20/04/2017 Business Questions


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20/04/2017

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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fellow, we can hear from him later. There will be some anticipation in

:00:00.:00:00.

the House over what he's planning to raise! Business question. Thank you.

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Could the Leader of the House give us the forthcoming business for next

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week? The business for next week will be as follows. Monday 24th of

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April, consideration of a business of the House motion followed by all

:00:21.:00:27.

stages of the Northern Ireland ministerial appointments and

:00:28.:00:32.

regional rates bill, followed by, if necessary, consideration of Lords

:00:33.:00:36.

amendments. Tuesday the 25th of April, committee of the whole House

:00:37.:00:44.

and the finance number two bill, followed by consideration of Lords

:00:45.:00:50.

amendments to the health service medical supplies costs bill,

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followed by, if necessary, consideration of Lords amendments.

:00:54.:00:58.

Wednesday 26th of April, a motion to approve a ways and means resolution

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on the digital economy Bill, followed by consideration of Lords

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amendments to this. Followed by, consideration of Lords amendments to

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the criminal of finances Bill, followed by, if necessary,

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consideration of Lords amendments. Thursday 27 people, consideration of

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Lords amendments. A House may also be asked to consider any Lords

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messages that may be received. The House will not adjourn until Royal

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assent has been received to all acts. Since this is probably going

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to be the last regular weekly business statement in this

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parliament, could I simply take the opportunity to thank first of all

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the staff of the House for the service they provide every one of us

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throughout the course of Parliament, and wish them a happy opportunity to

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put their feet up a little bit over the forthcoming weeks, and secondly,

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to wish particular good fortune to those honourable members on all

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sides who have decided that they will not seek election. Each of them

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in their own way has striven to represent the interests of their

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constituents during the years here. Each of them has brought particular

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experiences, particular political commitments, to the causes for which

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they have fought, and all of them have contributed to the building of

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democracy in this country, and I would like to place our banks on

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record. Can I thank the Leader of the House for the business of the

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last week, and I will save my thanks to the end of my response. It was an

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eventful parliament not least because of the death of PC Keith

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Palmer, Lesley Rhodes, and now Andrea Christie, and others who were

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cathedral said at the memorial injured. As

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service, a clock that counts the service, a clock that counts the

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minutes, hours and years of lives. And of course, our beloved colleague

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Jo Cox, who should be fighting this election. We need to remember them

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as we campaign for a country that is tolerant and just. The Prime

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Minister wants stability and to strengthen her hand in negotiations,

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but blames the opposition parties for calling a general election. But

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it is her dithering and confusion and watching her back, firstly what

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an arrogant statement she should presume to know the outcome of an

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election. Secondly, what has her government been doing for the last

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nine months, and thirdly can the Leader of the House confirmed that

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if the government wins, we're entering into a rolling programme of

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snap during rogue ... We live under the rule of law, and parliament

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should have a say. This is democracy. Then there was silence

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from the government since July 2016. Her Majesty's opposition called for

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a report on Brexit, silence and a speech to Lancaster House. But not

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to this House. I found you very personable, but I think others are

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scared of making a statement in this House!

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LAUGHTER Only when you say or do! Only then setting out 12 points of

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principle. Finally, the White Paper in February. Her Majesty is

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opposition insisted there should be a final thought on the deal, and

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force the government to agree because we are representative

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democracy. As the prime ministers sat in front of the great portrait

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of Robert Walpole twos signed the letter to Donald Tusk, she forgot to

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mention Gibraltar, 96 of whom voted to remain. No wonder she forgot to

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mention them. The government seems to be speaking for the 52%, while

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Her Majesty's opposition will balance the views of the 52% and to

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speak for the country. The confusion lies within her party, not the

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opposition. Of course the government wants a general election because it

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needs a new manifesto. Everyday the government breaks the manifesto

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pledge. Grammar schools, no mention of... In case of National Insurance

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contribution for self-employed workers. Ruled out of the manifesto

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then became government policy, then a U-turn. The manifesto said nothing

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cannot make a decision for the good vulnerable, yet there are cars

:06:18.:06:45.

looks like? Because we on this side of the country. So, could we have

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looks like? Because we on this side of the House... For students, no

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increase in tuition fees. For society, an investment in public

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services or local government grants are based on needs for local

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services, protecting police forces and libraries, not special deals for

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special friends. Ensuring small businesses thrive, supporting those

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who care for others by an increase in carers allowance, and protecting

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pensions and compensating women affected by an increase in the state

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pension. Policies for the seven stages of life, that is what the

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country needs. No dithering or confusion, but vision and strong

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leadership. Her Majesty is opposition and government will work

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for a tolerant, fare and dynamic United Kingdom. Finally, to echo

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what the Leader of the House said, can I thank all of the House staff

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for the brilliant supported me, you, Mr Speaker and your office, the

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Leader of the House, his erstwhile deputy and his office blogger help,

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my office, and everyone who has made my job easier, including my Chief

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Whip, who tells me to stop the jokes! If

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enough can I also mention the fact that tomorrow with a Majesty her

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Queen's 91st birthday, one that she also shares with the honourable

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member for Gateshead. It's a significant day. If he doesn't mind

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me saying... If he doesn't mind me saying it, it's his 60th. And can I

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say that rights oh, the honourable member as well. I won't say what the

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age is, if she doesn't mind. 21! As are we all. And finally, to echo

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what the leader of the houses, to all those people who are standing

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down, who have given their life to public service, thank them all. And

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finally, it's been an absolute privilege to be the Shadow Leader of

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the House. Can I associate myself both with the honourable lady's

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the tribute she paid at the start of the tribute she paid at the start

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colleague Jo Cox and I hope it is her remarks, both to those who lost

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colleague Jo Cox and I hope it is not long in the life of the new

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parliament before the permanent memorial to Jo Cox can take its

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place in the House of Commons, I know that is something that will be

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supported by and welcomed by every single member of his house and the

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next House Commons as well. I join her, obviously, in wishing that many

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happy returns to Her Majesty and also to the honourable member for

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Gateshead and my right honourable friend, the Member for animation. I

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can say as my right honourable friend's constituency neighbour that

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whatever number may be pinned to the years, nothing diminishes her vigour

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or commitment to working on behalf of her constituents. And I have

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equally, like the honourable lady, always enjoyed and appreciated my

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relationship with my other constituency neighbour, The Right

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Honourable member for Buckingham and indeed, following the last boundary

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change in the Buckingham constituency, I have a particular

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interest in the outcome. The honourable lady... I think if the

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honourable gentleman peruses Mr Speaker's previous election

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material, he may find the answer he is seeking. The honourable lady

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asked me a number of questions. I have two say to her that when it

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comes to Gibraltar, the front bench really does have a very short

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memory. People in Gibraltar have not forgotten how the last Labour

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Government tried to sell that territory down the river, how they

:11:23.:11:29.

sought a joint sovereignty agreement, something that was

:11:30.:11:33.

rejected by the people of Gibraltar by a margin of well over 90% in a

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subsequent referendum. She also made a number of assertions about

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policies that will, I'm sure, be debated in the country in the weeks

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to come. I would simply say to her this - that I think all of us in the

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House, whatever political perspective we bring to these

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matters, want to see public services of our kind in which we can all take

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pride and which we think and work effectively for our constituents who

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are vulnerable and in need of help. It is the belief of this Government

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and this party that the foundation for effective public services has to

:12:22.:12:30.

be a strong and growing economy, and the plans put forward by the right

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honourable gentleman, the Leader of the Opposition, would render any

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such chaotic Government incapable of funding public services because they

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would have bankrupted the British economy, raised taxes on ordinary

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working families and piled yet more public debt onto the next

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generation, a betrayal of young people. I would say to her finally

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this- she said she looked forward to the Leader of the Opposition being

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in a position to form a Government and yet we know that three quarters

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of her own Parliamentary colleagues had no confidence in his ability to

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continue as the leader of the Labour Party. I think that very few Labour

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members of this outgoing parliament will be able to stand up and with a

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straight face say that they really have confidence that the Leader of

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the Opposition should be entrusted with the Government and leadership

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of this country. I should just advise the House, pursuant to what

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the Leader of the House said about our late and esteemed colleague Jo

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Cox, that the memorial to her had been scheduled to be installed in

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the chamber next month. That date fell within what will now be the

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election campaign and therefore a rescheduling is essential, but I

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would want the House to know that this matter was discussed by

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relevant colleagues, the Jo Cox foundation and me yesterday and it

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is fully intended that the installation will take place very

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soon. Mr Speaker, notwithstanding my advanced years, I have appeared to

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have gained no more wisdom because I'm going to ask the Leader of the

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House for a debate on my favourite subject, and your favourite subject

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know that, and the Leader of the House's favourite subject, HS2, but

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I do think we need to consider whether we can have an emergency

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debate on hay jested next week because the boss of HS2 David

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Higgins, in evidence to the transport select committee

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yesterday, indicated that their failure to consider conflicts of

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interest led to the fiasco of a key contract withdrawing from a ?170

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million contract. I want to know who is going to take responsibility for

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this, as it is a massive project, the largest infrastructure project

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in this country and I also think we need to examine whether senior

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management is fit for their role and should be in charge of such large

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when we all going to be away from when we all going to be away from

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this place and not able to scrutinise it. Could we have an

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emergency debate next week, please? My honourable friend is quite right

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to pursue this matter that is of great importance to her constituents

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and mine and those in other constituency is along the proposed

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line of route. Clearly the failures of juju religions that Sir David

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Higgins acknowledged had taken place ought not to have happened. I'm

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therefore glad that our honourable friend the Secretary of State for

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Transport made it very clear in his evidence to the transport select

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committee yesterday that he gave a very high priority to the issue of

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fair and transparent procurement within HS2 and within all such

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projects for which he has responsibility.

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Can I... This will be the last business arts questions are very

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parliament, it has been a pleasure working with the right honourable

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gentleman and not extend that to the honourable leader and I will give my

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thanks at the end of my contribution. Could we have a big

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shout out for all of these members of Parliament that are competing in

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the London Marathon on Saturday, particularly my honourable friend,

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who has the distinction of being the first SNP member of Parliament to be

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competing in the London Marathon. It is on Sunday, he is shouting. This

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sometime over the weekend, Mr Speaker. Can I just say, high pity

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her political opponents when she laps on the leaflet run during the

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general election. We have to have an urgent statement on the status of

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all of the Conservative members of Parliament currently under police

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investigation for electoral fraud. It seems there may be up to two

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dozen Conservative MPs facing the possibility of being prosecuted

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while we are in the middle of an election campaign. The public

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deserves to know what will happen under these circumstances that will

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it be possible for them to continue as candidates in this general

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election if that was to pass? A lot of people suspect with the first

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charging decision to be made on the 20th of May, this is the real reason

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for the snap election and we need to hear from the Government if this

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played any feature in the deciding of determining this date of

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election. I would like to hear from the Leader of the House on this

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issue. And can we have a debate about debates, and particularly our

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Prime Minister who seems fair to participate in the television

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variety. She unilaterally called this election but will not debate

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with other litter colour balance and it is absolutely right that

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broadcasters are considering empty chairing the prime ministers a

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maximum embarrassment is achieved. And finally, I wish members of

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Parliament, nearly all members of parliament, a good election and can

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I also pay my tributes to the members of Parliament who will be

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standing down. And also to thank the staff who have served us diligently

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during the course of these past two years, to you and your office Mr

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Speaker and I echo the words of the honourable lady. I think as we leave

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today, we all remember Jo Cox and wish she was out there on the stumps

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fighting with us for the election and it is so tragic that it has been

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taken away from this House. I join the honourable gentleman in wishing

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every success both to his colleague, the honourable lady from Livingston,

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and to all colleagues from all political parties in the House as

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they make their final preparations for the London Marathon on Sunday. I

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am sure the honourable gentleman is right in suggesting that the

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Marathon training will serve them all in good stead for the seven

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weeks that now beckon us all. It may give the rest of us the opportunity

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to wear out some shoe leather as well, though not I suspect quite as

:19:31.:19:36.

well as well have been done by those competing on Sunday. And I hope as

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well all those members are successful in raising large sums of

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money for the various charities for which they are supporting in the

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marathon. The honourable gentleman made a serious point to me about the

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police investigations. I want to reiterate, Mr Speaker, what the

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Prime Minister said yesterday, that we stand behind all our candidates

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at the forthcoming election, who will be out campaigning for a

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strong, stable Government in the national interest. A number of

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police forces have conducted investigations and many have been

:20:12.:20:15.

dropped. It is right these matters are investigated properly but the

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battle bus was directed by the National party, as was the case with

:20:20.:20:24.

other political parties, and we are confident that individual colleagues

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acted properly. First way I commend my right honourable friend for being

:20:32.:20:35.

an exemplary Leader of the House. He is widely regarded as someone of

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impeccable integrity and he has conducted the office impeccably

:20:40.:20:44.

during this parliament and I hope nothing will change. May I also just

:20:45.:20:52.

draw his attention and put down a marker about select committee

:20:53.:20:56.

staffing. We have one double staff, they work incredibly hard, but the

:20:57.:21:01.

committee specialists tend to change too often. This doesn't happen in

:21:02.:21:05.

the library, where specialists sometimes remain in post for a

:21:06.:21:09.

decade or more and this would strengthen the role of select

:21:10.:21:11.

committees if we could look at changing the nature of this tapping,

:21:12.:21:17.

rather than the turbulence we put up with at the moment -- of this

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staffing. I appreciate this is for the next parliament but I wonder if

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he could leave something on his file to remind him when he gets back. I'm

:21:24.:21:29.

grateful to my honourable friend for his kind remarks. Clearly there is a

:21:30.:21:34.

balance to be struck between the value of continuity that my

:21:35.:21:38.

honourable friend described and also, on the other side of the

:21:39.:21:43.

balance, the need to ensure that individuals have the opportunity to

:21:44.:21:49.

develop their careers in service through a variety of different

:21:50.:21:52.

experiences and occupations, but I will make a note and whether it is

:21:53.:21:57.

high or somebody else who has these duties when the new parliament

:21:58.:22:01.

assembles, I'm sure they will want to take a close look at this. I'm

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very grateful, Mr Speaker. The backbench business committee in this

:22:09.:22:11.

Parliament has concluded its business and I'm very grateful to

:22:12.:22:16.

the Leader of the House as in this last Parliamentary session, we have

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had our full allocation of backbench time and we are very grateful for

:22:21.:22:26.

that. We have offered outstanding debate applications which are lying

:22:27.:22:29.

unheard and if it is all right with the Leader of the House, I will ask

:22:30.:22:35.

our committee Clerk to write to his office to seek an airing of those

:22:36.:22:37.

debates in the new parliament, possibly before the time when the

:22:38.:22:46.

new backbench business and new parliament is established, because

:22:47.:22:49.

that happened in the last Parliament, General debates put down

:22:50.:22:52.

by the Leader of the House and some of those subjects could be debated

:22:53.:22:56.

in that time. Mr Speaker, could I also place thanks on record to the

:22:57.:23:01.

members of the committee, the ever presents, the members for Harrow

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East, Paisley and Renfrewshire North, Birmingham and Yardley, later

:23:08.:23:11.

arrivals from Torbay, Hazel Grove and Whitney, members who departed

:23:12.:23:15.

during the term from Wellingborough and catering and those who had more

:23:16.:23:22.

than a cameo appearances from Aldwych and Brownhills and Ipswich.

:23:23.:23:28.

Can I thank you, that is me done for this Parliament. Thank you. Mr

:23:29.:23:35.

Speaker, can I thank the honourable member for Gateshead and the members

:23:36.:23:40.

of his committee for the sterling work that they have done during this

:23:41.:23:46.

Parliament. I think that backbench business does provide members in all

:23:47.:23:50.

parts of the House to raise issues that are of importance to our

:23:51.:23:56.

constituents but may well not be the subject of Government legislation at

:23:57.:24:00.

any particular time. I will take careful note and obviously consider

:24:01.:24:03.

very carefully the particular point he made to me about the scheduling

:24:04.:24:08.

of debates, general Today I will desist from illicit

:24:09.:24:27.

--... I would return to pursue an appalling company here, and I will

:24:28.:24:33.

be asking you, Mr Speaker, if you received an apology from the company

:24:34.:24:38.

for misleading myself. But can I turn to the Leader of the House,

:24:39.:24:41.

does he agree with me that early in the next parliament, the committee

:24:42.:24:47.

needs to revisit standing order an hundred and 202A, to ensure it

:24:48.:24:50.

reflects the reality of contested elections for select committee

:24:51.:24:53.

chairs, and the expectation of the House that those elected into these

:24:54.:24:58.

roles will serve the full term of the parliament in which they are

:24:59.:25:08.

elected? I am grateful for giving the notice of this issue, has given

:25:09.:25:13.

me the unexpected opportunity to study standing order 120 28, and

:25:14.:25:17.

associated standing orders of the House. I concede that the standing

:25:18.:25:24.

orders relating to the election of select committees is capable of

:25:25.:25:27.

being construed in a number of different ways. It seems that the

:25:28.:25:34.

way forward would be for the committee in the new House of

:25:35.:25:38.

Commons when that is constituted to take this issue away, examine the

:25:39.:25:40.

current standing orders, consult across parties and come back with

:25:41.:25:52.

recommendations in due course. Can I thank members of the House are

:25:53.:25:55.

making clear we will remember Jo Cox at the earliest opportunity, and

:25:56.:26:02.

wishes that she could be on the campaign train with us. I shall not

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be returning to this House, so can I thank you and everyone here for the

:26:06.:26:09.

20 years of the privilege to represent them in Edgbaston, it has

:26:10.:26:13.

been a privilege. The next Parliament has a very difficult

:26:14.:26:16.

task, the government has to implement the well of the people as

:26:17.:26:21.

expressed on the 23rd of June last year. -- the will of the people. The

:26:22.:26:26.

government has two ensure that we get the best deal. Finally, can I

:26:27.:26:39.

just paraphrase, I shall miss this House, but I shall miss this House

:26:40.:26:42.

more than the House will miss me. LAUGHTER.

:26:43.:26:51.

The honourable lady was characteristically self-deprecating

:26:52.:26:54.

and her remarks. Those of us who have served with her in this House

:26:55.:26:59.

will remember her and her contributions for a very long time.

:27:00.:27:06.

Thank you very much. I appreciate that we have very little time left

:27:07.:27:10.

of this Parliament, but nevertheless I would still like to request that

:27:11.:27:16.

consideration be given for debate on the additional ?10 billion this

:27:17.:27:21.

government have committed to the NHS until 2020, that is certainly

:27:22.:27:26.

starting to see results in my constituency, with the opening of

:27:27.:27:32.

new units at Crow hospital. -- Crawley Hospital. I am grateful to

:27:33.:27:37.

my honourable friend for raising this point, and would join him in

:27:38.:27:40.

welcoming these new units. It seems to me that the commissioning

:27:41.:27:47.

authorities in his part of the country have taken advantage of the

:27:48.:27:52.

record government spending on our National Health service, to the

:27:53.:27:56.

configure services in a way that will provide better services for his

:27:57.:27:59.

constituents and those in neighbouring constituencies in the

:28:00.:28:09.

future. Can I try again with the Leader of the House. Is it possible

:28:10.:28:13.

in the next few days to have an urgent debate about the appalling

:28:14.:28:19.

state of our roads? In Nottinghamshire, there's a ?320

:28:20.:28:25.

million bill regarding repairs to roads, and some of the roads are

:28:26.:28:27.

shocking. The response of the government is to give the Council

:28:28.:28:32.

?40 million. It would take 30 years to repair all of the roads at that

:28:33.:28:36.

rate. It is not good enough, the government has to do something about

:28:37.:28:43.

it. The government set aside ?23 billion but infrastructure in the

:28:44.:28:50.

Autumn Statement, and we are investing a record ?15 billion on

:28:51.:28:55.

road schemes. The amount we are spending on roads include

:28:56.:28:58.

allocations to local authorities, to fill in potholes and carry out other

:28:59.:29:02.

essential road maintenance, as well as providing for the central

:29:03.:29:05.

government spending on motorways and trunk roads. But regarding the point

:29:06.:29:10.

I made to the honourable lady earlier, the ability of any

:29:11.:29:17.

government to provide for increases in public expenditure, the kind that

:29:18.:29:20.

the right honourable gentleman is seeking, rests on the capacity of

:29:21.:29:27.

our economy to create wealth and increase employment. And the

:29:28.:29:33.

policies, which I'm afraid his party at its pricing in this general

:29:34.:29:38.

election campaign, will saddle future generations with debt.

:29:39.:29:41.

we have a debate on hospital services in Shropshire. With the

:29:42.:29:50.

reader in the Hayes -- the Leader of the House join me in welcoming the

:29:51.:29:57.

recent comments of the leader of the hospital trusts, that the children

:29:58.:30:00.

and women's unit in Telford is now safe and indeed new services such as

:30:01.:30:06.

cancer care patient services will be introduced over the coming months.

:30:07.:30:11.

Is it not more evidence that the NHS is safe in Conservative hands

:30:12.:30:14.

locally and nationally? I very much welcome the news from Telford and

:30:15.:30:22.

Shrewsbury, I think it is important that these detailed decisions about

:30:23.:30:24.

the configuration of services are taken at local level and driven by

:30:25.:30:29.

the assessment of those in charge of our NHS at local level, what is

:30:30.:30:37.

needed for their particular communities. One particular setup is

:30:38.:30:41.

not going to work equally well in every part of the country. There

:30:42.:30:44.

needs to be local sensitivity, and I am pleased that is what seems to be

:30:45.:30:49.

happening in Shropshire. The reputation of politics was rock

:30:50.:30:56.

bottom, now it is subterranean. We've done nothing to reform the

:30:57.:31:00.

deep corruption at the heart of our political system by doing nothing

:31:01.:31:06.

about the revolving door. What the country needs is a leader of

:31:07.:31:12.

integrity, a man not mired in corruption and not dedicated to

:31:13.:31:17.

seeking office in order to gain insider knowledge that they can then

:31:18.:31:21.

prostitute to the highest bidder when they leave office. We need a

:31:22.:31:25.

man who is different to what we have had. That is what the country is

:31:26.:31:30.

looking forward to. When can we investigate the activities between

:31:31.:31:40.

previous ministers and Blackstone investments? These are unresolved

:31:41.:31:45.

problems where we have people leaving this House, but they have

:31:46.:31:53.

the consolation of our salaries of up to ?650,000 for a part-time job.

:31:54.:31:58.

This does not honour politics, it drags politics down into the gutter.

:31:59.:32:04.

What we need is a new Prime Minister of integrity. The honourable

:32:05.:32:16.

gentleman, as always, speaks with passion and in this case on the half

:32:17.:32:21.

of the 25% of Labour MPs who support the Leader of the Opposition. I say

:32:22.:32:30.

to him that... Put it this week, I think he may not have meant it in

:32:31.:32:33.

this fashion, but I think he was being extremely unfair to successive

:32:34.:32:41.

prime ministers on both the breath -- from both the main political

:32:42.:32:43.

parties in this country and those who have served in the governments

:32:44.:32:47.

who have gone on after leaving office and membership of this House,

:32:48.:32:52.

to work in other capacities in our country. These are men and women,

:32:53.:32:56.

whether Conservative, Labour road Liberal Democrats, who have things

:32:57.:33:01.

to offer, and it is right that subject to codes and rules that

:33:02.:33:04.

applied, but when they leave office and membership of the House of

:33:05.:33:11.

Commons, they should be free to pursue those new avenues. The

:33:12.:33:15.

honourable member for Birmingham Edgbaston is wrong. She will be

:33:16.:33:19.

missed by the House. Will my right honourable friend find time for a

:33:20.:33:24.

debate on the persecution of Christians throughout the world,

:33:25.:33:28.

given that we start proceedings each day with prayers, I think if we held

:33:29.:33:34.

such a debate it will send out an extremely strong message. I cannot

:33:35.:33:42.

talk my honourable friend the debate, I think every member of the

:33:43.:33:50.

House will have been shocked by the attacks on Coptic churches in

:33:51.:33:56.

particular in the jute during holy week, and that will reinforce and

:33:57.:34:01.

all our minds the importance of the points he has made. -- in particular

:34:02.:34:09.

in Egypt. The Prime Minister and her Easter message spoke up strongly

:34:10.:34:11.

about the need to defend religious freedom around the world,

:34:12.:34:19.

particularly with reference to Christians and religious minorities

:34:20.:34:26.

we do not -- who do not have the same freedoms we can cherish in the

:34:27.:34:30.

UK. One month ago I asked the leader for a debate on female

:34:31.:34:33.

representation in politics. Two weeks from today, the voters of

:34:34.:34:37.

Renfrewshire will elect a new councillor, and at best will offer

:34:38.:34:42.

50-50 split among its candidates. Only 29% of Labour, and 17% of

:34:43.:34:47.

Conservative candidates are women. Flavour is doubly fortunate to

:34:48.:34:52.

return to the House -- if the leader is fortunate enough to return to his

:34:53.:34:55.

role, can we have a debate on the subject? I would say, this

:34:56.:35:04.

government could not have been clearer about our wish to encourage

:35:05.:35:12.

more women to take part in public life, both in seeking membership of

:35:13.:35:15.

the House of Commons and local authorities and in many other forms

:35:16.:35:22.

of public service, and successive leaders of my party have worked very

:35:23.:35:26.

hard to promote that, not least my right honourable friend the Prime

:35:27.:35:29.

Minister. I would say to the honourable gentleman, unlike his

:35:30.:35:34.

party, my party has a woman leader in Holyrood and Westminster. Can I

:35:35.:35:43.

start that I seeing the honourable member for Edgbaston has been an

:35:44.:35:46.

outstanding member of Parliament, and her successor has an incredibly

:35:47.:35:54.

difficult act to follow. Can the Leader of the House confirmed that

:35:55.:35:57.

the prison and courts Bill has now been abandoned in this Parliament

:35:58.:36:00.

and will have to start its passage into the House in the next

:36:01.:36:04.

Parliament, and can he tell us which bills will go through the rather

:36:05.:36:09.

grubby process of the wash-up, which is an unsatisfactory way to pass

:36:10.:36:17.

laws? The bills that would introduced to this House quite late

:36:18.:36:23.

in the current parliamentary session and which received carry-over motion

:36:24.:36:29.

Sodhi could be debated in what would have been the third session of the

:36:30.:36:35.

current Parliament, including the prisons and Courts Bill. In my

:36:36.:36:40.

statement I referred to some of those measures we will be addressing

:36:41.:36:46.

during the wash-up period next week. As my right honourable friend knows,

:36:47.:36:51.

there are discussions going on through the usual channels about how

:36:52.:36:56.

to handle particular pieces of legislation, and I do not want to

:36:57.:37:02.

prejudice the outcome of those discussions. Can I thank you and the

:37:03.:37:07.

Leader of the House for your kind remarks about my neighbour and

:37:08.:37:13.

friend, Jo Cox. She will be an all our minds as we fight the election.

:37:14.:37:21.

She was a radical underperformer, she cared about their size, but she

:37:22.:37:23.

was discontent with the House because she thought it was not as

:37:24.:37:30.

accountable for a modern age as it could be. Could we think about this

:37:31.:37:32.

during the election period and when we come back could we have an early

:37:33.:37:42.

debate, whoever is the Leader of the House, I fancy it for myself!

:37:43.:37:47.

LAUGHTER There is no ageism here. Could we have a serious debate about

:37:48.:37:53.

we can make this place more accountable. Many of my constituents

:37:54.:37:55.

find that the call for an early election has gotten the way of

:37:56.:37:58.

accountability for people like me, who have wanted to stay in the

:37:59.:38:03.

European Union, accepted the will the people, but are going to fight

:38:04.:38:07.

like mad to make sure we get a good deal. If we have money for public

:38:08.:38:12.

services he mentioned, surely we should have a good deal, and this

:38:13.:38:15.

House will now have a weakened position in terms of making

:38:16.:38:20.

I simply don't see the connection that he asserts between their being

:38:21.:38:27.

a general election and this has being in a weak position. I would

:38:28.:38:32.

have thought the fact that we had a house of Commons charged with a new

:38:33.:38:35.

mandate from the people to carry through the referendum outcome would

:38:36.:38:41.

mean that there was greater strength of purpose in this House, as indeed

:38:42.:38:45.

on the part of the Government in going forward to what will be very

:38:46.:38:49.

challenging negotiations and I would say to him there is absolutely no

:38:50.:38:55.

doubt in my mind about my right honourable friend the Prime

:38:56.:39:01.

Minister's utter determination to secure the best possible deal for

:39:02.:39:04.

all the people of every part of the United Kingdom at the end of those

:39:05.:39:08.

negotiations. Would the Government be able to make time for a statement

:39:09.:39:14.

or North Korea? Whilst security concerns are currently uppermost in

:39:15.:39:18.

many people's minds, would the Government convey the concern of

:39:19.:39:23.

many of us in this House at the possibility of the Chinese

:39:24.:39:27.

Government of returning refugees from North Korea back to the North

:39:28.:39:34.

Korean regime, to near certain death or lifetime imprisonment, sometimes

:39:35.:39:36.

going on for three generations of their families. It is not something

:39:37.:39:42.

many of us as has want to be silent about. My honourable friend makes a

:39:43.:39:47.

very cogent point the Government is concerned that China continues

:39:48.:39:57.

regard North -- both Korean refugees as migrants rather than refugees and

:39:58.:40:04.

as we all know, the scale of human rights abuses in North Korea is too

:40:05.:40:07.

severe for the international community, including China, to

:40:08.:40:11.

ignore. We have repeatedly called upon the Chinese authorities to at

:40:12.:40:18.

the very least is Makovich respect the fundamentals built into the

:40:19.:40:22.

United Nations conventions and we did this in our recent UK - China

:40:23.:40:30.

human rights dialogue. I recently met with the father of toddler Harry

:40:31.:40:34.

Studley who honourable members may remember was shot in the head with

:40:35.:40:39.

an air rifle in South Bristol last July. Harry's dad has impressed me

:40:40.:40:43.

with not only his resilience in the face of this adversity, he has told

:40:44.:40:48.

me Harry is doing well, but also his determination as a nation that we

:40:49.:40:51.

learn something from this incident. So can we have a debate about what

:40:52.:40:56.

measures the Government can put in place to improve air rifle safety?

:40:57.:41:01.

For example, the introduction of compulsory trigger locks on these

:41:02.:41:06.

lethal weapons. Well, first of all, can I wish Harry a full recovery and

:41:07.:41:16.

express my best wishes to those caring for him and those who are

:41:17.:41:21.

treating his injuries. The Government keeps the legislation and

:41:22.:41:36.

At present, we have -- at present, At

:41:37.:41:36.

using those weapons do so we have no plans to license or

:41:37.:41:36.

using those weapons do so responsibly and safely. High-powered

:41:37.:41:39.

air weapons do require a firearms licence and even low powered air

:41:40.:41:44.

weapons are subject to a range of controls, including restrictions

:41:45.:41:48.

around their sale. I mean, the problem about introducing further

:41:49.:41:51.

restrictions on low powered air weapons is that it would involve a

:41:52.:42:02.

small minority of people who misuse, sometimes tragically, this use of

:42:03.:42:05.

air weapons in England and Wales and it would, by introducing a further

:42:06.:42:12.

set of controls, divert police resources from controlling the other

:42:13.:42:16.

higher risk firearms such as rifles and shotguns, where we think the

:42:17.:42:22.

police ought to give priority. I am sometimes asked by constituents,

:42:23.:42:27.

when they have seen our proceedings on television, do you really hate

:42:28.:42:30.

one another? They see as shouting at one another over the dispatch box

:42:31.:42:35.

and they say, what are they like after you have done battle with

:42:36.:42:41.

them? And then I is when the reality, that I had difficulty

:42:42.:42:44.

sometimes more with people on my own side than the people opposite. They

:42:45.:42:50.

know who they are. And they know who they are! But the reality is of

:42:51.:42:54.

course we build a lasting and enduring friendships with members of

:42:55.:42:57.

Parliament from all parties and none more so than the honourable member

:42:58.:43:04.

for Edgbaston. She will leave an enduring legacy in the work that she

:43:05.:43:08.

did on Brexit and I am grateful to her and with your end of term

:43:09.:43:13.

latitude, Mr Speaker, I will say I will miss you, Gisela and I will

:43:14.:43:20.

issue in the future and it wouldn't be business questions if I didn't

:43:21.:43:23.

say, there is an issue with potholes in the Ribble Valley. I'm going to

:43:24.:43:30.

spend the next seven weeks driving around looking at them as I visit

:43:31.:43:35.

towns, hamlets and villages and I do hope that as part of our imaginative

:43:36.:43:41.

manifesto for the future that we can think of ways whereby district

:43:42.:43:44.

authorities are able to bid for some of that money made available by

:43:45.:43:47.

central Government in order that we can fill those holes. Mr Speaker, I

:43:48.:43:51.

wish you and all the parliamentary staff well for the dissolution and

:43:52.:43:57.

also for preparation for the hard work that will come ahead in the new

:43:58.:44:04.

parliament. I think my honourable friend makes a point of that it is

:44:05.:44:11.

sometimes quite hard for people outside this House, who only see the

:44:12.:44:16.

moments of high drama on their TV screens, to understand that actually

:44:17.:44:20.

we all come into this phase with equal electoral mandate, we all come

:44:21.:44:23.

in with passionately held political views about how best to make things

:44:24.:44:29.

better for the people who we represent, but actually, there is a

:44:30.:44:35.

certain amount of camaraderie that transcends party political

:44:36.:44:37.

differences and friendships that can be built up across party lines over

:44:38.:44:43.

very many years. On his policy point about the Ribble Valley, the idea of

:44:44.:44:50.

having a system for bids, additional bits from local authorities, is an

:44:51.:44:54.

interesting one and I will make sure that that is passed on and placed in

:44:55.:44:57.

the in tray for the incoming transport minister after the

:44:58.:45:05.

election. The Leader of the House didn't clarify, the 2nd of May? I

:45:06.:45:09.

wondered if we could have some information about that but what I

:45:10.:45:13.

really wanted to ask, is the Leader of the House aware that the families

:45:14.:45:16.

of the victims of the Hyde Park bombings have been denied Legal Aid

:45:17.:45:20.

to fund their pursuit in the civil action against the chief suspect?

:45:21.:45:25.

Could the Minister look at meeting with the members and peers who

:45:26.:45:28.

support the victims' campaign, in order to consider the Government

:45:29.:45:32.

making exceptional funding available so the justice they have been denied

:45:33.:45:39.

for 35 years can be delivered? As a Ulster Unionist Party may I

:45:40.:45:41.

associate myself with all the remarks everyone else has made and

:45:42.:45:44.

thanking all of those who have helped us over the period we have

:45:45.:45:48.

been here and it is good to hear that we are marking the Jo Cox but

:45:49.:45:52.

also the strength of her husband has been quite fantastic, the same time,

:45:53.:45:56.

and may I wish all the best to those who standing down and may I just

:45:57.:46:01.

share with you, because it is such good wording, from an Irish

:46:02.:46:04.

blessing, for all of you when you are knocking on the doors, made a

:46:05.:46:08.

road rise to meet you, May the wind be always at your back, made the

:46:09.:46:13.

sunshine warm upon your face, the rain fall soft upon your fields and

:46:14.:46:16.

until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hand. Thank

:46:17.:46:24.

you. The whole house warmed to the honourable gentleman's concluding

:46:25.:46:29.

comments. And I join him in his salute to Brendan Cox, who has shown

:46:30.:46:39.

the most inspiring courage and fortitude over the months since Jo's

:46:40.:46:46.

murder. But who has also spoken out fearlessly in defence of democracy

:46:47.:46:50.

and human rights and against extremism at a time when he must

:46:51.:46:52.

have been under the most appalling personal stress. The honourable

:46:53.:47:00.

gentleman asked me two specific questions. On his point about Legal

:47:01.:47:04.

Aid, I think implicit in his question to me was the fact that

:47:05.:47:09.

these decisions are taking at arms length from ministers but I will ask

:47:10.:47:12.

the minister responsible for Legal Aid to make contact with him and

:47:13.:47:17.

other interested colleagues in both houses. On his point about Tuesday

:47:18.:47:25.

the second, the... While the working assumption at the moment is that the

:47:26.:47:29.

House will not sit then, that data is available should it be needed, to

:47:30.:47:35.

ensure that business is completed. By law, the dissolution of

:47:36.:47:38.

Parliament must take place at one minute past midnight on the third,

:47:39.:47:46.

so Tuesday will be the last day on which members of this parliament

:47:47.:47:51.

will have access to their offices in the House of Commons. I was somewhat

:47:52.:48:02.

disappointed and dismayed to hear that Walsall Borough Council has

:48:03.:48:05.

declined to take part in the Government's pilot scheme on voter

:48:06.:48:10.

ID at polling stations. Is the Leader of the House aware of any

:48:11.:48:14.

advice for presiding officers at the forthcoming local mayoral elections

:48:15.:48:19.

and the general election to deter impersonation at polling stations?

:48:20.:48:22.

The electoral commission does provide such guidance to returning

:48:23.:48:26.

officers and their staff, including those running polling stations, and

:48:27.:48:30.

the handbooks from the commission specifically include a procedure for

:48:31.:48:34.

dealing with impersonation and guidance in how to deal with

:48:35.:48:39.

particular issues. I'm disappointed to hear my honourable friend say

:48:40.:48:44.

that Walsall Council does not wish to follow best practice and I hope

:48:45.:48:49.

that they might reconsider, following her representation. The

:48:50.:48:59.

coalition Government introduced a fund of 173.5 million for public

:49:00.:49:04.

transport in Leeds for a modern mass transit system. I was delighted that

:49:05.:49:09.

this Government has stuck to that commitment. Of course now, with the

:49:10.:49:13.

election, that is thrown into the air so can I ask the Minister what

:49:14.:49:17.

will happen and can he assure me there will be proper scrutiny of

:49:18.:49:23.

Leeds City Council's frankly unambitious and very poor plans for

:49:24.:49:27.

spending that money, when actually, this place is not sitting? Of

:49:28.:49:34.

course, first of all, there will be some election going on in Yorkshire,

:49:35.:49:40.

certainly the greater Leeds area, this year but the processes for the

:49:41.:49:55.

auditing and scrutiny of expenditure within Government continue,

:49:56.:49:57.

ministers remain in office. What they will not become until the new

:49:58.:50:02.

Parliament assembles, is the opportunity for members of

:50:03.:50:05.

Parliament in this House to raise matters where they think that money

:50:06.:50:10.

has not been spent to best effect. But we are talking only about a

:50:11.:50:16.

matter of seven weeks, so I think it will not be long before members

:50:17.:50:19.

representing Leeds and every other part of the country are able to

:50:20.:50:26.

raise all these points. Can I echo what was said earlier by my

:50:27.:50:31.

honourable friend in welcoming the Government's increased investment in

:50:32.:50:35.

the NHS and also in acknowledging what the Leader of the House said

:50:36.:50:40.

earlier about the need for local decision-making on Health Service

:50:41.:50:43.

matters. Can nonetheless seek his reassurance that in the next

:50:44.:50:47.

Parliament, we will have the opportunity properly to scrutinise

:50:48.:50:50.

any proposed changes that come forward as a result of NHS England's

:50:51.:50:55.

sustainability and transformation plans? There is, as he will know

:50:56.:51:00.

because I have raised it in the House before, considerable concern

:51:01.:51:03.

about services at North Devon hospital in my constituency, but the

:51:04.:51:07.

concern is any proposed changes might be hastily imposed by the

:51:08.:51:16.

local Health Service managers. Will he be able to reassure me that we

:51:17.:51:18.

will have an opportunity to scrutinise those matters? And before

:51:19.:51:21.

I take my seat, because it seems I have the privilege of being the last

:51:22.:51:24.

member on this side of the House to ask a business question in this

:51:25.:51:27.

parliament, can I echo all of the comments made about our colleague Jo

:51:28.:51:32.

Cox. Mr Speaker, I thank you and your staff and the staff of this

:51:33.:51:35.

House to help run the business of this has so smoothly and long may it

:51:36.:51:41.

continue. I am grateful to my honourable friend. I can assure him

:51:42.:51:46.

that the next House of Commons, both in the chamber, in Westminster Hall,

:51:47.:51:52.

and through the Health Select Committee, when that is

:51:53.:51:57.

re-established, will have the opportunity to consider

:51:58.:51:58.

sustainability and transformation plans as they come forward in all

:51:59.:52:03.

parts of the country, but any such plan has two major four tests for

:52:04.:52:08.

service change. They must be supported by GP commissioners, be

:52:09.:52:11.

based on clinical evidence, demonstrate public and patient

:52:12.:52:13.

engagement and consider patient choice. And the NHS organisations

:52:14.:52:19.

involved are obliged to consult the local authority's health overview

:52:20.:52:24.

and scrutiny committees, so any proposed changes to substantial

:52:25.:52:29.

changes on health services. Those committees can make a formal

:52:30.:52:32.

objection to such a substantial service change and referred the

:52:33.:52:37.

decision to the Secretary of State for a decision and the Secretary of

:52:38.:52:39.

State, local ministers, is accountable to this House. With your

:52:40.:52:46.

indulgence, just before I ask my question, I would like to put on

:52:47.:52:49.

record my sincere thanks for the honourable members of it we've about

:52:50.:52:52.

and Glasgow North West for assisting me when I was unwell yesterday. I

:52:53.:53:00.

would also like to extend my thanks to the wonderful staff and medics

:53:01.:53:03.

for their excellent usual care. In the culture, media and sport

:53:04.:53:07.

questions on the 16th of March, myself and the honourable member for

:53:08.:53:11.

North Ayrshire and Arran asked the undersecretary of state about a long

:53:12.:53:18.

campaign on betting terminals. We were promised a long-standing

:53:19.:53:20.

announcement by the Government would be made in the spring. Can the

:53:21.:53:26.

Leader of the House committed a that this firm commitment will be kept

:53:27.:53:28.

before the dissolution of Parliament?

:53:29.:53:34.

I cannot promise that for the reason that once the general election has

:53:35.:53:40.

been announced, the normal rules on government purdah start to apply

:53:41.:53:45.

fairly promptly, certainly from the end of this week. This is a matter

:53:46.:53:50.

to the Cabinet Secretary, rather than for ministers. And while

:53:51.:53:59.

ministers will be free in the next 24 hours to make a number of

:54:00.:54:07.

statements, as soon as the purdah rules come into play, which I expect

:54:08.:54:13.

to happen tomorrow, then the government machine is prohibited

:54:14.:54:15.

because it must maintain impartiality during an election

:54:16.:54:17.

period from making such announcements. We all know that to

:54:18.:54:26.

ensure constituents can get better paid better quality jobs and that

:54:27.:54:29.

businesses can compete better abroad, we must ensure our people

:54:30.:54:35.

have the skills. It is a disgrace therefore that in my area we are

:54:36.:54:40.

facing further savage cuts of beyond ?20 million per year to our local

:54:41.:54:47.

schools. So before the House is dissolved, can we have a statement

:54:48.:54:51.

from the Education Secretary on why this government is pulling the rug

:54:52.:54:56.

from under our young people and taking us back to mid-19 90s levels

:54:57.:55:01.

of Tory underinvestment in our schools? Our young people deserve

:55:02.:55:10.

better. I would point out first that the number of pupils attending

:55:11.:55:15.

schools which are rated as good or outstanding has risen since 2010 to

:55:16.:55:23.

the highest level ever. Some 89% of pupils attend such schools, and the

:55:24.:55:27.

number of individual schools that meet those Ofsted standards is also

:55:28.:55:35.

at a record high. He also chose not to mention this government's

:55:36.:55:39.

commitment to 3 million good apprenticeship starts, nor did he

:55:40.:55:50.

mention this government's renewed focus on technical and vocational

:55:51.:55:52.

education, which is something that is essential if we are to give young

:55:53.:55:56.

men and women the opportunities that he, like high, wishes to see them

:55:57.:56:05.

enjoy. His question was an attack on the proposed new funding for

:56:06.:56:15.

schools, but it has long been argued on both sides of this House that it

:56:16.:56:18.

was not tolerable to continue with the situation in which schools and

:56:19.:56:29.

almost geographical identical areas could receive almost half the money

:56:30.:56:37.

per pupil than the other comparable school was receiving. As the

:56:38.:56:41.

honourable gentleman knows, it is the subject of a public consultation

:56:42.:56:43.

that has just closed. The Secretary of State is considering her response

:56:44.:56:46.

to that and she will come forward with proposals. The Leader of the

:56:47.:56:54.

House referred to Gibraltar. Can I remind him Gibraltar have a Labour

:56:55.:56:58.

government and we know that any Labour government is always better

:56:59.:57:02.

than Tory Government. But I wasn't going to ask about that. I want to

:57:03.:57:07.

ask about why the government has broken its promise because Minister

:57:08.:57:12.

after minister has said in reference to secondary legislation that if the

:57:13.:57:14.

opposition demands a debate and vote, there will be a debate and

:57:15.:57:17.

vote. But for the last two years, successive leaders of the House have

:57:18.:57:25.

refused to allow us this. In particular, after dozens of

:57:26.:57:27.

constituents are worried about changes to independent payments,

:57:28.:57:32.

many of them with severe mental health problems concerned this will

:57:33.:57:37.

go through without any debate or vote, why will the government

:57:38.:57:40.

minister not say yes, we're going to have a debate and vote next week? He

:57:41.:57:48.

knows an election has been called which makes a difference to the

:57:49.:57:52.

allocation of time for business, particularly as we have to make

:57:53.:57:55.

provision, and I think this is appointed leader across the House.

:57:56.:57:59.

We have to make provision for emergency legislation in relation to

:58:00.:58:03.

Northern Ireland, which will take time that might otherwise have been

:58:04.:58:10.

available for other purposes. Regarding Personal

:58:11.:58:12.

Payment is, if you looks at what he Payment is, if you looks at what he

:58:13.:58:15.

is actually -- what is actually going on, the number of successful

:58:16.:58:24.

appeals against this is only 3% of cases that have reached a decision.

:58:25.:58:28.

And the number of people with mental health conditions who are getting

:58:29.:58:35.

additional help under PIP compared with DLA is significantly higher. So

:58:36.:58:40.

PIP represents a big improvement upon the situation that existed

:58:41.:58:46.

previously. Finally I will say this, he is on very dangerous ground

:58:47.:58:55.

regarding the Chief Minister of Gibraltar. One thing I know if at

:58:56.:59:01.

all political parties in Gibraltar detested and resented the previous

:59:02.:59:08.

Labour government's proposals. And I echo comments made about Jo Cox. She

:59:09.:59:13.

was a huge champion of International development, and while I am pleased

:59:14.:59:16.

to see the proposals going ahead for a memorial to her here in the

:59:17.:59:20.

Commons, I think one of the greatest memorials would be to see all

:59:21.:59:23.

parties recommitting to the cross-party agreement on 0.7% of

:59:24.:59:27.

international development. It would be a tragedy if that was abandoned.

:59:28.:59:32.

She was also a champion of the situation of older people in this

:59:33.:59:36.

country, and we have a surprise general election, I wonder if we

:59:37.:59:39.

might see a surprise statement from the government in the next few days

:59:40.:59:44.

about correcting the historical injustice regarding pensioners

:59:45.:59:52.

across this country, including mine workers who have been let down and

:59:53.:59:57.

not received what they were expected to lose even the retirement. It is

:59:58.:00:03.

going to be important as we leave the European Union that the United

:00:04.:00:09.

Kingdom is more outward looking in the world even than it is already. I

:00:10.:00:12.

am certainly proud of the way in which we use are very generous aid

:00:13.:00:18.

programme to bring humanitarian assistance to people in need at the

:00:19.:00:22.

moment in parts of central and eastern Africa, and to people inside

:00:23.:00:29.

Syria and those who have taken refuge in neighbouring countries.

:00:30.:00:34.

This point about the state pension age increase for women, transitional

:00:35.:00:39.

arrangements are already in place, and the last government committed

:00:40.:00:44.

more than ?1 billion to lessen the impact of those changes. No one will

:00:45.:00:48.

see their pension age change by more than 18 months compared with the

:00:49.:00:51.

previous timetable. The problem with what the honourable gentleman is

:00:52.:00:58.

seeking a fact to reverse the pensions act 2011 would cost more

:00:59.:01:02.

than ?30 billion, and neither he his party have any plan as to how they

:01:03.:01:09.

would find that money. Six innocent UK military veterans, including

:01:10.:01:14.

Billy Urban remain in jail in India. The Foreign Secretary has still not

:01:15.:01:17.

met with families. This government has been in a tizzy over Brexit and

:01:18.:01:24.

not focusing on these men. Now the selection means their perilous

:01:25.:01:26.

situation slips even further down the priority list. These military

:01:27.:01:32.

veterans deserve better. What is his government going to do to get Billy

:01:33.:01:34.

and his colleagues home where they belong with their families? She has

:01:35.:01:42.

raised this case before. But she knows therefore that the Prime

:01:43.:01:49.

Minister has raised the case with the Prime Minister of India. That

:01:50.:01:54.

Foreign Office ministers and our High Commissioner in New Delhi have

:01:55.:02:00.

raised this issue many times with their Indian counterparts, and

:02:01.:02:03.

representations continue to be made to the Indian High Commissioner here

:02:04.:02:09.

in London. The case is with the judicial system within India, which

:02:10.:02:16.

is a mature democracy, and we will continue to make or representations

:02:17.:02:25.

we can, and we're not giving up. It is wrong to suggest we have done.

:02:26.:02:32.

South Tees clinical commissioning group announced a fortnight ago that

:02:33.:02:37.

they medical Centre serving over 5000 people in the village, many of

:02:38.:02:41.

whom are elderly, will close at the end of June. NHS England provided

:02:42.:02:44.

emergency GP cover for the last year after the previous company went into

:02:45.:02:49.

liquidation. But not a single bed has been received, which are damning

:02:50.:02:55.

indictment of this government's approach to health care. I have

:02:56.:02:59.

written to the Secretary of State to step in urgently on the half of

:03:00.:03:02.

those patients who rely on the GP service. But can he bring this of

:03:03.:03:13.

the -- to the urgent attention... I will refer the particular case to

:03:14.:03:16.

the Secretary of State for health and his team. But I would say in

:03:17.:03:23.

respect of her strictures about the use of private sector contractors,

:03:24.:03:27.

that it was actually under the previous Labour government that

:03:28.:03:31.

there was a significant increase of four and a half percent of NHS

:03:32.:03:39.

spending being delivered through contracting out services. The

:03:40.:03:43.

proportion has grown only slightly since 2010. I return once again to

:03:44.:03:53.

the issue of the National shipbuilding strategy, which have

:03:54.:03:57.

been told since last summer is Imagen. -- is imminent. This

:03:58.:04:07.

parliament was ensured it would be published in the spring of 2017. So

:04:08.:04:10.

can the Leader of the House confirmed today that the

:04:11.:04:12.

shipbuilding strategy will not be published before the end of this

:04:13.:04:16.

Parliament, and does he accept that that will be seen by the shipyard

:04:17.:04:20.

workers on the Clyde and elsewhere as a complete betrayal and another

:04:21.:04:24.

gross dereliction of duty by this Conservative Government? We're not

:04:25.:04:32.

going to be shy, Mr Speaker, publishing the National shipbuilding

:04:33.:04:37.

strategy, but I would refer him to the answer he gave to his honourable

:04:38.:04:44.

friend about the impact of purdah rules, and I suspect the honourable

:04:45.:04:47.

gentleman and his party would be the first on the feet to complain if

:04:48.:04:54.

during a general election campaign we had announcements coming out of

:04:55.:05:02.

Whitehall which he would then argue work to help win the general

:05:03.:05:08.

election. The Conservative government in London has spent

:05:09.:05:12.

?7,000 per person on transport projects in the south-east for every

:05:13.:05:18.

?1 per person spent in the North. Meanwhile, schools in Sefton face a

:05:19.:05:23.

cut of ?518 per child and the loss of nearly 500 teachers, so before

:05:24.:05:28.

the election, can we have a statement about whether the people

:05:29.:05:33.

of Sefton Central have been let down by the government and why they have

:05:34.:05:39.

had such appalling treatment? The honourable gentleman looks back --

:05:40.:05:45.

if you looks back to the Autumn Statement, he will see there was ?13

:05:46.:05:51.

billion reserved for Northern England, and I could list some of

:05:52.:05:56.

the projects, improvements to Manchester Airport, 300 million for

:05:57.:06:02.

the time Wear Metro, benefiting northern cities and regions

:06:03.:06:05.

directly. In his question to me, he also ignored the fact that

:06:06.:06:11.

investment in London can bring direct benefit to centres outside

:06:12.:06:17.

the London -- outside London. Crossrail trains are being built in

:06:18.:06:21.

Derby and providing jobs there. Components for London buses are made

:06:22.:06:26.

in Falkirk and Ballymena. All parts of the United Kingdom are benefiting

:06:27.:06:35.

from this programme. On a similar point, can we have a statement on

:06:36.:06:43.

the procurement of type 26 frigates? The best shipbuilders in the world

:06:44.:06:49.

have waited now for two years for work to start on these frigates, and

:06:50.:06:56.

that the minimum, if we are not to receive a statement, to team sure

:06:57.:07:00.

the Ministry of Defence could write to me with an update? As I think I

:07:01.:07:09.

have said this dispatch box before, the government hopes that steel

:07:10.:07:14.

cutting can begin on that programme as soon as possible, and he will

:07:15.:07:20.

know that the two biggest warships ever built for the Royal Navy are

:07:21.:07:24.

being constructed in Scotland as we speak. Following the official

:07:25.:07:30.

opening of the power station in my constituency last month, attended by

:07:31.:07:36.

the Minister for South Herefordshire, a number of

:07:37.:07:38.

north-west businesses remain unpaid following the liquidation of the

:07:39.:07:45.

project contractor by its massive Spanish parent. It is disgraceful

:07:46.:07:52.

that our local businesses should lose out on major infrastructure

:07:53.:07:57.

projects that is contributing to our national energy security. With the

:07:58.:08:01.

leader arrange an urgent statement next week on a report made available

:08:02.:08:05.

to these businesses during the period of dissolution.

:08:06.:08:09.

It's clearly important, particularly for small businesses, that they are

:08:10.:08:16.

paid in full and on time within the terms of their respective contracts.

:08:17.:08:20.

As the honourable lady will know, if there is a liquidation involved,

:08:21.:08:26.

then a particular legal regime does kick in. If she would like to let me

:08:27.:08:30.

have some details, I will send those on directly to the energy minister.

:08:31.:08:36.

In the remaining days that we have of this parliament, can we please

:08:37.:08:40.

have a debate about the Northern Powerhouse? Particularly because

:08:41.:08:44.

London gets ten times as much per head of population to spend on

:08:45.:08:48.

transport than Yorkshire and the Humber. Schools in my patch of

:08:49.:08:54.

facing cuts of up to ?400 per pupil. The NHS, under the sustainability

:08:55.:08:58.

and transformation plan, are said to see cuts of 328 million. The council

:08:59.:09:03.

budget has been slashed by 50% and we have the lowest number of police

:09:04.:09:06.

officers since the 1970s in Humberside. So can we please have a

:09:07.:09:12.

debate about what the your Mac to lead Tories have against Yorkshire

:09:13.:09:20.

and Hull in particular? Is she looks at the record, she will see large

:09:21.:09:27.

sums of money and that money mentioned in the Autumn Statement

:09:28.:09:33.

being used in Yorkshire, the Humber and northern England and she will

:09:34.:09:38.

see that more than 60% of the increase in private sector

:09:39.:09:41.

employment since the 2010 general election has been in parts of the

:09:42.:09:47.

United Kingdom outside London and the south-east, so I think if she

:09:48.:09:54.

looks at the record, she will say that Yorkshire and Humberside are

:09:55.:09:57.

benefiting from the sound economic policies the Government are

:09:58.:10:03.

pursuing. Yesterday, the Prime Minister said she would be out there

:10:04.:10:07.

campaigning in every part of the United Kingdom in the coming

:10:08.:10:11.

election. Can I help police suggest she visits the Stirling

:10:12.:10:14.

constituency, where the presence of a hard Brexit, hard right,

:10:15.:10:17.

pro-restorative touristy Prime Minister will do nothing but good to

:10:18.:10:24.

determine winning the SNP campaign. I know my right honourable friend

:10:25.:10:27.

the Prime Minister is looking forward with relish to coming to

:10:28.:10:36.

Scotland and making the positive case for a Conservative Government

:10:37.:10:42.

and also pointing out that after ten years of SNP stewardship, we see a

:10:43.:10:45.

decline in the national Health Service in Scotland and standards in

:10:46.:10:52.

Scottish schools overtaken by those in England, in Wales, in Poland and

:10:53.:11:02.

in Stonier. -- in Estonia. I am proud to be part of a final

:11:03.:11:09.

Caledonian flush in this last business questions although

:11:10.:11:11.

hopefully on Sunday, it will be more of a Caledonian flash and all of you

:11:12.:11:19.

are in a sprint to the election, but some of us have a marathon to run

:11:20.:11:22.

and I wish the other 30 members of the House of Commons well in their

:11:23.:11:27.

endeavours. It is in one of those occasions where politics aside, we

:11:28.:11:31.

stand together and run together for those local charities first and

:11:32.:11:34.

foremost as members of Parliament, we are there to stand up for our

:11:35.:11:38.

local charities and organisations. I will be representing money in --

:11:39.:11:46.

raising money for Jack Truman, who died from a rare form of cancer in

:11:47.:11:52.

2015, his mother and family do a huge amount of work in our community

:11:53.:12:03.

and Michelle Henderson, who was in the year below me at school and died

:12:04.:12:12.

and it will be a proud moment for me running those grid that marathon and

:12:13.:12:15.

I wish all of those well who are also running it. I reared charade

:12:16.:12:22.

the wishes I gave to those earlier to those running in a marathon and

:12:23.:12:25.

salute the work of the charity she is supporting. Many of my

:12:26.:12:33.

constituents will be affected by recent changes to welfare policy

:12:34.:12:39.

brought about by this Government. Considering we will soon be left

:12:40.:12:42.

without a member of Parliament for over a month due to purdah, will the

:12:43.:12:47.

Leader of the House make provision for urgent business next week to

:12:48.:12:50.

reverse these iniquitous changes until after the general election?

:12:51.:12:57.

No, Mr Speaker, the changes to welfare policies that the Government

:12:58.:13:03.

has brought in have contributed towards a significant growth in

:13:04.:13:06.

employment, which is at record levels in this country, including a

:13:07.:13:12.

big increase in the number of disabled people who are now in work

:13:13.:13:19.

and gaining the dignity, the self-respect, that they want to have

:13:20.:13:22.

through participating in the Labour market, while at the same time, we

:13:23.:13:28.

have increased and protected those benefits that are received by the

:13:29.:13:31.

most disabled people in the United Kingdom. Can I thirsty echo the

:13:32.:13:42.

comments the backbench business committee and as for some clarity

:13:43.:13:45.

about whether or not there will be debates in Westminster Hall next

:13:46.:13:48.

Thursday and your business will be carried over? He said a few moments

:13:49.:13:52.

ago that we are elected with an equal mandate. Even Margaret

:13:53.:13:56.

Thatcher recognise that the return of a majority of SNP MPs from

:13:57.:14:00.

Scotland would be a mandate to take forward our policies on independence

:14:01.:14:04.

and yet the current Prime Minister doesn't seem to respect the mandate

:14:05.:14:07.

of the Scottish Parliament to give Scotland a choice, so could we

:14:08.:14:10.

perhaps have a debate on which Prime Minister was right? I think that the

:14:11.:14:20.

mandate that was given by the people of Scotland in 2014 was that

:14:21.:14:26.

Scotland should remain in the United Kingdom. I wish the honourable

:14:27.:14:29.

gentleman and his party would respect that. Mr Speaker, our

:14:30.:14:39.

families sacrificed a lot for all of us to be in this House and over this

:14:40.:14:46.

parliament, the family of Jo Cox gave the ultimate sacrifice. I know

:14:47.:14:49.

personally that I couldn't undertake this role without the love and

:14:50.:14:53.

support of my husband John and also my family and I'm sure that is the

:14:54.:14:57.

same for every member of this House with families, partners and spouses.

:14:58.:15:02.

On the 27th of March this year, the Prime Minister stated to the staff

:15:03.:15:05.

of the International development team in a school bride "Because of

:15:06.:15:11.

what you do every day, the United Kingdom and the values at its heart

:15:12.:15:17.

is one of the greatest forces for good in the world today." Put the

:15:18.:15:20.

Leader of the House intimate if they will be having a debate after the

:15:21.:15:25.

general election in this House to ensure that this Government and any

:15:26.:15:31.

future Government retain its commitment to 057% of GDP on

:15:32.:15:34.

international aid and do not push it into budget headings of other

:15:35.:15:42.

departments. The honourable gentleman knows that the 0.7% is

:15:43.:15:46.

coveted by the OECD's definition of overseas development expenditure,

:15:47.:15:52.

which is not confined purely to expenditure programmes controlled by

:15:53.:15:57.

the Department for International development, but to Government

:15:58.:16:01.

spending that meet those criteria. What I can assure him of is that

:16:02.:16:10.

there will continue to be, if is re-elected, a strong United Kingdom

:16:11.:16:15.

commitment to an active and generous fallacy of international

:16:16.:16:20.

development, because it is right that we continue to help the

:16:21.:16:24.

poorest, most vulnerable people in the world and Wright also that we

:16:25.:16:32.

contribute also towards better governance and the long-term

:16:33.:16:38.

stability of countries that are at risk, because that helps us to

:16:39.:16:43.

tackle some of the broader international problems that we in

:16:44.:16:46.

the United Kingdom and our European neighbours face. To follow an answer

:16:47.:16:55.

to Arthur Scargill, Mr Speaker, with a bit of Glasgow fitness, no less.

:16:56.:17:02.

It has been two years since getting elected this parliament and I have

:17:03.:17:05.

to say at the start of it, I didn't think that two using, we would have

:17:06.:17:10.

left the European Union, I would be on my second Prime Minister and

:17:11.:17:14.

hopefully in a few weeks, my third Government but they say a week is a

:17:15.:17:18.

long time in politics. All of the time he has been Leader of the

:17:19.:17:21.

House, I have asked about many issues before the last six months, I

:17:22.:17:26.

have consistently raise the issue of job centre closures in Glasgow.

:17:27.:17:30.

Given what he has said two other colleagues on other announcements,

:17:31.:17:35.

would I be right in thinking he expects Glaswegians to go to the

:17:36.:17:40.

pool is not -- the poll not knowing which job centres his Government

:17:41.:17:45.

intends to close? I see that he is wishing for a change in Government

:17:46.:17:49.

and confirms that his party wishes to prop up the Right Honourable

:17:50.:17:54.

member for Islington North as a leader of a putative coalition or

:17:55.:18:00.

minority Government, and it is good to have that confirmation on the

:18:01.:18:08.

record. On the point he makes on the provision of job centres in Glasgow,

:18:09.:18:14.

as he has heard me say before, Glasgow had a greater concentration

:18:15.:18:21.

of offices, of job centres, than any other major city in Scotland, what

:18:22.:18:26.

we have seen is a proposal from the DWP to rationalise the estate in

:18:27.:18:32.

Glasgow, so that his constituents and others in Glasgow can have a

:18:33.:18:38.

better quality service in future, because all of the expert staff who

:18:39.:18:44.

are needed will be concentrated on a smaller number of locations, but

:18:45.:18:46.

which will be fully accessible to his

:18:47.:18:48.