17/12/2015 Business Questions


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


2015. Business questions. Mr Chris Bryant.


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


recess as well. Business next we will be nothing at


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


both subjects selected by the backbench business committee.


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


the week commencing January 11 includes, on Monday, remaining


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


varied. -- period. Despite the caterwauling yesterday


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


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


complete UK exemption from Star Wars related humour and some perfectly


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


couple of minutes during dinner whilst the waiters are clearing away


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


one of those really irritating relatives who pops around 40 every


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


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


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


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


there seems something utterly illogical about the renegotiation


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


German system of contributory benefits. This is a complete


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


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


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


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


every single element of that even the pensions secretary, Home


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


proposal will make absolutely no difference to admit migration


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


decision process the decision, decision process the decision,


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


disabilities and mental health problems were not properly


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


update the House on progress retires been made regarding provision of


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


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


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


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


including constituency offices and homes. This is something which has


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


came back to Westminster and you will remember those happy


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


unemployment figures we saw yesterday. 1.5 million people were


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


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


unemployment we inherited from the party opposite has been well and


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


absence of the Christmas adjournment debate which would have allowed


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


honourable friend find time for a debate on CTC timetable changes


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


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


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


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


characteristically eloquent speech from my honourable friend.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Labour benches, I thought sleeping beauty might have been more


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


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


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


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


United Kingdom favouring Britain leaving the European Commission. We


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


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


is like Chewbacca without the four trying to renegotiate our


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


which will allow the fiscal frameworks for the Scotland Bill to


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


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


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


ensure that Treasury ministers will fear in front of the Scottish


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


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


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


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


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


determined united the real opposition and they will get away


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


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


These benches will provide the opposition. The honourable gentleman


is in his characteristic flamboyant form because he had an extremist


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Westminster with begging bowl because the collapse in the oil


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


Scottish people took a sensible decision and one that has proved


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


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


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


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


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


does the intention of this government, that taking advantage of


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


opportunities of getting more female representation into this House and


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


instance, and overrunning of considerations for the remaining


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


and on that basis the committee took its decision.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


of its calendar. The chair of the backbench business


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


It is in fact her little brother who represents Leicester.


The director generals of the Royal armouries Museum and the National


Army Museum have warned that significant damage will be done to


their collections of firearms leading to the near destruction of


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


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


what they are doing to stop this happening?


We will have questions with the Foreign Secretary shortly after I


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


this place of Russells, that new legislation is thought through


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


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


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


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


My mistake, she is firmly rooted in her seat.


My constituent was tragically stabbed to death whilst on a night


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


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


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


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


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


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


and allow us time to debate? -- will he


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


possible. Yesterday the National Audit Office


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


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


into the financial year. In the Autumn Statement the Chancellor


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


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


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


Secretary of State for Health explain how the government will make


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


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


ever before in this country, treating more patients, employing


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


republic felt a referendum? My honourable friend makes his point


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


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


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


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


ties with the Commonwealth. We provide an opportunity for cultural


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


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


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


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


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


Mayor also wish you a... SPEAKS WELSH.


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


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


Home Secretary. Earlier this week the European


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


that? My honourable friend makes an


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


He knows that many members here believe that children learn best


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


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


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


ten schools could out into the countryside and that if that


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


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


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


exercising, taking advantage of the beautiful countryside over the


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


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


change in the last Parliament is that unnecessary health and safety


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


so that there is a talent between appropriate safeguards and


common-sense. Can I extend my best wishes to


everybody for Christmas? Particularly the team behind the


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


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


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


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


the referendum? That is an interesting segue. On the


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


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


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


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


be articulated on both sides and the people will decide.


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


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


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


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


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


energy? I ought to declare a particular


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


As a member of the parliamentary group for mountaineering I welcome


the sports strategy today going beyond traditional sport to put


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


Mountain sports. Will my right honourable friend consider holding a


further debate to highlight the benefits of outdoor recreation in


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


the Scottish Government voted in favour of devolving trade union


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


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


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


honest, I think the Scottish administration would do well to


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


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


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


the report regarding the shambolic performance last week of the


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


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


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


consideration of the extraordinary proposition from Gatwick that they


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


requires. You know I always endeavour to make sure announcements


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


government today about the Strathclyde review which has now


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


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


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


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


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


when there is discussion about reopening the south coast line to


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


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


constituencies in that area would take some persuasion. The service


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


passing through his constituency. There is a massive investment at


London Bridge to create better infrastructure for the future. I


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


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


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


constituents value the right to compensation for certain flight


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


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


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


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


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


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


for someone who wishes to pursue a legal claim against any


organisation. BT's handling of broadband infrastructure and leaves


a lot to be desired. Constituents constantly complain about service


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


broadband and no phone connection nine weeks after moving into a


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


timely fashion the broadband infrastructure this country so badly


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


separate the infrastructure and retail elements of this badly


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


honourable gentleman that we've particularly stress of peaceful


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


attention to the excellent use the Home Secretary has agreed to


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


international seat Federation. This needs to be voted speedily


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


be aware of proposals regarding limiting extracurricular activities.


They would need to be available for Ofsted inspections.


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


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


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


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


my constituency suggesting there will be job losses regarding fishing


grounds causing between the mainland and the Isle of Rothesay.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


due consideration. Whilst we leave this place to celebrate the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


I was appalled by the announcement we are no longer vaccinating


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


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


complimentary. He knows full well the impact that


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


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


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


getting ready to celebrate its centenary. Will the Cabinet Office


or Department for Transport be able to help this excellent charity


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


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


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


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


real benefit to the country -- Prime Minister.


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


our national economy and the future of the Northern Powerhouse?


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


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


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


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


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


I have been contacted by a local foundry in my constituency


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


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


discussions with the European Commission in relation to further


compensation for heavy industries? The honourable gentleman makes an


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


government. The Secretary of State that Energy and Climate Change


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


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


answer him. I previously raised the subject of a


campaign and the problems with pension equalisation measures. I am


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


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


make sure the Secretary of State response, particularly given the


comment by his former Minister for pensions?


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


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


passed on. The Manchester evening News recently


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


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


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


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


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


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


whether, when information is incorrect, it can be corrected


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


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


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


would always want and expect the government websites to be as


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


impact on businesses that do not take their social responsibility


seriously? There are extensive powers that are


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


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


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


at specific issues. On the subject of abysmal train


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


do not want people not getting jobs because the appropriate


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


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


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


supporting disabled candidates in elections, given the government


decision to cut funding for them? We have regularly electoral


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


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


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


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


Will the House make progress towards the publication of this report


report? It is sadly not a matter for


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


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


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


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


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


New Year. We all agree on the importance of


the NHS and staff will stop my constituent faces Christmas jobless


because as a radiographer Ealing Hospital she exposed the malpractice


of consultants taking extra financial inducement. Can we have a


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


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


statement? What I can offer is the Health


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


high. It would show Christmas present with falling unemployment,


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


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


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


Parliament? It might give the government an opportunity to explain


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


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


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


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


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


opposition to the Conservative government. He wants us to keep


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


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


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


war for about how we have them in Germany.


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


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


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


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


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


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


their own homes. The Secretary of State for


Communities and Local Government. I believe that our gloriously


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


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


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


Over the last five years councils have shown a


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