23/03/2017 Business Questions


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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


colleagues of the Parliamentary health and well-being service based


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Yemen. That debate having been determined by the backbench business


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Can I thank colleagues who were extremely patient yesterday and the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


concern that the convention has not been followed into particular EDM


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


distress are denied access to additional support under these


registration. Epilepsy action said they were deeply concerned about the


regulations and how it affects people with epilepsy. For the


students, the inflation linked rise representative body of percent


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


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


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


opposition, preventing an effective opposition by controlling the


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


very important statutory instruments? As article 50 is


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


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


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


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


allowed parliament to scrutinise the secondary legislation? Could we have


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


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


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


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


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


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


Tory candidates for mayor and the current editor of the Evening


Standard is a former Tory Chancellor. More importantly, there


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


broadcaster. Another manifesto promise broken while the


consultation closed yesterday on the new funding formula, the government


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


pension and National Insurance contributions. He could amount to


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


are the last business questions before the Easter recess so can


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


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


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


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


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


the honourable lady for her kind words and associate myself


unreservedly both with her final remarks and with the tributes that


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


discussions will continue through the usual channels about the precise


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


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


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


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


that I would expect the repeal bill to include some secondary


legislative powers, the scope, the definition of those secondary


legislative powers will of course themselves be subject to the full


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


to be agreed by both Houses of Parliament through the normal


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


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


national funding formula to which she made particular objection has


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


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


will not be considering the responses to local authorities,


schools and others to the consultation and coming forward with


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


common ground between political parties that the existing funding


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


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


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


school in a different local authority despite the basic costs


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


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


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


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


think he has probably been airbrushed out that the current


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


been robust strongly held and strongly expressed views about the


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


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


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


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


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


business as usual. It is difficult considering what happened yesterday


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


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


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


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


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


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


constituency find that they are paying ?400 but receiving the


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


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


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


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


demonstration that our democracy and free society will not be disrupted


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


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


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


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


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


apprenticeship levy, the situation she has described in Nottinghamshire


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


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


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


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


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


so well yesterday, and the leadership that he should yesterday


in this chamber. They are continuing business just as


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


memory of Keith Palmer. The Scottish Parliament suspended its business


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


determine the future of political arrangements for Scotland. This will


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


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


democratic voice of the Scottish Parliament there can be no good


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


as we have today. I thank the honourable gentleman for


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


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


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


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


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


Parliament from which this is delegated legislation. So that power


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


time providing assurances additional support is going for those whom it


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


time for a second referendum, particularly when the 2014


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


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


United Kingdom Government and all three devolved Governments to work


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


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


European negotiations. Thank you Mr Speaker. Can I first


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


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


the Deputy Speaker. They both performed magnificently in


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


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


the Government will scrap its current proposals, which are frankly


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


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


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


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


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


how quickly it will take for the Government to realise these


proposals are unjustifiable and unacceptable. Can I thank my


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


security personnel for their activities yesterday. There is one


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


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


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


compliance, patience, forebearence and fortitude while the situation


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


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


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


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


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


debates next Thursday on animal welfare and of course the prerecess


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


have a Backbench Business Committee debate scheduled for then, which


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


aingually have to leave her constituency -- who will actually


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


on a Monday. Which is a bank holiday.


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


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


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


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


committee have any notice of allocated time in the weeks


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


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


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


easier for him and for the honourable lady.


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


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


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


early statement on the position of the promised consultation document


on cast discrimination which will allow the Hindu community to put


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


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


raises a matter which is very important to his constituents and


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


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


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


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


which is under pressure from many departments at the moment.


Can I welcome the leaders assurances about support for staff after


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


said about the commission itself under your chairmanmanship, looking


at lessons learnted, and particularly perhaps into the issues


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


of the Taylor Review before it actually completed publication? So


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


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


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


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


The honourable lady makes a perfectly reasonable point. Although


there is of course nothing to stop individual Right Honourable and


honourable members from making representations to Matthew Taylor. I


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


itself mentions the importance of maintaining fish wires in the River


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


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


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


that has been announced recently will enable that development to be


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


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


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


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


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


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


we'll have on European issues in forthcoming months.


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


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


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


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


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


symbolism of this place and the security considerations of


dispersing MPs and peers around Parliament Square.


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


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


is at the forefront of the consideration by the Parliamentary


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


long and complex litigation in order to get the compensation they


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


account. I have represented this House for


seven years on the Nato Parliamentary assembly and during


the lockdown yesterday there were messages coming from all over the


Nato Parliamentary family offering solidarity and support including the


headquarters in Brussels, where they had commemorated the attack on


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


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


and understanding, that were so stressed during the statement from


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


opportunities to question, by the Church Commissioners statement in


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


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


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


and stronger expressions of solidarity which honourable members


and the government have received from democracies and elected


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


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


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


may be that she is successful in securing a Westminster Hall


opportunity. Negative SIs should for


noncontroversial matters so returning to normal, in relation to


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


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


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


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


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


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


exit from the European Union is something I and other business


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


secretariat at the Cabinet Office in charge of making initial


recommendations on honours. Can I associate myself and my


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


situation in Burundi. Considerable amounts of humanitarian assistance


are being directed there through the Department for International


Development. Clearly we do have to work both through international


agencies, but also through the existing authorities in Burundi and


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


for Africa the comments made. Yesterday the British Government


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


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


debate as to whether provision reflects Welsh requirements? This is


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


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


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


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


secure, provides greater opportunities for work and education


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


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


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


significant capital return for government which we can then invest


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


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


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


Council in my constituency has written to the Transport Secretary


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


by North East Lincolnshire Council to install traffic signals at toll


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


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


authorities spend the many aliens the government had to them?


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


councils and also of members of Parliament is to hold local


authorities to account for their stewardship of scarce and finite


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


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


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


payment explicitly exclude people applying for mobility support if the


problem arises from psychological distress and that is despite the


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


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


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


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


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


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


system that nonphysical conditions should be given the same recognition


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


significantly higher proportion of people who have mental health issues


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


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


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


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


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


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


urged the clinical commissioning group to resolve some contractual


issues to give constituents greater reassurance and to ensure we


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


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


chance with adjournment debates on this but while decisions about the


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


circumstance, that commissioning groups do manage their relationships


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


decent service to which they are entitled.


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


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


mention my colleague from Perth and North Perthshire, who mentioned


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


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


support refugees we are welcoming very soon and against a proposed


Scottish Defence League march in Wishaw against refugees. Could I


also thank the honourable member, the backbench committee convener and


Leader of the House for consideration of the changes to time


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


the child maintenance service and I have received support from members


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


prevent strategy? The answer is that yesterday's


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


on the pensions schemes spill has had to be rescheduled and


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


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


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


because it referred to work improvement on the M25 motorway,


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


honourable friend the Secretary of State for Transport takes very


seriously his responsibility to ensure that honourable members


receive accurate and comprehensive replies to points they make about


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


make the unprecedented step of sending letters to the parents of


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


when financial resources, precious financial resources, are being spent


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


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


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


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


Secretary of State will be considering the recently concluded


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


consideration of the importance of further engendering economic growth


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


My honourable friend makes a very important point. You cannot


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


the risk that there bogus signatories to petitions. Clearly,


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


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


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


evidence of malpractice such as the honourable lady has described.


Following the horrific events of yesterday, the Prime Minister said


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


debate but allocating time to such skills lessons would inevitably mean


either prolonging the school day or taking time away from other


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


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


to associate myself and my constituents with everything that's


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


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


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


applying for residency due to 2011 changes to the rules on


comprehensive sickness insurance. Can we clarify the situation for EU


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


which the honourable gentleman could raise on behalf of his constituents


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


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


at a very early stage in the forthcoming negotiations we should


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


been a pretty appalling case of mismanagement and of the


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


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


honourable gentleman might also want to seek an adjournment debate either


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


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


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


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


ministerial response lasts for ten minutes and the debates are


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


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


important to our constituents, should a decent response from the


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


honourable friend is aware of the need for headteachers and governing


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


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


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


stating the UK sets an example for advancing freedoms including freedom


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


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


statement by the minister responsible to confirm how


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


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


my own fairly recent experience of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office


that human rights including religious freedom is something that


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


London. It is also sometimes the case that persecuted religious


minorities themselves prefer that their plight to be addressed in the


context of the expression of broader concerns about human rights,


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


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


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


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


week the National Institute for clinical excellence issued


guidelines which introduced a financial cup on access to


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


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


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


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


important that decisions about individual medicines are taken by a


body like nice where it is clinical judgment rather than political


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


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


to write to the honourable gentleman.


Can I associate myself with expressions of sympathy today and


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


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


one of the men forced in incarceration in an Indian mental


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


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


Chennai six is something that has been raised with the Indian


authorities at the highest political level as well is repeatedly at


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


Reading West as the minister responsible for policy towards India


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


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


overcame the adversity of losing his daughter who was diagnosed with


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


minister can play and what assistance can be given for a


fantastic employee? I am sure the honourable gentleman


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


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


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


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


usual for government ministers to choose to intervene in individual


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


have to take management decisions about their personnel without being


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


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


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


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


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


regulations? The pursuit of a debate has


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