23/03/2017 Business Questions


23/03/2017

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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I thank all colleagues for what they have said and the way they have said

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it. Business statement, the Leader of the House, David Livingstone. Mr

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Speaker, with permission, before I announced the business, I would just

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like to update colleagues on one to practical matters following on from

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the terrorist attack yesterday. First of all, as is apparent to us

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all, the security checks and the all, the security checks and the

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rules on access to the palace remain for the time being, more restrictive

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to those to which we have become accustomed. I hope that honourable

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members on all sides will accept them with patient compliance, as do

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their staff. Secondly, an allusion was made in earlier exchanges to the

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possible health needs of staff and others who may have witnessed what

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took place yesterday and I would take this opportunity to remind all

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colleagues of the Parliamentary health and well-being service based

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at seven Millbank which is available to provide that kind of support to

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staff as well as members. The books of condolence to PC Keith Palmer are

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open in the library, the Royal Gallery and Westminster Hall.

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Finally, the chapel will be open all day for any member or a staff member

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who wishes to say prayers or reflect and your chaplain will be conducting

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short services there are 12:30 p.m., 3pm and six p.m., which anybody is

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welcome to attend. The business for next week will be as follows. Monday

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the 27th of March, remaining staved -- stages of the bus services bill.

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Tuesday the 28th, consideration of Lords amendment to the neighbourhood

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planning Bill followed by a debate on our motion on the conflict in

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Yemen. That debate having been determined by the backbench business

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committee. Whether Steve the 29th, remaining stages of the pension

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schemes Bill, Lords, followed by the expect private business to be named

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by the Chairman of Ways and Means. Thursday the 30th, debate on a

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motion on animal welfare followed by a general debate on matters to be

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raised before the forthcoming adjournment. Friday the 31st, the

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house will not be sitting. The provisional business for the week

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commencing the 17th of April will include Monday the 17th of April,

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the house will not be setting. Tuesday the 18th of April, second

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reading of the finance number two Bill. Thank you, Mr Speaker. Can I

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thank the Leader of the House for the forthcoming business and for

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mentioning where staff and people who work in this House can get some

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extra support if they needed. Can I also thank him and his deputy for

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the leadership he showed yesterday. It is a sad day because we have lost

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her superhero, someone who has kept us safe everyday. His family are

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suffering and now they are trying to make sense of his death, but their

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life will be utterly changed. We will always remember Keith Palmer.

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Can I thank colleagues who were extremely patient yesterday and the

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year 12 politics students who were up in the gallery and a primary

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school from Birmingham, but also the police and security service and the

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emergency services for all they did to protect us and keep us informed

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in the usual professional manner, and for the dedication that the show

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was public servants day after day, allowing us to go about life safely.

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And to the Sergeant at Arms and the magnificent team of doorkeepers, we

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all know how good you are every day, but in a situation as we had

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yesterday, on behalf of all of us, our very special thank you for your

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calm professionalism and kindness. It is a real tribute to the house

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service. And the clerk of the house and your team, ensuring decisions

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could be made promptly and sensibly. The Prime Minister has said this is

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business as usual, so why will proceed to business as usual and ask

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the Leader of the House, it is a convention when a statutory

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instrument is prayed against that there is a debate. Can I express my

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concern that the convention has not been followed into particular EDM

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is, the PRP regulations and the 9482 awards. Those in psychological

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distress are denied access to additional support under these

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registration. Epilepsy action said they were deeply concerned about the

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regulations and how it affects people with epilepsy. For the

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students, the inflation linked rise representative body of percent

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increase. If continued, this could mean the fees rising above ?10,000

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in the next few years. The house rose early on Tuesday and the last

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opposition day was a month ago. The government seems to be thwarting the

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opposition, preventing an effective opposition by controlling the

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business in this way, so could we have time for a debate on those two

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very important statutory instruments? As article 50 is

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triggered next week, there is a vast amount of legislation to be enacted.

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Can he ensure there are white papers, draft legislation and an

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impact assessment before the pills are published? Could he ensure that

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the government to not use secondary legislation to stifle debate, but

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allowed parliament to scrutinise the secondary legislation? Could we have

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a debate to leave the BBC alone? The backbenchers may have time on their

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hands but the letter sent round the many members in this House, they

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said that the BBC are focusing on regretful voters. That is absurd. It

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had e-mails from some who voted to leave who have regretted it, but

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there was not a single piece of evidence in the latter, it was all

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opinion. The editor of the today programme used openly support the

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Tory candidates for mayor and the current editor of the Evening

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Standard is a former Tory Chancellor. More importantly, there

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should be no pre-emptive or intimidation strike on a public

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broadcaster. Another manifesto promise broken while the

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consultation closed yesterday on the new funding formula, the government

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promised in their 2050 manifesto a real terms increase in the schools

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budget in this Parliament and as the number of pupils increases sold the

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amount of money in schools. Nearly half of all schools in the country

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would face a in funding. In Walsall South schools face a reduction of

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?490 per pupil, so could we have a debate on the impact on the new

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funding formula and set out the losers, because every school will be

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a loser. They will be bearing the brunt of unfunded rises in pay,

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pension and National Insurance contributions. He could amount to

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between 6% and 11% for their budgets for the years 2019 to 2020. These

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are the last business questions before the Easter recess so can

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attack against the clerk of the house, the library, the doorkeepers,

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Mr Speaker, you enter deputies venture officers, all who may have

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made life easier as Shadow leader, may you all have a happy Easter. Can

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I finally say, from every corner of this United Kingdom, from every

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corner of the world, bless it are the peacemakers. Can I first thank

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the honourable lady for her kind words and associate myself

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unreservedly both with her final remarks and with the tributes that

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you rightly paid not only to the police, but to the staff of the

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house in their various roles and what they did yesterday? I am

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intending to be here for a business statement next Thursday. I hope that

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her hesitation... I am sorry to lose her across the dispatch box. Perhaps

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this is another opposition front bench change. She asked me about a

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number of pieces of forthcoming business. I can tell her that the

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government will make provision for the debate on the two issues she

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expressed concern about. I can't give her a firm date yet but

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discussions will continue through the usual channels about the precise

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date, but the time will be fine. On the items of European legislation

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that would be needed, of course there is going to be ample

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opportunity to debate the content and the impact of those pieces of

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legislation, and while I would certainly expect, it is the secret

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that I would expect the repeal bill to include some secondary

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legislative powers, the scope, the definition of those secondary

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legislative powers will of course themselves be subject to the full

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Parliamentary process, that those definitions, that's group would have

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to be agreed by both Houses of Parliament through the normal

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process of enacting a bill into law. On her points about education, it is

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a fact that more is being spent on schools than ever before, but the

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national funding formula to which she made particular objection has

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been the subject of the consultation which only closed a couple of days

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ago. My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Education

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will not be considering the responses to local authorities,

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schools and others to the consultation and coming forward with

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the government's proposals in due course. It was for a long time

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common ground between political parties that the existing funding

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formula was grotesquely unfair and that it provided in some cases for a

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child attending school in one authority to receive twice as much,

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almost twice as much, as an equivalent child in a comparable

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school in a different local authority despite the basic costs

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being this same. That is the reason why the government is committed

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itself to bring forward and national funding formula. Finally she asks me

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about the BBC. I notice she didn't look to the presence of our former

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Labour Cabinet minister in a senior role in the BBC at the moment but I

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think he has probably been airbrushed out that the current

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Labour Party leadership. As long as I have been in this place there have

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been robust strongly held and strongly expressed views about the

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BBC, for and against voiced by members on all sides. My own feeling

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is that if honourable members have since in this respect they spent too

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much time watching to the current affairs programmes. And I think of

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the BBCi think of the Proms on Radio 3 and I think it enables me to

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approach that subject with a degree of serenity. ER urge for it to be

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business as usual. It is difficult considering what happened yesterday

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because simply we are so horrified and saddened at those events and the

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terrible deaths and injuries and we wish everyone well. I would try to

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engage in business as usual and ask the Leader of the House this, many

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of us are surprised to learn that the apprenticeship levy, which is a

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good idea, which has been rightly passed on to local authorities

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wrongly has interned being passed on to schools. Schools in my

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constituency find that they are paying ?400 but receiving the

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benefit from the levy, but having to pay the burden and it wrong. When

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will the Leader of the House arrange for us to have a debate on this

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outrage? Can I first evolves say that I think it is important that we

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remember that while we rightly returned to business as normal as a

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demonstration that our democracy and free society will not be disrupted

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by terrorism, we need always to remember that for the families of

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those who lost their lives yesterday and the families of those who have

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been severely injured, the events of yesterday are things that they will

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have to live with for the rest of their days on this earth, and we

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should have that in mind as well. In response to her question about the

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apprenticeship levy, the situation she has described in Nottinghamshire

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is not as I understand that the case with every local education authority

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in the country. Some local education authorities have decided to deal

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with the levy themselves rather than pass it on to schools, but I will

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draw her concern to the Secretary of State. Can I thank the Leader of the

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House and join him in his tributes to the members of staff who worked

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so well yesterday, and the leadership that he should yesterday

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in this chamber. They are continuing business just as

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normal as we continue our business and we will not be deterred from our

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important work on behalf of all the people that we represent. Mr

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Speaker, this institution lost one of its own yesterday and I want to

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express my heart-felt condolences to the family of Keith Palmer and

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others who lost lives. One thing I have noted as a Scottish Member of

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Parliament is just the resilience of this great city and its people. It

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has been inspiring and it has been determined. I think this morning and

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this afternoon, we're all Londoners today. Mr Speaker, perhaps as a

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tribute maybe we could consider a debate on the value of our emergency

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services to this nation, the risks that they take and the immense

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contribution they play in keeping our nation safe. I think that would

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be a fitting tribute for us as Members of Parliament to make to the

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memory of Keith Palmer. The Scottish Parliament suspended its business

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yesterday and a section 30 order so a legal referendum could be held to

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determine the future of political arrangements for Scotland. This will

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be carried out next Tuesday. The will of the Scottish Parliament will

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be expressed and it is upon this House to respond positively to the

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democratic voice of the Scottish Parliament there can be no good

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reason for Scotland to be ignored. Will the leader of the House tell us

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how this place intends to respond and positively to what is agreed in

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our national Parliament? Mr Speaker it is beyond pernicious that this

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Government will seek to put through the rate clause by clause 3

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straument without any debate. I know my honourable friend from Glasgow

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attempted to get a debate on this issue. Will the House consider

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something as important as this should right I will be debated on

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the floor of this House. Article 50 will be triggered but I could see

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anything within the statement to say there'll be a statement or some sort

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of debate in order to pass the fact this is going to be debated in the

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House of Commons. Will the leader of the House confirm there'll be at

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least a statement next week to mark this depressing event? As we all go

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home, we go home to our friends and our families this afternoon, I think

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it is absolutely right to remember one of a number who works in this

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House who won't have that same opportunity and that same advantage

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as we have today. I thank the honourable gentleman for

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his kind remarks. And associate myself with his condolences to the

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victims of yesterday's attack and a salute to the emergency services and

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others. On the political questions that he raised, of course, when it

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was said that the Government will find time for strattry instrument to

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the bebaited. It was something which was authorised by the act of

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Parliament from which this is delegated legislation. So that power

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is something which was debated and approved by this House at the time

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that act was taken through. But on the substance of the policy on a

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third child for a woman who has been subjected to the ordeal of, and the

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Government does recognise this is a very difficult and sensitive issue.

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That's why we've adopted a third party model to allow us to make sure

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that neither DWP or HMRC staff would question the mother about the

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incident. Instead they would simply take the claim and receive the

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supporting evidence from a third party professional. That seems to us

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to be the right balance between making sure mothers get support they

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need within the need for unnecessary intrusive processes and at the same

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time providing assurances additional support is going for those whom it

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is intended. On his question about Article 50, I am sure that there

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will be opportunity for the House to debate Article 50. We have not been

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short of opportunities up until now, I have to say. But I am sure there

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will be an opportunity before long for that decision to be debated or

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for questions to be posed. On the question of the debate in the

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Scottish Parliament, I think that my Right Honourable friend, the Prime

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Minister, has been very clear about this. We believe that now is not the

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time for a second referendum, particularly when the 2014

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referendum was supposed to be something that was a once in a

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generation opportunity. And that what ought to happen now is for the

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United Kingdom Government and all three devolved Governments to work

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very closely together to ensure that we get the best possible deal for

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all the people of every part of the United Kingdom in the forthcoming

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European negotiations. Thank you Mr Speaker. Can I first

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commend the leader of the House for his calm and reassuring presence in

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the chamber yesterday and Mr Speaker, through you, your deputy,

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the Deputy Speaker. They both performed magnificently in

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the chamber yesterday. Could we have a timescale for the statement or

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debate on the fairer funding formula for schools? Preferably a time when

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the Government will scrap its current proposals, which are frankly

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unjustifiable. It is taking money from schools in Bradford district,

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which is one of the worst performing local authorities in the country to

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transfer money to some of the highest performing in the country,

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which is absolute madness. Every school in my constituency will be

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losing money. It is unjustifiable. Can the leader of the house tell us

:21:36.:21:39.

how quickly it will take for the Government to realise these

:21:40.:21:43.

proposals are unjustifiable and unacceptable. Can I thank my

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honourable friend for his kind remarks. The Secretary of State will

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come forward as soon as possible. But since the consultation on the

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draft nation aling funding proposals concluded only this week, I think it

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is reasonable that she should have a while in order to consider the very

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detailed reputations that have been put forward by a number of different

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parties. She will come forward and I can promise my honourable friend

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there will be an opportunity for the Government to debate any proposals

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that are then submitted. I am very grateful, Mr Speaker. Can

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I begin with an apology to members of the House for my absence over

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recent weeks. Can I also add my thanks to oh members and staff and

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security personnel for their activities yesterday. There is one

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group of people we have forgotten about. Members of the public,

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hundreds of them who were in this building for dozens of reasons and

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meetings yesterday and who, through many hours, actually showed great

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compliance, patience, forebearence and fortitude while the situation

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was outside the confines of this building. Can I place on record our

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thanks to them? Can I thank the leader of the House for the notice

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that next Tuesday's debate on the crisis in Yemen will be protected

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for 90 minutes. We will have a decent amount of time to discuss the

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on-going dreadful situation there. And to the notice we have two

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debates next Thursday on animal welfare and of course the prerecess

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adjournment debate. Can I ask the leader of the House for early

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notice, if at all possible, for any time that willal le kated to the

:23:31.:23:34.

Backbench Business Committee on the week beginning 18th April and the

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week beginning 24th April? Can I point out, I am sure he's aware of

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this, of an anomaly on standing orders. When we come back on 18th

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April, this House, this chamber will meet at 2. 30pm. But understanding

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to be Westminster Hall will commence at 9. 30am, which I think is an

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inconvenience to members but also to the staff of this House. I think we

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have a Backbench Business Committee debate scheduled for then, which

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would be led off by the honourable member for Motherwell who will

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aingually have to leave her constituency -- who will actually

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have to leave her quifrnltsy on who will have to leave her constituency

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on a Monday. Which is a bank holiday.

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THE SPEAKER: It is a ples slur to both see him here today and hear his

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voice. The leader of the House... It is

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good to see the honourable gentleman back in his normal place at these

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exchanges on Thursdays. I will do my best to make sure he and his

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committee have any notice of allocated time in the weeks

:24:46.:24:51.

beginning 18thth April. I take his point about the anomaly in standing

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orders. And I have already spoken to my Right Honourable friend, the

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Chief Whip, to see if we can look for a way in which to make life

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easier for him and for the honourable lady.

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Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. I am sorry I am such a poor substitute

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for the chairman of the backbench committee. I was unsuccessful in the

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unshuffle at equality questions. Can I ask the leader of the House for an

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early statement on the position of the promised consultation document

:25:28.:25:33.

on cast discrimination which will allow the Hindu community to put

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their perspective on why this unwanted, unnecessary and ill-judged

:25:38.:25:42.

legislation can be removed from the statute book? My honourable friend

:25:43.:25:48.

raises a matter which is very important to his constituents and

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does so el wantly. I will suggest to the minister concerned that she

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writes to my honourable friend about the Government's current position on

:25:59.:26:03.

this. As he will be aware this particular decision involves not

:26:04.:26:08.

just a policy commitment, but also the allocation of legislative time,

:26:09.:26:11.

which is under pressure from many departments at the moment.

:26:12.:26:22.

Can I welcome the leaders assurances about support for staff after

:26:23.:26:28.

yesterday's tragic events? And can I thank you, Mr Speaker, for what you

:26:29.:26:32.

said about the commission itself under your chairmanmanship, looking

:26:33.:26:35.

at lessons learnted, and particularly perhaps into the issues

:26:36.:26:41.

of support to staff? Mr Speaker, could we have a debate on the work

:26:42.:26:49.

of the Taylor Review before it actually completed publication? So

:26:50.:26:56.

that we can feed in our views around issues of insecurity at work,

:26:57.:27:02.

particularly the huge growth in zero-hours contracts - the increase

:27:03.:27:08.

in staff from agencies and also self-employment. If the House itself

:27:09.:27:11.

had the debate, it would be useful to feed knit that way.

:27:12.:27:18.

The honourable lady makes a perfectly reasonable point. Although

:27:19.:27:23.

there is of course nothing to stop individual Right Honourable and

:27:24.:27:27.

honourable members from making representations to Matthew Taylor. I

:27:28.:27:31.

think the best advice I could give her would be to seek a backbench

:27:32.:27:36.

business debate on this. It certainly is good to see the

:27:37.:27:40.

honourable member back in his place. I am glad it was a back problem

:27:41.:27:44.

rather than a heart problem. Will my Right Honourable friend find time

:27:45.:27:49.

for a debate on debates along the Thames Estuary. Last week the North

:27:50.:27:54.

Thames fishery action group were awarded ?800,000. That will be spent

:27:55.:27:59.

further on enhancing the culture and the heritage of the Thames Estuary.

:28:00.:28:06.

My honourable friend is in a great historical tradition. Magna Carta

:28:07.:28:11.

itself mentions the importance of maintaining fish wires in the River

:28:12.:28:17.

Thames. -- wiers in the River Thames. The renewal of marine life

:28:18.:28:26.

and river life in the estuaries of the Thames and other rivers are to

:28:27.:28:30.

serve the great industrial cities of our city and I hope that the money

:28:31.:28:34.

that has been announced recently will enable that development to be

:28:35.:28:39.

taken further forward. Thank you, Mr Speaker. Can we have

:28:40.:28:45.

an early debate on rules of origin documentation? And particularly the

:28:46.:28:51.

five or seven-fold increase that will be required when this country

:28:52.:28:59.

leaves the customs union. That is a very important subject. I agree.

:29:00.:29:04.

It's one that I am sure the honourable gentleman will be

:29:05.:29:07.

ingenious enough to raise in the course of the numerous debates that

:29:08.:29:12.

we'll have on European issues in forthcoming months.

:29:13.:29:17.

This is not the day to labour the point. I don't expect the leader to

:29:18.:29:25.

reply in any detail, but when we do finally have the long delayed debate

:29:26.:29:31.

on whether this House should leave this building in the decan't which

:29:32.:29:36.

is proposed until now, I think we should at least n the light of what

:29:37.:29:42.

has happened in the last 24 hours, give great consideration to the

:29:43.:29:46.

symbolism of this place and the security considerations of

:29:47.:29:50.

dispersing MPs and peers around Parliament Square.

:29:51.:29:56.

The security of not just members, but of staff, let us never forget

:29:57.:30:06.

there are something like 14,000 pass holders to the Parliamentary estate,

:30:07.:30:13.

is at the forefront of the consideration by the Parliamentary

:30:14.:30:15.

officials who have been leading on this and I can assure my honourable

:30:16.:30:25.

friend that whatever is finally approved by this House and by the

:30:26.:30:30.

House of Lords, that, as these works are carried through on whatever

:30:31.:30:35.

timescale and fashion, security will continue to be at the forefront of

:30:36.:30:41.

everybody's mind. It was striking this morning to come into this place

:30:42.:30:48.

and see so many police officers on duty protecting us, and at the same

:30:49.:30:53.

time mourning their colleague, the hero, PC Keith Palmer. His death in

:30:54.:30:59.

active service, protecting us here, is a reminder that there are

:31:00.:31:07.

families of murdered police officers and indeed those who have lost loved

:31:08.:31:13.

ones serving in the Armed Forces, who have still not got proper

:31:14.:31:16.

compensation for the rest of their lives. Can we look at this issue

:31:17.:31:21.

again and ensure any person who dies in active service in the police

:31:22.:31:26.

force, in our Armed Forces, their families are properly compensated

:31:27.:31:31.

for the rest of their lives? It would indeed be good to find a way

:31:32.:31:36.

in particular in which one could spare people the need to go through

:31:37.:31:43.

long and complex litigation in order to get the compensation they

:31:44.:31:49.

deserve. This may be something which he is able to raise at Western --

:31:50.:31:55.

Westminster Hall or three backbench business. Can I support, all thanks

:31:56.:32:06.

to the staff, they were fantastic yesterday. Coming back to business

:32:07.:32:14.

as usual, can I anticipate the motion on the restoration and

:32:15.:32:18.

renewal of the palace. Could I ask it is a full day debate and dead

:32:19.:32:23.

weight when we would anticipate the house to be as full as it ever it

:32:24.:32:28.

is, in other words, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, but not a Thursday and

:32:29.:32:35.

obviously not a Friday? We will make a provision and announce a date for

:32:36.:32:40.

the debate as soon as we can and clearly the point my honourable

:32:41.:32:44.

friend has made is one of the considerations we will take into

:32:45.:32:50.

account. I have represented this House for

:32:51.:32:54.

seven years on the Nato Parliamentary assembly and during

:32:55.:32:58.

the lockdown yesterday there were messages coming from all over the

:32:59.:33:03.

Nato Parliamentary family offering solidarity and support including the

:33:04.:33:07.

headquarters in Brussels, where they had commemorated the attack on

:33:08.:33:11.

Brussels a year to the day, I wanted to pass that on to the Leader of the

:33:12.:33:16.

House and members present. Can we have a debate on issues of tolerance

:33:17.:33:21.

and understanding, that were so stressed during the statement from

:33:22.:33:25.

the Prime Minister, within the church in Wales? We have many

:33:26.:33:34.

opportunities to question, by the Church Commissioners statement in

:33:35.:33:38.

the house, but we have no such opportunity in relation to the

:33:39.:33:42.

church in Wales. Can we have a debate on how we can make that

:33:43.:33:48.

possible? First of all, like her, I have been struck by the spontaneous

:33:49.:33:57.

and stronger expressions of solidarity which honourable members

:33:58.:34:01.

and the government have received from democracies and elected

:34:02.:34:04.

representatives around the world. On her point about the Church in Wales,

:34:05.:34:09.

I can understand her wish for a debate, but I cannot offer one in

:34:10.:34:14.

government time because the Church in Wales is disestablished, but it

:34:15.:34:19.

may be that she is successful in securing a Westminster Hall

:34:20.:34:26.

opportunity. Negative SIs should for

:34:27.:34:35.

noncontroversial matters so returning to normal, in relation to

:34:36.:34:40.

the EU, we will have a lot of bills in the next parliament and we will

:34:41.:34:44.

want to continue with normal business. As the Leader of the House

:34:45.:34:48.

given thought to extending sitting hours, or sitting on Fridays when we

:34:49.:34:55.

don't see it for Private Members' Bill? I cannot miss a statement next

:34:56.:35:03.

week but how we allocate time, given the exceptional pressure that there

:35:04.:35:08.

will be on legislative time because of that legislation needed for the

:35:09.:35:15.

exit from the European Union is something I and other business

:35:16.:35:18.

managers are taking very seriously and we are spending a lot of our

:35:19.:35:21.

time reflecting on how best this might be achieved. I express my

:35:22.:35:31.

condolences to the family of PC Keith Palmer, family and friends.

:35:32.:35:35.

Today more than ever I would like us to think about the innate goodness

:35:36.:35:40.

and solidarity of people in this country and in that vein I wonder if

:35:41.:35:44.

we can have a debate on the honours system. There is a lady in Hull,

:35:45.:35:52.

Jean Bishop, aged 94, who dresses up in a bee costume and has raised

:35:53.:35:58.

?117,000 for age UK and before her 95th birthday she wants to get to

:35:59.:36:04.

?200 for the charity. She has been put forward for others before and

:36:05.:36:09.

has not been in receipt of one. There is a 13-year-old little girl

:36:10.:36:15.

in Hull who has got a petition going and 3500 said she deserves another.

:36:16.:36:22.

The honourable lady has put her case eloquently and I think many of us

:36:23.:36:30.

will know of comparable examples of local heroes and heroines who have

:36:31.:36:36.

voluntarily given of their time, effort and money, often over many

:36:37.:36:39.

years, in the service of their fellow citizens. The best advice I

:36:40.:36:46.

can give is for the honourable lady to present a strongly argued

:36:47.:36:51.

persuasive case with as many other supporters as she can in Hull to the

:36:52.:36:57.

secretariat at the Cabinet Office in charge of making initial

:36:58.:37:04.

recommendations on honours. Can I associate myself and my

:37:05.:37:08.

constituents with the words of the Prime Minister, the leader and all

:37:09.:37:12.

other members about yesterday's events? Could I ask for a debate on

:37:13.:37:19.

the situation in Burundi? More than 1000 refugees a day it is reported

:37:20.:37:26.

of fleeing into Tanzania and while there is rightly a concentration on

:37:27.:37:30.

other countries suffering from food, insecurity and famine in part of

:37:31.:37:37.

Africa, I believe the Randy is being ignored. We need a debate urgently.

:37:38.:37:42.

I can assure my honourable friend the government is not ignoring the

:37:43.:37:49.

situation in Burundi. Considerable amounts of humanitarian assistance

:37:50.:37:53.

are being directed there through the Department for International

:37:54.:37:57.

Development. Clearly we do have to work both through international

:37:58.:38:03.

agencies, but also through the existing authorities in Burundi and

:38:04.:38:08.

that is not always straightforward, but I will highlight to the minister

:38:09.:38:15.

for Africa the comments made. Yesterday the British Government

:38:16.:38:22.

announced the intention to build another prison, this time in Port

:38:23.:38:27.

Talbot. This will lead to surplus places across Wales. Could we have a

:38:28.:38:36.

debate as to whether provision reflects Welsh requirements? This is

:38:37.:38:42.

something he will want to take up directly with Justice ministers but

:38:43.:38:46.

the purpose of the prison building programme is that we should have a

:38:47.:38:52.

new generation of modern prisons that really are fit for purpose,

:38:53.:38:57.

that can deliver a regime that is secure all but also because it is

:38:58.:39:03.

secure, provides greater opportunities for work and education

:39:04.:39:08.

that are so vital if we are to make a success of rehabilitation

:39:09.:39:13.

policies. This programme would free up older prisons, usually in city

:39:14.:39:18.

centres, that we ought to be phasing out now and which could mean a

:39:19.:39:22.

significant capital return for government which we can then invest

:39:23.:39:27.

in modern facilities. I too would like to put on record my

:39:28.:39:34.

thoughts are with the family and friends of PC Palmer and all those

:39:35.:39:38.

who suffered as a result of yesterday's events. New Wolf Parish

:39:39.:39:46.

Council in my constituency has written to the Transport Secretary

:39:47.:39:50.

expressing what they regard as a complete waste of money, a proposal

:39:51.:39:53.

by North East Lincolnshire Council to install traffic signals at toll

:39:54.:40:02.

bar roundabout in their parish of New Waltham. This is being carried

:40:03.:40:09.

out with government money. Could we have a debate on how local

:40:10.:40:12.

authorities spend the many aliens the government had to them?

:40:13.:40:22.

One of the important roles both of lower tier authorities like Parish

:40:23.:40:26.

councils and also of members of Parliament is to hold local

:40:27.:40:33.

authorities to account for their stewardship of scarce and finite

:40:34.:40:38.

resources of taxpayers' money. I am in no position to comment in detail

:40:39.:40:43.

about traffic lights at roundabouts in his constituency, but Caley he

:40:44.:40:53.

will not let this issue go. The cuts to personal independence

:40:54.:40:58.

payment explicitly exclude people applying for mobility support if the

:40:59.:41:02.

problem arises from psychological distress and that is despite the

:41:03.:41:07.

Prime Minister's commitment to treat mental-health problems on a par with

:41:08.:41:11.

physical health. I'm grateful we are going to have a debate but could I

:41:12.:41:16.

pressed him for a date? These cuts have already taken effect and it

:41:17.:41:20.

sounds as if the debate will be after the Easter recess.

:41:21.:41:27.

Can he give a firm date? I wanted to reassure him on the design of

:41:28.:41:31.

personal independence payments. It is at the core of the payments

:41:32.:41:36.

system that nonphysical conditions should be given the same recognition

:41:37.:41:41.

as physical and we can already see the working of that in the fact is a

:41:42.:41:46.

significantly higher proportion of people who have mental health issues

:41:47.:41:51.

receive the top rates of Pip, which was the case with DLA.

:41:52.:41:57.

May I also associate myself with all of the tributes that have been made.

:41:58.:42:02.

I think we have seen the house at its best in the proceedings.

:42:03.:42:05.

Ultimately our democracy will not be silenced. The Corby urgent care

:42:06.:42:11.

centre is a vital NHS service and I'm pre-is the local commissioning

:42:12.:42:14.

group has confirmed the doors will not close. -- I am pleased. Will he

:42:15.:42:22.

urged the clinical commissioning group to resolve some contractual

:42:23.:42:30.

issues to give constituents greater reassurance and to ensure we

:42:31.:42:34.

continue to have the quality of service we expect and of course, can

:42:35.:42:38.

we have a debate next week? I think he will have to to take his

:42:39.:42:43.

chance with adjournment debates on this but while decisions about the

:42:44.:42:48.

configuration of health services are taken possibly in the light of local

:42:49.:42:53.

circumstance, that commissioning groups do manage their relationships

:42:54.:42:59.

with contractors effectively so that local people can be assured of the

:43:00.:43:03.

decent service to which they are entitled.

:43:04.:43:11.

I want to associate myself with all the remarks and condolences that

:43:12.:43:14.

have been given so eloquently this morning and I particularly wanted to

:43:15.:43:19.

mention my colleague from Perth and North Perthshire, who mentioned

:43:20.:43:24.

going home. I am going home tonight and I am grateful to be doing so.

:43:25.:43:30.

Unfortunately I will miss a rally that has been raised quickly to

:43:31.:43:35.

support refugees we are welcoming very soon and against a proposed

:43:36.:43:40.

Scottish Defence League march in Wishaw against refugees. Could I

:43:41.:43:48.

also thank the honourable member, the backbench committee convener and

:43:49.:43:51.

Leader of the House for consideration of the changes to time

:43:52.:43:56.

in Westminster Hall debates on Tuesday the 18th? My debate is on

:43:57.:44:00.

the child maintenance service and I have received support from members

:44:01.:44:03.

across the house and it is important will stop I don't mind travelling on

:44:04.:44:10.

bank holiday Monday to get here, but I understand the difficulties many

:44:11.:44:15.

members across this chamber will have to get to this debate at

:44:16.:44:21.

9:30am, so I appreciate all efforts the Leader of the House has said he

:44:22.:44:23.

will look to do. We will do our best to accommodate

:44:24.:44:30.

the problem she has identified. Item three on today's order paper on

:44:31.:44:37.

the business for the house, there is reference to a motion being tabled

:44:38.:44:44.

in the name of the Prime Minister relating to exiting the EU and the

:44:45.:44:49.

environment, and this is not mentioned in the business statement.

:44:50.:44:53.

I wonder if the Leader of the House could clarify that, and in light of

:44:54.:44:57.

yesterday's events, could we have a debate on community cohesion and the

:44:58.:45:02.

prevent strategy? The answer is that yesterday's

:45:03.:45:10.

business was interrupted for the reasons we all know. That business

:45:11.:45:17.

on the pensions schemes spill has had to be rescheduled and

:45:18.:45:19.

conversations through the usual channels agree the slot on the 29th

:45:20.:45:21.

is the best way to manage this. I was surprised to receive a letter

:45:22.:45:32.

from the Minister of State for transport this week. My surprise was

:45:33.:45:37.

because it referred to work improvement on the M25 motorway,

:45:38.:45:42.

which is some distance from my constituency. I was even more

:45:43.:45:46.

surprised because I'd just written to the Secretary of State about a

:45:47.:45:50.

number of serious accidents at Switch Island. With the Leader of

:45:51.:45:56.

the House please remind the Secretary of State of the need to

:45:57.:46:01.

respond to my letter? There are serious accidents happening far too

:46:02.:46:07.

often. My constituents care about Switch Island, not the M25. All

:46:08.:46:11.

that's happened is a repeat of the idea that investment happens in the

:46:12.:46:15.

south-east of England at the expense of the North West. My right

:46:16.:46:21.

honourable friend the Secretary of State for Transport takes very

:46:22.:46:23.

seriously his responsibility to ensure that honourable members

:46:24.:46:28.

receive accurate and comprehensive replies to points they make about

:46:29.:46:35.

their constituencies. I will draw to the attention of the Secretary of

:46:36.:46:39.

State 's office the need for this reply to be sent. May I take this

:46:40.:46:47.

opportunity of thanking you, your staff and the way he conducted

:46:48.:46:51.

himself yesterday, and indeed to the Leader of the House and to the

:46:52.:46:54.

Sergeant of arms. As the chairman of the all-party peer group I would

:46:55.:46:59.

like to invite you all and your staff perhaps to share a great

:47:00.:47:04.

British pint and then to carry on at a later date. Place to be confirmed.

:47:05.:47:09.

Can we have a debate on the contribution of the brewing industry

:47:10.:47:12.

to the United Kingdom and its culture? I thank my honourable

:47:13.:47:18.

friend to his kind remarks. I think one of the remarkable things we've

:47:19.:47:22.

seen in the brewing industry in the last couple of decades has been the

:47:23.:47:27.

surge in the growth of small-scale Varese. I think it's a real tribute

:47:28.:47:33.

to the enterprise of the sector that we've seen microbreweries and craft

:47:34.:47:38.

breweries take-off in this way, and continuing to win new, discerning

:47:39.:47:45.

drinkers to customers. Can I put on record my thanks to the staff and

:47:46.:47:50.

all those outside of this House, members of the public, who sent

:47:51.:47:54.

their kind thoughts and wishes in the past 24 hours. It's been very

:47:55.:47:58.

touching and I would like to thank them. I'd also like to thank my

:47:59.:48:04.

voice to the chorus of members who are calling for more time to debate

:48:05.:48:08.

the government's new funding formula, or as we call it funding

:48:09.:48:13.

education cuts. I've had head teachers across Norwich and Norfolk

:48:14.:48:17.

make the unprecedented step of sending letters to the parents of

:48:18.:48:24.

children, talking to them about the impending budget crisis. At a time

:48:25.:48:28.

when financial resources, precious financial resources, are being spent

:48:29.:48:33.

on more free schools and grammar schools, rather than on those

:48:34.:48:39.

schools that we already have. 25 out of 31 schools will be receiving

:48:40.:48:43.

funding cuts in my constituency and I would like to see if we could have

:48:44.:48:49.

more time to debate this. As I've already said today, Mr Speaker, the

:48:50.:48:52.

Secretary of State will be considering the recently concluded

:48:53.:48:57.

consultation into the new funding formula. She will be announcing her

:48:58.:49:02.

proposals in due course, that would be the appropriate time for her to

:49:03.:49:05.

be questioned offer any debate to take place. Mr Speaker, earlier this

:49:06.:49:12.

month I was honoured to open two new business premises in my constituency

:49:13.:49:18.

further data centres and inspiration health care. Also earlier this month

:49:19.:49:23.

I was pleased to visit two new facilities at Crawley Hospital, a

:49:24.:49:27.

new clinical assessment unit and a new 26 bed ward. Can we have

:49:28.:49:32.

consideration of the importance of further engendering economic growth

:49:33.:49:36.

as this government is doing, so we can afford better public services?

:49:37.:49:40.

My honourable friend makes a very important point. You cannot

:49:41.:49:44.

distribute wealth and less business has created it in the first place.

:49:45.:49:50.

The job of government, and this government's commitment, is to

:49:51.:49:54.

foster the economic climate in which businessmen in every part of the UK,

:49:55.:50:01.

men and women in every part of the UK, can help to generate economic

:50:02.:50:07.

growth and drive the numbers of those in employment up even higher

:50:08.:50:11.

than the record levels they have now reached. I would like to take this

:50:12.:50:20.

opportunity to express my happiness to share in the sentiments that have

:50:21.:50:24.

been expressed today, the condolences we've sent from this

:50:25.:50:27.

House and my thanks to all the staff yesterday. I've been recently quite

:50:28.:50:35.

concerned, Mr Speaker, by comments I've seen on social media regarding

:50:36.:50:41.

a UK Parliamentary petition. Where we have people on social media

:50:42.:50:45.

boasting they've signed this petition 2000 times. I wondered if

:50:46.:50:49.

the Leader of the House today can set out for the reassurance of this

:50:50.:50:53.

House what measures are in place to ensure that signatories of any

:50:54.:50:56.

Parliamentary petitions are valid, so we can all have confidence that

:50:57.:51:01.

these petitions have integrity and are signed only once, and only by

:51:02.:51:06.

those entitled to do so, given that they often influence what MPs debate

:51:07.:51:12.

in this place. Mr Speaker, there is a system in place to try to check

:51:13.:51:21.

the risk that there bogus signatories to petitions. Clearly,

:51:22.:51:25.

given the pace at which information technology moves, both systems need

:51:26.:51:32.

to be updated from time to time. I know that the petitions committee

:51:33.:51:36.

and the House authorities are very keen to act on the basis of any

:51:37.:51:40.

evidence of malpractice such as the honourable lady has described.

:51:41.:51:46.

Following the horrific events of yesterday, the Prime Minister said

:51:47.:51:51.

in this House today that she wanted all MPs to learn life-saving first

:51:52.:51:55.

aid skills. With that in mind, can we revisit the debate on compulsory

:51:56.:52:00.

first aid education in schools, which was the subject of a private

:52:01.:52:04.

members Bill and was sadly talked out by members on the government

:52:05.:52:10.

benches. I think my right honourable friend the Prime Minister in courage

:52:11.:52:16.

to people to acquire those skills. Whether the best way to do that is

:52:17.:52:22.

through making it a compulsory part of the school curriculum is a

:52:23.:52:28.

slightly different question. It's a perfectly reasonable element of the

:52:29.:52:34.

debate but allocating time to such skills lessons would inevitably mean

:52:35.:52:38.

either prolonging the school day or taking time away from other

:52:39.:52:41.

activities. I think the government's general approach is that we would

:52:42.:52:49.

allow for local schools and head teachers for these things. I'd like

:52:50.:52:56.

to associate myself and my constituents with everything that's

:52:57.:52:59.

been said this morning on the horrific attack yesterday. It goes

:53:00.:53:02.

to show that evil will never prevail. I recently met with a

:53:03.:53:10.

German national who has lived in Scotland for nine years. She's about

:53:11.:53:18.

applying for residency due to 2011 changes to the rules on

:53:19.:53:21.

comprehensive sickness insurance. Can we clarify the situation for EU

:53:22.:53:25.

nationals like her who are concerned about their future? This is a matter

:53:26.:53:31.

which the honourable gentleman could raise on behalf of his constituents

:53:32.:53:35.

in any of the frequent opportunities we have to debate European matters.

:53:36.:53:41.

But he, I hope, will understand that the government's objective is that

:53:42.:53:45.

at a very early stage in the forthcoming negotiations we should

:53:46.:53:49.

seek to ensure agreement with the 27 other members of the EU that each

:53:50.:53:56.

other's nationals should continue to have rights of residents and other

:53:57.:54:00.

connected rights, if they have been lawfully established. Could he and

:54:01.:54:06.

the Environment Secretary consider the need for a debate on the zoo

:54:07.:54:15.

licensing act of 1981? The alarming inadequacy of which has been exposed

:54:16.:54:22.

by the South Lakes safari zoo in my constituency, which you may have

:54:23.:54:26.

seen in the news. There is a catalogue of reasons why this act,

:54:27.:54:31.

these licensing regulations need to be modernised. It hasn't been

:54:32.:54:34.

debated for many years. I think the last time was four years ago in the

:54:35.:54:41.

Other Place. Please can he consider the need for an urgent debate on

:54:42.:54:46.

this. I did read the newspaper reports about what seems to have

:54:47.:54:52.

been a pretty appalling case of mismanagement and of the

:54:53.:54:55.

ill-treatment of a large number of animals at that zoo. There will be

:54:56.:55:00.

questions on Thursday the 20th of April but I think probably the

:55:01.:55:04.

honourable gentleman might also want to seek an adjournment debate either

:55:05.:55:11.

in the chamber or Westminster Hall. The Leader of the House keep saying

:55:12.:55:14.

people can apply the debates in Westminster Hall, but what's the

:55:15.:55:17.

point when the minister responses are so woefully short? There seems

:55:18.:55:23.

to be a problem where the 11am on a Wednesday slot. The average

:55:24.:55:26.

ministerial response lasts for ten minutes and the debates are

:55:27.:55:29.

finishing early. I understand ministers need to rush up here for

:55:30.:55:33.

Prime Minister's Questions but surely these debates, which are

:55:34.:55:38.

important to our constituents, should a decent response from the

:55:39.:55:43.

ministers. I think a courteous and decent response can also be pithy

:55:44.:55:50.

and succinct. I have to say the days when I had to reply to numerous

:55:51.:55:58.

Westminster Hall debate, we always seemed to need additional time to

:55:59.:56:02.

accommodate the many speeches. I often found my remaining time at the

:56:03.:56:07.

end of the debate was squeezed hard including by a spokesman for his

:56:08.:56:12.

party. Speaker, can I associate myself with the tributes paid

:56:13.:56:18.

regarding yesterday's tragic events. It should send a strong message to

:56:19.:56:22.

the Secretary of State for Education when members on this side like

:56:23.:56:27.

myself are entirely united with the honourable member for Shipley on the

:56:28.:56:30.

issue of formula funding for education. Can I say to him that

:56:31.:56:36.

many schools are facing severe deficits and need to be able to plan

:56:37.:56:41.

ahead urgently. I hear what he says about the consultation only ending

:56:42.:56:45.

yesterday, can I urge to say to the Secretary of State we need an early

:56:46.:56:48.

statement so that schools can plan ahead. I know that my right

:56:49.:56:55.

honourable friend is aware of the need for headteachers and governing

:56:56.:56:58.

bodies to be able to plan with the honourable gentleman. I will make

:56:59.:57:05.

sure that she is aware of the opinions that have been expressed

:57:06.:57:11.

this morning. In light of the Prime Minister's speech last night,

:57:12.:57:15.

stating the UK sets an example for advancing freedoms including freedom

:57:16.:57:23.

of religious belief, and further the FCO October conference the freedom

:57:24.:57:29.

to pursue religious belief, with the Leader of the House agreed to a

:57:30.:57:31.

statement by the minister responsible to confirm how

:57:32.:57:46.

FCO and DFID are promoting religious freedoms. I would encourage him to

:57:47.:57:53.

put those questions to those departments. I can ensure him from

:57:54.:57:59.

my own fairly recent experience of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

:58:00.:58:03.

that human rights including religious freedom is something that

:58:04.:58:06.

is taken very seriously throughout our network of posts abroad and in

:58:07.:58:12.

London. It is also sometimes the case that persecuted religious

:58:13.:58:17.

minorities themselves prefer that their plight to be addressed in the

:58:18.:58:22.

context of the expression of broader concerns about human rights,

:58:23.:58:26.

precisely because they don't want to be further singled out for

:58:27.:58:31.

additional persecution. So there is an element of judgment in how we go

:58:32.:58:35.

about this task but the centrality of that to the FCO and DfID is

:58:36.:58:44.

something about which I hope I can give him some firm assurance. Last

:58:45.:58:47.

week the National Institute for clinical excellence issued

:58:48.:58:54.

guidelines which introduced a financial cup on access to

:58:55.:58:58.

medicines. Major research charities warn that lives will be lost because

:58:59.:59:03.

of this new rationing system -- financial cap. Should there not have

:59:04.:59:06.

been a statement about such an important change of policy? And

:59:07.:59:10.

could we have a debate in the absence of such a statement? It's

:59:11.:59:16.

important that decisions about individual medicines are taken by a

:59:17.:59:26.

body like nice where it is clinical judgment rather than political

:59:27.:59:32.

pressure or a question of who has the most effective group of

:59:33.:59:37.

supporters to lobby on their behalf. I've lost the Department of Health

:59:38.:59:39.

to write to the honourable gentleman.

:59:40.:59:46.

Can I associate myself with expressions of sympathy today and

:59:47.:59:53.

appreciation expressed for those who keep us safe, including brain police

:59:54.:59:59.

officers. I wonder if we can have an urgent debate on the Chennai six,

:00:00.:00:10.

one of the men forced in incarceration in an Indian mental

:00:11.:00:17.

hospital and the fact the list are concerned is not able to meet

:00:18.:00:24.

terrified family members to reassure them? I met the question of the

:00:25.:00:29.

Chennai six is something that has been raised with the Indian

:00:30.:00:33.

authorities at the highest political level as well is repeatedly at

:00:34.:00:40.

official level is. I will ask my honourable friend the member for

:00:41.:00:44.

Reading West as the minister responsible for policy towards India

:00:45.:00:49.

to write to the honourable lady. I have a constituent who worked for

:00:50.:00:55.

the Royal Mail for 28 years and loved his job at 15 years ago he

:00:56.:01:02.

overcame the adversity of losing his daughter who was diagnosed with

:01:03.:01:07.

terminal cancer. The Royal Mail manager at that time wanted to sack

:01:08.:01:12.

him, which is unbelievable. He has since recovered and won postman of

:01:13.:01:17.

the year a few years later but 15 years later, he was off work due to

:01:18.:01:23.

muscle injuries and the Royal Mail has forced an ill-health retirement

:01:24.:01:27.

settlement on him after being off just four months. His appeal process

:01:28.:01:33.

is ongoing. The Royal Mail has refused to engage with my office but

:01:34.:01:40.

I am aware the government still has a minister with responsibility is

:01:41.:01:45.

listed as Royal Mail. Will he make a statement outlining what role that

:01:46.:01:48.

minister can play and what assistance can be given for a

:01:49.:01:55.

fantastic employee? I am sure the honourable gentleman

:01:56.:01:59.

would not expect me to comment on the particular case particularly as

:02:00.:02:04.

he has said it is subject to an appeal, presumably through an

:02:05.:02:10.

employment tribunal. I will draw his concerns to the attention of the

:02:11.:02:14.

minister responsible for Royal Mail, but I think it would not be a tall

:02:15.:02:22.

usual for government ministers to choose to intervene in individual

:02:23.:02:28.

employment cases. Royal Mail exists as a corporate entity and they do

:02:29.:02:31.

have to take management decisions about their personnel without being

:02:32.:02:41.

second-guessed by ministers. The Leader of the House repeated

:02:42.:02:44.

claim ministers have made that more people with mental-health problems

:02:45.:02:50.

are supported by Pip than DLA. The mental health charity Mind made it

:02:51.:02:56.

clear 55% of people with mental health had awards on DLA. How can I

:02:57.:03:02.

get the record corrected and push him for a debate on the new

:03:03.:03:08.

regulations? The pursuit of a debate has

:03:09.:03:09.

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