19/01/2017 Business Questions


Live coverage of the announcement of Commons business for the week ahead and questions to the Leader of the Commons David Lidington.

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shall now redouble our efforts in the coming years to improve further


upon it. In order, business question, Valerie


vows. Thank you Mr speaker. World Leader


of the House please give us the forthcoming business?


Did business for next week will be as follows. Monday the 23rd of


January, second reading of the local government Finance Bill.


consideration of Lords amendments to consideration of Lords amendments to


the Wales Bill. Followed by a motion relating to the charter of budget


responsibility, and Wednesday the 25th of an opposition day, there


will be a debate on prisons, followed by debate entitled the


detrimental effect on disabled people from government plans on


employment and universal credits. Thursday the 26th of January,


debates determined by the backbench business committee, the first one on


a motion relating to the statutory pubs code, and the pubs code


adjudicator. Followed by a debate on a motion relating to access to


breast cancer drugs. The provisional business for the


week commencing the 30th of January will include Monday the 30th of


January, second reading of the pension schemes Bill. Tuesday the


31st of January, second reading of the bus services Bill Lords,


Wednesday the first of debris, opposition day, 20th allotted day,


debate on an opposition motion subject to be announced. The second


fabric, business to be put forward by the backbench committee. I would


also like to inform the House the business in Westminster Hall for the


remainder of January will be: Monday the 23rd of January, a debate on an


EU petition relating to the banning of non-recyclable and


non-compostable packaging. Thursday 26th of January, General debate on


protecting civil society space across the world. Monday the 30th of


January, debate on an EU petition relating to pay restraint for a


agenda for change NHS staff. Thank you Mr Speaker. Can I thank


the Leader of the House for his statement and we still don't appear


to have a date for the summer recess. Could I ask him if he could


think about it very carefully and perhaps come back next week. And


also a date for parochial of Parliament and the State Opening of


Parliament. Mr Speaker, can I wish you were very happy birthday. I am


afraid the House can't sing to you. As a tennis fan, as a tennis fan I


don't know if your presents included new balls... But we all know how


well you handle a racket both inside and outside the chamber. And also an


inspired choice for Speaker's chaplain. Great pastoral support for


MPs. At the Leader of the House will join us in a doubles match for


Charity! Mr Speaker, sadly this house is


losing MPs and we have lost a former Prime Minister. I want to know how


many members made an incredible contribution you can do things for


the backbench. The member for Dewsbury amended the Finance Bill.


The member for Cheltenham increased a ten minute rule Bill on stalking


and the Government has extended the sentenced to ten years. The on the


member for North Ayrshire, I don't know if she is in her place, when


speaking on her own experiences on the loss of her baby reminded us


that in England we should allow coroners to investigate stillbirths,


so care can be addressed. There are many other honourable members across


the House that do great work. That is why many of us cannot understand


why the Prime Minister, on a major policy announcement that affects the


whole country, refused to come and tell the House and its elected


representatives about those 12 points of principle, which should


have been 12 paragraphs in a white paper, as they are government policy


initiatives. As the honourable member for New Forest West said last


week, my pleasure is magnified when I addressed the chair and you, sir,


are occupying it. I wish he would tell that to the Prime Minister. Mr


Speaker, these 12 clauses in the white paper should have been set out


last September, and that would have ended the speculation and


uncertainty that has engulfed us that the last six months. I can see


why the Prime Minister didn't want to come to be questioned about it


because we still need clarity on a number of issues. Principal four,


maintaining the Common travel area with Ireland is welcome. The Prime


Minister said the joint administration will be consulted,


but given their Iraqi elections in Northern Ireland, could the Leader


of the House confirm who will be sitting on the joint ministerial


committee? -- given there will be committee? -- given there will be


elections. Gibraltar voted 96% to remain. What consultation does the


Government intend to have with Government intend to have with


Gibraltar? And Spain have already threatened to plant their flag in


Gibraltar. The Prime Minister talks of a global Britain yet principle


five sets out the Government's proposals to keep the world out. The


Prime Minister said because we are no longer members of the single


market we will not be required to contribute huge sums to the EU


budget. Printable ten, she wants the UK to continue to be the best place


for science and innovation, forgetting the UK received 8.8


billion euros, the fourth largest share in the EU for research and


develop men. The private sector were perceived ?1.4 billion in 2013 for


research and development. That is just one sector. We get but we give


something back. As we wait the judgment from the Supreme Court, on


a point of law, on the 24th of January, next Tuesday, let's remind


the people that judges are on the people side, upholding the rule of


law. Can the Leader of the House confirm whether whatever the Bill


that comes out after the judgment, it won't be a cynical, one line


Bill, as suggested by government? The Prime Minister wants to do this


pariah children and grandchildren but our children between the age of


18-24 voted overwhelmingly, 75%, to remain in the EU. They already feel


let down. As we remember Martin Luther King


day this week and Holocaust Memorial Day next week, let us remember the


words of Martin Luther King, and a Holocaust survivor who died last


year, let us remember that the European Union was formed for


nations to come together in peace, not hatred. We must remember that we


are interdependent on each other, we do not live in isolation, whether as


individual countries, nations. We want economic and social justice


here and in Europe in the months and years ahead. Let those speeds are


guiding principles. Mr Speaker, in terms of the dates of summer recess


and prorogation, while I would hope to oblige the House as soon as I am


able to do so, I think the honourable lady and others will


understand there are uncertainties about how long it is going to take


to transact business before the House in the weeks to come, so I'm


not able to give firm dates as yet. She made a of criticisms about the


government's handling of the forthcoming EU negotiations. I have


to say the Secretary of State gave an oral statement and answered


questions from about two hours, and I rather detected in her strictures


on the Prime Minister is, a sense of frustration that I sensed her


frustration. On the question of Northern Ireland, the ministers who


have not resigned from the executive in the way that Mr Martin McGuinness


has stepped down as First Minister, remain as Acting ministers until the


new executive can be appointed, so the government is able to talk to


them and officials from the Northern Ireland Executive continue to attend


meetings. In the days when I used to chair committees on Europe, I can


remember a previous occasion after last Stormont elections when it took


awhile for the next executive to be formed, and they attended joint


meetings to ensure Northern Ireland was represented. On Gibraltar, in


line with the undertaking that the Prime Minister gave following the


referendum, ministers and officials are in regular contact with the


government of Gibraltar from the Chief Minister Darren. More broadly,


on the question of European Union and the honourable lady's concluding


words, I think the Prime Minister made it very clear during her speech


that the last thing that she and the government was seeking was a


weakening or dismantling of the European Union, the Prime Minister


said she wanted the European Union to succeed. And my right honourable


friend and the entire government are very aware of the fact that for much


of Europe, the mid-20th century was an utterly scarring experience. And


that many governments, many people in those countries, still look to


European institutions as a safeguard against anything like that happening


again. And we respect that view, that outlook, which terms from --


stems from their historical experience in the last century. And


so we will go forward respecting and determined to implement the


democratic verdict of the British people last June, but also in a way


where we will be seeking to achieve a future relationship with our


closest neighbours, which is based on mutual trust, friendship and


continued alliance and cooperation on a whole range of policy measures.


Finally, I would join the honourable lady in wishing all the best to you


and also the Speaker's Chapman on your birthdays today, and I would be


happy to accept the honourable lady's challenge, but I have to say,


knowing your prowess on the tennis court, I would regard the outcome is


something of a foregone conclusion! It is a bit rich coming from the


shadow Leader of the Commons complaining about parliamentary


scrutiny matters announced in the media, when I lived through the Tony


Blair and Gordon Brown years, when they never turned up to answer


anything! Yesterday, though the opposition claim they want to


discuss Europe, the debate on Europe finished early. There were not


enough speakers from them! So will be excellent Minister continue to


schedule general debate, but to those be seen debates, and each of


the 12 points the Prime Minister mentioned, be one of the debates, so


they can have as much time as they like to discuss it? Finally, I want


to put to rest a live. The leader of the Liberal Democrats claimed I


might have written to reason may's speech. I am afraid I had nothing to


do with it, it was her own work. Mr Speaker, I do not know of that last


comment was a bid to join ministerial speech writing teams in


the future. On the point about debates, there will be ample


opportunities for the House to continue to debate all aspects of


the forthcoming negotiation on the European Union. Thank you. Can I


also wish you a happy birthday. Lang may your lum reek. This has been a


bad week for Parliament. The Leader of the House should be ashamed. The


Prime Minister made about the most important statement about the future


of this country not here where elected members are, but in an


assembly full of press and diplomats. We know now it is almost


certain that a bill will be required in order to trigger Article 50, so


will he ensure this is subject to scrutiny, and thoroughly debated in


this House? Can we have a debate about to win friends and influence


people? The Fallen secretary is touring Europe like a dodgy


character doing his utmost to upset the very people that global Britain


needs to negotiate with to get a good deal about Brexiting the


European Union. We now know that this government's predominant


obsession, everything that underpins Brexit is immigration and freedom of


movement. Can the Leader of the House do what the Prime Minister


failed to do yesterday, and that is to confirm that English votes for


English laws procedure will not be applied to the great repeal bill?


This will cross across many devolved areas, it will be very complicated,


and there will be so many jurisdictions involved. So will he


do what the Prime Minister said Andrew outback today? We lost about


half of our opposition day on Tuesday, and it was necessary to


have the opportunity to question ministers about an important


statement. Will he pledged to give us that half day back in the future?


I cannot promise him to give the SNP that additional day, and I recognise


the pressure that there was on the limited time because of what he


himself acknowledge where two important statements. I will reflect


on that request but he will understand that there are other


pressures on the parliamentary timetable as well. He asked two


particular points about European Union legislation, and on the first


point, clearly, until the Supreme Court has ruled, we do not know


whether any bill will be required or not. But any bill, if it is to


become law, has two goals to the full parliamentary process in this


chamber and in the other place. That is the only route available to


change primary law in this country. So I hope that gives him some


reassurance. The extent to which amendments are in order, that


clearly depends upon the rules of the House and the interpretation of


the chair. On his question about the English votes for English laws


arrangements, it might be helpful if I remind the House for any matter to


be subject to the Evel arrangement, it must be subject to tests, it must


revert to a matter which is devolved in Scotland, the legislation here


must refer only to England or to England and will, and there must be


a certification from Mr Speaker that the clause or the bill or the


statutory instrument meets those tests. We have not yet published or


determined the final shape of the bill that will give effect to our


excerpt from the EU, the repeal Bill, but those tests would continue


to be the ones that would have to be met in any case. And I think it is


very clear to me that if, for example, we look at a measure that


is repealing the communities act 1972, clearly that has UK wide


implications, and not just applying to one part of the United Kingdom.


Can I also wish you a very happy birthday. Yesterday the youth


employment APPG heard from a number of youth employment ambassadors, and


these young people with inspirational but their achievements


were not going to the careers advice they achieved, but self belief and


determination. Can we have a debate about how careers advice can be


improved as currently there are examples of where we are potentially


letting people down. That sounds to me like an important issue which


might be in any area of the backbench committee debate. This is


also something to which my right honourable friend the Secretary of


State for education is getting very close attention. Many happy returns.


Can I thank the Leader of the House for notifying us of the business on


the backbench business. Provisionally we have tabled a


six-hour debate on the Armed Forces covenant for the 2nd of February.


This Monday, the House adjourned at 7:40pm, which frankly was rather


predictable, given the business on the day, and I wonder if this leader


could yet again consider working with us to consider backbench


debates which would take second place should government business run


its full course on such days in future. I am also asking the Leader


of the House to resolve thorny problem. We have had an application


for the debate on International women's Day, which is the 8th of


March, which is also scheduled for the spring statement. I wonder if we


can work with the Leader of the House to get a debate on


International women's Day is close to the 8th of March, probably before


hand, if possible? I will do my best to meet the honourable gentleman's


request on the last point. I take seriously and I will see whether we


can do anything more to accommodate the problem he identified regarding


last Monday. Difficulty for business managers is that you cannot tell by


the day -- until the day whether there will be questions that will


take up time, or how many members on each side will participate and for


how long they which bid wish to speak. I can remember previous


occasions in the House, when it was backbench business that came under


enormous pressure, resulting in a debate that had to be abandoned or


drastically curtailed, which was understandably immense frustration


to the backbenchers who had altered their arrangements so they were in


their places to participate in the debate. It is trying to strike a


balance. Would he find time for a debate on


national schools funding formula, because of the proposals go ahead,


every single school in South Bend will be worse off, and we will rank


84th out of the 533 constituencies in England, worst affected? I


understand his concern, and a new he is always a formidable active


champion of his constituents' interests. What I advise him is the


consultation, run by the Department for Education, is live now. It


doesn't end until the 22nd of March. What I would urge to do is to make


sure that he, on behalf of his constituents and perhaps


constituents individually, makes strong representations to that


consultation. I am always willing to offer breathtaking saturation is to


young people, be it yourself or your chaplain. Can I ask a Leader of the


House This question? Why is this constant delay and evasion in the


government bringing a motion before the House on the renewal of the


Parliamentary building? I know about the debate in Westminster All next


Wednesday, but why is there this delay? Isn't it essential that a


decision is reached, so that ever general election is going to take


place in 2020, those elected will now they would be sitting in this


building, for the work will be carried out without members of staff


being present, and hopefully will be completed much shorter than if


evacuation doesn't take place. When are we going to have a government


recommendation on this very important issue? He will be in his


place in his birthday, which if memory serves me correctly, is the


26th of June. We look forward to that and to the honourable gentleman


undertakings interrogation on that day. I understand his urgency to get


on with this. It's a feeling I share. Its possible additional


legislation will be needed after a court ruling next week. But there is


pressure on government time. I hope we can come forward with a clear


date as soon as possible. In addition to your birthday today,


maybe slightly less illustrious, last week saw the 70th anniversary


of Crawley being declared a new town. I appreciate it is obviously


for her Majesty to convert city status, but would the Leader of the


House speak with the Communities Secretary to see what process that


Crawley may be able to start to initiate, to explore that


possibility? I am happy to pass that request on to the Communities


Secretary, and I think the whole House will wish the people and civic


leaders of Crawley congratulations on this achievement, and their work


over the decades in building a thriving and successful community.


I'm sure he will agree that community pharmacies are very


important part of taking the pressures of overstretched casualty


Matt at the moment. Despite cuts to their funding just last month. The


government had introduced a pharmacy access scheme, to help deal with


some of the cuts and communities. I was really surprised to see, that in


the Prime Minister's constituency, 37% of our pharmacies will be able


to apply for that additional funding. In the three constituencies


in my city, only 1% of pharmacies can apply. The debate about Wyatt is


that the most disadvantaged communities still suffer the biggest


cuts this government? I am happy on the particular points you raise, I


clearly don't know the detail of the situation in Hull to ask the


relative health minister. I will ask them to write to you about this. The


principle is that there are now 15% more pharmacies in existence than


there were just a decade ago. Two fifths of pharmacies are within ten


minutes of two or more other pharmacies. The average pharmacy


receives roughly 220,000 a year in NHS funding. Even after changes, the


community pharmacies budget is going to be 20% more than it was a decade


ago. So I think the government is demonstrating it remains committed


to community pharmacies. For disabled people, achieving a job can


be a life changing experience. Last Friday, I was privileged to promote


a disability event in Cleethorpes to encourage local employers to take on


more disabled people. Could the leaders of the house join me in


congratulating Lorraine Alexander and her team from Grimsby job


centre, who did a great deal of work to stage the event, and also all the


voluntary and charitable groups? And could we find time to debate the


role and opportunities for disabled people in the workplace? I am very


happy to congratulate his constituents on this successful


event. I think it's been a really important step forward that we've


now got a record number of people with disabilities in work. I am the


first to acknowledge there is more that still needs to be done, but I


am heartened by the fact we are making progress, and that the risk


that kind of local and using a sum that he has described, which is


helping to highlight the opportunities for people with


disabilities. In contrast to just about every one of his predecessors


for the last 30 years, the leader shows no inclination to defend the


wider interests of the House, as to really progress on government


business. While his disgraceful treatment of the Parliamentary


Boundaries Bill is an example of that. What representations does he


make when a parliamentary select committee recommended the White


Paper before the implication of Article 50? What representations to


team-mate to secure that in the wider interests of the House, as


opposed to a prime ministerial statement, not even me there? Will


he indicate to the House, across the House, that he will see his job as


executing effective parliamentary scrutiny of a major constitutional


decision, however long it might take? I am absolutely committed to


their being full parliamentary scrutiny. Indeed, I have the delight


of appealing for the first time in my current responsibilities before


the European scrutiny committee yesterday in order to give evidence


to them on one aspect of that subject. I think that he makes


incorrect assumptions about the role of the Leader of the House in


relation to individual select committee reports. It is for select


committees individually to come to make their recommendations to


government. It is then primarily for the department to which those


recommendations are addressed to recommend to government colleagues


what that response should be. Then there is a collectively approved


government response to that select committee report. If the right


Honourable gentleman believes that any government of any political


colour is likely to agree with absolutely every recommendation of


every select committee, then I do think he has read many select


committee reports responses from governments to them over the years.


It is a perfectly fair, transparent way that we operate. With the


decision of the backbench business committee not to schedule a debate


on settlements and the destruction yesterday, is the other possibility


of a government statement on what seems to be a shift in government


policy over recent days as because he up to the incoming American


administration in granting complete impunity to Israel? The government


policy on Israel and Palestine has not changed. We remain committed to


a two state solution, involving you soften viable Palestinian state


living alongside Israel, with mutually agreed land swaps where


appropriate and with Jerusalem as a shared capital of both states. Our


view on the settlements remains that they are illegal in international


law and it is that which is at the heart of the United Kingdom's


policy. Thank you to the honourable member for putting me right earlier.


I should have realised that the honourable member would never write


such an extreme speeches that. I wonder if I could ask the Leader of


the House, on the matter of flood hit communities, not least mine in


Cumbria after the devastating floods in December 20 15th, if there will


be debate for financial support for those communities, in particular in


the light of the government decision in recent days to spend the entire


amount of the ?15 million we have now got, in respect of the December


flooding is from the European Solidarity Fund, to spend the whole


money, not giving support to the communities it was for, but to pay


the historic fine incurred in 2007 by a previous government. Whoever's


fault it was that the fine was incurred, for certain, it was not


the fault of communities such as mining Cumbria, and will he commit


at all of that money should come to those communities, or at the least


whether to be a debate on that matter? I think the best way forward


on this issue as it affects his constituency. In fairness, Defra


ministers have tried to make sure the money has been made available


more rapidly than has sometimes been the case in the past when


communities have been badly hit by floods. I will look into that


particular point about the European Solidarity Fund money that he has


raised, since I'm not sited on that, and one of the Defra ministers will


write to him on that. We have a football stadium that is still fully


usable, but demolition notices have been issued. Would you join me in


urging the owners to sit down with the local authority and the local


football club and community, to have one last look at whether a solution


can be found that retains all or parts of the stadium? Once it is


gone, it is gone. Can we have a statement on this next week? This


strikes me as a natural adjournment debate opportunity, but I very much


hope that organisations in Corby are able to come together and find a way


to maintain what is clearly a much loved community sports facility.


Notwithstanding that many of us were disappointed with the result of the


referendum, we recognise that the people have spoken. Nevertheless,


it's not just whether government to decide the detail of that. It's very


important this house gets a say. The Leader of the House has indicated


there will be ample opportunity for debate, but can he be specific about


how many days this House will get to debate and influence government


thinking on how we progress these negotiations, so our constituencies


and businesses are concerned, that they have their concerns aired in


this House? There has, as she knows, been a number of debates already on


aspects of our leading European union, and I fully expect there will


be that such debates related to additional specific topics in the


months to come. What ever happens doesn't happen next week, we will


have a bill in the new parliamentary session to repeal the European


communities act 1972, that will provide plenty of opportunities as


well. There were also, at my last kind, more than 30 different select


committee enquiries into different aspects of our leaving the European


Union, being conducted by committees either in this place or the House of


Lords. Mechanisms do exist are bringing those select committee


reports to the House for debate as well. This week of all weeks, it is


absolutely right that we see in this House of Commons that we want to


proceed with the building of a Holocaust Memorial Museum. But as


the Leader of the House is responsible, at least in part, for


the environment of the Palace of Westminster, will he accept there


may be merit in debating the siting of the new museum. There is a view


among many people that the best place for this museum to be would be


in or outside the Imperial War Museum, so that the many visitors to


that museum can see the link between the Holocaust and war and teachers,


rather than siting it in Victoria Tower Gardens, which is one of the


last green spaces here, visited by many thousands of people a year. As


this museum will be two stories underground, there may be a flood


risk. There is a need for debate on the location.


This may be a subject on which my honourable friend wants to seek a


Westminster Hall debate. The previous Prime Minister gave a


commitment to the site, something reactivated by the current Prime


Minister. Ultimately the planning matters to which he alluded are


going to be the responsibility of Westminster City Council to


determine. Congratulations, as you approach the prime of life and the


halfway point of your speakership. You may be surprised to know that


all but two up your 54 years, the Severn Bridge users have been used


as a cash cow, suffering double taxation of paying for the National


road system and the local tolls. Can this rip-off now be ended as the


bridge comes into public control? Mr Speaker, I sometimes heard Welsh


people say that you have to pay to come to Wales because it is a


privilege to come here, whereas everyone wants to get out to England


in a hurry! Steady on excavation mark no, they


say it in the nicest possible way! -- steady on!


Mr Speaker, the point I did not make clearly enough is that if you try to


charge people to get back into England, they would stay in Wales


and never leave. To take the point the honourable


gentleman made, I will take that up with transport ministers. Clearly


the tolls help to pay for the cost of the crossings, and that is


important, but I will get the Transport Minister to write to him.


Could he give consideration to the time allocated to questions in


DEFRA, the environment committee and the European Union. Having 30


minutes for oral questions and ten for topical, particularly with the


relevance of these departments, I am asking to get more time allocated to


them. I am happy to discuss that proposal through the usual channels


because these matters are agreed by consensus, if possible. I have two


also say that if we add time to these departments, it means one of


two things has to happen, either we take time off other departments or


we extend the cycle of departmental question times to six weeks, rather


than five, which leads a longer gap before members can question the


Secretary of State. This week saw the release of the extremely damning


National -- National Audit Office reports into the centric scandal,


which showed neglect at the heart of all agencies in this. The vast


majority of victims of the scandal have not received compensation. I


have written to the Prime Minister to urgently intervene in this matter


and hope that the Leader of the House will support me in this. But


we really must have a debate in the House around this gamble because


people receiving money back which they should have had in the first


place are receiving it in instalments rather than one lump


sum, affecting their ability to claim other benefits to which they


are entitled. We would like the opportunity to tell ministers across


the House how much constituents are being affected so justice can be


done, because this is embarrassing for the government which requires


immediate rectification. We are clear to the response that the


service provided by Concentrics was poor, and HMRC has apologised and


knows that it has to learn lessons from that contract. When it became


clear that their customer service could not be rectified by then, HMRC


took back 100,000 incomplete cases and redeployed hundreds of its own


staff to deal with this. They then also had to deal with monetary


reconsideration request, of which 36,000 have been received, and


allocated additional staff to this work. That means requests could be


dealt with quickly and payments restored we're big claimants were


entitled to them. There may be an opportunity for a Westminster Hall


or backbench debate, but I think HMRC was right to give priority to


the incomplete cases and deal with those first. It is now proceeding as


rapidly as it can to sort out remaining monetary reconsideration


requests. Could we have a debate on dementia? I am sure the Leader of


the House would like to join me in congratulating the social housing


provider for Bradford in my constituency for training their


staff for supporting residents with dementia, and in such a debate


perhaps we could encourage other organisations to do the same and


find out what more the government can do to help people who suffer


from dementia, estimated to be 6500 people affected in the Bradford


district, and what more support can be given to their families who have


a difficult job of caring for them. I hope he will have that


opportunity, but I would like to add my salute to his two those groups


and individuals in his constituency and many others who have been both


highlighting the challenges posed by dementia, but also encouraging more


people to become dementia friends, and ensure we treat people living


with dementia with the respect and dignity to which they are entitled


and they get the solidarity and support from their fellow citizens


that they are entitled to expect. Can we have a debate on bravery? In


March 1936, a young, gay conservative member of Parliament


celebrated 3 million -- demilitarisation. When he visited he


went to the first concentration camp, and saw such horrific violence


to Jewish people and homosexuals that when he came back here he


campaigned relentlessly against anti-Semitism and appeasement. He


was spat at when he raised such matters in this chamber at the


Carlton club last night -- that night. He was killed in the Second


World War, and should -- should we not do everything we can to put an


end to anti-Semitism here? I agree with every word that he said. And I


think the tribute he has just paid was a most appropriate one, as we


come towards the Holocaust Memorial Day. I hesitate to spoil your good


humour on such a day, but you will be aware that Tottenham Hotspur are


rebuilding White Hart Lane. As a result we have defined a new home.


The current proposal is that Stadium will be used for them for a season,


which will increase our national stadium by 60%. It is an important


issue for my constituents which becomes the car park for Wembley


Stadium on such event days. Worse still, Chelsea football club are


intending to come to Wembley for three years hereafter. So can we


have a debate on the use of our national stadium and the uses to


which it has been put so we can put on record our concerns about


potential abuse of our national treasure? I think he has put his


constituents' concerns on the record effectively, but there might be an


opportunity to voice this further. The Emirates is a very, very special


place in London, if I could put that on record. It seems appropriate that


we not only have an amazing exhibition of photographs on Syria


by William Winter cross, a brilliant photographer, and hope people will


be able to see it, but also having a debate on Holocaust Memorial Day.


Could we also think about a debate on a report that came out in July


2008, I believe, and it was called the Bercow report on children and


young people. Because of cuts by the government, young people are in


dreadful ginger. Child protection is becoming very difficult to maintain.


-- in dreadful danger. Could we see what progress has been made since


those recommendations? I cannot promise a debate in government time,


but the backbench committee time as they are for the honourable


gentleman. As it is a double birthday today, may we have a pair


of statements, one on the long-term future of HMS Albion and Bull work,


two of the most versatile and essential ships in the Navy, whose


future is threatened by a shortfall in the budget, and another offering


the same legislation protection to our veterans sue -- who served in an


order in Ireland, that is currently offer two terrorists who fought


against the welfare of the community that the veterans fought to defend?


-- HMS Bulwark. On his second point, the Northern Ireland Secretary has


already said he feels disquiet at some of the reports of proposed


prosecutions, and he is working actively to try to secure an


agreement in Northern Ireland to legislate on the legacy of the


troubles in a way that settle this issue as well as a number of others.


On his point about the two naval vessels, I will ask the relevant


defence minister to contact him about the detail. The UK's last


independent savings bank is to end all business activities after 182


years and the loss of 70 jobs. Secured loans and mortgages will be


transferred to the TSB, and customers will be helped to find


alternative banking providers. Unite, the trade union, has said the


Airdrie savings bank has become yet another innocent victim of casino


bankers. Can we have a debate in government time to discuss the state


of UK banking? While I completely understand the concern of the


honourable lady and those constituents who have accounts at


the bank at the loss of this historic institution, I think most


important thing -- the most important thing is their savings are


protected and that a banking service that is accessible to them remains


in being. We have seen over the years a number of mergers of


different banks and building societies, we have also seen a shift


towards many more customers making use of online banking. Those are


going to drive change, but it is having the service available that is


the key thing we have to preserve. Can I thank my right honourable


friend for providing time for the approval of the name for the


candidate of the new parliamentary and health service ombudsman which


was approved by the health -- health select committee yesterday. Can I


also point out that this is the day, Tuesday the 24th, that the Supreme


Court is delivering its judgment. Can I suggest to my right honourable


friend that it would be expedient of a government to a statement


immediately on the future implications for business, even if a


substantive statement on the implications of such a judgment


needs to be made at a later date? Clearly I and other ministers will


want to come forward and brief parliament on the substance and


implications of the judgment, once we know what that is. We do not yet


know its content or complexity. We are unlikely to get, or at most a


very brief prior knowledge of what the judgment contains.


I can't make a promise about specific timing, but the principle


he has at the heart of his question is one I completely endorse. Can we


have a debate on the future of the Crown Post Office network? Crown


Post offices break even, unlike the post office network as a whole, but


the government is forcing through a programme that will put scores of


post offices across the country, including one in my constituency, at


risk of closure. We need a guarantee that those services will stay. Can


we have a debate about it? The key point is that the services remain,


whether they are carried out in a Crown Post Office or whether they


are continued in a sub post office, and of course the sub post office


network provides post office services to the overwhelming


majority of our constituents throughout the country. So I would


certainly hope that his constituents will continue to get better


services. In my own constituency where the Crown Post Office closed,


those services continued but at a different location. Many happy


returns for today. As chair of the disability all-party Parliamentary


committee, I am extremely concerned by a report that disabled people are


much less likely to be able to access affordable credit and that


therefore been plunged into the hands of payday loans and loan


sharks. Can we have a debate on equitable access to affordable


credit, so that the most vulnerable in our society are not left open to


financial exploitation? I can't offer an immediate debate. I think


she makes a reasonable point. I think the banking industry has a


social responsibility to make sure that its services are accessible to


people with disabilities, to people on low incomes and others who do


quite often find in the experience that it is quite difficult for them


to get access to conventional banking. That does need something of


a cultural shift. Could the Leader of the House arrange for an urgent


debate before the Budget on school funding? Across the country, many


schools over the next two years faced a crisis in their budget.


Teachers will be sacked, and spending per pupil is going to go


down. Nottingham county council by 2019 will lose ?40 million. It's not


good enough, schools deserve better and so do the children of this


country. Of course, the government had to take some very difficult


spending decisions as a result of the need to continue to reduce the


inherited deficit, but I am pleased that the government has, despite


that difficult fiscal environments, been able to protect the core


schools budget. When you look at the money that is going to be paid to


schools, coupled with rising pupil numbers that we are expecting, that


should make sure that most schools, depending on whether they are


gaining or losing pupils, that the overall core schools budget should


be protected in cash terms. Can I declare an interest as a crofter on


the Isle of Skye? On the 23rd of November last year, the farming


Minister and Defra stated we would have a review of the allocations of


funding before the end of the year. I put down a written statement which


had a reply to yesterday, which indicated that an update will be


provided shortly. Mr Speaker, this is unacceptable. Can the leader of


the host make sure that the Minister makes a statement on the urgent


review of the convergence funding? This is an important matter for a


and farmers throughout the and Islands. Over 200 million of Euro


funding was given to the government on the understanding that I could go


to those in most need of it. That has not happened. He has raised


exactly this point during the debate on their rural economy on Tuesday


this week. My right honourable friend the Secretary of State


replied to him that he -- she recognise this point and that she


would keep up-to-date on progress. I think it had a very clear


undertaking from the Secretary of State. Twice this week, I have


raised the issue of the concerns of my constituents on cuts to council


services and ministers have swatted. Can he take this opportunity to


address those concerns and to demonstrate the impact these Tory


cuts are having on local people, that it's been taken seriously by


this government? We have confirmed a settlement for local councils that


his flat in cash terms, I completely accept that. But we have also


delivered what local authorities are asking for in terms of certainty


over a four-year period of funding. We are planning legislation now


being before Parliament very soon, that will enable local government to


keep all of the business rates that it collects by the end of this


Parliament. And we have provided the power of local councils to levy a


social Keo precept in order to help them with the challenges they face


in dealing with social care. The terms of your earlier statement mean


that happy birthday isn't your wish, but obviously an observation of


fact. Can I also in passing mention yesterday's 80th landmark birthday


of landmark statesman John Hume, co-founder of our peace process. Can


the leader tell us if he will Doctor the National Audit Office and


Treasury ministers to confirm that there is an investigation about the


tobacco scheme in Northern Ireland? There is also concern about the


period were regulations ran out and spending continued, not covered by


the Northern Ireland budget. Did the Treasury budget funded during that


period? Can I first joined her in sending belated birthday wishes to


John Hume? And I think we would all salute the heroic role he played in


helping to start and then drive through the peace process in


Northern Ireland. On his point about food renewable heat incentive


scheme, the Northern Ireland scheme is fully devolved to the Northern


Ireland Executive and is now the subject of an opening quietly by the


Northern Ireland Public Accounts Committee and therefore, it is


within their re-meet to investigate. -- we met. If the honourable


gentleman has evidence that Treasury money was in some way involved in


supporting the Northern Ireland scheme, and that money was


misplaced, I would urge him to write with the detail of that to Treasury


ministers, and I am sure they will respond. Like many members and like


the Leader of the House himself, I have been quite appalled by the


comments of the Foreign Secretary. The Prime Minister has three


options. She can either sack him, she can gag him or she can educate


him. If she decides to educate Kemp, can we be involved in that process?


When I think about our relationship with France, I think about how we


stood with France, with the Free French Forces and the Resistance


fighters against Nazism. I think about how we in France did together


against Soviet tyranny. I think about the very act of work we carry


out with France today against international terrorism. And we look


for a relationship after we leave the European Union that enables us


to build on those historic strengths and enables us and France to


continue to work as very active, complimentary partners on a whole


range of issues. In yesterday's Scottish questions, I counted 13


non-Scottish MPs answering. It was a humiliating exercise, could we have


a debate to ask the secretaries of state for Scotland to answer to


Scotland? The Secretary of State for Scotland, like every other Secretary


of State, answers to the House of Commons. It has always been the case


that it is open to members from any part of the United Kingdom to


participating questions to any Secretary of State. It is the


honourable gentleman's party who are frequently complaining about any


arrangements for English votes for English laws. It strikes me as a bit


bored by him to come now complaining that members from other parts of the


UK want to aspirations of the Scottish Secretary. On the 16th of


December, a post office in my constituency closed without warning.


It is a rural village and it's not easy for residents to travel


elsewhere. I understand the closure was unavoidable, but we have no real


timetable for the opening. Can we have a debate on what can be done to


speed up this process? I can see this may be an adjournment debate


opportunity for the gentleman. The reasons for delay vary, I know from


my own experience, it is sometimes not easy to get a new manager who


wants to take over the franchise to operate that sub post office. I hope


very much for his constituents' sake, that the Post Office is able


to open as swiftly as possible. A Christian convert from Islam was


accused of publishing pictures and comments on Facebook and arrested in


Algeria. He was given the maximum punishment for blasphemy of five


years imprisonment and a large fine. On the 8th of January a Court of


Appeal upheld his conviction, sentenced him to one year in prison.


Can I ask if we can have a statement on how we can encourage Algeria and


other nations to repeal blasphemy laws? While I don't know the details


of the particular case, it is my view and the government's view, that


we should champion religious freedom everywhere in the world. We pride


ourselves on being a plural society that respects people of different


faiths and people of no faith. And that view of the world, those values


influence our foreign policy and will continue to do so. Every


weekend, Parkland volunteers make it possible for thousands of people to


take part in five kilometre runs. I myself completed a run on Christmas


Eve. Can we have a debate on that contribution that part run makes to


our communities? I am happy to join him in paying tribute to those who


organise the part run. I have completed the Aylesbury one myself.


I think it's remarkable as a demonstration of how voluntary


grassroots initiative is helping not just to get people more active, but


to change attitudes towards activity, by making people, who been


shy about getting involved in organised sports, feel that they are


welcome to come along and participate. Debating with this


government that has forsaken all reason Re: Brexit is proving to be a


bit like administering medicine to the dead. Nonetheless, can we have a


debate in government time on Scotland's place in Europe? I think


that Scotland's place in Europe is going to be prosperous and secure


through its continued membership of the United Kingdom, which while it


leaves the European union, will be forging a new partnership on trade,


on security, on cooperation against crime, that will work to the benefit


of everyone in Scotland, as well as everyone else in the United Kingdom.


The Leader of the House has previously told me and this Carries


that the reason the boundaries Bill couldn't proceed to committee stage


was because it didn't have a money belt attached. But I've just


finished serving on the homelessness reduction committee, which went


through without such a resolution. So why is it one rule for one bill


and one rule for another? When is the boundaries Bill going to go


through to committee stage? I am not in a position to announce


anything further on that. Clydesdale bank's latest closures includes gift


Mac in my constituency, and as well as causing difficulty for causing


problems and high streets, it is difficult for people who have


trouble getting about. -- Giffnock. Can we have our debate about these


latest closures and the roles and responsibilities of high-street


banks? I think it is right that the banks do stick to their own code,


which requires particular attention to be paid when the last banking


outlet in a community is scheduled for closure. But it is also the case


that these are independent businesses and that they are facing


a future in which many more of their customers are choosing to bank


online, rather than in person at a local branch. So it is a challenge


on them to get the balance right and ensure that everyone in her


constituency has the access to banking services they need. Happy


birthday. This government commissioned a report on electoral


fraud, but what is needed is a review into the behaviour of


political parties in election periods and the punishments


available. The Lib Dems were fined ?20,000 for non-declaration of


?200,000 of spending, which is money down the drain. But Labour was also


fined and an investigation went on into its own party. The electoral


committee have said a fine of ?20,000 alone -- no longer enough of


a deterrent to ensure the rules are followed. Can we have a debate about


this? We have an independent investigators and legal system that


can look into political parties that can ensure expenses are checked, but


I have to say, for members of the Scottish National Party to give


lectures about good practice during election campaigning is a little bit


rich, and I think there are plenty independent journalists who objected


to the kind of bullying they were subjected to during the last


campaign and referendum. Prior to the Christmas tree service I served


in a European committee on asylum with two glaring problems. Firstly


all of the deadlines involved had passed already, and eyes had already


decided the motion the previous week. Can the leader tell us what


steps he is taking to make sure this does not happen again? I dealt with


this to some extent yesterday, but there was an error on the part of


the government in the handling of that business, for which an apology


was given to Mr Speaker and the European scrutiny committee


chairman, and steps have been taken to ensure we do not get repetition.


Point of order, very briefly, Mr Ian Blackford. I will be brief. I am


seeking your guidance on the response I had from the Leader of


the House on the question I put. If I can quote from Hansard, on the


23rd of November, when the farming minister said, we will provide an


update on the review of cap allocations before the end of this


year. We have not had an announcement from the government on


this. If


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