17/12/2015 Business Questions


17/12/2015

Live coverage of the announcement of Commons business for the week ahead and questions to leader of the Commons Chris Grayling.


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2015. European Union referendum act 2015. European Union approvals act

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2015. Business questions. Mr Chris Bryant.

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Will the House give us the business for next week and preferably the

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recess as well. Business next we will be nothing at

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all. I hope everybody will be enjoying a good festive break. The

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business for the week commencing January four, on the Monday the

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House does not sit, we return on the Tuesday, and I remind colleagues

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that it is a Monday timetable starting at 2:30pm. We will be

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debating the remaining stages of the Housing and planning Bill. The first

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of two days debate. On Wednesday we will have an opposition day on a

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subject to be announced. On Thursday the 7th of January we will debate a

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motion relating to the effect of the equalisation of the state pension

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age for women, followed by a debate on a motion for children in care,

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both subjects selected by the backbench business committee.

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Friday, January eight the House does not sit. Provisional business for

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the week commencing January 11 includes, on Monday, remaining

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stages of the Armed Forces will, followed by business to be nominated

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by the backbench business committee. And the business in Westminster Hall

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on Monday, January 11, the week when we return, Thursday January seventh,

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a general debate on the Armed Forces covenant, and the Monday 11, a

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debate on a e-petition relating to the NHS bursary. The House will rise

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from the Easter recess at the close of business on Thursday March 24

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2016 and return on Monday, April 11 2016. In what is a festival week --

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festive, with the member for Suffolk Coastal and the deputy Leader of the

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House in a particularly festive mood, in aid of charity, I commend

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her work and support charity, I therefore take the opportunity to

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wish you and her, the shadow team, and all members of this House a very

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happy Christmas. And for those north of the border, a very happy Hogmanay

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as well. I am sure the House will join me in recognising the important

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work that goes on to support the House throughout the year. I thank

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all the staff working throughout the Palace of Westminster. I wish them

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all a restful Christmas and a happy New Year. In particular, Mr Speaker,

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since there are always staff on duty there, to wish those who have to

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work over the Christmas period a pleasant break when they have won,

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and to express our gratitude to them for their work over the festive

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varied. -- period. Despite the caterwauling yesterday

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from the Leader of the House who insisted on making lame jokes about

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Star Wars, as indeed the primer Mr did, I is your you that I have a

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complete UK exemption from Star Wars related humour and some perfectly

:03:41.:03:43.

good Lamela Labour jokes of my own without resorting to that -- is the

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Prime Minister did. As you know, the pantomime season is now upon us. And

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Cinderella is appearing at the park. Apparently auditions were last month

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so unfortunately Rhonda will have to do without my Prince Charming.

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However I see that the Epsom Playhouse this year, in the

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constituency of the right Honourable member, his beauty and the beast.

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There is a rumour going around that the leader and deputy leader are

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actually going to be appearing in this production on select nights.

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The only question is which part they are going to be playing I am pretty

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certain that the deputy leader will be playing Mrs Potts. Obviously she

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is Mrs Koff reports. That is the worst Labour job today. It may not

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be actually. And as for the Leader of the House, he is no beast,

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obviously, but I hear there was a mystery bidder at the sale of Mrs

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Thatcher's frocks. There's a rumour that he will be seen waltzing across

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the stage in that black, printed chiffon number in the beauty and the

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beast later this week. Now, can we have a debate on food waste? Last

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year 1.2 million sausages were sent to landfill in the Rhondda alone,

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which is why whilst it is great that the local council is signing up

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people to food recycling, new figures show that this House, last

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year, wasted 45,000 meals. There are 33,000 Russell trust food banks

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within the M25 Circle and 75,000 children going to bed hungry tonight

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so is it not time the leader to donate unused food from this powers

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to local London food banks? The leader announced that the Prime

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Minister will make a statement on his first day back. Will he make

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sure that this statement is on the primer Mr's renegotiation of the UK

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relationship with the EU, and how that is going? I ask because I

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gather that his EU counterparts are now so heartily sick of his endless

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whining that he is finally going to be allowed to speak tonight for a

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couple of minutes during dinner whilst the waiters are clearing away

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the plates, somewhere between courses. He is becoming rather like

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one of those really irritating relatives who pops around 40 every

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now and again and casually asks if he can sleep on the sofa for a

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couple of days, drinks all your whiskey whilst telling you where you

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have gone wrong in life, and when you finally summon up the courage to

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ask him to leave, says, do you mind if I redecorated bathroom? Because

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there seems something utterly illogical about the renegotiation

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process. The Prime Minister seems to think that EU citizens in Poland and

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Rumania sit around trying to work out which is the most generous ten

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of that system in Europe before deciding where to go and live and

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work -- the most generous benefit system. Isn't that really what

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members opposite thing people do? Is it really the conversation they

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think they have? Which is better, the UK Denmark for Social Security?

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Well I am not sure, but I certainly prefer the Scandinavian model to the

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German system of contributory benefits. This is a complete

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nonsense! Every single one of us. M and he is clever enough to know it!

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Every single one of us know that EU citizens come here because we speak

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English, because there are jobs in this country, and because it is a

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great country. I know that the government is trying to undermine

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every single element of that even the pensions secretary, Home

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Secretary, and Justice Secretary, has told the Prime Minister but his

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proposal will make absolutely no difference to admit migration

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figures in this country. So why don't we just get on with the

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referendum now? It is a simple question. In or out? Stay or leave?

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As John Major said, flirting with exit is dangerous for this country.

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It is one thing to choose to leave. Honourable, to my mind, but foolish.

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But quite another thing to read by accident. That would be incompetent

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and dishonourable. I am delighted the Leader of the House has given us

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the dates for the Easter recess. But maybe he can extend further to the

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Whitsun recess. May 15. Why can he not give us the recess dates for the

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whole of next year? Is Boxing Day approaches, can I ask for an

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assurance from the Leader of the House that the draft hunting act

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2004 exempt hunting Amendment order to thousands of teen, which was in

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drawn -- withdrawn this year is not on the horizon? Because it seems to

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be in the press. If the government wants to bring back hunting it

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should be open and honest and not sneak it in through the back door.

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Primary legislation, not secondary. And with the New Year coming up can

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I suggest the leader makes a resolution? Repeat after me. I will

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always... , on! Oh, dear. I will always guarantee that all major

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announcements of government policy are made to this House first and not

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leaks to the press. And if that guarantee is breached I will resign

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immediately. I thought, Mr Speaker, the Prime Minister treated this

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House, and EU, frankly, with utter contempt last week, when after you

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decision process the decision, decision process the decision,

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regarding Keith Rowe and Gatwick Airport capacity, should be made in

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this House -- and you, frankly. Regarding Heathrow and Gatwick

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Airport. He then went and made statements on television. The Leader

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of the House should have excoriated the Prime Minister and do so every

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time he tries to do that again. There are 36 written ministerial

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statements on the paper today, conveniently on the last day so as

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to avoid scrutiny. One of them is on a particularly serious matter, the

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southern health NHS Trust, where the deaths of 1000 people with

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disabilities and mental health problems were not properly

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investigated. This will only be made available late in the day-to-day,

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long after Honourable members will be able to quiz the government about

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it. A gross discourtesy to this House. Mr Speaker, it is Christmas

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time. Well, as event at the moment. But Christmas is not as snug as it

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may seem in adverts and carols. Jerusalem does not lie still. Aid UK

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point out that more than 1 million owed people say they go far over a

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month without speaking to a friend, neighbour, or family member, over

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Christmas. Many people over eat but thousands of families will choose

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between heating and eating. The real Christmas story is about an unfair

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tax, a brutal dictator slaughtering innocents, a young, and married

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woman giving birth in a stable and a family forced into exile. All of

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these things have repeated in Syria in the last week alone yet

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Kristianstad to believe that in that story lies hope for the world. I

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wish you, Mr Speaker, a mirror Christmas, and to the Turks, the

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doorkeepers, the police, the catering staff, the cleaners, and

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all who work with and for Parliament -- the clerks-. To our security

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services and all those who keep a watchful eye whilst we are very, I

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say in the words of tiny Tim, God bless us one and all.

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Mr Speaker, I didn't think it was going to finish... I would like to

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update the House on progress retires been made regarding provision of

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security for members. This has been a matter of serious concern for

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members. I have been working to try to identify a proper way forward.

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Security measures available to all members are to be standardised in a

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security package. The package will address personal security off-site,

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including constituency offices and homes. This is something which has

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been raised as a concern by many members. Many colleagues will have

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adequate measures in place, but this will provide standardised approach.

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We will write to colleagues today. There will be details issued in the

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New Year regarding access. I hope this will allay concerns. It has

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been the end of an eventful year. The Conservatives won the general

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election. Labour lost. The Liberal Democrats shrank in number. Has been

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asked like change in the numbers on the benches over there. Then we all

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came back to Westminster and you will remember those happy

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early-morning sprints as the Labour left and the Scottish National Party

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rushed for the best seats. But they don't need to do that any more

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because the Labour left has moved from their to the front benches. He

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asked a question about food waste. 1.4 million sausages sent to

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landfill in his constituency is alone. Can I suggest he might

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consider starting closer to home. I think the produce of Welsh virus is

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first-rate. I can't imagine why the produce of Welsh farmers would want

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to be sent to food waste. I made the point that the pro-minister will be

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here to make a statement. Eulogy -- he will address European Union

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issues. But I think it is important that we get an update on the Syrian

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peace process. He will be available to address other issues if

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necessary. The shadow leader talks about jobs. I have to say at the end

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of this year one of the things we can be proudest of as the

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unemployment figures we saw yesterday. 1.5 million people were

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claiming Job Seeker's Allowance. That number has almost halved in the

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past four years. More and more people are in work. The legacy of

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unemployment we inherited from the party opposite has been well and

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truly turned around. When it comes to Europe, I will not take any

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lessons from the man who a decade ago expressed deep distress that

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written was not joining the euro. I am glad to announce recess dates. We

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as a party believe it is more important to make sure the essential

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business on which we are elected to pass through gets enacted. He must

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stop believing everything he reads in the papers. When and if this

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government has a new measure, we will announce at. I have stood in

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this chamber over the last few weeks and received numerous requests from

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people to receive updates before Christmas. I make no apology for the

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fact that today we are providing the plenty of updates before Christmas.

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He made a serious point about lonely people this Christmas. I hope

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everyone in this country will think, do I have a lonely person next door

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like an invite round for a drink over Christmas and bring a bit of

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light into what would otherwise have been a lonely life? I hope everyone

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in this country has a very happy and joyful family Christmas. In the

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absence of the Christmas adjournment debate which would have allowed

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colleagues to remit -- to raise urgent matters, with my right

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honourable friend find time for a debate on CTC timetable changes

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which unfortunately has transferred what used to be the happy line back

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into the misery line again? The chair of the committee is here, it

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is clear the will of this House, that we should return to the

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traditional format. I hope we will do that next time around. A

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characteristically eloquent speech from my honourable friend.

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Is can I thank the leader of the House for announcing next year's

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business. Can I wish you and your staff all the best for a very

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peaceful and merry Christmas. I know my rouble friends from the SNP would

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like to wish all members of staff are very merry and peaceful

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Christmas. We wish to congratulate the staff for ensuring that all new

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members in this House feel welcome. I'm surprised to see so many of my

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staff here. Last night, it was the Christmas party for the SNP. I'm

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impressed to see so many of them here today. In Perth concert hall,

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we also have Beauty And The Beast. Our annual pantomime. Looking at the

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Labour benches, I thought sleeping beauty might have been more

:19:12.:19:17.

appropriate. What about a pantomime stalking horse for our colleagues in

:19:18.:19:22.

the Labour Party for next year? There is real growing concern in

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Scotland just now about what is happening in the debate about Europe

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with UK opinion polls now showing a majority of people throughout the

:19:31.:19:38.

United Kingdom favouring Britain leaving the European Commission. We

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see the Prime Minister flirting with our exit, trying to renegotiate our

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membership terms with European leaders who couldn't care less. It

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is like Chewbacca without the four trying to renegotiate our

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membership. European leaders just want to see the back of. The

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Scottish people remain determined to stay within Europe, yet there is a

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real growing fear that our nation might be taken out of Europe against

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our will. That is totally unacceptable to us. It will be the

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first time ever that a nation within Europe has been taken out of Europe

:20:16.:20:20.

against its will. During the referendum, we were told and no vote

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would secure our place in Europe. If we dared to vote yes, we would be

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dragged out. I'm offering the leader of the House a solution. That is a

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quadruple lock. If we are a family of nations within the United

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Kingdom, one nation of this union cannot determine the rights of other

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nations within this continent. I am asking the leader of the House to

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ensure she agrees to that debate next year. Yesterday's debate on

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fracking was simply appalling. There is a Scottish word for it and that

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is sleekit. Thank goodness we have the necessary powers to ensure that

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our country will not be desecrated by the Tories's fractures friends.

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And that is a difficult thing to say when you have had a good night out

:21:27.:21:36.

the previous night. There is no agreement about the fiscal framework

:21:37.:21:38.

which will allow the fiscal frameworks for the Scotland Bill to

:21:39.:21:43.

regress properly. We need to have disagreed and we to know how this

:21:44.:21:48.

government as a pro -- approaching this issue. I am proposing the

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leader of virus will not agree to any debate about this, but can

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ensure that Treasury ministers will fear in front of the Scottish

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affairs committee? He needs to go to the Treasury and I sure we have the

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necessary ministers so we can put our points to them. Finally,, this

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has been some year because the real news is the emergence of my friends.

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The Scottish National Party winning 56 out of 59 seats. One conservative

:22:26.:22:30.

who barely won his seat as we have in Scotland. What you have here is

:22:31.:22:38.

determined united the real opposition and they will get away

:22:39.:22:42.

with nothing as long as the Scottish National Party sitting here. We can

:22:43.:22:51.

no longer rely on this disunited, dispirited forlorn Labour Party.

:22:52.:22:54.

These benches will provide the opposition. The honourable gentleman

:22:55.:23:04.

is in his characteristic flamboyant form because he had an extremist

:23:05.:23:08.

night last night or because he has been tasting a lot of single malt. I

:23:09.:23:13.

wish them personally very happy festive period. And all of his

:23:14.:23:19.

colleagues. I hope they have a relaxing and enjoyable time. Our

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nation will not be taken out of Europe against its will. His nation

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and my nation are the same. I should simply remind him that if he had had

:23:32.:23:38.

his way, and he didn't because the Scottish people voted to remain a

:23:39.:23:40.

part of the United Kingdom, they would now be at the doors of

:23:41.:23:45.

Westminster with begging bowl because the collapse in the oil

:23:46.:23:50.

price would have totally shocked their financial plans. I think the

:23:51.:23:53.

Scottish people took a sensible decision and one that has proved

:23:54.:23:59.

remarkably prescient. I say again, our nation will decide our future in

:24:00.:24:04.

the European Union. On the fracking point, it is nonsense that this will

:24:05.:24:10.

desecrated some of our finest areas. Fracking technology has existed for

:24:11.:24:14.

years. It has been used in oil exploration in the south-east of

:24:15.:24:19.

England. People have not noticed for decades. I do not believe, and nor

:24:20.:24:24.

does the intention of this government, that taking advantage of

:24:25.:24:28.

shale gas, an important resource for the future, will in any way

:24:29.:24:31.

desecrate the finest areas of this country. He asked if a Treasury

:24:32.:24:40.

minister would appear. As the chair of the select committee, he will

:24:41.:24:43.

know that if a minister is asked to appear, it would be almost

:24:44.:24:49.

unprecedented for them to say no. I simply suggest he extends the

:24:50.:24:53.

invitation. On Scottish politics, it is true the SNP had a very good

:24:54.:25:03.

year. It is our goal next year to be the second party of Scotland at

:25:04.:25:09.

Holyrood. I wish all my Conservative colleagues well in the coming months

:25:10.:25:13.

for the campaigns they are about to fight. He dropped a Star Wars joke

:25:14.:25:20.

into his speech. I have to say to to him that although I have yet to see

:25:21.:25:34.

them in action, I was disappointed the shadow leader did not want to

:25:35.:25:38.

see a Star Wars joke because I think a number of people have freely

:25:39.:25:45.

described him as the Jar Jar Binks of the Labour Party. Seasons

:25:46.:25:54.

greetings to all. International women's Day 2016 will be on eight

:25:55.:25:59.

March. The theme next year will be make it happen. I wonder if the

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leader of the House would offer a chance for us to focus on the

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opportunities of getting more female representation into this House and

:26:08.:26:12.

all parliaments around the world on that day? And perhaps have a debate

:26:13.:26:17.

about it leading up to that date, the 8th of March next year? She

:26:18.:26:23.

makes an important point. Getting a much better gender balance in this

:26:24.:26:26.

House will continue to be a priority. I am delighted to see a

:26:27.:26:31.

really good intake of new female members of Parliament on both sides

:26:32.:26:35.

of the House. I think the House is a better place for it and long may

:26:36.:26:46.

that continue. Mr Speaker, can I say that there was a debate on

:26:47.:26:49.

international men's day and I think it would be appropriate there is one

:26:50.:26:57.

on International women's Day. The most interesting debate might be

:26:58.:27:02.

between both honourable friends. You can, on behalf of the backbench

:27:03.:27:12.

business committee and its staff, wish the House a Merry Christmas and

:27:13.:27:22.

a happy and healthy 2016. I thank the Leader of the House the

:27:23.:27:26.

statement, and the advance notice that we are to be allocated time on

:27:27.:27:32.

January 11 for the remaining stages of the Armed Forces. Will that be

:27:33.:27:39.

protected time for the committee, as did happen a number of days ago? We

:27:40.:27:46.

were given three hours protected time, just in case there was, for

:27:47.:27:51.

instance, and overrunning of considerations for the remaining

:27:52.:27:56.

stages of the Armed Forces Bill. I apologise to the Honourable member

:27:57.:28:00.

of South and West. The committee made a decision about the allocation

:28:01.:28:05.

of time for today in good faith based on information provided to us

:28:06.:28:10.

at the time. I have not been inundated by other members

:28:11.:28:12.

complaining about the decision we made, but I was aware of the concern

:28:13.:28:18.

of the member for South and West and also my colleague from Leicester.

:28:19.:28:24.

But there are important debates this afternoon which have a local support

:28:25.:28:27.

and on that basis the committee took its decision.

:28:28.:28:33.

I am aware of the issue about the subject of protected time for the

:28:34.:28:37.

committee and it is something I will give consideration but judging by

:28:38.:28:41.

the speed at which this bill has made progress so far, with consensus

:28:42.:28:46.

on both sides of the House, the likelihood is on that day they will

:28:47.:28:49.

end up with more time rather than less but I will continue to review

:28:50.:28:53.

the issue. I think his committee works well. It has provided an

:28:54.:28:59.

interesting range of topics for debate. My one request to them, and

:29:00.:29:04.

it is not the government to interfere, but they have a number of

:29:05.:29:09.

points, for example, how we deal with the veterans in the Armed

:29:10.:29:12.

Forces, and I hope the committee will always look to that as a part

:29:13.:29:16.

of its calendar. The chair of the backbench business

:29:17.:29:21.

committee had the Honourable member for also South in mind. -- Walsall.

:29:22.:29:37.

It is in fact her little brother who represents Leicester.

:29:38.:29:40.

The director generals of the Royal armouries Museum and the National

:29:41.:29:45.

Army Museum have warned that significant damage will be done to

:29:46.:29:49.

their collections of firearms leading to the near destruction of

:29:50.:29:53.

thousands of historic guns if the proposed changes to the EU firearms

:29:54.:30:00.

directive goes ahead. Can we have a statement from the government on

:30:01.:30:02.

what they are doing to stop this happening?

:30:03.:30:09.

We will have questions with the Foreign Secretary shortly after I

:30:10.:30:12.

will return in January but I will say that it is important, whether in

:30:13.:30:15.

this place of Russells, that new legislation is thought through

:30:16.:30:23.

carefully -- this place, or Brussels. It is absolutely a policy

:30:24.:30:29.

one can understand because of course we want to see a removal from Europe

:30:30.:30:34.

or dangerous firearms but it should not be at the expense of historic

:30:35.:30:39.

museums. The Foreign Secretary will take careful note of what he says.

:30:40.:30:50.

My mistake, she is firmly rooted in her seat.

:30:51.:31:01.

My constituent was tragically stabbed to death whilst on a night

:31:02.:31:05.

out with friends and family in central London. He was a valued

:31:06.:31:11.

member of the community, a father to a three-year-old boy and care to his

:31:12.:31:16.

elderly grandfather. He was warm, intelligent, and kind. Weeks ago I

:31:17.:31:20.

told the House, and other constituents, and ask the Leader of

:31:21.:31:29.

the House if you could have a debate on the matter. He dodged the

:31:30.:31:36.

question and gave no answer. Today I ask again. Willie one of the victim

:31:37.:31:40.

and allow us time to debate? -- will he

:31:41.:31:53.

honour? . I legislated in the last parliament to create a mandatory

:31:54.:32:02.

jail sentence for somebody caught carrying a knife of the second time.

:32:03.:32:08.

I will give careful consideration to what time can be made available but

:32:09.:32:15.

actually a lot of the time provided by this House is in the hands of the

:32:16.:32:18.

backbench business committee, I would encourage her to talk to them.

:32:19.:32:25.

Given that the Lord Chancellor has announced he is undertaking a review

:32:26.:32:29.

does the Leader of the House think it would be sensible for time to be

:32:30.:32:34.

given for a general debate on sentencing so that he can get a

:32:35.:32:37.

sense of the wishes of the House before bringing forward legislation?

:32:38.:32:43.

I think there is absolutely a logic, as he prepares his review, to

:32:44.:32:48.

express that view. I will talk to him about how that is best made

:32:49.:32:54.

possible. Yesterday the National Audit Office

:32:55.:32:58.

published a report about the future of hospitals showing that 181 of the

:32:59.:33:03.

240 acute hospitals trust in this country are at a deficit six months

:33:04.:33:08.

into the financial year. In the Autumn Statement the Chancellor

:33:09.:33:11.

unveiled extra money for NHS England, we now know it will likely

:33:12.:33:16.

be swallowed up by deficits. Given that the Chancellor's sleight of

:33:17.:33:20.

hand will the Leader of the House make sure that either he or the

:33:21.:33:22.

Secretary of State for Health explain how the government will make

:33:23.:33:30.

sure our hospitals do not close? The reason health service finances are

:33:31.:33:33.

under pressure is because the health service is doing more today than

:33:34.:33:37.

ever before in this country, treating more patients, employing

:33:38.:33:41.

more people, providing more treatment options for people, it is

:33:42.:33:45.

right and proper we continue to do everything we can and that is why we

:33:46.:33:48.

have provided more money to the NHS and will continue to do so. The

:33:49.:33:53.

Health Secretary will be here the day we return and have the

:33:54.:33:56.

opportunity to raise those concerns again. If we take those issues

:33:57.:34:00.

seriously but it is because the NHS is doing more that it faces

:34:01.:34:07.

pressures. Will the Leader of the House arrange for a debate in the

:34:08.:34:10.

New Year to discuss the cherished relationship the UK has with the

:34:11.:34:15.

other 15 rounds were Her Majesty is the head of state? Will Esher with

:34:16.:34:23.

me the concern that the government of Barbados is intending to call a

:34:24.:34:30.

republic felt a referendum? My honourable friend makes his point

:34:31.:34:36.

customarily eloquently and I have to say that I was always hope and

:34:37.:34:39.

expect that constitutional change in a common of country would come with

:34:40.:34:44.

the opportunity for the people to express a view. I commend the work

:34:45.:34:49.

it does on Commonwealth matters. We derive enormous strength from our

:34:50.:34:53.

ties with the Commonwealth. We provide an opportunity for cultural

:34:54.:35:00.

exchange and economic development. We have a debate on the UK Border

:35:01.:35:05.

Agency in the New Year, as it affects constituents like mine. One

:35:06.:35:10.

in particular, Michael Alphonso, who has lived in the UK for 31 years,

:35:11.:35:19.

this -- is married to a British national, but struggles to achieve

:35:20.:35:22.

permanent residency in a case in the Home Office are reluctant to engage.

:35:23.:35:39.

Mayor also wish you a... SPEAKS WELSH.

:35:40.:35:46.

. I do not think I could reply in kind ex-commissioner Mark I will

:35:47.:35:49.

make sure the concerns of passed on to my right honourable friend the

:35:50.:35:54.

Home Secretary. Earlier this week the European

:35:55.:36:00.

Commission imposed a Draconian than on the catching of sea bass on

:36:01.:36:08.

fishermen in this south-west. Can we have a policy statement, is used to

:36:09.:36:12.

happen, when a fisheries minister came back from Europe? Or can have a

:36:13.:36:17.

debate in the New Year to look at the implications of the fisheries

:36:18.:36:26.

Council decision? I have known for years that we used to have debates

:36:27.:36:30.

after the event and we used to have a statement from the fisheries

:36:31.:36:33.

minister in the chamber so he could be questioned. Can we please have

:36:34.:36:38.

that? My honourable friend makes an

:36:39.:36:41.

important point and I will discuss this with the minister and make sure

:36:42.:36:45.

her concerns are raised. It is a difficult rounds. We have a duty to

:36:46.:36:52.

protect fish stocks -- it is a difficult balance. But we understand

:36:53.:36:55.

the demands on communities like her and I will make sure the minister

:36:56.:36:59.

get in touch with her and addresses the concerns as soon as possible.

:37:00.:37:04.

The Leader of the House might know that not only is Christmas known for

:37:05.:37:11.

overindulgence but it is also a time when many of our constituents get

:37:12.:37:15.

out and have a wonderful walk. Often on Boxing Day, or over the holiday.

:37:16.:37:19.

He knows that many members here believe that children learn best

:37:20.:37:23.

outside the classroom. Can we have an early debate when we get back on

:37:24.:37:28.

the value on out-of-school learning? And will he and other members join

:37:29.:37:34.

those members who have raised ?5,000 in a constituency to make sure that

:37:35.:37:38.

ten schools could out into the countryside and that if that

:37:39.:37:40.

involves a partnership, the trust would be happy to help?

:37:41.:37:44.

I would be delighted to find out more about what he is doing. I agree

:37:45.:37:50.

about the needs to get the book, our families, constituents, out

:37:51.:37:54.

exercising, taking advantage of the beautiful countryside over the

:37:55.:37:58.

coming week. After a good Christmas dinner, I think. He makes an

:37:59.:38:03.

important point. And what is also important and something I sought to

:38:04.:38:05.

change in the last Parliament is that unnecessary health and safety

:38:06.:38:11.

rules that put schools off taking him to ring out elsewhere, are used,

:38:12.:38:15.

so that there is a talent between appropriate safeguards and

:38:16.:38:20.

common-sense. Can I extend my best wishes to

:38:21.:38:25.

everybody for Christmas? Particularly the team behind the

:38:26.:38:30.

education select committee. With Christmas in mind can be spare a

:38:31.:38:37.

thought for the turkey? Is it is prepared for the off, completely and

:38:38.:38:41.

utterly stuffed. The Leader of the House agree with me that we should

:38:42.:38:45.

have a debate on the consequences of leaving the European Union, after

:38:46.:38:48.

the referendum? That is an interesting segue. On the

:38:49.:38:57.

subject of the turkey, many will grace our tables and Christmas time,

:38:58.:39:02.

possibly with pigs and blankets, except in the Rhondda, where the

:39:03.:39:07.

sausages are all thrown away. But because sequences of leaving the EU

:39:08.:39:11.

will be debated and discussed over the coming months, strong views will

:39:12.:39:14.

be articulated on both sides and the people will decide.

:39:15.:39:22.

The Leader of the House will be aware that one of our most eminent

:39:23.:39:31.

conservationists, Chris Patten, said of the... Said earlier this week

:39:32.:39:38.

that of the 75% decline and butterfly species, that it was a

:39:39.:39:47.

final warning to the UK. Can we have a debate on the decline in this

:39:48.:39:51.

country and the need for urgent action to meet our targets for

:39:52.:39:57.

energy? I ought to declare a particular

:39:58.:40:01.

interest in this subject since the Grayling is not just a species of

:40:02.:40:07.

fish but also brown butterfly. Like him I would not like to see them

:40:08.:40:11.

disappear from our country and I share the concerns he has raised. It

:40:12.:40:16.

is important in this country to have a talented policy protecting our

:40:17.:40:20.

countryside, habitats, as well as providing space for agriculture -- a

:40:21.:40:27.

balanced policy. I will communicate his concerns to the Secretary of

:40:28.:40:30.

State who I'm sure she the views he and I both do. -- shares.

:40:31.:40:39.

As a member of the parliamentary group for mountaineering I welcome

:40:40.:40:48.

the sports strategy today going beyond traditional sport to put

:40:49.:40:52.

further focus on outdoor recreation such as walking, cycling, and

:40:53.:40:57.

Mountain sports. Will my right honourable friend consider holding a

:40:58.:41:01.

further debate to highlight the benefits of outdoor recreation in

:41:02.:41:03.

terms of physical health, and mental well-being is to -- well-being?

:41:04.:41:19.

It is an appropriate part of the future, engaging children in sport

:41:20.:41:21.

at an early age is very important and I pay tribute to my honourable

:41:22.:41:25.

friend the work she has done assembling a sports strategy. I wish

:41:26.:41:30.

her all the very best for the next few weeks. We know she is expecting

:41:31.:41:35.

her first child and we wish her the very best for a successful birth and

:41:36.:41:36.

a happy time with her newborn. Merry Christmas to all in the House

:41:37.:41:57.

and a happy New Year. During the Smith hash Smith Commission process,

:41:58.:42:03.

the Scottish Government voted in favour of devolving trade union

:42:04.:42:10.

legislation. This was blocked by the party opposite and the Labour Party.

:42:11.:42:17.

One party has had an epiphany, so can we have an -- a further debate?

:42:18.:42:32.

Lord Smith has said we fulfilled the terms of the Smith Commission. To be

:42:33.:42:38.

honest, I think the Scottish administration would do well to

:42:39.:42:40.

concentrate on using the powers we are giving them, rather than asking

:42:41.:42:45.

for more. So far there is little evidence that when we give them

:42:46.:42:51.

powers they make use of them. Can we have a debate in government time on

:42:52.:42:59.

the report regarding the shambolic performance last week of the

:43:00.:43:09.

non-announcement to this House, to discuss the unanimous conclusions of

:43:10.:43:11.

the five commissioners that Heathrow was the right site for a new runway?

:43:12.:43:17.

Can the terms of that debate be set widely enough to include

:43:18.:43:21.

consideration of the extraordinary proposition from Gatwick that they

:43:22.:43:29.

can put five times as many passengers on the train line, where

:43:30.:43:35.

I repeat a message on Twitter from one of my constituents, who went to

:43:36.:43:45.

work and said, southern real again? Are you on some sort of sponsored

:43:46.:43:52.

screw-up? Crispin Blunt, you are our only hope. The situation was clearly

:43:53.:44:03.

deeply wretched. I think we are in danger of getting into the detail of

:44:04.:44:06.

the policy. Reference was made earlier to the fact that there was

:44:07.:44:13.

no statement on the day in question, it was a very regrettable state of

:44:14.:44:16.

affairs. The Secretary of State came on Monday to deliver a statement and

:44:17.:44:21.

there can be no doubt that a minister was going to have to appear

:44:22.:44:26.

at the dispatch box, either to deliver a statement or to respond to

:44:27.:44:30.

an urgent question. Of that the honourable gentleman had no reason

:44:31.:44:35.

to be in any doubt whatsoever. In future, rather than delivering the

:44:36.:44:39.

statement later Billy when it was going to have to be delivered, it

:44:40.:44:43.

should be delivered on time, as courtesy to the House of commons

:44:44.:44:49.

requires. You know I always endeavour to make sure announcements

:44:50.:44:56.

are made to the House. No public statements have been made by the

:44:57.:45:00.

government today about the Strathclyde review which has now

:45:01.:45:04.

been published. I would say that the Vermont has to do deal with market

:45:05.:45:10.

sensitive information. I have noted his comments. I have to say the

:45:11.:45:17.

phrase our only hope is Christian Blunt is one I had never hoped for

:45:18.:45:21.

in this House. How often it will be heard again, we will wait and see.

:45:22.:45:27.

He makes an important point about the Brighton mainline. At a time

:45:28.:45:30.

when there is discussion about reopening the south coast line to

:45:31.:45:35.

London, it is because there is heavy congestion already. Aspirations to

:45:36.:45:43.

substantially increase the number of passengers on it, those who have

:45:44.:45:46.

constituencies in that area would take some persuasion. The service

:45:47.:45:56.

which has been provided to hundreds of thousands of commuters in my

:45:57.:46:02.

constituency has been an appalling joke. And absolute joke. Southern

:46:03.:46:07.

trains have admitted they don't have enough drivers and they don't have

:46:08.:46:11.

enough decent trains. Basic things in providing a service. Will the

:46:12.:46:16.

leader of the House at the Transport Secretary here to give a statement

:46:17.:46:19.

or at least write to both of us explaining what he is going to do to

:46:20.:46:23.

get these companies to sort their act out? They have broken promise

:46:24.:46:31.

after promise. Enough is enough. I understand the pressures on the line

:46:32.:46:35.

passing through his constituency. There is a massive investment at

:46:36.:46:40.

London Bridge to create better infrastructure for the future. I

:46:41.:46:45.

take note of the comments he makes. I will make sure the Transport

:46:46.:46:49.

Secretary is aware of them. In defence of at least part of the

:46:50.:46:58.

southern service, the section near Epsom appears to be working well. My

:46:59.:47:07.

constituents value the right to compensation for certain flight

:47:08.:47:09.

delays of more than three hours. There is one airline which appears

:47:10.:47:22.

to disagree with this. One of my constituents suffered an extremely

:47:23.:47:29.

long delay. Can we have a debate about airlines fulfilling their

:47:30.:47:32.

obligations under this European ruling? This is a legal requirement.

:47:33.:47:43.

Any airline failing to comply is subject to legal action. It would

:47:44.:47:47.

not be appropriate for us to offer legal advice, but there are channels

:47:48.:47:54.

for someone who wishes to pursue a legal claim against any

:47:55.:48:01.

organisation. BT's handling of broadband infrastructure and leaves

:48:02.:48:07.

a lot to be desired. Constituents constantly complain about service

:48:08.:48:11.

they receive. My constituency office has a problem. We still have no

:48:12.:48:16.

broadband and no phone connection nine weeks after moving into a

:48:17.:48:22.

brand-new building. Given BT's constant failure to deliver in a

:48:23.:48:26.

timely fashion the broadband infrastructure this country so badly

:48:27.:48:32.

need the -- needs, can we have a debate on whether it is time to

:48:33.:48:36.

separate the infrastructure and retail elements of this badly

:48:37.:48:44.

performing company? She makes her point very eloquently. If she wants

:48:45.:48:49.

to raise specific concerns with the Department and ask them to put fresh

:48:50.:48:55.

on BT over this, she writes to me with the details, I will make sure

:48:56.:48:59.

that is paid attention to. I will make sure the points she makes are

:49:00.:49:04.

passed on to the business Department. In previous years, there

:49:05.:49:08.

has always been a statement or debate in this House on the police

:49:09.:49:15.

grant. I note on the order paper it is by written statement. Given we

:49:16.:49:19.

have good news to talk about on the police grant and the Mayor of London

:49:20.:49:22.

has announced today that the police funding will never ensure at least

:49:23.:49:28.

one police constable and one PCS or for every ward across London, surely

:49:29.:49:32.

we should have a debate on the issue so we can highlight the proposal

:49:33.:49:37.

from the other side to reduce police grant by 10%? Well, the honourable

:49:38.:49:41.

gentleman makes an important point. It is a sign of the way in which we

:49:42.:49:48.

have turned the economy around. We have been able to make decisions to

:49:49.:49:57.

protect police budgets. It will return to this House in the New Year

:49:58.:50:01.

for approval. He will have the opportunity to make the important

:50:02.:50:06.

point he makes. And to put the other side to shame over their record. Can

:50:07.:50:13.

I join the festive compliments by wishing you all Americans must and

:50:14.:50:22.

happy New Year in Gaelic? -- a Merry Christmas. The government seems to

:50:23.:50:34.

be giving evermore status to the state and whether or not the UK is

:50:35.:50:40.

in breach of the arms trade treaty. Many of us are concerned this is

:50:41.:50:44.

Wilford has been dressed up in sheepdog clothing. Can I say to the

:50:45.:50:57.

honourable gentleman that we've particularly stress of peaceful

:50:58.:51:00.

Christmas for the people of Northern Ireland. We hope it will be a

:51:01.:51:03.

productive and peaceful year. Regarding Saudi Arabia -- we always

:51:04.:51:15.

raise matters on human rights with the Saudi government. If he has

:51:16.:51:22.

concerns, he will have the opportunity in the New Year to raise

:51:23.:51:28.

his concerns. They have been a nation with which we have a

:51:29.:51:34.

long-standing partnership. Can I draw the House's attention to my

:51:35.:51:53.

entry for interests? We expect to publish a report in the spring. Can

:51:54.:51:57.

we please have a debate in government time to ensure we are not

:51:58.:52:07.

holding problems for the future? He makes an important point. Most of us

:52:08.:52:14.

have from time to time had constituents come to us who have

:52:15.:52:16.

been badly let down on buying new homes. He is doing important work in

:52:17.:52:26.

this area and I commend him. There will be a recommended provision for

:52:27.:52:32.

hedgehog superhighways in construction. Can I draw the House's

:52:33.:52:37.

attention to the excellent use the Home Secretary has agreed to

:52:38.:52:40.

withdraw from legal action and will that -- left the ban on the

:52:41.:52:46.

international seat Federation. This needs to be voted speedily

:52:47.:52:59.

through by both houses. I will certainly do that. The leader will

:53:00.:53:15.

be aware of proposals regarding limiting extracurricular activities.

:53:16.:53:21.

They would need to be available for Ofsted inspections.

:53:22.:53:35.

With the Lido use his influence to seek an extension to the 11th of

:53:36.:53:44.

January deadline? She makes an important point and has been a great

:53:45.:53:48.

champion for these issues. I will make sure today that we will pass on

:53:49.:54:04.

the request she has made. There has been an economic impact published in

:54:05.:54:08.

my constituency suggesting there will be job losses regarding fishing

:54:09.:54:13.

grounds causing between the mainland and the Isle of Rothesay.

:54:14.:54:29.

I understand that point. I am not aware of the detailed situation, but

:54:30.:54:41.

I will make sure his concerns are passed and try to get an early

:54:42.:54:49.

response for him. Merry Christmas. Can we have a debate on planning law

:54:50.:54:54.

to look to make an amendment is so rejected applications for fast food

:54:55.:55:01.

takeaway is with close proximity to schools don't have a right to

:55:02.:55:08.

appeal. My constituents are objecting to a KFC yards to the

:55:09.:55:15.

entrance of a primary school. My noble friend has campaigned on

:55:16.:55:22.

behalf of his constituents since his election. I commend him. He makes an

:55:23.:55:25.

important point. We have ongoing work being done to make it as

:55:26.:55:33.

efficient as possible. Concerns will be noted since we have one of the

:55:34.:55:37.

relevant ministers on the bench next to me. I am sure they will give it

:55:38.:55:43.

due consideration. Whilst we leave this place to celebrate the

:55:44.:55:49.

holidays, we must spare a fought for the hundreds of thousands of

:55:50.:55:56.

schoolchildren who qualify for a free meal. Can we have an urgent

:55:57.:56:04.

debate to discuss the impact on their life, health and long-term

:56:05.:56:08.

aspirations? I am proud that since we took power in 2010 there has been

:56:09.:56:15.

a fall in nearly 700,000 of the number of workless households. The

:56:16.:56:19.

best way we have available for us to ease poverty is to get families

:56:20.:56:24.

working on moving up the economic scale. That is a priority for us.

:56:25.:56:37.

I was appalled by the announcement we are no longer vaccinating

:56:38.:56:42.

Padgett. Can we have a debate about the performance of Defra? I don't

:56:43.:56:53.

think the very continental grip. -- don't think it would be very

:56:54.:56:58.

complimentary. He knows full well the impact that

:56:59.:57:04.

bovine TB can have on the farming community, spread by badgers, and

:57:05.:57:09.

that is why the difficult decisions we have taken have they did to be

:57:10.:57:11.

taken. The -- have needed. Next year, seafarers UK, will be

:57:12.:57:34.

getting ready to celebrate its centenary. Will the Cabinet Office

:57:35.:57:42.

or Department for Transport be able to help this excellent charity

:57:43.:57:47.

prepare for this and in we? -- for the centenary?

:57:48.:57:56.

I will pass the request on. I would not normally pay tribute to work

:57:57.:58:01.

done by a Labour government but I do think the effort put into rebuilding

:58:02.:58:05.

the British flag motion fleet by the former Deputy primus stove was a

:58:06.:58:10.

real benefit to the country -- Prime Minister.

:58:11.:58:22.

Can we have a debate on the importance of small businesses to

:58:23.:58:28.

our national economy and the future of the Northern Powerhouse?

:58:29.:58:35.

I express thanks to all members, and I know he was one, and part and

:58:36.:58:42.

small-business Saturday. I know his constituency well. I know what an

:58:43.:58:46.

important role small-business plays in the era he represents. I graduate

:58:47.:58:55.

on his efforts on behalf of the local business community I have no

:58:56.:58:58.

doubt they'll is restricted due to him for so doing.

:58:59.:59:03.

I have been contacted by a local foundry in my constituency

:59:04.:59:09.

highlighting concerns at the severe increase in energy costs they face,

:59:10.:59:14.

17%, year-on-year. Can a statement be made about the progress of

:59:15.:59:17.

discussions with the European Commission in relation to further

:59:18.:59:22.

compensation for heavy industries? The honourable gentleman makes an

:59:23.:59:27.

important point. He knows it is a matter of ongoing concern to the

:59:28.:59:32.

government. The Secretary of State that Energy and Climate Change

:59:33.:59:34.

Committee her the Thursday after we return and I will make sure the

:59:35.:59:37.

authors are aware of his concerns. They will be better prepared to

:59:38.:59:42.

answer him. I previously raised the subject of a

:59:43.:59:48.

campaign and the problems with pension equalisation measures. I am

:59:49.:59:52.

glad to see a backbench committee has granted a debate on the petition

:59:53.:59:57.

has not exceeded more than 70,000 signatures. In that debate can he

:59:58.:00:06.

make sure the Secretary of State response, particularly given the

:00:07.:00:08.

comment by his former Minister for pensions?

:00:09.:00:15.

My honourable friend is making very effective use of social media in his

:00:16.:00:18.

campaigning and I commend him for it. I will make sure his request is

:00:19.:00:26.

passed on. The Manchester evening News recently

:00:27.:00:33.

ran a piece highlighting premise is in greater Manchester with poor food

:00:34.:00:37.

hygiene ratings. It featured the red line in Denton. Unfortunately for

:00:38.:00:41.

the newspaper that is under new ownership. The editor has apologised

:00:42.:00:49.

to the proprietor but they tell me that they got the information from

:00:50.:00:55.

the government website. So can we have a debate in government time on

:00:56.:01:00.

how up-to-date the information on government websites are? And

:01:01.:01:06.

whether, when information is incorrect, it can be corrected

:01:07.:01:13.

promptly? Most importantly, before any newspaper publishes a list of

:01:14.:01:17.

people to name and shame it is good practice to telephone them first and

:01:18.:01:22.

put that to them. In that situation they would have been corrected. I

:01:23.:01:27.

would always want and expect the government websites to be as

:01:28.:01:30.

up-to-date as possible tracking every change in management in an

:01:31.:01:34.

organisation that has had a poor report would be an impossibility. It

:01:35.:01:38.

is good journalistic practice to ask for a quote and discover that the

:01:39.:01:43.

change has happened. The number of off-licences in my

:01:44.:01:49.

constituency has led to a rise in anti-social behaviour and street

:01:50.:01:53.

drinking. Can we have a debate on what it means to be a socially

:01:54.:01:58.

responsible business in the 21st-century? And the cumulative

:01:59.:02:02.

impact on businesses that do not take their social responsibility

:02:03.:02:05.

seriously? There are extensive powers that are

:02:06.:02:08.

not always use of local authorities to deal with problem premises. If

:02:09.:02:14.

things are not working in the way that local planning laws work, we

:02:15.:02:18.

have a team on the front bench who I'm sure would be very happy to look

:02:19.:02:20.

at specific issues. On the subject of abysmal train

:02:21.:02:36.

services can I add my name to the list of people who would like to

:02:37.:02:41.

receive letters? What I would like to ask is, has there been a request

:02:42.:02:49.

from the Home Office to debate the disclosure service? I am not sure if

:02:50.:02:54.

he is aware that the service is 70,000 outstanding cases at present,

:02:55.:02:59.

having a huge impact on people's ability to take up jobs.

:03:00.:03:06.

This is an issue I have had constituency cases in the past. I

:03:07.:03:10.

have not had any in recent times but it is always a matter of concern. We

:03:11.:03:15.

do not want people not getting jobs because the appropriate

:03:16.:03:18.

certification has not come through. I will make sure the Home Secretary

:03:19.:03:24.

is aware of the concerns raised. Thank you, and happy Christmas, Mr

:03:25.:03:29.

Speaker. Can we have a debate and the access to elected office fund

:03:30.:03:33.

supporting disabled candidates in elections, given the government

:03:34.:03:39.

decision to cut funding for them? We have regularly electoral

:03:40.:03:42.

commission questions, we have just had those, so she had an opportunity

:03:43.:03:47.

to raise these issues. We continue to to provide support where we can

:03:48.:03:51.

for things that require support. But in recent years we have had to take

:03:52.:03:56.

typical decisions. To make sure we have stable public finances.

:03:57.:04:07.

Will the House make progress towards the publication of this report

:04:08.:04:12.

report? It is sadly not a matter for

:04:13.:04:15.

government otherwise it would have been published a long time ago. It

:04:16.:04:19.

is entirely in the hands of Sir John Chilcott. We have absolutely no

:04:20.:04:32.

benefit at all, no incentive at all as a government, to delay

:04:33.:04:35.

publication, because we were not in power at the time of the events it

:04:36.:04:40.

covers. We hope it will be brought forward as soon as possible in the

:04:41.:04:45.

New Year. We all agree on the importance of

:04:46.:04:48.

the NHS and staff will stop my constituent faces Christmas jobless

:04:49.:04:55.

because as a radiographer Ealing Hospital she exposed the malpractice

:04:56.:05:00.

of consultants taking extra financial inducement. Can we have a

:05:01.:05:04.

debate on whistle-blowers in the NHS? It is not done since 2009

:05:05.:05:10.

according to the Commons library. Can he grant is a debate, if not a

:05:11.:05:15.

statement? What I can offer is the Health

:05:16.:05:23.

Secretary on the first day back. She makes an important point. It is not

:05:24.:05:28.

the government policy to see whistle-blowers penalised. I do not

:05:29.:05:31.

know all the details of the case she raises but if you write to the

:05:32.:05:35.

Secretary of State or to me I will make sure that is available to him

:05:36.:05:38.

before he comes to the House on the first day back.

:05:39.:05:42.

Merry Christmas Mr Speaker, to you and yours. I have received a letter

:05:43.:05:50.

from a constituent, who confirms that a government minister is to

:05:51.:05:59.

receive a visit from three spirit on New Year's Eve. Will the government

:06:00.:06:03.

make a statement, having confirmed a new and munificent attitude to life,

:06:04.:06:07.

to address the many iniquities of our current Social Security system?

:06:08.:06:11.

Or are the hopes and aspirations of many milli on bug?

:06:12.:06:18.

If anyone had a visit from three spirit of Christmas these days the

:06:19.:06:21.

spirit of Christmas past which show a country in trouble, Internet, with

:06:22.:06:25.

high. It would show Christmas present with falling unemployment,

:06:26.:06:35.

and a high-tech exciting country with opportunities for all.

:06:36.:06:41.

I warmly endorse the tributes that the Leader of the House gave to the

:06:42.:06:46.

staff of this place. Can we have perhaps a debate on staffing here in

:06:47.:06:50.

Parliament? It might give the government an opportunity to explain

:06:51.:06:53.

why at the same time it is allowing the number and the cost of special

:06:54.:06:57.

advisers to skyrocket and check, it is reducing by 20% the short money

:06:58.:07:03.

support been given to opposition parties? -- and and we spend more

:07:04.:07:20.

short money the special advisers. I have had contact from a

:07:21.:07:23.

constituent who thinks the SNP are doing a great job providing a real

:07:24.:07:26.

opposition to the Conservative government. He wants us to keep

:07:27.:07:30.

asking tough questions and would like a statement on how we can

:07:31.:07:35.

afford to fund ones for Syria, and nuclear weapons, well people in this

:07:36.:07:43.

country are having to use the banks? -- bombs. I don't want to hear any

:07:44.:07:50.

war for about how we have them in Germany.

:07:51.:07:53.

We are affording military support to people who are trying to rescue

:07:54.:08:02.

refugees. We are funding support to rescue a civilian population that

:08:03.:08:05.

has been through a trauma unlike any experienced anywhere on this planet

:08:06.:08:11.

in 50 years. Our job, our goal, the present of our forces in Syria and

:08:12.:08:15.

Iraq is to restore peace to people who are wandering around a region

:08:16.:08:18.

desperately looking for a home. We need them to be able to go back to

:08:19.:08:24.

their own homes. The Secretary of State for

:08:25.:08:35.

Communities and Local Government. I believe that our gloriously

:08:36.:08:40.

diverse country will prosper more of the district, counties, towns, and

:08:41.:08:44.

cities that make it up, have more power. If you accept that it follows

:08:45.:08:48.

that you must believe councils to be capable of exercising that power.

:08:49.:08:53.

Over the last five years councils have shown a

:08:54.:08:54.

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