23/02/2017 Business Questions


23/02/2017

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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issues. Thank you. Or death, business question. Thank you, --- or

:00:00.:00:08.

death. Could the Leader of the House gives the forthcoming business. The

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business the next week will be as follows, estimates date Monday

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the... There will be a debate on future drug prevention followed by a

:00:19.:00:21.

debate on health and social care. Tuesday the 28th of that be, there

:00:22.:00:27.

will be a debate on the government's productivity plan followed by a

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debate on intergenerational fairness. Further details will be

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given in the official port at 7pm that day will stop Wednesday the 1st

:00:35.:00:44.

of March, proceedings and the supply and appropriation anticipation, and

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adjustments Bill. Followed by a second freezing of the bus services

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Bill, Lords. Firstly the 2nd of March, a debate on the motion

:00:55.:00:58.

concerning International Women's Day, followed by a general debate on

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Welsh affairs, as determined by the... The 3rd of March, the House

:01:05.:01:09.

will not be sitting. It commences the 6th of March and will include

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Monday the 6th of March, second reading of the bagel technology and

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aviation Bill. Mr Speaker, I should also like to inform the House that

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the business in Westminster Hall for the second, sixth and 9th of March

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will be as follows... Thursday the 2nd of March, debate on the ninth

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report of the work and pensions committee on support for the breed.

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Monday the 6th of March, dash for the bereaved. Debate on the eve

:01:40.:01:46.

position motor to high heels and workplace dress codes. Thursday the

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9th of March, debate on the second report of the mother of Scotland and

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the implications for the devolution. Mr Speaker, in addition I should

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like to inform a is that following discussion through the usual

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channels, the ten minutes allocated up War Parliamentary questions to

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the Leader of the House, that have recently taking place in the six

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weekly voter, will now be used as additional time for questions to the

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Secretary of State for culture, media and sport. And you questions'

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rotor is now available from the vote office and members should be

:02:23.:02:26.

reassured that I will continue to appear at the dispatch box at every

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Thursday morning and honourable members will be able to use the

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opportunity to ask any questions that they might otherwise have asked

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at leaders' all is. Thank you, and can I thank the Leader of the House

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but confirming that he will still be here even though he is such a

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talented former Minister for Europe I think his talent should be the

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ploy elsewhere. I am still going to ask the date of the recess, I know

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that the Deputy Leader of the House is keen to know whether he can go on

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holiday as he needs to do the pre-recess adjournment debate the

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summer, he needs to order his new tie. Following on from the point of

:03:12.:03:14.

order from the honourable member for the City of Chester, Billy get

:03:15.:03:17.

mentioned to me the year of the act I asked politely, and it is the

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elected that sensitive order into bars and to which enables processing

:03:22.:03:28.

and closure of sensitive... Politely was very helpful I ensure that it

:03:29.:03:32.

honourable as want a copy in making go bad. Mr Speaker, this is a photo

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opportunity, the Prime Minister and government, or photos and no

:03:38.:03:41.

substance or any thought that the British people. Not content with

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being the first to visit the United date, when the prime Minster should

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be networking in Europe, the Prime Minister then photo bombs the House

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of Lords in a company with the Leader of the House, no wonder we

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cannot get a date the recess, instead of 30 bombing the Prime

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Minister to focus on what is going on in her own Cabinet. She needs to

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have a discussion with the Cabinet, who are completely out of control.

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She needs to think about our young people as they are our future. The

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government sneaked out, just before Christmas recess which means

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students will face a tuition fee rise in perpetuity. The Prime

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Minister, yesterday, talk about children and their aspiration well

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this generation is saddled with debt before they even start out in life.

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There are two S eyes which are two was a tax and aspiration. Could the

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leader with the House please said you are a debate on this with Billy

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Mabry disgraceful increase in tuition fees. We want a debate,

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scrutinise and debate on those SIs will stop the great debt --- the

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great get-together to net Jo Cox... They have been handing out wooden

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than the notices to people by e-mail and cutting the very organisation

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that can help people in communities trust each other. They are there to

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help about OK racism, misogyny, anti-Semitism, we have seen a rise

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in hate crime, just as all of us try to do. Could we have a debate on

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EDM, and on sacked staff. The government are not interested in

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education, across the parties, many members are alarmed at the new

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funding formula courts to ask all is. The Prime Minister has said that

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we are looking at a new formula, it is a consultation, so will the

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Leader of the House guarantee a statement and immediately it is

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over. And could the Leader of the House they when the consultation

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will come to an end. The government are not interested in businesses,

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what a lesson in disorganisation and chaos on business rates every pound

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generated by the local businesses in the high Street 70p goes back to the

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local economy, most businesses and the high-street pay more on business

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tax... He should have looked into the long-term effects on business

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rates before he introduced the policy. A loophole introduced by

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the... Could the Leader of the House ensure that there is a full impact

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assessment on these proposals before they are enacted. Mr Speaker, which

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the and chaotic government with the Secretary of State for health

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stating on the BBC last week can get away with this comment that

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performance in some parts of the NHS are completely unacceptable and then

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do nothing about it. Yesterday the Prime Minister mentioned mid Staffs

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but forgot to mention what the person who led the enquiry into the

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NHS said, ... The NHS is facing an existential crisis with a disconnect

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between what the government is saying and the people's experience

:07:31.:07:35.

on the ground. Could we have a statement on the government's plan

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of action on restoring the NHS and listen to clinicians and staff, so

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when the City of London has warned that the loss of banking jobs to the

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EU threatens financial stability, the government needs to listen and

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be transparent with British people on these warnings. The member the

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Cambridge, had yesterday that people working in the museum, archaeology

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place in Cambridge, want their contract is over that as it was the

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education mess, help the mess, businesses under threat and the

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judge says the government are making slow process on allowing civil

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partnerships the heterosexual couples, who is this woman serving?

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As someone who has served this House well... Someone who has served this

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House well is someone who had a birthday, he is 85, I am sure we

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would all wish in a very belated happy birthday and look forward to

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the documentary on his life The Nature Of The Beast. Mr Speaker, can

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I say that I cannot give a date for the summer recess. I would say to

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the honourable lady back in my experience the Deputy Leader can

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barely be torn away from his desk. He is so assiduous in his commitment

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to his work in government and on behalf of his constituents. I will

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try to let the honourable lady and the whole house have notice of the

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summer recess dates as soon as I can, I completely agree with her on

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the significance of the 2002 order and indeed the I recall that it was

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brought in at a time when honourable members on all sides were as now,

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finding a number of public authorities reluctant to disclose

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information to them which space sought on Bihar but constituents

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which had approached them. --- sought on behalf of constituents. I

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was disappointed with what she said about the House of Lords, I actually

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think it is important that ministers respect of the constitutional role

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of the House of Lords. In my experience both in government and in

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opposition, members of the other place like the fact that ministers

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and indeed opposition spokesman go and listen to what they have to say

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and that is exactly what the Prime Minister and I would be entirely in

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the week. --- earlier in the week. We could have a long debate about

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the opportunities for young people, in our society, but I simply say

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that it is under this government that we see a rise in the number of

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schools that are rated good or outstanding, giving our young men

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and women the best start in life and we are seeing implement in the

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United Kingdom at a record high in the best of them all is to enable

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young people to have a decent education and then a job and the

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housing white paper spells out ways in which the generating additional

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supplies of housing we will help young people to get back foot on the

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housing ladder so many are unable to afford at the moment. She asked

:11:04.:11:11.

about tuition fees, the reality is that the maximum the cap will not be

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increasing in real terms for anyone going to university. She and others

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have asked me previously on Thursday sessions about the measures taken by

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the equalities and human rights committee, they are publicly funded

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body at arms length, ministerial direction and they like any other

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part of the public sector have to take responsible decisions about how

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to set priorities ever finite taxpayers resources that have been

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allocated to them. I will write to her and put a note in the library

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about the exact date when the consultation on the new funding

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formula the schools is June two end. That is due to end. From memory it

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is later in March but I will confirm that in writing. The other point she

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asked about, and business rates, let's not forget that business rates

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are founded upon the rental row you of business properties and rental

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values change. I wasn't sure whether the honourable lady was saying that

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the opposition would rather that the valuation was left on the basis of

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rental values that are now seven years out of date. The government

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has brought forward the revaluation that needed to be done, but as the

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community secretary said yesterday, he is now working with the

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Chancellor of data to see whether there there are further ways that we

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can find to insure that some believe is given to individual businesses

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that might be particularly badly affected by the impact of the

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revaluations that have been carried out.

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We could debate for a long time the NHS, I simply remind the honourable

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lady that it is under this Government that the NHS is getting

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record levels of funding, with an increase in the number of doctors,

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nurses, and an increase in the number of our fellow citizens who

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are being treated by immensely professional and hard-working NHS

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staff. Far from this Government being disunited, it is this

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Government that is pursuing a determined course to try to address

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some of the deep-seated social and economic challenges that our nation

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has faced for many years, and doing so in a way that brings benefit to

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people in all parts of our United Kingdom and all parts of society. If

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the honourable lady's looking for chaos, she should look behind and in

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particular she has to look around the Shadow Cabinet table, because I

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suspect you have to look at the nameplates to remind yourself who is

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entitled to be at that meeting in that particular week. Would my right

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honourable friend find time for a debate on funeral poverty? Whilst I

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applaud the work of the Member for Swansea East, the Member for rugby

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and the legislative proposal of the Member for Airdrie, having recently

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met people from the sector, I am still convinced that there is more

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that the Government could do to help people in financial difficulties at

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what is often a distressing time. My honourable friend does raise an

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important point. As he will know, the current arrangements mean that

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the reimbursement of costs is available for people who are in

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need, that can cover necessary costs involved with burial and cremation,

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and up to ?700 for other expenses. And my understanding is that in the

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last year for which we have figures, 2015, 2016, 29,000 such awards were

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made, of more than 100,000 -- 100 thousand ?400 on average. But the

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Government is exploring various options to see if we can make access

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easier to the schemes we have. I'm sure any thoughts on proposals my

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honourable friend has to make will be gratefully received by ministers

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responsible. Can also thank the Leader of the House for announcing

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the business for next week. I suppose the Leader of the House can

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safely put away the abolition of the Lords Bill, and all we really needed

:16:08.:16:12.

was a selfie of himself and the Prime Minister. After threatening to

:16:13.:16:20.

lead this great Brexit rebellion, the Lords have only led the nation

:16:21.:16:25.

up to the top of the Woolsack hill and down again, while leaving the

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taxi running! Am I the only member who is slightly disturbed by the

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allegations from the zero -- former Lord Speaker? Surely, does the

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Leader of the House not agree that this warrant some sort of

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investigation about what is going on down there with their expenses? Will

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he assure us today that the Government has no intention of

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debating early day motion 943 and government-owned? This is this

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protect -- pathetic motion, but invites us to express no confidence

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in you, Mr Speaker. That has secured a paltry five signatures. Will the

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Leader of the House now confirmed that this is the end of this sorry

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business? On Monday and Tuesday we have annual Estimates Day, when the

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-- and one of the key features is that the estimates themselves to not

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have to be debated. I lasted one minute and seven seconds last year

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in trying to debate them. Lastly, Mr Speaker, I'm sure you will welcome

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the Brit awards, David Bowie securing two awards, I think

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everybody will welcome that today. I'm sure a few bleary eyed

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honourable members perhaps overindulged over the ceremony. Our

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music industry is one of the greatest success stories, and I'm

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sure the Leader of the House in a more conciliatory tone would like to

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welcome not just the enormous culturing -- cultural contribution

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that our artists make, but also the economic one. On his first point

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about the House of Lords, while I don't know any detail beyond the

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reports of this television programme, it is clearly right that

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evidence about specific allegations needs to be investigated by the

:18:27.:18:30.

appropriate authorities in that house just as should be the case in

:18:31.:18:34.

this one. But there has also to be due process, and one has to proceed

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on the basis of evidence and not just allegation. He will notice that

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I have not announced any plans to debate early day motion 943. This is

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a long-running campaign that he and his colleagues have pursued. I think

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the Government's point of view is that we are awaiting the report from

:19:01.:19:05.

the select committee on procedure into estimates procedure. I will

:19:06.:19:09.

want to reflect carefully on that when I see that report, and the

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Government will obviously then respond to whatever recommendations

:19:15.:19:16.

that select committee may wish to make. And I'm very happy to endorse

:19:17.:19:28.

his salute to the economic impact as well as the cultural impact and the

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enjoyment that so many people derive from our arts sectors and our

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creative industries. It's important that we do remember that the arts

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and the creative industries are major generators of wealth and of

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employment in this country, as well as "Class entertainment to people. I

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rather suspect that the honourable gentleman when he went last night

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was hoping against hope that perhaps next year there might be the guest

:20:00.:20:06.

slot, and then we could see him and his colleagues in all the us! My

:20:07.:20:14.

right honourable friend will agree with me that corruption in local

:20:15.:20:18.

government is totally unacceptable. Can we have an urgent debate about

:20:19.:20:21.

the subject? The Serious Fraud Office is now investigating a

:20:22.:20:25.

multi-million pounds council tax scam by Taunton Deane borough

:20:26.:20:30.

council and its officers. They are under fire for failing to declare

:20:31.:20:35.

conflicts of interests, and the leader's links with well-known

:20:36.:20:38.

building firms are a bit more than dodgy. I also understand the club

:20:39.:20:46.

has been set up to help funds. It is locally known as the monumental rip

:20:47.:20:51.

off club. There is a nasty smell coming out of Taunton Deane, and

:20:52.:20:55.

this has to be heard urgently. My honourable friend has made some

:20:56.:21:01.

serious allegations. He has told the House that the Serious Fraud Office

:21:02.:21:06.

is involved, as he knows, the Serious Fraud Office is completely

:21:07.:21:09.

independent, rightly so, political from ministers, any evidence needs

:21:10.:21:19.

to be placed before the appropriate authorities. I would like to

:21:20.:21:22.

accommodate the very large number of members seeking to ask a business

:21:23.:21:26.

question. I should point out the House that each of the two to

:21:27.:21:33.

follow, the opposition day debate and the debate under the auspices of

:21:34.:21:37.

the backbench business committee, are well subscribed. Therefore I

:21:38.:21:40.

hope the House will help me, and that members will help each other,

:21:41.:21:47.

with pithy questions and answers. Led, in this important matter, by no

:21:48.:21:51.

less a figure in the House than Dame Rosie Winterton. I absolutely agree

:21:52.:22:00.

with the point made by the honourable member for Perth and

:22:01.:22:04.

North Ayrshire about early day motion 943, and welcome what the

:22:05.:22:07.

leader said in response. But can I say that the leader did not mention

:22:08.:22:13.

when the next debate on Brexit would be. Can I urge him when he does

:22:14.:22:19.

bring forward that debate, that it focuses on the impact of Brexit on

:22:20.:22:25.

the English regions? So the state is Max Secretary of State for Brexit

:22:26.:22:27.

has the opportunity to tell us what analysis he has done on how Brexit

:22:28.:22:34.

will affect areas like Yorkshire and the Humber, and what plans he has

:22:35.:22:38.

too convened a meeting in York that he has spoken about, but which does

:22:39.:22:44.

not yet seem to have materialised? I can assure the right honourable lady

:22:45.:22:48.

that there will be a thing plenty of opportunities to debate all aspects

:22:49.:22:54.

of our exit from the European Union, but I shall discuss with my

:22:55.:22:58.

colleagues the particular thing that she proposes. In the absence of the

:22:59.:23:05.

honourable member for Gateshead, who I trust we wish well and a speedy

:23:06.:23:09.

recovery, on the half of the backbench business committee I thank

:23:10.:23:12.

my right honourable friend for securing the debates this afternoon.

:23:13.:23:18.

With protective time. Can I ask them for that next week, when we are

:23:19.:23:22.

going to be debating International women's day and Welsh affairs, that

:23:23.:23:27.

protected time is considered for those two debates, which

:23:28.:23:30.

traditionally have been full day debate in this House? Speaker-macro,

:23:31.:23:34.

we have a full waiting list of debates, which if we were allocated

:23:35.:23:39.

every Thursday night until probation, we could fill

:23:40.:23:43.

straightaway. That is before further requests come in. We have also had

:23:44.:23:48.

to shoehorn debates into 90 minutes slots to meet the demand that is

:23:49.:23:53.

coming forward from backbenchers. Can I just gently remind the leader

:23:54.:23:57.

of course but on Monday the House rose very early, we could have had

:23:58.:24:05.

backbench business debate in the time available. We had two budget

:24:06.:24:11.

debate requests, sanctioned by the backbench business committee, which

:24:12.:24:14.

we would like to schedule before my right honourable friend the

:24:15.:24:18.

Chancellor presents his budget. So if time was available for those, we

:24:19.:24:24.

would appreciate it. I hosted last night the centenary of the Rotary

:24:25.:24:30.

foundation. This is a prime example of how polio can be eradicated and

:24:31.:24:36.

the use of International development funds. Could we have a statement

:24:37.:24:41.

from the Secretary of State on the money used to help eliminate polio

:24:42.:24:50.

across the world? I can't offer an immediate debate statement, my right

:24:51.:24:53.

honourable friend is quite right to draw attention to the importance of

:24:54.:24:58.

that issue, and the achievement of voluntary as well as Government

:24:59.:25:04.

action in helping to bring about a reduction in this dreadful disease.

:25:05.:25:13.

Can I join him in sending best wishes to the chair of the backbench

:25:14.:25:18.

business committee, I spoke to him earlier this week, he was hoping to

:25:19.:25:22.

be able to return to the House as soon as possible. The particular

:25:23.:25:29.

request that my right honourable friend made of me, I will take away

:25:30.:25:33.

in consider that was -- request for protected time on the 2nd of March.

:25:34.:25:39.

I understand his point about the pressure on backbench business

:25:40.:25:44.

committee time, and I have to say that my experience is that sometimes

:25:45.:25:47.

with backbench debates as with Government debates, they do finish

:25:48.:25:51.

unexpectedly early, and at other times they run up against the

:25:52.:25:54.

buffers. It is difficult to put -- predict. But the question of setting

:25:55.:26:00.

priorities is I'm afraid unavoidable. Next Tuesday the Mr

:26:01.:26:08.

Speaker's committee meets, and I understand they will be introducing

:26:09.:26:11.

their scheme for the future. There are many members on all sides of the

:26:12.:26:16.

House who simply mean that -- feel that they are not meeting the

:26:17.:26:20.

requirement for adequate support. Some members are saying they are

:26:21.:26:23.

never going to stand again, there are families who are finding it

:26:24.:26:27.

difficult to get along and provide support for the children, and

:26:28.:26:31.

they're all in particular conservative colleagues from closer

:26:32.:26:34.

seats to London, who when we have late nights find it impossible to

:26:35.:26:37.

know whether they are good to be able to stay in a hotel. Surely it

:26:38.:26:43.

is time for a proper full review of these operations.

:26:44.:26:48.

The speakers committee on this will be one of the highlights of next

:26:49.:26:54.

week as well the me and other members. I think we do need to be

:26:55.:26:58.

fair judgment on the new scheme until we have seen the details of

:26:59.:27:02.

that. Very strong representations have been made by colleagues right

:27:03.:27:07.

across the House to Ipsa on different aspects of the current

:27:08.:27:10.

scheme and also on the way in which advice is offered to members. I

:27:11.:27:18.

think, let's see how they respond to that, what I do not think would be

:27:19.:27:22.

sensible would be to go back to the days when members themselves tried

:27:23.:27:29.

to set the rules on expenses for salaries, I think we are better with

:27:30.:27:35.

a system that is done independently. Mr Speaker, can we please have a

:27:36.:27:42.

debate on the ease of registering to use government websites? If someone

:27:43.:27:46.

does not have a passport or driving licence all the credit record it can

:27:47.:27:49.

be very difficult indeed if not impossible. I cannot offer an Egypt

:27:50.:27:58.

debate, I think that we are right across government. --- and immediate

:27:59.:28:05.

debate. To try and make it easier for people who mostly digital access

:28:06.:28:10.

and to make green expect to engage in public and private services that

:28:11.:28:14.

way to make it easier for them to do so, we know not everyone,

:28:15.:28:21.

particularly the most honourable in society has the official credentials

:28:22.:28:25.

that are often demanded of them by governments. That is why we have set

:28:26.:28:30.

of this new scheme as a new system for letting people prove their

:28:31.:28:35.

identity more easy online. I hope that may provide part of the answer

:28:36.:28:42.

to the problem that's been identified. But we need to focus on

:28:43.:28:48.

this matter. Last night the Parliamentary human rights group

:28:49.:28:52.

held a screaming of the Ross Kemp documentary which was called Libya's

:28:53.:28:59.

Migrant Health, I want to ask the government to make a statement on

:29:00.:29:03.

how we are helping those people in Libya, because we saw the most

:29:04.:29:08.

dreadful scenes of women being raped and beaten and the holding camps

:29:09.:29:11.

where they don't have enough food and I think we have some

:29:12.:29:14.

responsibility and I would like a statement. The honourable lady has a

:29:15.:29:20.

long history of championing the course of refugees and others in

:29:21.:29:25.

dire need of and the world, she knows that the Department for

:29:26.:29:28.

International Development and the Foreign Office are seeking to

:29:29.:29:34.

support the very fragile Libyan government in trying to establish

:29:35.:29:38.

control over its own territory and to ensure decent standards in the

:29:39.:29:43.

treatment of refugees and Libyan citizens are maintained. We will do

:29:44.:29:50.

what we can and I shall make so that ministers are alerted, later today

:29:51.:29:55.

to her concerns, but the reality in Libya is that we need order and

:29:56.:30:00.

governance on the grounds to be able to start work to improve the

:30:01.:30:04.

standards in the way that we would both like to see done. Our party

:30:05.:30:11.

candidate the West Midlands mayor has pledged if elected a special

:30:12.:30:18.

fund to bring 1600 hectares of Brown land into use, could we have a

:30:19.:30:23.

debate on the need to focus on brown field land before we tamper with the

:30:24.:30:28.

green belt particularly around my constituency. I would be delighted

:30:29.:30:35.

to hear the creative thinking that he is characteristically bringing to

:30:36.:30:37.

these questions of housing and planning in the West Midlands and

:30:38.:30:42.

hope very much that he will have the opportunity to put those into effect

:30:43.:30:46.

as an elected mayor. The housing white paper as my honourable friend

:30:47.:30:52.

will know stores say in terms that local authorities should be bringing

:30:53.:30:58.

forward Brown field land and the government is eager to explore ways

:30:59.:31:01.

in which we could insure that some of the obstacles such as the risks

:31:02.:31:05.

of land contamination are addressed so weak and get that done. Does the

:31:06.:31:11.

Leader of the House or any other member of the government actually

:31:12.:31:16.

know roughly, what a two-year process of Brexit negotiations would

:31:17.:31:21.

actually yield? If so can they arrange a statement at other

:31:22.:31:27.

Leicester Busquets we know that the exit negotiation has to be conducted

:31:28.:31:32.

under the process set out under Article 50 of the treaty. --- could

:31:33.:31:37.

they arrange a stamen to tell the rest of us? They are not prepared to

:31:38.:31:47.

in gauge in negotiations until Article 50 has been triggered, said

:31:48.:31:52.

the straight and is that we do not know the details, but we are

:31:53.:31:56.

committed to seeking a deal that delivers on all of the present green

:31:57.:32:01.

principles that were set out in a white paper on the subject. Could we

:32:02.:32:05.

have an early debate followed by legislation to prevent the

:32:06.:32:10.

unacceptable practice of large developed is buying three held land

:32:11.:32:13.

on which they then sell new houses on a leasehold basis? Calo cap ---

:32:14.:32:28.

this is then stopped by some developers. Many young people feel

:32:29.:32:36.

it is a rip-off. It is unacceptable and we need action. I'm grateful to

:32:37.:32:39.

my honourable friend the raising this issue today. Developers should

:32:40.:32:45.

be building homes to people to live in and not creating income

:32:46.:32:49.

opportunities or selling on freeholds to investors or financial

:32:50.:32:55.

institutions. Other then are very few accept no circumstances I do not

:32:56.:32:59.

see why new houses shouldn't be built and sold with the freehold

:33:00.:33:05.

interest of the point of sale. The community secretary has said that he

:33:06.:33:10.

intends to stamp out the unfair, unjust, and unacceptable abuse of

:33:11.:33:15.

the leasehold system and our housing white paper highlights the

:33:16.:33:18.

government's decision to consult on a range of measures to tackle all

:33:19.:33:27.

unfair and unreasonable abuses. I raised two weeks ago and matter

:33:28.:33:34.

where a colleague of ours had asked for an F in relation to the

:33:35.:33:38.

renewable heat initiative and was tough as there was too much

:33:39.:33:42.

information to give. He resubmitted it to get another excuse, once

:33:43.:33:46.

again, we have an election in Northern Ireland which is based on

:33:47.:33:51.

the renewable heating initiative, would the Leader of the House

:33:52.:33:54.

confirmed that Her Majesty's government has not been in

:33:55.:33:59.

discussion with anyone in the executive and knows nothing about

:34:00.:34:06.

the renewable heat initiative? I certainly don't know anything about

:34:07.:34:10.

it other than what I have read in the press. The way that the

:34:11.:34:17.

government operates on this is that we have a set of rules that govern

:34:18.:34:22.

how we respond to these sorts of requests. There is a definition of

:34:23.:34:28.

how you calculate disproportionate cost that applies right across

:34:29.:34:33.

government. Quite often in my experience refining a request more

:34:34.:34:39.

precisely those unable that request to pass the test of not encouraging

:34:40.:34:45.

disproportionate costs. If the honourable gentleman would like to

:34:46.:34:48.

have a word with me outside the chamber later on today I will see

:34:49.:35:01.

there was anything I can do further. I wonder whether you might encourage

:35:02.:35:06.

the Leader of the House to give some government time to talk about not

:35:07.:35:10.

just the economic value of the high street but the culture that it

:35:11.:35:14.

brings. As we are talking about business rate widely at the moment,

:35:15.:35:19.

it would be wrong to focus on the economic output by taxi on the

:35:20.:35:21.

nature of the society the high street Spring otherwise towns like

:35:22.:35:26.

those that I represent will become dormant trees for London and lose

:35:27.:35:30.

the very essence that keeps our county in our country so great. ---

:35:31.:35:36.

dormitories blunted what is important in a world where everyday

:35:37.:35:43.

lives and the nature of business is being transformed rapidly by digital

:35:44.:35:48.

technology and social change, is that we find ways that enable our

:35:49.:35:53.

high streets to continue to thrive economically and culturally, while

:35:54.:36:00.

adapting to the new challenges of this century. I streets that remain

:36:01.:36:06.

fossilised tend to fail. There is good examples all around this

:36:07.:36:09.

country where local business communities in the high Street have

:36:10.:36:13.

successfully adapted and I hope that we can find mechanisms for

:36:14.:36:20.

disseminating that good practice. I know that the Northern Powerhouse

:36:21.:36:25.

Minister has a big job of work to do and I imagined that he was dismayed

:36:26.:36:30.

this week to see the latest treachery figures showing that the

:36:31.:36:36.

transport infrastructure investment is a per head in 2016 to 2017 in

:36:37.:36:42.

Yorkshire and Humber what 1942 in London. I wondered if we could have

:36:43.:36:49.

a debate on what the Northern Powerhouse means that area like Hull

:36:50.:36:54.

which has tax payers who do not get a good deal. I would expect the

:36:55.:37:01.

honourable lady champions the course of grandmother macro in particular

:37:02.:37:07.

but I would like to say that this government is investing a lot of

:37:08.:37:10.

money to improve transport across the novel of England. --- the course

:37:11.:37:18.

of Hull in particular. That is only possible because we are pursuing

:37:19.:37:21.

economic policies that generate the wealth that enable us to provide

:37:22.:37:26.

that support. I could give her a list of such projects, billion to

:37:27.:37:29.

upgrade rail infrastructure, to the work we are doing with the rail

:37:30.:37:37.

franchises in the north to 2.9 billion of bold improvements across

:37:38.:37:41.

the North, the position is getting better but it relies on a strong and

:37:42.:37:46.

productive economy without spending to continue. Perhaps the Leader of

:37:47.:37:51.

the House could give is the anticipated timetable for the

:37:52.:37:55.

prisons and caught Bill? And in the meantime could we have a debate on

:37:56.:37:59.

assaults on prison officers, the number of these has gone up, and the

:38:00.:38:05.

number of extra days given as prison sentences to people who commit those

:38:06.:38:10.

offences has gone down since 2010 from an average of 20, pretty low as

:38:11.:38:15.

it was, down to just 16, surely we should be stopping the release of

:38:16.:38:19.

people halfway through their prison sentences that anyone who is

:38:20.:38:23.

convicted in prison of assaulting a prison officer. Can we have a debate

:38:24.:38:27.

to influence the government's Bill when it comes before was? I think if

:38:28.:38:32.

when my honourable friend gets a chance to study the prisons and

:38:33.:38:35.

caught Bill, he will find that it contains a number of measures that

:38:36.:38:40.

will be welcomed by prison governors and prison officers, because they

:38:41.:38:46.

are designed to help prison staff to warn the establishments in a way

:38:47.:38:48.

that is safe for staff and for prisoners. --- to run the

:38:49.:38:56.

establishments. I cannot give him the timescale for the debates but

:38:57.:39:02.

there will be questions on the 7th of March when he may have the

:39:03.:39:05.

opportunity to pursue some of these matters. Thank you. The revelations

:39:06.:39:14.

by the former Lord Speaker of the peer and the... Is something that

:39:15.:39:23.

calls the House into complete distribute. Basically appear acting

:39:24.:39:27.

as if this place a smash and grab cash machine. This Vista be shrugged

:39:28.:39:33.

off is not good enough. --- for this to be shrugged off. What must be

:39:34.:39:39.

done is... Has a question been put to the former Lord Speaker to reveal

:39:40.:39:43.

the name of that period? And is not is an investigation gets taken place

:39:44.:39:50.

as in whom that Lord blue peer was? And for this person to be called

:39:51.:39:56.

into question. The House of lords like this House is self-governing

:39:57.:40:01.

when it comes to the conduct of its members, my view is that where there

:40:02.:40:09.

is evidence, at the moment we have reports of allegations without

:40:10.:40:15.

people being named, that there has been malpractice that should be

:40:16.:40:19.

investigated and if the evidence is proven then appropriate action

:40:20.:40:27.

should be taken. Hat-trick of questions this morning, in my end of

:40:28.:40:34.

term speech last year I raised that social media company should take

:40:35.:40:38.

responsibility for hate speech and extremism on the platforms rather

:40:39.:40:42.

than leaving it to the pleased to their dirty work. Since there has

:40:43.:40:45.

been no real improvement on these companies can we have a debate on

:40:46.:40:51.

how we can make them face up to their responsibilities? I cannot

:40:52.:40:54.

offer an immediate debating government time, I think this would

:40:55.:40:58.

be extremely appropriate all debate in backbench offices or in

:40:59.:41:02.

Westminster Hall, my honourable friend makes a very powerful point I

:41:03.:41:06.

think most of us are pretty sickened ride the racist, vicious,

:41:07.:41:15.

misogynistic, anti-Semitic material that is sent to our constituents and

:41:16.:41:21.

used to intimidate members of this House as well. It is a practice

:41:22.:41:27.

which needs to stop and I would hope that the internet companies would

:41:28.:41:29.

live up to their corporate responsibilities.

:41:30.:41:34.

Is the leader aware that the mechanism to achieve an elected

:41:35.:41:42.

mayor is open to abuse? In my constituency on outsider has peddled

:41:43.:41:46.

a petition making unfounded claims that an elected mayor would bring

:41:47.:41:51.

lower council tax and an end to landlord licensing. Will the Leader

:41:52.:41:57.

of the House allocate time in order that these processes and the abuses

:41:58.:42:05.

can be investigated? I mean, certainly I am aware, Mr Speaker, of

:42:06.:42:09.

the Tower Hamlets case which demonstrated that there is the

:42:10.:42:14.

possibility of abuse in a mayoral election. I can't offer an immediate

:42:15.:42:19.

debate in Government time. It is of course important that where there

:42:20.:42:24.

are allegations of fraud or other types of malpractice, that those are

:42:25.:42:27.

independently and rigorously investigated and people brought to

:42:28.:42:35.

justice. May I commend the Leader of the House on the announcement that

:42:36.:42:38.

this House will have the opportunity to vote on allowing Welsh to be

:42:39.:42:43.

spoken in the grandest of all committees, the Welsh grand

:42:44.:42:47.

committee? Would he also agree with me that this is another example of

:42:48.:42:51.

the Conservative Government championing the Welsh language,

:42:52.:42:57.

something we have done since introducing the Welsh language act

:42:58.:43:01.

in 1993? Therefore can we have a debate in this House on this

:43:02.:43:12.

momentous decision? My honourable friend's words, I think if I

:43:13.:43:15.

attempted to address the House in Welsh are probably on do all the

:43:16.:43:22.

goodwill that we may have obtained through the announcement made

:43:23.:43:25.

yesterday. -- undo all the good will. But I am pleased by the

:43:26.:43:30.

welcome this has had from Welsh members across the chamber. I think

:43:31.:43:35.

it is a demonstration of the respect that this Government has for the

:43:36.:43:41.

Welsh language, for its centrality in a sense of national identity and

:43:42.:43:45.

cultural identity in Wales, and that will continue to be the case.

:43:46.:43:52.

Yesterday Perth Kinross Council passed a budget which guarantees

:43:53.:43:56.

local services will invest in jobs, education and social care.

:43:57.:44:03.

Contrarily, however, on average in England and Wales council tax levels

:44:04.:44:09.

at that ?300 to ?400 higher than those in Scotland. Can we therefore

:44:10.:44:13.

have a debate on why England is the highest council tax part of the

:44:14.:44:21.

United Kingdom? I think one would have to look at the variations in

:44:22.:44:26.

council tax levels, and in central government grants, to local

:44:27.:44:29.

authorities in different parts of the kingdom. And the point about

:44:30.:44:34.

devolution is it does give Scottish authorities the choice as to how to

:44:35.:44:39.

raise money; in the case of Scotland Scottish Government has chosen to

:44:40.:44:43.

impose additional taxes centrally on constituents right across Scotland,

:44:44.:44:49.

to make people in Scotland the most highly taxed people anywhere in the

:44:50.:44:56.

United Kingdom. Can we have a debate about the case of the Welsh maths

:44:57.:45:02.

teacher who was removed from a plane on his way to the United States in

:45:03.:45:08.

front of his pupils? Isn't there a contrast between the way that we are

:45:09.:45:14.

rolling out the red carpet for President Trump, whatever our views

:45:15.:45:18.

on that, whilst he is treating our school teachers like criminals? This

:45:19.:45:26.

case was disturbing because it went contrary to the declared policy of

:45:27.:45:32.

the UK Government as regards British citizens. My understanding is that

:45:33.:45:36.

this was down to the way in which a decision was taken at local level in

:45:37.:45:41.

this particular case, but I will draw the honourable gentleman's

:45:42.:45:45.

concern to the attention of the Foreign Secretary. In April 2013 on

:45:46.:46:02.

the outskirts of Aleppo there was a mid-abduction by honour group of

:46:03.:46:06.

men. Amid all the confusion, despite the efforts of many, there has been

:46:07.:46:10.

no resolution whatsoever. They have faced a deafening wall of silence. I

:46:11.:46:18.

think all reports indicate that the two gentlemen are still alive, but

:46:19.:46:22.

efforts to free them has met a war of silence. Can I ask this -- the

:46:23.:46:28.

leader, would he agree to a statement from the foreign and

:46:29.:46:31.

Commonwealth of Sir on this case. I will make sure that ministers are

:46:32.:46:36.

aware of this. The reality is, as he knows, but we have no British

:46:37.:46:42.

Embassy in Syria at the moment, and the situation in and around Aleppo

:46:43.:46:51.

remains dire in humanitarian terms. We all hope and indeed pray that the

:46:52.:46:57.

Metropolitan and his colleague are alive and will be released in due

:46:58.:47:09.

course. Instead of dealing with this, they now are proposing to

:47:10.:47:14.

demolish these iconic tower blocks. Such action will do nothing for the

:47:15.:47:18.

housing crisis. This surely warrants a statement from the housing

:47:19.:47:22.

Minister or indeed a debate on the issue? There will be questions to

:47:23.:47:29.

the Housing Minister next Thursday on the 2nd of March, but they give

:47:30.:47:32.

the honourable gentleman and opportunity, but I fear these are

:47:33.:47:35.

primarily matters for the local authority rather than the

:47:36.:47:40.

department. The Leader of the House we have seen the headlines about

:47:41.:47:46.

armed drones operating from RAF Waddington with a playlist. What has

:47:47.:47:52.

happened to the commitment to come to the House if lethal force if used

:47:53.:47:58.

as Mac is used in self defence. Can we have a debate on the number of UK

:47:59.:48:02.

citizens targeted, and whether the kill list extends beyond areas where

:48:03.:48:07.

military actions have been authorised by this House? The

:48:08.:48:11.

Defence Secretary has been very clear about this, of course the

:48:12.:48:16.

House did vote in favour of permitting the Government to extend

:48:17.:48:19.

military operations being carried out in Iraq onto Syrian territory as

:48:20.:48:24.

well, as part of a campaign to check and then defend -- defeat and

:48:25.:48:32.

hopefully eradicate Daesh. The Defence Secretary has been clear

:48:33.:48:37.

that we and the Coalition against Daesh will pursue people who are a

:48:38.:48:42.

threat to our security and to the safety of British citizens. Whether

:48:43.:48:48.

those people may come from. We act as always in our military operations

:48:49.:48:53.

within the law, but I'm afraid that the message to anybody tempted to go

:48:54.:48:58.

to join Daesh must be that they do so at great risk to themselves. I

:48:59.:49:05.

would like to draw the Leader of the House's attention to my early day

:49:06.:49:10.

motion about capping overdraft -- capping overdraft charges for

:49:11.:49:15.

current accounts. And I would request a statement on this, because

:49:16.:49:20.

it is important that the Government considers a cap on total charges any

:49:21.:49:25.

bank can place on overdrawn personal current accounts. It has been my

:49:26.:49:30.

experience as a constituency MP that this causes undue burden on many

:49:31.:49:37.

people who find themselves in uncertain employment. I would

:49:38.:49:45.

encourage the honourable lady to attend Treasury questions next

:49:46.:49:48.

Tuesday, when she can put that point directly to the Chancellor a short

:49:49.:49:59.

time before the budget. In January, the Chartered Institute of Taxation,

:50:00.:50:02.

the Institute of fix -- fiscal studies and the Institute for

:50:03.:50:06.

Government published a report about making tax policy better, and it

:50:07.:50:10.

contains recommendations about how Parliament and Government can

:50:11.:50:13.

improve the ways they make tax policy. With the Leader of the House

:50:14.:50:16.

committee looking at this report and getting back to me about what

:50:17.:50:19.

actions he intends to take in order to realise these recommendations? A

:50:20.:50:24.

prep primarily be for Treasury ministers to consider their response

:50:25.:50:32.

to recommendations made. -- it would primarily be. But I shall ask

:50:33.:50:36.

Treasury ministers to write in the way she suggested, to explain their

:50:37.:50:44.

response it. -- response to it. In a macro on Saturday I will be meeting

:50:45.:50:50.

with the managers of a wind turbines firm who are in the process of

:50:51.:50:53.

learning on employees because a company spokesman says the UK

:50:54.:50:59.

Government's energy policy has meant a slowdown in development. Is this

:51:00.:51:04.

an intended or unintended consequence of the change in

:51:05.:51:07.

Government policy, and can we have an urgent statement about the cat

:51:08.:51:13.

acrostic consequences of this Government's energy policy on the

:51:14.:51:16.

already fragile economy of my constituency? -- catastrophic

:51:17.:51:22.

consequences. The facts are that the UK is the world's leading player in

:51:23.:51:28.

the offshore wind market. We are on track now comfortably to exceed our

:51:29.:51:33.

ambition of delivering 30% of the UK's electricity from renewables by

:51:34.:51:39.

2020 to 2021. He should be standing up and employing what -- applauding

:51:40.:51:45.

the Government has done. -- applauding. Small businesses are

:51:46.:51:53.

vital to our economy, so I would congratulate the winners of my small

:51:54.:51:55.

business constituency awards this year. The NDP couriers employ people

:51:56.:52:04.

with disability. Can we have an important debate on supports for

:52:05.:52:07.

entrepreneurship for disabled people, to ensure that we harness

:52:08.:52:13.

and realise everyone's potential? First of all, I congratulate the

:52:14.:52:17.

businesses in her constituency on this particular award. She draws

:52:18.:52:22.

attention to an important point, which is the need to make sure that

:52:23.:52:26.

people with disabilities have equal access to employment opportunities,

:52:27.:52:32.

as people without disabilities do. We do now of course have more people

:52:33.:52:37.

with disabilities in employment in the United Kingdom than ever before,

:52:38.:52:41.

but there is a great deal still to be done, and that requires action by

:52:42.:52:46.

Government, yes, but also by innovative, forward-looking

:52:47.:52:48.

businesses that can see the advantages of inclusion. Can we have

:52:49.:52:58.

a debate on UK visa policy and its negative contribution to the UK

:52:59.:53:06.

economy? Two of my constituents originating from Mumbai were brought

:53:07.:53:09.

over in 2014 as part of the Sirius to grant, as graduate at -- on a

:53:10.:53:19.

graduate visa. They have set up the business, they have received

:53:20.:53:22.

significant funding for it, but this has recently been put at risk by the

:53:23.:53:29.

UK visas and immigration system. They have had their T1 visa rejected

:53:30.:53:33.

on a technicality. Putting all they have worked for at risk. They have

:53:34.:53:40.

no valid leave to remain at the present time. Can we have a debate

:53:41.:53:44.

on this important area, because it makes no sense to bring people over

:53:45.:53:48.

here to be part of the economy, to contribute, and then to kick them

:53:49.:53:56.

out. If indeed the application was rejected on a technicality, I don't

:53:57.:54:01.

know any details of the case, then I would hope it would be possible to

:54:02.:54:05.

find a remedy for that via the system that the Home Office

:54:06.:54:10.

operates. I mean, there has in any visa system to be a balance between

:54:11.:54:14.

getting the brightest and the best in the world to come and take job

:54:15.:54:18.

opportunities here and to study here as we all want to say, what are the

:54:19.:54:23.

same time ensuring that we have proportionate and effective

:54:24.:54:28.

immigration controls. The Leader of the House will be aware of his

:54:29.:54:31.

Government's policy to tax victims of domestic abuse for using the

:54:32.:54:37.

child maintenance service. Women's groups, charities and the miss of

:54:38.:54:40.

the public have said this Government are putting single parents and

:54:41.:54:45.

children at risk through this tax. 30% of CMS users are victims of

:54:46.:54:49.

domestic violence, and tens of thousands of women are losing money

:54:50.:54:57.

because they cannot gain safely with their ex-partner. Can I ask for a

:54:58.:55:00.

debate in Government time on this injustice? Is the honourable lady

:55:01.:55:08.

will know, this Government has demonstrated its commitment to

:55:09.:55:15.

trying to help people who are victims of domestic violence. -- as

:55:16.:55:19.

the honourable lady will know. It is something the Prime Minister takes a

:55:20.:55:21.

very close and strong personal interest in, she said within the

:55:22.:55:27.

last week, the Government is now committed to looking again at the

:55:28.:55:31.

whole range of laws as they apply to domestic violence, to consider what

:55:32.:55:35.

changes can be made. If she would like to just let me have some

:55:36.:55:40.

details of the particular problem that she has spoken about today,

:55:41.:55:44.

then I will certainly draw those to the attention of the appropriate

:55:45.:55:49.

ministers. The Leader of the House will be aware that this week -- next

:55:50.:55:54.

week there will be Assembly elections in Northern Ireland. This

:55:55.:55:59.

it has been revealed that that the even more holier than no sister

:56:00.:56:04.

party to the Liberal Democrats, the Alliance Party, have been seeking to

:56:05.:56:08.

manipulate phone in programmes by encouraging their members to give

:56:09.:56:15.

fake names, fake addresses, a tactic which they say helped the previous

:56:16.:56:20.

elections. The BBC has so far given very little coverage to this. Yet

:56:21.:56:26.

another example of the biased way in which they have conducted themselves

:56:27.:56:28.

during this election campaign. Can we have a debate in the House on the

:56:29.:56:35.

political bias of this publicly funded body, and the way in which it

:56:36.:56:37.

has breached its charter? The honourable gentleman has made

:56:38.:56:47.

his point very powerful a, the BBC in Northern Ireland as everywhere

:56:48.:56:52.

else in the United Kingdom is under an obligation to demonstrate,

:56:53.:56:57.

particularly during election campaigns of any kind, that it is

:56:58.:57:01.

impartial as between rival political parties, but it must be for the BBC

:57:02.:57:06.

not the government ministers to take responsibility for editorial

:57:07.:57:11.

positions. I was able to take part in a delegation in Cyprus and meet

:57:12.:57:17.

with the president and members of Parliament, about the peace process

:57:18.:57:23.

there... I wonder if we could have a debate on this issue so that

:57:24.:57:32.

perspectives could be... I think that I could say with my previous

:57:33.:57:38.

ministerial experience that the government is utterly committed to

:57:39.:57:43.

doing what ever we can to help bring about a reconciliation between the

:57:44.:57:47.

different communities in Cyprus and to support them in reaching a

:57:48.:57:53.

settlement that will reunite the island and which will endure for the

:57:54.:57:59.

long-term. A reunited Cyprus could provide such opportunities to

:58:00.:58:03.

Turkish and Greek Cypriots alike and it is good that in the dashed it is

:58:04.:58:15.

good that we have two leaders that wants to promote peace and

:58:16.:58:21.

reconciliation. No legislation exists that prevents insurance

:58:22.:58:28.

companies from exterminating against people... --- discriminating against

:58:29.:58:40.

people with diseases like Huntington's disease. Can we have

:58:41.:58:47.

debate this? The honourable gentleman has identified what is

:58:48.:58:52.

going to be an increasing challenge for our society, insurance companies

:58:53.:58:55.

have a business model based on an assessment of risk and greater

:58:56.:58:58.

genetic information will allow better risk to be coach elated much

:58:59.:59:03.

more precisely than in the past and that starts to get into situations

:59:04.:59:07.

where people find it difficult to get insurance. This is an issue well

:59:08.:59:16.

worth highlighting. Can we have a debate on the definition of New

:59:17.:59:25.

Money on Wednesday at press release was announced... It turns out that

:59:26.:59:29.

this is in fact not new money that was already budgeted for, can he

:59:30.:59:35.

arrange for the secretary to clarify what new and additional funding this

:59:36.:59:39.

government is prepared to provide the people who are starving to death

:59:40.:59:46.

in south Sudan. Nobody I think in any part of the House would wish to

:59:47.:59:53.

underplay the gravity of the crisis in South Sudan. The declaration of

:59:54.:00:02.

famine was shocking but not unexpected, it derives from the

:00:03.:00:08.

prolonged, political crisis, civil war in that country. The situation

:00:09.:00:11.

has been steadily worsening since the conflict began in 2013. What the

:00:12.:00:20.

government has done is to provide more than ?500 million of

:00:21.:00:22.

humanitarian health and education support over that last three years.

:00:23.:00:28.

That has helped to prevent famine in previous years on top of the

:00:29.:00:33.

previous money we gave to help refugees whose lead self Sudan. The

:00:34.:00:38.

hundred million 50,017 to 18 as I understand it is on top of the 500

:00:39.:00:47.

million that has already been spent. Clearly, different ministers always

:00:48.:00:51.

keep and review allocations within their budget particularly in the

:00:52.:00:58.

need for urgent humanitarian relief. Also, we need to make sure that the

:00:59.:01:02.

money we spend is going to help those who are genuinely in need.

:01:03.:01:11.

Hater RC have lost the court case with a well-received one of my

:01:12.:01:17.

constituency is the tool this action cost him a with no effective

:01:18.:01:25.

recourse to HMRC. Comey have a statement on how to rectify this

:01:26.:01:31.

type of injustice is? --- can we have a statement. I would say, first

:01:32.:01:40.

of all as he knows, probably, HMRC for good reasons operate

:01:41.:01:42.

independently but ministerial direction when it comes to handling

:01:43.:01:46.

the cases of individual taxpayers, because you do not want ministers to

:01:47.:01:50.

start having the powers to intervene in the cases of individuals' tax

:01:51.:01:56.

affairs. On the particular case that he has cited he said that it has

:01:57.:02:01.

gone to the courts and his constituent was successful, I would

:02:02.:02:05.

normally have expected the courts to consider the question about costs.

:02:06.:02:11.

If there is the injustice that he has described if you could let me

:02:12.:02:14.

know the details on why the courts did not apparently addressed this,

:02:15.:02:20.

then I will refer back to the Minister with overall responsibility

:02:21.:02:26.

for HMRC. Thank you Mr Speaker, do the government have any plans to

:02:27.:02:33.

copy the excellent initiative of the cabinet of Gregory holding Cabinet

:02:34.:02:36.

and public meetings in places other than the capital? If they do can I

:02:37.:02:41.

recommend the kingdom of Fife, which would give him and his colleagues a

:02:42.:02:48.

chance to visit, but he could also point out to his colleagues that the

:02:49.:02:58.

Forth Bridge is open. The answer to his first question is yes, and the

:02:59.:03:04.

Cabinet met in the North West of England quite recently. I would be

:03:05.:03:09.

very attracted by the idea of a cabinet visit to the Kingdom of

:03:10.:03:13.

Fife, as well, and I will make sure that number ten is aware of the

:03:14.:03:16.

honourable gentleman's wish to welcomer 's. Splendid. Point of

:03:17.:03:24.

order. --- wish to welcome us. On the 18th of January I asked a

:03:25.:03:28.

question to the Minister of Justice to ask them how many and what

:03:29.:03:33.

proportion of sentences to each category of offence was suspended

:03:34.:03:37.

sentences. On the 16th of February the Minister for prisons said that

:03:38.:03:42.

the information could be found on the government's website. It took

:03:43.:03:46.

among other Ministry of Justice to find this information before they

:03:47.:03:50.

could actually put back in answer to me, there was no indication of where

:03:51.:03:53.

on the website it could be found and it seemed that this is not the first

:03:54.:03:58.

time that this has happened. It is occurring regularly with the

:03:59.:04:01.

Ministry of Justice. It seems clear to me that they are doing this

:04:02.:04:04.

deliberately to make sure that this information never comes to light. I

:04:05.:04:08.

will refer this to the procedure committee and I am wondering if

:04:09.:04:11.

there was anything that you could do, Mr Speaker, to make sure that

:04:12.:04:17.

the answers we get actually open and transparent rather than this kind of

:04:18.:04:22.

dishonourable to? Well, I'm grateful for his point of order and my

:04:23.:04:28.

response is as follows, consistent with what I have said previously on

:04:29.:04:34.

this matter, first, over sponsors should be timely and the honourable

:04:35.:04:38.

gentleman suffered an untimely response, he had to wait longer than

:04:39.:04:44.

he should have had to do. Secondly, responses to parliamentary questions

:04:45.:04:50.

from members should be substandard ships and the honourable gentleman

:04:51.:04:55.

did not receive a substantive reply. --- should be substantive. I would

:04:56.:04:59.

say to the honourable gentleman and the House that it is one thing for a

:05:00.:05:04.

minister in answering a written question to refer to a website on

:05:05.:05:08.

which further and more detailed information might be available that

:05:09.:05:13.

would be of interest to the member but it is quite another matter

:05:14.:05:21.

simply, blandly and without guidance or direction to refer to a website

:05:22.:05:25.

to say nothing about where on it the member should look and to imagine

:05:26.:05:30.

that that is satisfactory as a substitute for a straight answer to

:05:31.:05:36.

a straight question. It is not. The Leader of the House takes very

:05:37.:05:41.

seriously his responsibility, as in the Deputy Leader doors, for

:05:42.:05:45.

ensuring that ministers provide timely responses that are

:05:46.:05:48.

substantive and do not use that Bruce or device and they have had

:05:49.:05:54.

the honourable gentleman's point of order and my response. Best if there

:05:55.:06:01.

are no further points of order, and I think you go racing that, we come

:06:02.:06:05.

to the presentation of bills, secretary Elizabeth truss.

:06:06.:06:15.

Prisoners... Second reading, what they? Tomorrow. We now come to the

:06:16.:06:18.

motion

:06:19.:06:20.

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