the British public that cares about

:08:42.:08:46.

poverty, that shows in their own philanthropic giving how much they

:08:47.:08:49.

care about some of the most vulnerable people in the world and

:08:50.:08:52.

we are showing our respect of the British people by pushing forward

:08:53.:08:56.

with a proven model that will provide the sustainable growth

:08:57.:09:01.

required to address some of the most vulnerable and poorest people in the

:09:02.:09:09.

world. This is our moral obligation. The question is the bill now be read

:09:10.:09:19.

a third time. Can I firstly association myself with the

:09:20.:09:22.

Minister's comments in particular to pay thanks to all the honourable and

:09:23.:09:28.

right honourable members across the House that have taken part in what I

:09:29.:09:35.

believe has been very constructive debate in which I believe we have

:09:36.:09:41.

furthered certainly whether or not the amendments today of the new

:09:42.:09:46.

clauses have gone through, certainly I believe it has been utilised in

:09:47.:09:53.

the best possible way and we have heard from Honourable members across

:09:54.:09:58.

the House that have forwarded some very important point. Can I also

:09:59.:10:03.

offer my thanks to all of the NGOs that supported us throughout this

:10:04.:10:07.

process, to those that came before us to present written and oral

:10:08.:10:14.

evidence at committee stage, and the staff whose assistance has been

:10:15.:10:19.

invaluable, as it always is. I would further like to thank my honourable

:10:20.:10:23.

friends who have spoken with great concern and passion about this bill,

:10:24.:10:28.

particularly my honourable friend, the Member for Cardiff South and

:10:29.:10:37.

Penarth whose experience is widely respected and visibly expressed here

:10:38.:10:42.

today in the debate again. My honourable friend, the Member for

:10:43.:10:50.

Wills South, who isn't in her place, both served outstandingly on the

:10:51.:10:53.

public bill committee and I do not want their valued contributions to

:10:54.:10:58.

go unnoticed this afternoon and indeed the honourable friend for

:10:59.:11:06.

Liverpool West Derby, the chair of the International Development Select

:11:07.:11:08.

Committee, who has always made a passionate case and has, I believe,

:11:09.:11:16.

a very informed stance on the matter is before us today. Mr Deputy

:11:17.:11:22.

Speaker, let me be clear. I think in this constructive debate today,

:11:23.:11:27.

members on either side of the benches have been very clear. Nobody

:11:28.:11:35.

has opposed the principal or the spirit of the CDC itself. Nobody has

:11:36.:11:46.

criticised the role of the CDC and the commission statement behind the

:11:47.:11:51.

CDC. The point that members on all sides of the House, and in

:11:52.:11:56.

particular from these benches, have made time and time again is that

:11:57.:12:07.

what cannot be lost within this is the founding principle behind the

:12:08.:12:11.

CDC, which is poverty alleviation, which has been quite rightly stated

:12:12.:12:16.

on all sides of the House. As I said, we have had a constructive

:12:17.:12:23.

debate, both at committee stage and here, and all the amendments that

:12:24.:12:28.

have been put in have had support from across the House. And the

:12:29.:12:35.

amendments were there, partly probing amendments but also as

:12:36.:12:41.

amendments to strengthen. Mr Deputy Speaker, for the passage of this

:12:42.:12:45.

bill, we outlined a number of concerns that we held over the

:12:46.:12:49.

provisions within it, including on the accountability and scrutiny of

:12:50.:12:53.

the investments that are made by the CDC on the need of the CDC to focus

:12:54.:12:59.

their investments on efforts to alleviate poverty and on the

:13:00.:13:02.

necessity of a business case from the CDC. These are concerns that

:13:03.:13:07.

have been fundamental in our position on this Bill and they are

:13:08.:13:11.

concerns we have sought strong assurances on from the Government.

:13:12.:13:16.

On the issue of accountability and scrutiny, we had concerns, as

:13:17.:13:22.

illustrated in our amendments, over the fact the investments made by the

:13:23.:13:27.

CDC are not independently assessed on a frequent and regular basis.

:13:28.:13:34.

When such assessments do not take place, it undermines the credibility

:13:35.:13:38.

of the CDC and be investments and it weakens public confidence that

:13:39.:13:43.

taxpayers' money is being spent by the CDC on efforts to alleviate

:13:44.:13:48.

poverty and help the poorest in the world. It is vital that every pound,

:13:49.:13:54.

every penny of development assistance, goes towards this goal

:13:55.:14:00.

on strong, independent scrutiny of the impact of assessments would

:14:01.:14:02.

assure this. We have had assurances today from

:14:03.:14:11.

the Minister and we had assurances at the committee stage that he would

:14:12.:14:18.

welcome further independent assessment of this from the

:14:19.:14:22.

Independent commission for aid impact and I feel that the Minister

:14:23.:14:26.

has listened and has come forward with that and I am very grateful to

:14:27.:14:31.

him. Further, we are assured that the annual reports and accounts

:14:32.:14:37.

provided by the CDC contain ample information and if there are

:14:38.:14:41.

discrepancies they will be held to account by the either the Public

:14:42.:14:44.

Accounts Committee or the International development committee

:14:45.:14:51.

who I am sure will make such discrepancies are available as they

:14:52.:14:58.

have done in the past. It is vitally important that we ensure that the

:14:59.:15:04.

CDC is focused on alleviating poverty. The Department's legal aim

:15:05.:15:12.

and purpose, with investments involved in constructing luxury

:15:13.:15:14.

hotels and shopping centres in well-developed areas in the past,

:15:15.:15:19.

there have been real concerns on this side of the House that the CDC

:15:20.:15:24.

would use this additional financing to return to a similar position.

:15:25.:15:29.

However, the report published just before the second reading makes

:15:30.:15:32.

clear that this is no longer the case following the important

:15:33.:15:38.

reforms, second motion by the right honourable member for Sutton

:15:39.:15:41.

Coldfield who is in his place today. It is fair to say, Mr Deputy

:15:42.:15:52.

Speaker, that the number of concerns that have been raised today, the

:15:53.:15:54.

Minister has been kind enough to give assurances to some of those and

:15:55.:15:57.

therefore, we will not be opposing this bill in its third reading

:15:58.:16:03.

today. Thank you. Whether you live in the UK or in Tanzania or in

:16:04.:16:08.

Colombia, the most important route out of poverty is to have a job, a

:16:09.:16:14.

good job or a good likelihood. That is why I fundamentally support the

:16:15.:16:19.

work of CDC, it has done excellent work over the last nearly 70 years,

:16:20.:16:25.

right across the world and in recent years, it has concentrated

:16:26.:16:28.

particularly on the most needy countries, those places where there

:16:29.:16:31.

is the highest level of unemployment, where there is the

:16:32.:16:35.

greatest level of poverty and I welcome the fact that the government

:16:36.:16:39.

is going to invest more through CDC in the coming years. But I think the

:16:40.:16:43.

debates today and in committee and at other times have highlighted that

:16:44.:16:49.

their CDC has got to be careful, it has got to invest in those things

:16:50.:16:54.

which commercial investors would not normally invest in, otherwise it

:16:55.:16:58.

should be the commercial sector that invests in them. It needs to invest

:16:59.:17:02.

in areas that create the highest number of jobs for the investment

:17:03.:17:08.

made and often that will be agriculture and often that will be

:17:09.:17:13.

investments which are difficult. It is not easy to invest in agriculture

:17:14.:17:19.

in remote areas, but that is what the CDC is therefore, it is not

:17:20.:17:23.

therefore an easy life. But I know, that under the management it has had

:17:24.:17:28.

recently and with the calibre of staff it has, it is up to those

:17:29.:17:35.

challenges and I welcome the bill. Patrick Grady. Thank you. Can I add

:17:36.:17:41.

my thanks to all the stakeholders and staff who have contributed to

:17:42.:17:45.

the build process? This is the first piece of legislation I have worked

:17:46.:17:48.

on as a spokesperson and I am particularly grateful to him for his

:17:49.:17:57.

advice to my own team who provided input and I would like to rank sum

:17:58.:18:06.

of my honourable friends for their input. I would also recognise the

:18:07.:18:10.

commitment and hard work of the staff at the CDC itself and there

:18:11.:18:14.

are positive engagement with the opposition parties as the bill has

:18:15.:18:18.

been progressed. This has been the first piece of legislation in this

:18:19.:18:23.

Parliament, but I wonder if it will be the last. The minister might be

:18:24.:18:28.

aware that I tabled a question to the Secretary of State about the

:18:29.:18:34.

applicability of the 2006 act, now that it is required and been

:18:35.:18:40.

replaced by the sustainable development goals. She will know

:18:41.:18:43.

that the committee proposed a consolidated act to bring together

:18:44.:18:46.

all the different pieces of legislation passed over recent years

:18:47.:18:50.

and perhaps that is not such a bad idea, especially as the debate about

:18:51.:18:55.

the purpose of development seems to be getting louder. As my honourable

:18:56.:19:01.

friend said, throughout the Christmas recess, there seems to

:19:02.:19:05.

have been a drip feed of very negative stories about aid spending

:19:06.:19:09.

particularly in the gutter press and it is absolutely right that examples

:19:10.:19:13.

of waste and inefficiency are exposed and questions asked about

:19:14.:19:18.

value for money, but the answer is to improve transparency and

:19:19.:19:20.

efficiency and to measure impact, especially over the longer term and

:19:21.:19:26.

not simply to cut off the supply or take heavy-handed, but ultimately

:19:27.:19:29.

counter-productive action. The debate on the CDC bill has

:19:30.:19:34.

capitalised on a broader debate about aid and the government can be

:19:35.:19:38.

assured in the coming months that the SNP will be happy to support a

:19:39.:19:41.

cross-party and public consensus about our moral duty to help people

:19:42.:19:46.

in need around the world and the symbolism and impact of meeting the

:19:47.:19:51.

0.7% aid target. As we have just heard in the report stage, if the

:19:52.:19:57.

higher standards of transparency and effectiveness are going to be

:19:58.:20:00.

demanded, then they must equally be applied across government and to

:20:01.:20:04.

arm's-length agency starting with the CDC in this bill. The government

:20:05.:20:10.

did not accept amendments, but I do welcome, as the opposition front

:20:11.:20:12.

bench has done, the commitments it has given and they will hold to

:20:13.:20:19.

account these commitments. There is a consensus behind the need for

:20:20.:20:24.

continued improvement of the CDC we want to maintain that consensus. The

:20:25.:20:26.

government will see this legislation passed today and it is unlikely due

:20:27.:20:33.

to the nature of the bill that the House of Lords will have any

:20:34.:20:36.

opportunity to amend or delay its progress to the statute book. The

:20:37.:20:40.

government has been given a significant responsibility, it is

:20:41.:20:43.

asking for the power to quadruple the budget of an agency which has

:20:44.:20:47.

chequered history, the CDC has had significant success but it has also

:20:48.:20:51.

had significant concerns that have been raised and do remain. If its

:20:52.:20:58.

resource base is to be scaled up, so must its accountability and the

:20:59.:21:01.

standards it is held to and I hope that the Secretary of State and her

:21:02.:21:05.

ministers will confirm that they are prepared for the CDC and the

:21:06.:21:08.

Department and themselves as ministers to be held to account.

:21:09.:21:13.

Three sensors, can I say that I think both the moral and practical

:21:14.:21:19.

responsibility and opportunity to aid other countries, if I look back

:21:20.:21:24.

to Christian Aid, set up after the war to develop Europe, the success

:21:25.:21:28.

of the next 20 years was fantastic and I think the same thing can apply

:21:29.:21:31.

to Africa and other parts of the country as well and the CDC has the

:21:32.:21:34.

opportunity with infrastructure and education to do that. My final point

:21:35.:21:40.

is that we have to go and reduce barriers, provide opportunities and

:21:41.:21:43.

try to welcome other countries having the same aspirations and

:21:44.:21:45.

achievements that we have had ourselves. Thank you. I want to

:21:46.:21:52.

place on record by thanks to the clerk of bills and my colleagues who

:21:53.:21:57.

have taken part and give an excellent contributions on all sides

:21:58.:22:01.

of the House to what has been an informative and useful process of

:22:02.:22:08.

scrutiny of this bill. I wish to make a few final brief points as we

:22:09.:22:11.

approach this stage. I was pleased to hear at the ministers setting out

:22:12.:22:16.

a bit more detail on the kind of time period that we can expect the

:22:17.:22:20.

CDC can be drawing down money is over and his suggestion that it is a

:22:21.:22:25.

five or ten year period is much more reassuring than some of the

:22:26.:22:29.

suggestions that were earlier in the process. I would say that the

:22:30.:22:33.

temptation will exist to draw that down at a faster rate because in the

:22:34.:22:39.

reporting of how our aid is calculated and what proportion their

:22:40.:22:44.

CDC counts towards that. Will I take what the minister said with great

:22:45.:22:49.

sincerity, I would urge him to take against those who suggest dumping

:22:50.:22:53.

money into CDC as a way of artificially meeting the target, he

:22:54.:22:56.

should only go there with a clear plan and a business case and a clear

:22:57.:23:00.

understanding of how that is going to contribute to poverty

:23:01.:23:05.

eradication. I'm concerned that we are not going far enough on tax

:23:06.:23:08.

havens. I listen to what the minister said and I will look at

:23:09.:23:18.

with interest to that strategy. I wholeheartedly agree with the point

:23:19.:23:21.

that my honourable friend made about what role CDC should be playing. It

:23:22.:23:28.

should not be going for an easy live ongoing work commercial resources

:23:29.:23:33.

would already go. There were some suggestions that it was the only

:23:34.:23:37.

source of funding for some of these investments, that is patently not

:23:38.:23:40.

the case and not only with our development spending overruled, but

:23:41.:23:44.

with CDC we should be acting as a catalyst for the very best in

:23:45.:23:48.

poverty eradication, the very best focus on some of those difficult

:23:49.:23:51.

sectors, difficult areas where others will not go, but also for the

:23:52.:23:55.

highest standards in sustainability, human rights and all those other

:23:56.:24:01.

issues, we ought to act as a catalyst, not just going for an easy

:24:02.:24:08.

return and an easy life. The thing that I still cannot quite understand

:24:09.:24:11.

and I hope the ministers will reflect on this is that the

:24:12.:24:15.

Secretary of State laid out some good principles in her letter on

:24:16.:24:19.

December the 16th about transparency and open breakdowns of salaries and

:24:20.:24:23.

tenders, material costs and due diligence in supply chains and

:24:24.:24:28.

compliance, disclosures of conflicts of interest and I do not see why

:24:29.:24:32.

those cannot be applied equally to CDC as they will be applied to other

:24:33.:24:37.

spenders of our aid spending and I would urge the ministers to look

:24:38.:24:40.

carefully at this. I don't see why those can be applied, it is a

:24:41.:24:43.

reasonable set of requirements and I think it would be helpful to CDC.

:24:44.:24:49.

Finally, the issue around the country is that CDC focuses on,

:24:50.:24:53.

there is a shift, CDC is investing more in the poorest countries but it

:24:54.:24:57.

needs to go further and I would urge ministers not to have any poverty of

:24:58.:25:02.

ambition in the kind of framework and parameters that they set for

:25:03.:25:06.

CDC, particularly in future disbursements ensuring that the

:25:07.:25:08.

money goes to the poorest countries and not middle income countries who

:25:09.:25:13.

can draw down on other sources of funding and resources of finance. I

:25:14.:25:18.

will conclude by saying one final thing, it was reassuring in the

:25:19.:25:21.

course of this debate to hear many positive voices making that case for

:25:22.:25:25.

our wider role in international development, wider support for the

:25:26.:25:28.

aid target and it was good to hear the Prime Minister rejecting the

:25:29.:25:33.

more shrill views that have come from some of the other forces on her

:25:34.:25:37.

own adventures and from the likes of the Daily Mail suggesting that we

:25:38.:25:42.

should scrap the aid target. She rejected that, this is not a zero

:25:43.:25:48.

sum game, if we ignore gross poverty and instability and insecurity, it

:25:49.:25:54.

is not only morally wrong, but it is fundamentally going against our own

:25:55.:25:57.

national interest and national security and global security and

:25:58.:26:01.

stability and those are good reasons about why we need to maintain with

:26:02.:26:05.

reasonable scrutiny, reasonable questions asked about all areas of

:26:06.:26:08.

our development spending, that wider commitment to the poorest people and

:26:09.:26:14.

countries in the world. The question is that the bill go on the third

:26:15.:26:19.

time. The question is as on the order paper. As many as are of the

:26:20.:26:22.

opinion, say "aye". To the contrary, no. . The ayes habit. We now come to

:26:23.:26:26.

the programme motion to be mood formally. The question is as on the

:26:27.:26:30.

order paper. As many as are of the opinion, say "aye". To the contrary,

:26:31.:26:36.

no. . The ayes habit. We now come to the next one. Consideration of Lord

:26:37.:26:44.

members. I must draw attention to the fact... I must draw attention to

:26:45.:26:57.

the fact that financial privilege engaged by the Lords amendments. I

:26:58.:27:04.

also remind the House that certain of the motions relating to those

:27:05.:27:08.

amendments will be certified as relating exclusively to England or

:27:09.:27:12.

to England and Wales or to England and England and Wales as set out on

:27:13.:27:18.

the selection paper. If the House divides on the certification motion,

:27:19.:27:21.

a double or triple majority will be required for the motion to be

:27:22.:27:26.

passed. We will begin with a government motion to disagree with

:27:27.:27:30.

the Lords amendment 24 on which we will consider it the other

:27:31.:27:33.

amendments and motions listed on the selection paper. I call the minister

:27:34.:27:38.

to move to disagree with the Lords amendments 24. Thank you Mr Deputy

:27:39.:27:44.

Speaker, I do beg to move that this house disagrees with the amendment

:27:45.:27:49.

20 four. This first group of amendments include ten new clauses

:27:50.:27:53.

added to the bill in the House of Lords against the advice of the

:27:54.:28:00.

government. They cover four separate issues, the funding of legal

:28:01.:28:03.

representation for bereaved families at inquests were the police are

:28:04.:28:06.

uninterested person, the maximum sentence for the offence of stalking

:28:07.:28:11.

including fear of violence or serious alarm or distress and the

:28:12.:28:14.

rights and entitlements of victims of crime. The government has

:28:15.:28:17.

reflected carefully on the debates in all of the amendments in the

:28:18.:28:22.

House of Lords, in relation to Lords amendment 13 forwards to increase

:28:23.:28:28.

from a five to ten years of his bid to the maximum sentence for the most

:28:29.:28:31.

serious stalking offence with the person is in fear of violence. This

:28:32.:28:34.

government is determined to do everything it can to protect victims

:28:35.:28:40.

of what can be a terrifying crime. The House will recall that only last

:28:41.:28:44.

month we announce plans to introduce a new stalking protection order

:28:45.:28:48.

which will provide a new precharge option to the police to help them

:28:49.:28:51.

protect victims of strangers stopping in a similar way to orders

:28:52.:28:55.

protecting victims of domestic violence and abuse.

:28:56.:29:04.

They are to be much commended for their campaign, including their

:29:05.:29:12.

pursuit of a bill on behalf of a Cheltenham GP, who was stalked the

:29:13.:29:17.

seven years by a former patient. Each case must of course be

:29:18.:29:21.

considered by the courts on the facts of that case. But given the

:29:22.:29:26.

harm that can be caused by the most serious talking cases, we are

:29:27.:29:30.

persuaded in such cases, judges should have greater latitude to pass

:29:31.:29:36.

a higher sentence that affords greater protection for victims. The

:29:37.:29:42.

government amendment will therefore do three things. Firstly, it will

:29:43.:29:45.

increase from five to ten years imprisonment, the maximum sentence

:29:46.:29:50.

and offensive stalking involving fear of violence or distress.

:29:51.:29:55.

Second, it will increase the maximum sentence for the equivalent

:29:56.:29:58.

harassment offences are putting a person in fear of violence. This

:29:59.:30:02.

will help retain the consistency of approach to the most serious

:30:03.:30:06.

harassment offences. Thirdly, it will increase from seven to 14 years

:30:07.:30:11.

imprisonment the maximum sentence for the racially or religiously

:30:12.:30:14.

aggravated a version of the section for offences. In the normal way,

:30:15.:30:18.

these increases in penalties will only apply to offences committed on

:30:19.:30:23.

or after the date of commencement. But I trust this amendment will have

:30:24.:30:27.

the support of my honourable friend and indeed this House. Turning to

:30:28.:30:32.

the other amendment in this group, the government remains firmly of the

:30:33.:30:36.

view that however well-intentioned the motives behind them, they do

:30:37.:30:41.

pre-empt the proper consideration of what our complex issues, and

:30:42.:30:44.

accordingly this how should disagree with the amendments. That we take

:30:45.:30:49.

each of the issues in turn. Number 24 would require the Prime Minister

:30:50.:30:55.

to proceed with what is commonly known as 11 syn enquiry into the

:30:56.:30:58.

relationships between the police and the media -- 11 syn enquiry. It is

:30:59.:31:05.

vital please appalled higher standards, whether in their dealings

:31:06.:31:09.

with the media or for that matter anyone else. Given the extent that

:31:10.:31:14.

criminal investigations into phone hacking and other illegal practices

:31:15.:31:17.

by the press that have taken place since the Levenson enquiry, and

:31:18.:31:22.

given the implementation of the inquiry, given reforms in the

:31:23.:31:27.

police, the government must consider whether proceeding were part two is

:31:28.:31:31.

appropriate, proportionate and in the public interest. As honourable

:31:32.:31:36.

members will be aware, the government has been seeking the

:31:37.:31:40.

views of the public and parties, including those victims of abuse,

:31:41.:31:45.

through a consultation which closes today. I will give way. It closed 17

:31:46.:31:53.

minutes ago. The truth is that the government promised that there was

:31:54.:31:56.

one enquiry with two parts. As far as I can see now, the government

:31:57.:32:01.

minister at the dispatch box is effectively saying, nudge, nudge, we

:32:02.:32:04.

aren't going to proceed with part two. If that is the case, he should

:32:05.:32:09.

be straightforward and tell us so now. I would say do the honourable

:32:10.:32:17.

gentleman, he should have a look again at Hansford, that is not what

:32:18.:32:21.

I said. I was clear, we will seek the views of the public, and we've

:32:22.:32:25.

got to look at what is appropriate, proportionate and in the public

:32:26.:32:29.

interest. The consultation sought views on whether proceeding with

:32:30.:32:34.

part two is still appropriate. As the last of the criminal cases has

:32:35.:32:38.

only recently concluded, we do believe it is a appropriate time to

:32:39.:32:45.

take stock, as the Secretary of State herself outlined. Submissions

:32:46.:32:48.

received from this consultation will therefore be important in helping

:32:49.:32:52.

inform the government's thinking. You may also be aware and

:32:53.:32:56.

application has been made to review that consultation. Whilst I cannot

:32:57.:33:00.

comment on the current legal proceedings, the government has

:33:01.:33:03.

committed not to take any final decisions relating to the

:33:04.:33:06.

consultation until these legal proceedings have concluded. Given

:33:07.:33:10.

this consultation and ongoing related legal proceedings, I will

:33:11.:33:14.

therefore suggest to the House this is not an appropriate matter for

:33:15.:33:19.

further legislation at this moment. I hope the government will not be

:33:20.:33:26.

intimidated by a campaign which the press are waiting at the moment. To

:33:27.:33:30.

try to deter the government from implementing the Levenson

:33:31.:33:37.

recommendations. Can I tell him, yesterday I submitted my monthly

:33:38.:33:41.

article for the Aldershot News, as I have been invited to do. Very good

:33:42.:33:48.

reading, normally, if I may so. And it was about press freedom. And I

:33:49.:33:54.

got an e-mail yesterday evening saying that sorry, there would not

:33:55.:34:00.

be a punishment of it, because it is contradictory to their stance on

:34:01.:34:05.

free press. Extraordinary that the Aldershot News, owned by the daily

:34:06.:34:09.

Mirror group, feels that it is so vulnerable they can't accept an

:34:10.:34:14.

article by myself and my colleague for North East Hampshire, he is the

:34:15.:34:19.

other contributed. Can I make this point? Apart from my criticism of

:34:20.:34:25.

the Aldershot News. It does illustrate that is a real paranoia

:34:26.:34:28.

in the media about this, and that it is our responsibility to be

:34:29.:34:34.

absolutely straightforward about this and recognise what we are

:34:35.:34:37.

seeking to do is not protect ourselves, but to protect ordinary

:34:38.:34:42.

people. My honourable friend, he makes an important point, but I want

:34:43.:34:46.

to be clear, the government will make a decision on this once we have

:34:47.:34:51.

a chance to review the outcome, and in light of the outcome of the legal

:34:52.:34:54.

proceedings, and not before they have concluded. Won't be awkward for

:34:55.:35:01.

the government if they completely ignore the press recognition panel

:35:02.:35:08.

's submission? The independently press regulation was what they were

:35:09.:35:16.

set up to do, and they are calling for section 40 to be implemented.

:35:17.:35:21.

They will review it, the Secretary of State will look carefully at it.

:35:22.:35:26.

We are committed not to make decisions early. This speaker has

:35:27.:35:33.

certified this amendment is engaging financial privilege. Our view is

:35:34.:35:37.

amendment 24 is necessary, inappropriate and ill timed. Turning

:35:38.:35:42.

to 96, the government understands the reasoning behind it. We seek to

:35:43.:35:47.

provide public funding legal representation for families at

:35:48.:35:53.

inquests. It may now be almost seven months since 's house mass debated

:35:54.:35:56.

this issue at report stage of this bill. But the position has not

:35:57.:36:00.

changed. Our view remains we should await the report expected this

:36:01.:36:05.

spring from Bishop James Jones, into the experiences of the Hillsborough

:36:06.:36:10.

families. The opposition has argued it goes beyond Hillsboro, and I

:36:11.:36:15.

don't dispute that. The experience the families will have significant

:36:16.:36:19.

relevance for other families facing different tragic circumstances. The

:36:20.:36:22.

issue of legal representation at inquests will undoubtedly be one

:36:23.:36:28.

aspect of those experiences. This is James's report will provide

:36:29.:36:33.

learning, so it is right we do not seek to pre-empt his review --

:36:34.:36:40.

Bishop James. For this reason, I predicted the House this amendment

:36:41.:36:45.

is at this point premature. As with other advancements, we must take

:36:46.:36:49.

into account the potential significant financial implications

:36:50.:36:53.

of amendment 90 six. The resource implications are just one

:36:54.:36:58.

consideration, and can't be ignored. The Speaker has certified this

:36:59.:37:01.

amendment as engaging financial privilege. Finally, 1362142, the

:37:02.:37:09.

seek to make further provision in respect to victims rights -- 136 to

:37:10.:37:19.

142. We will protect burnable victims and witnesses, and spare

:37:20.:37:23.

them the ordeal of going to court, through video links and pre-recorded

:37:24.:37:29.

cross exam nation. These amendments would result in an unstructured

:37:30.:37:32.

framework of rights and entitlements that is not founded on evidence of

:37:33.:37:37.

gaps or deficiencies, or even of what victims of crime want and need.

:37:38.:37:41.

Some amendments are necessary because a duplicate provisions which

:37:42.:37:45.

have been acting on by the government already. Could the

:37:46.:37:52.

Minister tell the House when the Green paper considering the need for

:37:53.:37:56.

a victim role, which was first mooted last year, will be published?

:37:57.:38:02.

I would say we are committed to getting measures to strengthen

:38:03.:38:05.

further the rights of victims, we need to take the time to get it

:38:06.:38:09.

right. We will announce plans in due course. It is quite important be

:38:10.:38:15.

clear 138 and 139 similarly unnecessary, as the training of all

:38:16.:38:21.

staff is taken very seriously. In relation to 141 on quality

:38:22.:38:24.

standards, the victims commissioners role encompasses good practice, and

:38:25.:38:31.

the operation of the victims code, which is a detailed set of victims

:38:32.:38:35.

entitlements. In addition, Police and Crime Commissioners enter into

:38:36.:38:41.

grant funding agreement with the Secretary of State for Justice to

:38:42.:38:44.

receive the funds to do so. Those agreements set out a range of

:38:45.:38:50.

minimal standards for the services. We are reviewing existing standards

:38:51.:38:54.

to make sure we have the best possible framework in place. These

:38:55.:39:00.

amendments individually and taken together are uncosted, vague and

:39:01.:39:04.

duplicative. They could impose significant obligations of financial

:39:05.:39:07.

burdens on the criminal justice system. In relation to amendment

:39:08.:39:12.

142, it is not clear what the purpose of directing a homicide

:39:13.:39:16.

report would be. It is unnecessary. There is already a requirement for a

:39:17.:39:20.

review to identify lessons to be learned from the death in domestic

:39:21.:39:25.

homicide cases. Putting aside the many difficulties we have with a

:39:26.:39:33.

detail of this, government is looking at what is required to

:39:34.:39:36.

strengthen further the right of victims of crime. We are looking at

:39:37.:39:38.

available information about: clients and look and how it can be improved.

:39:39.:39:42.

We are focused on making sure we get this work right. We will ensure any

:39:43.:39:47.

future reform proposals are evidence base, fully costed, effective and

:39:48.:39:53.

proportionate. Mr Deputy Speaker, as I've indicated, the intention behind

:39:54.:39:57.

these amendments is laudable but is in relation to amendment 134, we are

:39:58.:40:03.

persuaded the case has been well made to increase the maximum

:40:04.:40:06.

sentence for the more serious stalking and harassment offences. As

:40:07.:40:13.

for other Lords amendments, as responsible governments, we do not

:40:14.:40:17.

want to adopt a scatter-gun approach. Nor can we afford to be

:40:18.:40:21.

free and easy with taxpayers money by incurring substantial new

:40:22.:40:23.

spending commitments without offering any indication as to where

:40:24.:40:27.

the additional resources will come from. In relation to victims in

:40:28.:40:35.

particular, they have got to give evidence in court. What would the

:40:36.:40:41.

government do about strengthening, protecting these witnesses? Very

:40:42.:40:43.

often they are elderly people frightened to go and give witness

:40:44.:40:51.

against the person accuse. We are looking to strengthen their rights,

:40:52.:40:55.

but in a proper, proportionate and appropriate way. Taken at face value

:40:56.:41:02.

the criticisms he levels with regard to provisions for victims of crime,

:41:03.:41:08.

can he tell the House why it is the government have not brought forward

:41:09.:41:13.

amendments in lieu, instead of as asking to disagree with these

:41:14.:41:18.

amendments? This was, after all, something in the Conservative

:41:19.:41:20.

manifesto at the last election. How long do we have to wait? As I have

:41:21.:41:27.

said, we do want to look at doing is, we want to do it correctly and

:41:28.:41:32.

proportionately. I want to do the work, and in due course will come

:41:33.:41:35.

forward. We will make sure we are doing it in a proper way, and given

:41:36.:41:44.

this, 24, 96 amendments are premature and confuse, and focus and

:41:45.:41:49.

unnecessary. As such, I argue they should be rejected by this House.

:41:50.:41:57.

Does the House disagree with these amendments? Happy New Year to you

:41:58.:42:05.

and to the Minister. Mr Speaker, we support amendments 24, 96, 100 to

:42:06.:42:13.

142, along with the consequential amendments 159, 302, framed and

:42:14.:42:20.

seven -- 307. We support consequential amendments 305, and

:42:21.:42:26.

are glad to see the government has chosen to accept these. We won not

:42:27.:42:32.

therefore oppose the position on amendment one 34. I would like to

:42:33.:42:36.

take the opportunity to thank those who have worked to bring these

:42:37.:42:40.

issues to our attention, in particular the noble ladies Baroness

:42:41.:42:44.

O'Neill and Baroness Brinton, and let me congratulate my noble friend

:42:45.:42:49.

's, whose determination and outstanding advocacy for the most

:42:50.:42:55.

vulnerable in our society has led to the government accepting our

:42:56.:42:58.

amendments to the stalking code. Each of these issues before is is

:42:59.:43:04.

deserving of a full debate in its own right. But we have a short

:43:05.:43:08.

amount of time and I will deal with each of the amendment in turn.

:43:09.:43:14.

Amendment 24 with consequential amendment 159, insert new clause

:43:15.:43:19.

which requires the government to commission an independent enquiry

:43:20.:43:23.

into the way the police handle complaints relating to allegations

:43:24.:43:28.

of corruption between the police and newspaper organisations. It is

:43:29.:43:32.

commonly known as the leathers and to amendment because it is similar

:43:33.:43:36.

in scope to the proposed second part of the leather is an inquiry --

:43:37.:43:42.

Levenson. As proposed by Judge Levinson in 2011. This is a proposed

:43:43.:43:47.

examination into, and I quote, whether the police received corrupt

:43:48.:43:53.

payments or were otherwise competent in misconduct and into any failure

:43:54.:43:59.

of the police and others to properly investigate allegations relating to

:44:00.:44:02.

News International and other news organisations. And let us not forget

:44:03.:44:07.

what the former Prime Minister, the right honourable David Cameron,

:44:08.:44:12.

said, and I quote, when I set up this enquiry, I also said there

:44:13.:44:16.

would be a second part to investigate wrongdoing in the press

:44:17.:44:20.

and the police, including the conduct of the first police

:44:21.:44:21.

investigation. The consultation could be seen as a

:44:22.:44:32.

weakening of that commitment. This underlines the need for the clarity

:44:33.:44:38.

that this amendment would provide. Part one of the Leveson Inquiry

:44:39.:44:44.

found unhealthy links between senior Metropolitan Police officers and

:44:45.:44:48.

newspaper executives, links which led to high-level resignations.

:44:49.:44:52.

There are also issues around the relationship between the police and

:44:53.:44:56.

the press at a more local level where prior information appears to

:44:57.:45:00.

be provided about particular people to be arrested or a particular

:45:01.:45:06.

search to be carried out. All of these serious breaches speak to a

:45:07.:45:10.

fundamental need for us as a nation to assess the proper relationship

:45:11.:45:15.

between the police, the press, the public and the system of complaints.

:45:16.:45:20.

The proposed second stage of the Leveson Inquiry would have answered

:45:21.:45:26.

these sorts of questions and Labour has consistently supported it but

:45:27.:45:30.

sadly, real doubts are emerging about the government's commitment to

:45:31.:45:36.

the second stage of this enquiry. No timetable has been announced and the

:45:37.:45:40.

government has stated that it will not take place until all criminal

:45:41.:45:45.

investigations and trials related to part one are concluded. I will give

:45:46.:45:55.

way. Isn't the government's position sensible? There have been a

:45:56.:45:57.

succession of criminal trials looking at this matter and those

:45:58.:46:02.

have gone through in a proper judicial way, that most of the

:46:03.:46:05.

information we need is already available and that to go on in

:46:06.:46:09.

acquiring and enquiry is merely adding caused to the already ?50

:46:10.:46:14.

million cost that there has been for the taxpayer? I am really sorry that

:46:15.:46:18.

the honourable gentleman continues to plough this path because as I

:46:19.:46:22.

have said, it was quite clearly the second part of this enquiry was

:46:23.:46:27.

quite clearly in the mind of his Prime Minister when he made the

:46:28.:46:31.

statements, when he made the statements to this House about a

:46:32.:46:41.

part too. If we cannot accept the words of his Prime Minister, his

:46:42.:46:47.

Prime Minister, a guarantee by his Prime Minister. Oh really. I have

:46:48.:46:53.

let him put his concern on the record. The Prime Minister is to the

:46:54.:47:00.

sovereign and not to me. I have heard some specious arguments in

:47:01.:47:07.

this place... Anyway. Mr Speaker, the amendment before us today, I

:47:08.:47:12.

hope is acceptable to the benches opposite and the Minister, because

:47:13.:47:17.

is explicit that the enquiry should not begin until the Attorney General

:47:18.:47:21.

determines that the enquiry would not be prejudicial to any ongoing

:47:22.:47:28.

criminal investigation -- investigations are core cases. To

:47:29.:47:31.

oppose this amendment is tantamount to admitting that the government is

:47:32.:47:36.

no longer committed to an investigation into corruption

:47:37.:47:39.

between news organisations and the police and that they are not

:47:40.:47:43.

prepared to investigate how allegations of corruption are dealt

:47:44.:47:48.

with. If the government block amendment 24 today, the public

:47:49.:47:52.

really can have no option but to draw the conclusion that this

:47:53.:47:56.

government has no commitment to ask in the important and hard questions

:47:57.:48:02.

of our national institutions. I now turn to amendment 96 with

:48:03.:48:07.

consequential amendment 302 proposed in the other place. The purpose of

:48:08.:48:16.

this amendment is to establish the principle of parity of legal funding

:48:17.:48:20.

for bereaved families at inquest involving the police. Many

:48:21.:48:23.

honourable members and friends have championed this caused during the

:48:24.:48:27.

passage of this bill and elsewhere and I pay particular tribute to the

:48:28.:48:32.

tireless campaigning and a personal commitment of my right honourable

:48:33.:48:36.

friend, the member for relief. An equal funding at inquest and the

:48:37.:48:42.

associated injustices are highlighted by the sorrow saga of

:48:43.:48:45.

the Hillsborough hearings, the scales of justice were weighted

:48:46.:48:48.

against the families of those who had lost their lives. Public money

:48:49.:48:55.

was not used to discover the truth, but instead to defend an untenable

:48:56.:49:00.

narrative perpetuated by the South Yorkshire Police. The coroner,

:49:01.:49:04.

dealing with the first pre-inquest hearings into the 21 victims of the

:49:05.:49:11.

1974 Birmingham pub bombings backed applications for their bereaved

:49:12.:49:15.

families to get legal funding for proper representation. He commended

:49:16.:49:19.

their application but he did not have the power to authorise the

:49:20.:49:25.

funds. These are major cases which have attracted considerable public

:49:26.:49:29.

interest. But inquest in which the police are legally represented are

:49:30.:49:34.

not confined to major tragedies such as Hillsborough. Far more common are

:49:35.:49:39.

inquest into the deaths of individuals who are little known.

:49:40.:49:44.

Many bereaved families can find themselves in and add the soil and

:49:45.:49:54.

aggressive environment when they go to in inquest, many are not in a

:49:55.:49:57.

position to match the spending of the police or other parts of the

:49:58.:50:00.

public sector when it comes to their own legal representation. If --

:50:01.:50:02.

bereaved families have to try if at all possible to find their own money

:50:03.:50:07.

to have any sort of legal representation. We on the opposition

:50:08.:50:11.

benches believe that the overwhelming public interest at

:50:12.:50:16.

these inquests lies in discovering the truth. It follows public money

:50:17.:50:22.

should be there to establish the truth and not just protect public

:50:23.:50:26.

institutions and that must mean equal funding. In the Other Place,

:50:27.:50:32.

the government accepted that many would sympathise with the attention

:50:33.:50:37.

of this amendment, the former Home Secretary has commissioned the

:50:38.:50:40.

former Bishop of Liverpool, Bishop James Jones, to rip compile a report

:50:41.:50:45.

on the experiences of the Hillsborough families and we are

:50:46.:50:49.

encouraged to wait for his report before considering the issues

:50:50.:50:55.

further. But we already know that a system of unequal funding at inquest

:50:56.:51:00.

is wrong, public funds are being denied and are being used to deny

:51:01.:51:04.

justice and hide the truth. The government needs to act now to

:51:05.:51:09.

change a process that appears to be geared more towards trying to grind

:51:10.:51:13.

down breed families than enabling them to get out the truth. The

:51:14.:51:19.

government should really accept this amendment today. She makes a very

:51:20.:51:22.

strong point and I urge the government front bench to listen

:51:23.:51:26.

closely to the point the honourable lady is making. It is too often the

:51:27.:51:30.

case that people who die while in the care of the state and in a

:51:31.:51:33.

detained environment go up against the might of the state and that is

:51:34.:51:38.

simply not fair and it shouldn't be tolerated. I am really grateful to

:51:39.:51:42.

the honourable member for that point. Mr Speaker, we also support

:51:43.:51:51.

amendment one 36-142, proposed in the Other Place by Baroness Brinton.

:51:52.:51:58.

These amendments are designed to improve the way that the criminal

:51:59.:52:02.

justice system interacts with the victims of crime and they are based

:52:03.:52:07.

on the work of my honourable friend, the member for Holborn and Saint

:52:08.:52:11.

pancreas. I presume that these amendments will be acceptable to the

:52:12.:52:15.

benches opposite, because as we have heard, they had the effect of

:52:16.:52:20.

enacting the 2015 Conservative manifesto commitment to introduce a

:52:21.:52:27.

victims bill of rights. Let me remind my honourable friend, the

:52:28.:52:30.

minister, and quote to him the manifesto. It says, we will

:52:31.:52:35.

strengthen victims rights further with a new victims law that will

:52:36.:52:40.

enshrine key rights for victims. I understand that the minister, the

:52:41.:52:45.

member for Hemel Hempstead, has already committed to a Green paper

:52:46.:52:52.

on this issue, in a private meeting with the campaign group, voice for

:52:53.:52:56.

victims last year, but we have yet to see sight of it. The legislation

:52:57.:53:01.

before us is the ideal opportunity for them to take the matter forward,

:53:02.:53:06.

so I encourage the government, even at this late stage, to think again

:53:07.:53:11.

and not oppose this amendment today. Mr Speaker, the House will know that

:53:12.:53:16.

victims rights are currently protected in the victims code which

:53:17.:53:21.

was introduced in 2005 by a Labour government and which we still

:53:22.:53:25.

support. However, the right included in this code are not legally binding

:53:26.:53:29.

and in the last few years, it has become clear that a firmer legal

:53:30.:53:36.

basis is required to give distressed and vulnerable victims the

:53:37.:53:41.

protection that they need. Can the honourable member giveaway? Thank

:53:42.:53:44.

you. I wonder would she agree with me that the European directive on

:53:45.:53:50.

victims rights of 2012, if that was put on a statutory footing in

:53:51.:53:53.

England and Wales it would be following the lead that happens in

:53:54.:53:56.

Scotland already? She is absolutely right. I think that talking about

:53:57.:54:02.

Europe might be too much of a red flag in this chamber today!

:54:03.:54:08.

Moreover, if we passed these amendments today, they would create

:54:09.:54:12.

a statutory duty on selected police leadership to produce an area 's

:54:13.:54:18.

victims plan, depending on local needs and would require the

:54:19.:54:21.

commissioner for victims and witnesses to assess the ankle --

:54:22.:54:24.

adequacy of these plans and finally they would empower the Secretary of

:54:25.:54:28.

State to order a homicide review and that is basically a cold case review

:54:29.:54:36.

when nobody has been charged with a crime. Taken together, these

:54:37.:54:38.

measures would allow the victims code to be better in forced and to

:54:39.:54:42.

ensure that our criminal justice system works better for the victims

:54:43.:54:47.

of crime and that the government will, I hope, offer their

:54:48.:54:49.

wholehearted support to these amendments. And finally, I turned to

:54:50.:54:56.

amendment 134 with consequential amendment 305 proposed by my noble

:54:57.:55:01.

friend Aaron Harris Royale, which increases the maximum penalty for

:55:02.:55:05.

those found guilty of stalking from 5-10 years and in cases where the

:55:06.:55:11.

offence is racially or religiously aggravated, between 7-14. We are

:55:12.:55:15.

delighted that the government has chosen to accept our case and I

:55:16.:55:18.

congratulate my noble friend, who has pursued this campaign. Home

:55:19.:55:24.

Office data suggest that as many as one in five women and one in ten men

:55:25.:55:29.

will be stalked at some point in their lives, but just because

:55:30.:55:32.

stalking is common, it doesn't mean it is not a serious matter. It

:55:33.:55:37.

destroys lives, it violates an individual's right to privacy and

:55:38.:55:40.

therefore destroys their personal freedoms. It causes fear and rightly

:55:41.:55:46.

so, since too often it is a precursor to violent confrontation.

:55:47.:55:52.

I know that sentencing guidelines and specific sentences are the

:55:53.:55:56.

responsibility of the sentencing council, and the judges

:55:57.:55:59.

respectively, but extending the maximum penalty will allow for

:56:00.:56:02.

greater flexibility in the most serious cases and make it clear that

:56:03.:56:07.

stalking is a serious offence. It is the Labour Party which has provided

:56:08.:56:11.

the government with the opportunity to give judges the necessary

:56:12.:56:16.

flexibility to hand out appropriate sentences to what our serious

:56:17.:56:21.

criminals. I am delighted that the government has seen this need and

:56:22.:56:31.

responded so appropriately. I rise to support the government's

:56:32.:56:37.

amendment on stalking. This is a momentous day, because these

:56:38.:56:40.

proposed measures which would have the effect of significantly

:56:41.:56:44.

strengthening protections for victims of stalking represent the

:56:45.:56:47.

culmination of a 16 month campaign. What began with a meeting with my GP

:56:48.:56:54.

constituent in 2015, I truly hope ends here today. Because in doubling

:56:55.:56:58.

the maximum sentences for stalking, the government's proposals

:56:59.:57:02.

emphatically and decidedly do two things. First, they recognise that

:57:03.:57:06.

stalking is not a minor offence, instead it is a horrible, violating,

:57:07.:57:11.

destructive tribe that rips apart relationships, ruins careers and can

:57:12.:57:14.

cause lasting mental harm and all too often it is the gateway to

:57:15.:57:19.

serious violence. Second, the government's amendments ensure that

:57:20.:57:22.

the courts will have the tools they need to do with the most serious

:57:23.:57:26.

cases, accordingly. Most crucially of all, it will give them powers to

:57:27.:57:36.

truly protect victims and put their needs front and centre in a criminal

:57:37.:57:39.

justice system. Let me be clear, one we are talking about stalking

:57:40.:57:41.

victims, we are not simply referring to the rich and famous, instead but

:57:42.:57:44.

this campaign has made crystal clear, it is ordinary men and women

:57:45.:57:46.

who can fall victim just as readily and just as severely as those in the

:57:47.:57:53.

public eye. The context... Before the honourable gentleman continues,

:57:54.:57:56.

can I say, I want to mention the work he has done on this and I want

:57:57.:58:02.

to congratulate him for it. Very gracious and I am grateful for it.

:58:03.:58:06.

The context briefly for these proposals was the horrific

:58:07.:58:08.

seven-year ordeal suffered by my constituent at the hands of her

:58:09.:58:11.

former patient and I will not go through all the detail now, but some

:58:12.:58:16.

of the details. He turned up at her surgery over 100 times, he posted

:58:17.:58:20.

fowl items through the letterbox and followed her on patient visits,

:58:21.:58:23.

slashed tyres and sent threatening male, appeared at a children's

:58:24.:58:27.

birthday party attended by her daughter and caused anxiety and fear

:58:28.:58:33.

and after serving a short prison sentence, he restarted his campaign.

:58:34.:58:39.

She received packages at her surgery and at home, one was threatening and

:58:40.:58:46.

abusive and made sure that she knew that he knew what school and her

:58:47.:58:53.

children attended. A search on his computer revealed a search for how

:58:54.:58:57.

long after a person dispirit issue presumed dead?

:58:58.:59:05.

The judge went on to say, I'm frustrated the maximum sentence as

:59:06.:59:12.

five years, I would if I could give you longer. These proposals mean

:59:13.:59:15.

instead of the maximum sentence being lower than the shoplifting,

:59:16.:59:19.

the maximum would be put on a par with another of setting crime,

:59:20.:59:25.

burglary. It means we no longer have the completely unsatisfactory

:59:26.:59:27.

situation where the maximum a stalker could serve in prison on

:59:28.:59:32.

entering a guilty plea, even for the worse manageable offence, is just 20

:59:33.:59:38.

months. I should make clear what it is not about. It is not about saying

:59:39.:59:43.

all stalking cases should suddenly lead to longer sentences, that is

:59:44.:59:49.

for the courts. It is about ensuring in the most serious cases where

:59:50.:59:53.

victims are truly at risk of serious harm, physical or mental, that the

:59:54.:59:56.

court have the tools they need to protect the innocent. Nor is it

:59:57.:00:01.

about throwing away the key and giving up on offenders. I and others

:00:02.:00:05.

want to see prison sentences which reform the offender and address and

:00:06.:00:10.

aligning obsession in an effective way. The reality is in fact that

:00:11.:00:14.

longer sentences in appropriate cases can provide the prison system

:00:15.:00:18.

were a great opportunity to rehabilitate and trade. In closing I

:00:19.:00:21.

want to thank those parliamentarians from all sides, including the

:00:22.:00:27.

Baroness who back these measures. And in both... In this place and in

:00:28.:00:33.

their support for the detailed report I co-authored with my

:00:34.:00:39.

honourable friend, the MP for Gloucester. I want to page should be

:00:40.:00:43.

to this government. I am proud that more has been done by this

:00:44.:00:49.

government since 2015 and in Coalition to recognise the

:00:50.:00:52.

seriousness of this type of offending. In just a decade stalking

:00:53.:00:57.

has gone from being treated as almost a joke to be recognised the

:00:58.:01:01.

serious offence it is. This step today builds on vital work that has

:01:02.:01:05.

gone before, from creating the offence in 2012 to enacting stalking

:01:06.:01:11.

protection orders. And it can be seen in the context of other vital

:01:12.:01:14.

measures relevant to this subject, not least Clare's Law. Can I just

:01:15.:01:25.

enlighten him, he wasn't in the House when the stalking bill was

:01:26.:01:29.

introduced by a Labour government as a result of a private members bill

:01:30.:01:33.

against a lot of opposition by his party at the time. I am very sure,

:01:34.:01:40.

but it was a Coalition, Conservative led government that made it get on.

:01:41.:01:47.

In the spirit of being entirely conservatory, I do recognise a lot

:01:48.:01:51.

of people have made 11. Can close by saying I'm grateful to the victims,

:01:52.:01:58.

typically but not exclusively women, I have spoken to many charities.

:01:59.:02:08.

But above all, and finally, I want to page should be to my concert and

:02:09.:02:14.

Doctor Aston. It was her ordeal which triggered -- triggered this --

:02:15.:02:21.

paid tribute to my constituent Doctor Aston. Her greatest wish, I

:02:22.:02:27.

know, is that future victims can receive the full measure of justice.

:02:28.:02:31.

If these proposals are carried out that would be precisely the result.

:02:32.:02:35.

I commend the amendments to the House. I had not intended to come

:02:36.:02:45.

along today, and it is a pleasure to follow the honourable member from

:02:46.:02:49.

Cheltenham, who rightly speaks of real progress being made in the

:02:50.:02:54.

stalking Bill, and that actually there is no need to have some sort

:02:55.:02:59.

of pimping over Houston more overt domestic violence, sexual violence

:03:00.:03:03.

and stalking, because we should be trying to do everything we can. I

:03:04.:03:09.

don't care who does it, as long as it gets done. The issue I think the

:03:10.:03:22.

build today, it will mean nothing if in practice legislation is not

:03:23.:03:28.

realised and I'm afraid to say that as somebody who has worked on the

:03:29.:03:32.

front line, so after that we make brilliant rules in this place

:03:33.:03:36.

beautiful, fancy written rules on all the fancy goat skins, and means

:03:37.:03:45.

absolutely nothing to people living in the places. Because of resources,

:03:46.:03:55.

because of issues around is housing. And that is why I want to stand and

:03:56.:04:00.

talk about the victims code and the amendments around the victims Bill

:04:01.:04:03.

that was put forward by my honourable friend from St Pancras

:04:04.:04:10.

and urged the government to consider the amendments and make a more

:04:11.:04:18.

robust framework. The victims code is brilliant, it is... I have no

:04:19.:04:24.

doubt everyone here is committed to making things better for victims. I

:04:25.:04:28.

don't sign up to the idea you are baddies and we are goodies, we all

:04:29.:04:32.

come here because we want to make something better. At the moment, as

:04:33.:04:36.

somebody who was the victims champing at the Birmingham and at a

:04:37.:04:41.

huge piece of work on victims, and victims code, with the government's

:04:42.:04:46.

commissioner, what I found is that if you could find the victim that

:04:47.:04:50.

knew what the victims code was, I will give you some cash now. Because

:04:51.:04:55.

people don't realise they've got this many days you ask for this,

:04:56.:04:59.

people don't realise they have that many, that they can have a

:05:00.:05:04.

statement. Only 30% of people remembered being asked for one. If I

:05:05.:05:08.

ask members here to think back to the day the murderer of our friend

:05:09.:05:15.

and colleague Jo Cox was sentenced, the thing we don't remember from

:05:16.:05:21.

that day is that man. The thing we remember is Brendan Cox standing and

:05:22.:05:24.

making the victims statement outside the court, that he had made inside

:05:25.:05:28.

the court, because he knew he had the rights to do it. That is rare,

:05:29.:05:35.

but it was so powerful in that case. It is imperative that we look at the

:05:36.:05:39.

amendments around the Victim's Law and see how we can strengthen them

:05:40.:05:44.

because I am telling you now, from my experience, not you, Mr Speaker,

:05:45.:05:53.

I am telling all that people, the victims code is a hope as far as

:05:54.:05:59.

people are concerned. And the amendments that have been put down

:06:00.:06:04.

today, the opposition amendments, would definitely make it stronger

:06:05.:06:08.

and definitely the victims of stalking, definitely for victims of

:06:09.:06:12.

sexual violence. So I would ask the government to think again. I also

:06:13.:06:16.

just want to make a quick point about the amendments around is

:06:17.:06:23.

inequality of arms in cases where the state is an actor in, I stand

:06:24.:06:30.

and speak with a victims of the Birmingham pub bombings who are not

:06:31.:06:35.

just my constituents, they are my friends. Their plight at the moment,

:06:36.:06:45.

we have a matter of weeks to answer their plight. Currently the coroner,

:06:46.:06:51.

the chief coroner agrees with them they have not been provided with an

:06:52.:06:55.

equality of arms, so an adjournment has taken place before their inquest

:06:56.:07:03.

can be reopened, and we have until February to right that wrong, and at

:07:04.:07:07.

the moment I see nothing that is telling me that is going to change.

:07:08.:07:13.

And I would ask the government again to look at these amendments and

:07:14.:07:19.

think, how would you feel if it was the constituencies, the families in

:07:20.:07:22.

your constituency? As the families of the Hillsborough... With regard

:07:23.:07:30.

to the Birmingham situation I would consider, I'm happy to have a

:07:31.:07:34.

conservation outside. I think she's not understood what has happened. I

:07:35.:07:39.

will give her more information. I am only too aware the Minister will

:07:40.:07:44.

almost silly tell meet the legal aid has been granted, that legal aid --

:07:45.:07:53.

almost certainly tell me. Whilst I am more than happy to meet with the

:07:54.:07:58.

Minister out of here, I will wager I know a bit more about it. And

:07:59.:08:06.

perhaps leaders. I would be delighted to be proven wrong -- than

:08:07.:08:15.

perhaps he does. I will be delighted and stand on every single platform I

:08:16.:08:19.

can to say how I was wrong and the Minister knew more than me, if

:08:20.:08:22.

that's what he has to tell me. I will look forward to that. I will

:08:23.:08:31.

conclude by saying that I think we will want something better, we all

:08:32.:08:36.

want victims be treated better, and the honourable member from

:08:37.:08:41.

Cheltenham has shown with passion how that can be realise, but what we

:08:42.:08:46.

do in this place, unless we make sure our regulations are enacted,

:08:47.:08:51.

you know, it is slightly from nothing. So I would ask them to look

:08:52.:08:54.

again at the amendments around victims rights. Mr Speaker, in the

:08:55.:09:05.

last parliament I was politically incontinent, voting against the

:09:06.:09:09.

government, and I tried to make sure in this Parliament I was only in one

:09:10.:09:12.

lobby and that was a government lobby. I've managed, I've managed

:09:13.:09:19.

that. For the past 18 months, and I've just so disappointed on this

:09:20.:09:22.

occasion the government isn't willing to accept amendment 96

:09:23.:09:28.

because quality of representation is critical. I spoken in this place in

:09:29.:09:34.

previous comments about the terrible tragedy of deaths in custody, deaths

:09:35.:09:38.

in detained environments. Let us look at specifically deaths whilst

:09:39.:09:44.

in police custody. If a person dies whilst in police custody, there is a

:09:45.:09:50.

coroner's enquiry, and you have a total inequality of representation

:09:51.:09:53.

at that enquiry, you have a family of the deceased up against the

:09:54.:09:59.

state, the police and legal representation. That legal

:10:00.:10:02.

representation is given to the police without question, it is

:10:03.:10:05.

funded without question, where the families of the deceased, at a time

:10:06.:10:10.

of huge emotional turmoil, have their finances poured through with a

:10:11.:10:16.

fine tooth comb. Not just the finances are parents, but those of

:10:17.:10:22.

siblings, the finances of uncles and even cousins, to see if the family

:10:23.:10:27.

can bear the cost of the legal representation. That is entirely

:10:28.:10:33.

unfair, it is not just, and I do think the Lords amendment is very

:10:34.:10:38.

sensible in its scope, and I would hope even at this late stage, if no

:10:39.:10:43.

other reason to keep me out of a lobby I don't really want to be in,

:10:44.:10:48.

the government might consider accepting this Lords amendment so we

:10:49.:10:52.

can all finished the evening on a very happy and unified note. Thank

:10:53.:10:57.

you very much, Mr Speaker. I don't think it'll be a unified note by the

:10:58.:11:01.

end of the date, and there was an element of irony in his contribution

:11:02.:11:06.

there. I want to pay tribute to the November chanter men for --

:11:07.:11:13.

honourable member for Cheltenham. The legislation has changed since

:11:14.:11:20.

1997. It is Gerdes this is now recognise for the terrible harm it

:11:21.:11:24.

is done to many victims. I want to talk about, because this is a

:11:25.:11:30.

smorgasbord debate, I went to go back to the Levenson issues and to

:11:31.:11:34.

amendment number 24. Which I wish wasn't necessary. It is only

:11:35.:11:40.

necessary, it has only been put on the order paper because their

:11:41.:11:46.

lordships and a large number of us are distrustful of the government 's

:11:47.:11:50.

intention in relation to what happened over Levenson. The truth

:11:51.:11:57.

is, I believe it is necessary to have the full Levenson, that is on

:11:58.:12:02.

two levels of enquiries, it is a one enquiry, some of which could be done

:12:03.:12:07.

before the criminal investigations were completed and some of which

:12:08.:12:11.

which could not be done until they were completed. That was always the

:12:12.:12:15.

promise, it was never, we will think about having two before the criminal

:12:16.:12:21.

investigation, it was always from the very beginning, there will be

:12:22.:12:26.

one enquiry with two parts and the second part will happen. In fact,

:12:27.:12:30.

the Prime Minister in the quotes given by my right honourable friend

:12:31.:12:36.

the West Ham earlier, he said those words, the day after Levenson one

:12:37.:12:41.

had been produced. So there is no excuse for ministers to turn around

:12:42.:12:46.

now and say, no, we never intended to proceed with it, and why does it

:12:47.:12:52.

matter, why is it important? The truth is we are talking about

:12:53.:12:55.

corruption in one of the organisations of the state that

:12:56.:12:59.

matters most to our constituents and to the rule of law in this country.

:13:00.:13:05.

The police. There was a time, I'm sure the vast majority of us agree,

:13:06.:13:09.

from the little bit of pieces we've managed to glean from number one,

:13:10.:13:16.

that the Metropolitan Police to all intents and purposes was a partially

:13:17.:13:20.

owned subsidiary of News International. Members of staff from

:13:21.:13:24.

the Metropolitan Police went to work when News International and when

:13:25.:13:27.

they had finished there, they went back to work for the Metropolitan

:13:28.:13:31.

Police, there was a revolving door. On the very day that the police

:13:32.:13:38.

decided not to continue with the investigation into what had happened

:13:39.:13:43.

at the News of the World 's, the leading investigator was having

:13:44.:13:46.

dinner with Rebekah Brooks. Now, we don't know all the facts the cars

:13:47.:13:53.

Lord Justice Levenson quite rightly said, I cannot investigate all these

:13:54.:13:58.

elements of the corruption in the Metropolitan Police, and what went

:13:59.:14:01.

on at the News of the World until such time as could not

:14:02.:14:05.

investigations have completed. They are now complete. I would reiterate,

:14:06.:14:10.

it wasn't just the Prime Minister, David Cameron, who made these

:14:11.:14:15.

promises, it was the then Home Secretary, who repeatedly, time time

:14:16.:14:19.

said in his house there would be Levenson to, not if it proves

:14:20.:14:24.

necessary, not perhaps there would be lovers and two, there would be

:14:25.:14:29.

Levenson two and it would be proceeded with, as is necessary in

:14:30.:14:32.

according with the law. Now, I would just say to the

:14:33.:14:49.

government who seem, from the way they have conducted themselves,

:14:50.:14:53.

since the new government came in to post, that they need to listen to

:14:54.:14:57.

some of the other members on their own site, like the honourable member

:14:58.:15:04.

from Aldershot and the member for North Herefordshire who have quite

:15:05.:15:07.

rightly made the point that the government is walking itself into a

:15:08.:15:12.

cul-de-sac here. The truth of the batteries, this House and the Other

:15:13.:15:17.

Place agreed legislation, section 40 of the act which has yet to be

:15:18.:15:22.

implemented, this House and the other House agreed nearly

:15:23.:15:28.

unanimously, that we would set up a Royal Charter to put a body in place

:15:29.:15:34.

that was going to decide on the independent regulation of the press.

:15:35.:15:38.

That body, if the Royal Charter is to be withdrawn is going to get a

:15:39.:15:42.

two thirds majority in this house and a two thirds majority in the

:15:43.:15:45.

House of Lords, that is not going to happen, this is a cul-de-sac that

:15:46.:15:49.

the government is walking into unless it chooses to act and act

:15:50.:15:55.

swiftly. Now, I believe that the government should already have

:15:56.:15:58.

implemented section 40 and I would just say that the honourable member

:15:59.:16:02.

for Aldershot is absolutely right when he comments on the wholly

:16:03.:16:06.

exaggerated campaign being run by the press at the moment. It is

:16:07.:16:10.

something very simple, that the victims of press intrusion where

:16:11.:16:15.

promised and the honourable member for North Herefordshire gain is

:16:16.:16:19.

right to say it is not about us, it is not about celebrities, I don't

:16:20.:16:24.

give much of a fig about what happens in relation to them, we put

:16:25.:16:27.

ourselves in the public domain and to some degree we have it coming.

:16:28.:16:32.

However, what really upsets and some others have done it more than

:16:33.:16:38.

others, however, what really upsets me, is the victims of crime when

:16:39.:16:42.

they had their phones hacked, it is a victims of crime, the people of

:16:43.:16:49.

so, why do we originally do our investigation back then? It is

:16:50.:16:53.

because the people of so felt that all of their privacy was invaded,

:16:54.:16:58.

they had no means of saying go away, leave us alone and they were the

:16:59.:17:01.

victims, they were not the perpetrators of crime. What we want

:17:02.:17:08.

is something very very simple, a genuinely independent system of

:17:09.:17:11.

self-regulation and those who say that the new ipso, it is no better.

:17:12.:17:20.

And it is exactly the same as the Press Complaints Commission, it has

:17:21.:17:23.

no more teeth than the previous organisation, it has some of the

:17:24.:17:27.

same staff and virtually the same code of conduct, it is not

:17:28.:17:31.

independent. We want a code of conduct that can be relied upon so

:17:32.:17:36.

that the intrusion into the victims of crime stops. We want a right of

:17:37.:17:40.

apology and the correction that is in a newspaper given the same

:17:41.:17:45.

prominence as the original offending article. I would have thought that

:17:46.:17:49.

it was in the interests of all the press at a really difficult time for

:17:50.:17:55.

them, that there should be a cheap system of rectification. Mr Speaker,

:17:56.:17:59.

the only reason that this amendment is on the order paper is because we

:18:00.:18:04.

want the government to stand by the promises it made and I see the

:18:05.:18:10.

Secretary of State for culture, Olympics, media and sport and I say

:18:11.:18:13.

to her, I hope she is Quetta walkers any further down this cul-de-sac,

:18:14.:18:20.

because it will do the victims of crime Knowles favour. It will look

:18:21.:18:26.

as if should we have simply caved in to a nasty, tawdry little campaign

:18:27.:18:33.

by the press. Sir Peter Bottomley. Can I say that I think that article

:18:34.:18:39.

40 should not be introduced? I think that to say to 90% of the local,

:18:40.:18:44.

regional and national press there will be forced into a grip they do

:18:45.:18:47.

not want to join, is bullying of the worst kind and if that Council of

:18:48.:18:52.

Europe looked at this and saw it, they would say it is interference in

:18:53.:18:58.

the free media. William Holm, who has been described, defied the law

:18:59.:19:04.

over criminal libel and we have to remember that our press basically

:19:05.:19:08.

got their freedom from that moment when ordinary people in this country

:19:09.:19:13.

on juries refused to connect because they said that the media did not

:19:14.:19:17.

have the right to lampoon, be rude or investigate. People ought to ask

:19:18.:19:21.

the question, what with the effect of the article the? Wooded enquiries

:19:22.:19:24.

investigative journalism? It would not. It would be a good idea if

:19:25.:19:30.

those who were backing this idea would give a list of the cases for

:19:31.:19:36.

defamation cases were successful and wrong, including politicians who

:19:37.:19:41.

denied that they were drunk overseas and various other criminals who

:19:42.:19:44.

later turned out to be guilty of the things they were accused by the

:19:45.:19:48.

media. We rely on the media to find the things that few people know

:19:49.:19:51.

about, to make them available... And the whole effect of Article 40 is to

:19:52.:19:58.

chill the opportunity for the media to investigate and report. That is

:19:59.:20:02.

why, I believe that this House would be wrong to force government to

:20:03.:20:06.

bring in Article 40 and a hope we do not and I hope those in favour of it

:20:07.:20:09.

will find other ways of pursuing their own names. He has concluded

:20:10.:20:21.

his speech. Mr Richard Graham. Mr Speaker, thank you for calling me to

:20:22.:20:28.

speak today. And I speak to support the government amendment 24 as

:20:29.:20:33.

strongly as I possibly can do. It recognises the force of the

:20:34.:20:37.

arguments laid out in the report by my honourable friend, the member for

:20:38.:20:41.

Cheltenham in March last year about stalking, the case for extending the

:20:42.:20:47.

maximum sentence. This report summarised work by our researchers,

:20:48.:20:52.

through them we met victims, stalking charities, academics and

:20:53.:20:56.

police specialists and everything we learned confirmed our initial

:20:57.:21:07.

instinct that there are a small number of very dangerous stalkers,

:21:08.:21:09.

like, I am afraid, my constituent, Raymond Knight who pursued Doctor

:21:10.:21:12.

Ellner Aston to the point of nervous breakdown. Mr Speaker, today,

:21:13.:21:21.

therefore, I want to pay tribute to the government. For accepting our

:21:22.:21:25.

report and its single recommendation of doubling the maximum sentence

:21:26.:21:30.

from stalking from five to ten years, amending appropriate sections

:21:31.:21:36.

in the act about religious and racial harassment. And also for

:21:37.:21:43.

outlining in correspondence and additional training that will be

:21:44.:21:47.

part of dealing with the mental health issues of the serious

:21:48.:21:51.

stalkers. I know that the Home Office and the Department of Justice

:21:52.:21:55.

have worked closely on this together and I am grateful to both ministers

:21:56.:21:59.

here today for their actions. I also want to thank Gloucestershire -based

:22:00.:22:05.

Baroness Royale in the Lords for her commitment and contribution. All

:22:06.:22:10.

those who informed us and shared some harrowing experiences,

:22:11.:22:13.

including a constituent and her family and I would like to quote

:22:14.:22:19.

from her 16-year-old daughter, if members would like to hear what she

:22:20.:22:27.

said. 16-year-old daughter of my constituent who was so egregious Lee

:22:28.:22:32.

stalked told us, he, the stalker, broke into my house one night, all

:22:33.:22:37.

the knives in the nice standard were gone, I was sure, she said, I was

:22:38.:22:44.

going to die. In this particular case, my constituent and her family

:22:45.:22:48.

preferred to remain anonymous, not least because my constituent has

:22:49.:22:51.

been moved by the police to a safe house, far from her home and her own

:22:52.:22:59.

children. For all those who informed us, educated us and motivated us, I

:23:00.:23:06.

am extremely grateful. Mr Speaker, the work that I have had with my

:23:07.:23:11.

neighbour, the MP for Cheltenham, I suspect means that the neighbouring

:23:12.:23:16.

constituencies of Cheltenham and Gloucester have not worked so

:23:17.:23:19.

closely since the creation of the Cheltenham and Gloucester building

:23:20.:23:23.

society, now, alas, long since gone. It is on a good cause that we come

:23:24.:23:28.

together in supporting the government's change of law today.

:23:29.:23:34.

The amendment, amendment 24 means that judges will have the

:23:35.:23:39.

flexibility they need, victims will, as Dr Eleanor Aston said will be

:23:40.:23:41.

able to sleep more easily with the worst stalkers are sentence and the

:23:42.:23:45.

stalkers understand better, on the one hand the seriousness of their

:23:46.:23:49.

crime, and on the other, receive more help in resolving what is a

:23:50.:23:54.

severe obsession and mental health issue. Of course, this is not, as

:23:55.:23:58.

the member for Birmingham Yardley pointed out, this is not in itself

:23:59.:24:03.

going to stop stalking. But it shows that victims and judges are heard,

:24:04.:24:08.

and MPs and ultimately the government listens and that laws can

:24:09.:24:14.

be changed, so that sentences better reflect what a particular crime can

:24:15.:24:19.

inflict on innocent victims, most of whom, and particularly in the

:24:20.:24:22.

instance that inspired my neighbour and I, are women. Ultimately,

:24:23.:24:27.

justice is only as good as the laws that we adapt and how these and

:24:28.:24:32.

fermented. And Mr Speaker, in this context, can I pay tribute also to

:24:33.:24:37.

the Prime Minister, who made stalking a crime on the statue of

:24:38.:24:41.

big when she was Home Secretary and to the current Home Secretary who

:24:42.:24:44.

introduced protection orders against stalkers. Let me finish by coming

:24:45.:24:51.

back to where this campaign started. The judge and the victim in

:24:52.:24:57.

Gloucester Crown Court. Thank you to Dr Eleanor Aston for inspiring us,

:24:58.:25:02.

being strong and for having faith, two other victims, for opening their

:25:03.:25:05.

hearts and sharing their stories, to the stalking charities and to the

:25:06.:25:21.

trust which is a leader in this sad area. This part of the journey for

:25:22.:25:28.

justice for victims of stalking is now close to over. Even if the

:25:29.:25:32.

member for Birmingham Yardley has reminded us that there will always

:25:33.:25:39.

be other issues to be raised and resolved, but today's amendment,

:25:40.:25:42.

however, deserves all of our support. Thank you. Sir Gerald

:25:43.:25:50.

Howarth. Thank you for calling me and if I may say, I think the whole

:25:51.:25:55.

House has listened with great respect to my honourable friend from

:25:56.:26:01.

Cheltenham and my honourable friend from Gloucester, for bringing to the

:26:02.:26:05.

attention of the whole House and the country, the appalling consequences

:26:06.:26:09.

of stalking and I joined others in saluting the efforts that they have

:26:10.:26:13.

made in persuading the government to recognise the gravity of this crime

:26:14.:26:18.

and reaching this result tonight, which we can all applaud. I thank

:26:19.:26:23.

the honourable member for pointing out my contribution and earlier

:26:24.:26:30.

intervention to the Minister about section 40 and Amendment 24. I am

:26:31.:26:37.

not going to vote for Amendment 24 tonight, because the government has

:26:38.:26:41.

agreed to have a consultation process and I think it is right that

:26:42.:26:45.

that consultation process should run and as I said to the minister

:26:46.:26:48.

earlier, I do hope the government will not be intimidated by what was

:26:49.:26:55.

called, the campaign by the newspapers, who seemed to me to be

:26:56.:27:00.

struck by an extraordinary sense of paranoia and a feeling of

:27:01.:27:03.

vulnerability, when we all know, from the many cases that have

:27:04.:27:08.

appeared, that they are the ones who really are in the driving seat and

:27:09.:27:12.

they have power without a lot of responsibility. And therefore, I

:27:13.:27:18.

think that after having gone through all the Levenson report and enquiry

:27:19.:27:24.

and the subsequent report and not paying attention to that very

:27:25.:27:28.

detailed and considered piece of work, that we should follow what the

:27:29.:27:35.

Prime Minister then, David Cameron, said that Parliament should do.

:27:36.:27:39.

Since the Aldershot news were unwilling to publish my article

:27:40.:27:43.

from, today, perhaps I could give the has the benefit of the article

:27:44.:27:49.

which will no longer appear in the paper. Since it is my honourable and

:27:50.:27:54.

learned friend suggest, I put it in the lobby, but I think he might be

:27:55.:27:59.

better informed, if not wiser, if I do it. He is a great man, anyway!

:28:00.:28:14.

LAUGHTER. What I said is this, I believe in a free press, but I'll is

:28:15.:28:17.

a believer in a responsible press and sadly the newspapers are

:28:18.:28:20.

becoming increasingly paranoid about what they see as an attack on them

:28:21.:28:24.

and refusing to accept the recommendation of the latest enquiry

:28:25.:28:28.

under Lord Justice Leveson that an independent regulator be

:28:29.:28:30.

established. That was set up after an appalling series of intrusions

:28:31.:28:33.

into the private lives of people which included phone hacking on an

:28:34.:28:38.

industrial scale. The Dowler's body was found 200 yards from the

:28:39.:28:44.

boundary of my constituency and back case really did strike at the heart

:28:45.:28:49.

-- Millie Dowler. Phone hacking is brought up again and again by

:28:50.:28:53.

colleagues in this house, who want to make sense of the press in my

:28:54.:28:59.

view. Phone hacking is a criminal offence and people have gone to jail

:29:00.:29:02.

for it. There is no need for any further laws.

:29:03.:29:09.

The fact is the inquiry would not have taken place if it wasn't for

:29:10.:29:17.

the fact phone hacking was discovered as an industrial scale.

:29:18.:29:22.

They were engaging in it, it was immoral, some went to prison

:29:23.:29:27.

following legal action. I think it is hard for those who have not

:29:28.:29:35.

experienced an assault by the media to appreciate the level of distress

:29:36.:29:39.

it causes. I know because some 30 years ago, together with my then

:29:40.:29:43.

colleague Neil Hamilton, I had to see the BBC panorama programme for

:29:44.:29:49.

libel, which we weren't and had a director-general of the BBC fired,

:29:50.:29:57.

but at the risk of bankruptcy and my seat in this place. If we had lost

:29:58.:30:04.

the case. And for the record, our costs were something like ?273,000,

:30:05.:30:12.

so I say to my right on boyfriend of Worthing -- right honourable friend.

:30:13.:30:16.

It is all well for those who have money, they can access justice, but

:30:17.:30:24.

this is all about providing remedy for those who do not have money and

:30:25.:30:32.

cannot afford to undertake that sort of action. Since 1945 there have

:30:33.:30:37.

been no less than five Royal commissions and enquiries to secure

:30:38.:30:40.

a better and cheaper form of justice for those maligned by powerful media

:30:41.:30:48.

barons. It is worth bearing in mind my legal costs, when it came too

:30:49.:30:51.

soon the Metropolitan Police to try and make sure they gave me

:30:52.:30:56.

information about what happened to me, was framed and ?83,000. My legal

:30:57.:31:03.

costs in relation to suing Rupert Murdoch -- 380 ?3000. I didn't pay

:31:04.:31:09.

anything. Those arrangements of no-win, no fee and no longer

:31:10.:31:15.

available in these cases. He makes...

:31:16.:31:21.

Time and again the reporter threatened new laws of the industry

:31:22.:31:27.

failed to sort itself out, the industry failed. In his 1983 report,

:31:28.:31:34.

it was said it is not an effective regulator of the press, it is set by

:31:35.:31:39.

the industry, financed by the industry, dominated by it and

:31:40.:31:42.

operating in a code of practice devised by the industry, which is

:31:43.:31:48.

over federal to wait. In 2012, Leveson recommended newspapers

:31:49.:31:50.

should be self regulated and the government should have no power over

:31:51.:31:54.

what they publish. He oversaw propose a new press standards body

:31:55.:31:59.

created by the industry. The new self regulated body should be

:32:00.:32:02.

underpinned by a law to recognise the new body and ensure it meets

:32:03.:32:08.

certain requirements, to also enshrined a legal duty to protect

:32:09.:32:13.

the freedom of the press. And, I quote, to provide a fair, quick and

:32:14.:32:20.

inexpensive service to deal with any complaints about its publications.

:32:21.:32:27.

So, here we have it, there is a proposal on the table which it so is

:32:28.:32:38.

perfectly at liberty to take up. But they should not be dominated by

:32:39.:32:43.

former press people, and that is exactly what it is all about. I am

:32:44.:32:50.

not advocating it, but I see no reason why they should organise

:32:51.:32:54.

themselves in a way in which they are compliant. Instead they set of

:32:55.:32:58.

body dominated by former editors, which does not beat the Leveson

:32:59.:33:05.

conditions. In a moment. The government is right to consult, but

:33:06.:33:09.

I do not believe the newspapers have anything to fear from these

:33:10.:33:13.

proposals, I believe that they will be in the interest of the press,

:33:14.:33:21.

above all they will provide a remedy for those who cannot afford to seek

:33:22.:33:25.

a remedy to date, and surely the responsibility of the sows is to

:33:26.:33:30.

remedy injustice. And before I sit down and give way... He knows how

:33:31.:33:37.

much I return his respect. And how much normally I would regard him as

:33:38.:33:42.

an infallible guide to almost everything on the planet, but in

:33:43.:33:46.

this case to suggest ipso is dominated by editors, and an

:33:47.:33:57.

independent judge, is over emphasising the point. I'm grateful

:33:58.:34:03.

for his belief in my infallibility and I can ensure him he won't be

:34:04.:34:08.

misguided on this one, for I am infallible on this one as well. To

:34:09.:34:13.

make my point is, in answer to his, it may be that as a judge in the

:34:14.:34:19.

driving seat, but it is dominated, the majority are press and former

:34:20.:34:26.

press people. It is true that seven of the 12 former press people. And

:34:27.:34:33.

this does not need the Leveson conditions. If they need them, we

:34:34.:34:36.

will all be happy. It is a pleasure to be called,

:34:37.:34:47.

physically following some of the passionate contributions we've had.

:34:48.:34:54.

Whilst my focus will be on amendments 136142, having had the

:34:55.:34:56.

comments we've already had about matters relating to the press, my

:34:57.:35:01.

thoughts are drawn to the fact we've heard about the Aldershot News. In

:35:02.:35:07.

Torbay is to read thousands of homes receive a publication which talks

:35:08.:35:10.

about local news, talks about local issues, gives the odd opinion on

:35:11.:35:15.

them. It is called my weekly e-mail update. Subject only to libel laws,

:35:16.:35:20.

subject to only what I'm happy to talk about and defend as a local

:35:21.:35:27.

member of Parliament. That thing that needs to be borne in mind with

:35:28.:35:30.

the debate we are having. We are now in a different era for the knee

:35:31.:35:34.

jerk, where more and more as moving online -- for the media. There is no

:35:35.:35:38.

such thing as a press regulator for someone who does not have a press,

:35:39.:35:42.

where websites can be based across the world and are difficult to track

:35:43.:35:45.

down and are liable levels, let alone to try and regulate. We have

:35:46.:35:52.

to remember the era when people just walk down the news agent each

:35:53.:35:56.

morning and then each evening to buy a local newspaper have pretty much

:35:57.:36:01.

come to an end. And actually there is a whole Grove, when we talk about

:36:02.:36:07.

fake news stories in relation to local elections, it wasn't

:36:08.:36:10.

newspapers putting them out, it wasn't print media, it was various

:36:11.:36:16.

people online, particularly websites which work as Clerc parade, with

:36:17.:36:19.

misleading headlines which people share, or doesn't get to the centre

:36:20.:36:27.

of it. There has been simmering secluded online that is misleading,

:36:28.:36:30.

if you know the facts, but if you read the headline. Will be affected

:36:31.:36:37.

by press regulation? No, it is nothing to do with press regulation

:36:38.:36:40.

because it is not a printed material. It is why we need to be

:36:41.:36:46.

conscious that the area where merely a print publication could circulate

:36:47.:36:51.

something is disappearing, and what we do in terms of having a special

:36:52.:36:56.

system that puts them at a disadvantage will increasingly make

:36:57.:37:00.

them not as dominant as they were. We will see more local newspapers

:37:01.:37:06.

close, as find themselves being the arbiters of all opinion. Unless

:37:07.:37:11.

people... Most constituents can make the own common sense and a pinch of

:37:12.:37:16.

salt with many of the claims they receive online and in the media, but

:37:17.:37:21.

we have libel laws, and we need to remember that. You see, I've had

:37:22.:37:25.

this argument many times that the libel laws are there and that's all

:37:26.:37:30.

very fine and dandy. But the truth is people of Hillsborough had no

:37:31.:37:35.

opportunity, no legal remedy at all whatsoever to be able to return the

:37:36.:37:41.

lies, not libel is because the people were dead, the lies said

:37:42.:37:44.

about them for many years. That is why we need a proper independent

:37:45.:37:51.

press regulator, which is independent and governed,

:37:52.:37:53.

independent of politics and the proprietors. The reality is if

:37:54.:38:00.

someone wants to spread mistruths they will do it on the Internet, in

:38:01.:38:04.

a similar manner, which would not be covered by Ivor of these proposed

:38:05.:38:11.

systems. This is where we see that type of story circulated. In the

:38:12.:38:16.

1980s, the Internet was something that a few universities used and the

:38:17.:38:20.

world wide web was something the US military had developed in terms of

:38:21.:38:23.

its own communications in the event of World War III. It was not, as we

:38:24.:38:28.

saw today. We need to be conscious of what the position is to date, in

:38:29.:38:34.

terms of how we have legislation, and that we don't set out with an

:38:35.:38:39.

industry which in many cases are struggling to survive and in

:38:40.:38:43.

decline, and actually end up with a situation we throw the baby the bath

:38:44.:38:51.

water. In terms of my main thrust of the comments I wish to make, was in

:38:52.:38:59.

relation to amendments 136 to 142. I have listened to the honourable

:39:00.:39:03.

member for Birmingham, G has a valid point when he says it is easy to put

:39:04.:39:10.

things on a goat skins. They sound marvellous, fantastic but when you

:39:11.:39:12.

look at it on the ground, what different it makes isn't there. I

:39:13.:39:17.

will agree with the government's motion to disagree with the Lord's

:39:18.:39:22.

in amendments. It is the fact that when I look at Lord amendments 137,

:39:23.:39:31.

some of it is relatively vague. What is adequate notice, not defined.

:39:32.:39:37.

Also when we look at making the police and other authorities liable

:39:38.:39:43.

for... There must be unnecessary delay, which, again, how can they be

:39:44.:39:50.

held liable if it is the defence which decides to engage and delay?

:39:51.:39:54.

It is the judiciary have the role to prevent court cases being delayed.

:39:55.:40:01.

The whole point of all of these amendments is that actually in the

:40:02.:40:06.

criminal justice system, all of those actors have a responsibility,

:40:07.:40:11.

whether that is to courts, the CPS, the defence, whether it is the

:40:12.:40:16.

police. The pointers, it would make it more robust about how we would

:40:17.:40:21.

monitor how well they were doing on those things. So it doesn't matter

:40:22.:40:25.

who is to blame, what we want is for the victim to be given the

:40:26.:40:31.

information. Just to be clear, it talks about how they must ensure

:40:32.:40:34.

they are not subject to unnecessary delay, it does not talk about

:40:35.:40:40.

monitoring it. This is putting something onto the face of the

:40:41.:40:44.

statute which says must ensure, it does not say monitor. It would be

:40:45.:40:48.

more about having worked to ensure victims of crime were supported with

:40:49.:40:52.

a court process that would be more beneficial than having this

:40:53.:40:58.

amendment put onto the act, and in addition people now have a Police

:40:59.:41:01.

and Crime Commissioners they can hold to account for the work they

:41:02.:41:05.

do. There are other aspects, and I'm conscious of this has been a

:41:06.:41:09.

grouping of amendments. We could be here this time. I don't believe that

:41:10.:41:14.

putting these on the face of the bill is right way forward, looking

:41:15.:41:22.

in the future at what does not have consequences. I would agree with the

:41:23.:41:26.

government motions to disagree with the Lords and their amendments. I

:41:27.:41:35.

won't delay the House long. I wanted to heap praise on the Secretary of

:41:36.:41:39.

State for not giving in to the pressure of the media moguls and

:41:40.:41:44.

although putting a consultation out, we are determined no grasp shall

:41:45.:41:48.

grow. I wanted to be very clear that we truly appreciate what she's done.

:41:49.:41:54.

For colleagues who are unhappy about amendment 24, they really ought to

:41:55.:41:58.

pay more attention to the brilliance of the right honourable member for

:41:59.:42:03.

West Dorset, who has put together such a fantastic plan for dealing

:42:04.:42:07.

with this thorny issue, that if they gave at their full attention, they

:42:08.:42:14.

would, like me, want to see section 40 implement it. The press

:42:15.:42:17.

recognition panel is independent, and given amendment 24 and the

:42:18.:42:21.

concerns being shown by the lordships, particularly... I would

:42:22.:42:27.

be delighted to give way. I'm sorry to disagree, the recognition panel

:42:28.:42:34.

is not independent, it is the creation under a Royal Charter,

:42:35.:42:37.

ultimately the ground, and therefore the state. It is still independent

:42:38.:42:46.

because it doesn't choose who and what is a regulator, it only

:42:47.:42:50.

determines that the regulator is independent. It is vividly

:42:51.:42:56.

acceptable, and I know -- perfectly acceptable. This whole instrument

:42:57.:43:04.

does exactly that. My honourable friend, the Member for all

:43:05.:43:09.

emphasised the point that local press, physically, will be

:43:10.:43:12.

vulnerable if they are not regulated. As I said, yes, they

:43:13.:43:18.

will. The regulator protects them from having to pay the costs. I

:43:19.:43:23.

think this is why college should really study what the right

:43:24.:43:27.

honourable member for West Dorset put together, it is much, much

:43:28.:43:30.

better than their initial thoughts may be. The claims from the

:43:31.:43:37.

Hillsborough victims fought section, amendment 24th are deeply touching.

:43:38.:43:43.

I wish the way in which that amendment we are discussing was

:43:44.:43:46.

worded was easier to support, because my instincts, and they

:43:47.:43:54.

weren't touched on before, are to support the victims of Hillsborough.

:43:55.:43:58.

The way in which this amendment is not adequate, given the government a

:43:59.:44:07.

month is not good enough. That does not been it and here. And I implore

:44:08.:44:11.

the government to keep on with the good work they are doing to ensure

:44:12.:44:15.

we do protect the freedoms of the press, that we do protect local

:44:16.:44:22.

press and most of all we have that low-cost arbitration system, which

:44:23.:44:23.

ultimately will benefit everybody. Thank you, Mr Speaker. I hadn't

:44:24.:44:33.

intended to take part in this debate and I don't want to say very much. I

:44:34.:44:39.

want to say a word about Lords' amendment 24. A lot of the debate

:44:40.:44:43.

seems to be about whether or not section 40 should be implemented

:44:44.:44:45.

which of course is not actually anything to do with clause 24, which

:44:46.:44:49.

is specifically about whether or not there should be a further inquiry

:44:50.:44:53.

looking at the behaviour and performance of the police in

:44:54.:44:57.

relation to their dealings with news organisations. Now, Leveson 2, as

:44:58.:45:12.

it is now known... And it is recognised that it would be wholly

:45:13.:45:20.

wrong to have any kind of inquiry that might risk or jeopardise

:45:21.:45:24.

criminal prosecutions but of course most of the criminal prosecutions

:45:25.:45:28.

have now been concluded and it is actually worth just looking at the

:45:29.:45:32.

out-Cox those criminal prosecutions, which deciding whether or not there

:45:33.:45:38.

is a case for proceedings. And it is the case, that Operation Elveden,

:45:39.:45:42.

which was the police investigation into corrupt payment from newspaper

:45:43.:45:46.

organisations, overwhelmingly resulted in the acquittal of the

:45:47.:45:50.

journalists who were charged with offences, under Operation Elveden. I

:45:51.:45:54.

think there were only two journalists who were actually

:45:55.:45:57.

convicted. The vast majority were actually acquitted. And that is

:45:58.:46:02.

something which we need to bear in mind and does suggest that perhaps

:46:03.:46:07.

the suggestion that there was this massive corrupt relationship was not

:46:08.:46:12.

actually proven to be the case. Now, the honourable gentleman for Rhondda

:46:13.:46:15.

talks about the importance of weeding out police corruption and

:46:16.:46:19.

how it is important to have confidence in an institution of the

:46:20.:46:22.

state r state and I completely agree with him. I wanted just to refer to

:46:23.:46:30.

the case made by the relatives of Daniel Morgan, as to why there

:46:31.:46:35.

should be a further inquiry. Now I have every sympathy with the family

:46:36.:46:39.

of the Daniel Morgan who was murdered and where there was

:46:40.:46:41.

considerable evidence that there was police corruption and I can be

:46:42.:46:46.

entirelip understand their wish to have the killers of Daniel Morgan

:46:47.:46:48.

brought to justice. Now the Home Office has a panel at the moment,

:46:49.:46:52.

which is examining that and we await the conclusion and it may well be

:46:53.:46:57.

that there needs to be further action taken to deal with police

:46:58.:47:02.

corruption and I await to see what the panel concludes but bear in mind

:47:03.:47:10.

the Leveson Inquiry was about the conducts of the press, not about

:47:11.:47:14.

police corruption. Now, on the main issue which has dominated this

:47:15.:47:18.

debate, the implementation of section 40, it is not covered by

:47:19.:47:22.

that I mendment, I personally very much share the views which have been

:47:23.:47:26.

extremely well-expressed Miyamoto honourable friend the member for

:47:27.:47:29.

worthing and indeed my honourable friend, the member for Torbay but

:47:30.:47:33.

the Secretary of State has set off a consultation. That consultation has

:47:34.:47:36.

concluded today but it'll take some considerable time because I believe

:47:37.:47:40.

there has been a very substantial response to the consultation, so I

:47:41.:47:43.

don't expect the Government to be in a position to announce any

:47:44.:47:47.

conclusion either about whether or not section 40 should be implemented

:47:48.:47:51.

or whether or not there should be any further inquiry until that work

:47:52.:47:54.

has been done, which I suspect is going to take several weeks, if not

:47:55.:47:59.

months and for that reason, it seems to me, entirely premature to have an

:48:00.:48:03.

amendment to rirt Government to commit now to have a further

:48:04.:48:09.

inquiry, bhen we are, they have not even gone assess the results of the

:48:10.:48:14.

consultation. And so, for that reason, I strongly oppose the Lords'

:48:15.:48:17.

amendment today. Thank you, Mr Speaker, I rise to

:48:18.:48:22.

speak to two amendments, first to support the Government's amend

:48:23.:48:26.

inspect lieu of Lords' amendment 134 and I think everyone would agree

:48:27.:48:30.

having heard the hard-hitting accounts by my honourable friend for

:48:31.:48:34.

Cheltenham and Gloucester in their reports on stalking that no-one will

:48:35.:48:37.

be left in any doubt whatsoever, that this amendment should be

:48:38.:48:42.

carried this evening. Next to Lords' amendment 137, and I should say,

:48:43.:48:48.

having represented the police and prosecutorial authorities as

:48:49.:48:51.

barrister but also victims, both as a barrister and Member of

:48:52.:48:54.

Parliament, I hope I can see this from both angles. I'm entirely

:48:55.:49:01.

supportive of the victims' code and victims have generally been

:49:02.:49:04.

empowered since it came into force as a results of steps taken by the

:49:05.:49:07.

last Labour Government and the beefing up under the Coalition

:49:08.:49:10.

Government and the Government of today but my concern with new clause

:49:11.:49:16.

137 is that it'll make the police and prosecutorial authorities

:49:17.:49:19.

responsible and in some cases financially liable, for breaches of

:49:20.:49:23.

the victims' code, even for things they are not directly responsible

:49:24.:49:31.

for. And if we look at new clause 137 (3) A, for instance, the police

:49:32.:49:36.

or the CPS could become responsible to a victim for delays caused not by

:49:37.:49:41.

them but a third party such as a defendant. We if look at 137 (3) B,

:49:42.:49:51.

there could be another party, over whom they have no control, treats a

:49:52.:49:55.

victim with a lack of dignity or respect. I'm afraid that often

:49:56.:49:58.

happens in the courtroom when a defendant gives evidence or even how

:49:59.:50:02.

they instruct their lawyer to persuade their case. But that's a

:50:03.:50:06.

matter for the judge to control, not the prosecutor. Clause 137 (10) is

:50:07.:50:10.

more concerning because it would require the Home Secretary to take

:50:11.:50:14.

steps to ensure victims of crime have access to financial

:50:15.:50:19.

compensation from public funds, for any detriment arising from the

:50:20.:50:23.

criminal case concerned. Not necessarily a detriment caused by

:50:24.:50:27.

the prosecuting authority. No requirement of bad faith or

:50:28.:50:30.

recklessness or negligence on behalf of that authority. This is a very

:50:31.:50:35.

big step, both in principle and practice. A big step in principle

:50:36.:50:39.

because it appears to impose a layability on oner party for the

:50:40.:50:42.

actions of a third party over whom they may have no control and a big

:50:43.:50:48.

step in practice, because it exposes the police and prosecuting

:50:49.:50:50.

authorities to a significant financial burden at a time when we

:50:51.:50:54.

regularly have debates in this house on the need for greater funding for

:50:55.:50:58.

the police and the CPS and paragraph 128 of the explanatory notes to

:50:59.:51:03.

these amendment does explain that there are potentially significant

:51:04.:51:08.

financial burdens attaching. So, in conclusion, whilst I'm an

:51:09.:51:11.

enthusiastic supporter of the victims' code and the need to give

:51:12.:51:15.

victims the very best support, I do not think that imposing a very

:51:16.:51:20.

broadly defined liability and indeed a financial liability, on the police

:51:21.:51:24.

and the CPS, is the right way to go about it, without more thought to

:51:25.:51:28.

further the aims of the code. More thought is needed and I'm pleased

:51:29.:51:31.

that the Government will be bringing forward its own proposal, giving

:51:32.:51:36.

effect to our manifesto commitment for a victims' bill of rights and

:51:37.:51:40.

I'm sure that that work will take into account the excellent work done

:51:41.:51:45.

by the honourable member for Holborn and St Pancras and his Commission

:51:46.:51:48.

and I pay tribute to his work and all the people that were involved in

:51:49.:51:51.

that, including a number of my constituents.

:51:52.:51:57.

THE SPEAKER: Order. The question is that this House disagree wts Lords

:51:58.:52:03.

in their acommendment 24. As many of that opinion say ah. To the contrary

:52:04.:52:06.

no. Shouts.

:52:07.:52:11.

THE SPEAKER:. Division, clear the lobby.

:52:12.:53:18.

The question is that this House disagrees with the ah mendment of

:53:19.:53:25.

the Lord's' 24. As many of that opinion say ah. Contrary no. Tellers

:53:26.:53:34.

for the ayes, Steve brine and Chris. And tellers for the noes (are

:53:35.:53:39.

listed) I remind the House that the motion relates exclusively to

:53:40.:53:41.

England and Wales. A double majority is therefore required. Thank you.

:53:42.:08:34.

The eyes to the right 299, the noes 196. For those representing England

:08:35.:08:58.

and Wales, the ayes were 216, the Lords Amendment 24 to the Policing

:08:59.:08:59.

and Crime Bill 190. -- the noes 190. The ayes 299, of

:09:00.:09:14.

those honourable members representing England and Wales the

:09:15.:09:19.

ayes to the right to hunch and 96, the noes to the left 190 so the ayes

:09:20.:09:25.

have it, the ayes have it. Minister to move to disagree to Lords

:09:26.:09:31.

amendment 96 formerly, the question is this disagrees with the Lords in

:09:32.:09:37.

amendment 90 six. As many say iron. On the contrary noes. Division,

:09:38.:09:41.

clear the lobby. The question is the House disagrees,

:09:42.:11:15.

as many say ayes. On the contrary, noes. Steve Bryan and Chris Heaton

:11:16.:11:27.

Harris for the ayes. I must remind the House that the motion relates

:11:28.:11:32.

exclusively to England and Wales, a double majority is therefore

:11:33.:11:33.

required.

:11:34.:11:38.

Live coverage of the day's proceedings in the House of Commons including an urgent question on HMRC, a statement on political developments in Northern Ireland, a Ten Minute Rule Bill on Mutual Guarantee Societies, the remaining stages of the Commonwealth Development Corporation Bill and the Consideration of Lords amendments to the Policing and Crime Bill.