Live Cabinet Office Questions House of Commons


Live Cabinet Office Questions

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budget into law. Please join me for

a round-up of all that at 11am --

0:00:000:00:00

11pm, but first, David Lidington,

and his team of ministers.

Order,

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order, questions to the Minister for

the Cabinet Office. And to the

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Chancellor of the Duchy of

Lancaster. Minister Chloe Smith.

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With your permission I will take

questions one and 11 together, we

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published the Democratic engagement

plan last December, setting out

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engagement on unregistered groups,

understanding of engagement

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barriers, and a commitment to

tackling them. This year we are

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already developing a number of

products focusing on young people

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and links to the Centenary

celebrations.

-- delivering. The

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electoral roll would be a good place

to start a strategy like that,

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perfectly good at finding as when

they want tax and yet, an estimated

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6 million people, younger, urban

voters, particularly those in ethnic

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minorities, missing from the

electoral roll. Everyone in

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government registers do the benefits

system, tax system should be on the

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electoral roll. Ben True change

based on the flawed register,

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undemocratic sham, why is the

government working to make it more

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difficult to vote rather than

addressing this national scandal?

To

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long, too long, Minister.

He was not

listening to my answer, we are not

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making it more difficult to register

to vote, we have set out a full pint

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to make it easier to do so for those

groups who need it most and I will

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take the opportunity to make clear,

we have a number of record highs on

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the register, since the introduction

in 2014, over 30 million people have

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registered to vote, head of the

general election last year there was

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a record number of additional

applications to register submitted.

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-- 13 million. The electoral

register as reached a record level,

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40 million electors, and we should

be proud about.

The turnout of my

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constituency in Glasgow North East

was 53% at the last election, well

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below the national average, also

happens to be an area with some of

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the lowest incomes and highest

unemployment in the country.

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Research as shown that low income

workers and long-term unemployed

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people report more levels of radical

knowledge and... Than those from

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other occupational background. Given

that they are less likely to be on

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the...

Order, order, sit down.

What

I want is a single sentence

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question, these prepared screeds...

These prepared screeds are too long,

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forgive me, it is not fair to

colleagues. Single sentence.

Given

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they are less likely to be on the

electoral register, what will you do

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to actively engage them and get them

on the electoral register?

A range

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of being set out as I say in the

Democratic and Jake and plan, I look

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forward to working further with him

and people across parties in this

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house and outside of it. --

democratic engagement band. To make

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sure that those eligible to vote

will do so.

Can the Minister confirm

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how she's ensuring survivors of

domestic violence can participate in

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the elections?

My honourable friend

is absolutely right to raise this as

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a very important point, again, one

which we should be proud of,

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cross-party, here we see, in this

House of Commons, only last night,

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honourable members supporting ways

to make it easier for survivors of

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domestic abuse to be on the

register, that is something we

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should be proud of in this Centenary

year.

Would my honourable friend

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agree that by way of -- one way of

increasing participation is by a

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care and trusted voting system, will

the government look at how they can

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roll out first past the post in more

English elections?

My honourable

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friend reminds us that in the

Conservative manifesto for 2017, was

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the commitment to maintain first

past the post as the way that we

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vote in this country and to roll it

out to additional elections and I

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look forward to speaking to him

further about that.

It is clear that

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disabled people are underrepresented

in our democracy and politics but in

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2015, her government abolished the

access to a elected office fund

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which supported many disabled people

in meeting extra costs in standing

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for office. How can the government

claim that they are making democracy

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more accessible when these financial

barriers are put in their place?

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Minister.

The piece of evidence I am

working on at the moment, is a call

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to evidence that came back from how

to make voting in elections more

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accessible for those with

disabilities and it is important to

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note that we would be talking about

a range of disabilities, not just

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those that may be visible, that is

something I am keen to focus on, I

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look forward to working further with

her in ensuring that people with any

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disability, not only can feel able

to participate in elections as

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candidates but crucially to register

to vote.

Isn't it right that despite

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concerns raised, individual

electoral registration has increased

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the role and helps to reduce fraud?

This is absolutely correct,

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according to a 2016 report from the

Electoral Commission, both

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completeness and accuracy have risen

and we should aim to keep it that

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way.

Given the government's

determination to end freedom of

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movement to and from this country

might this now be an appropriate

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time to embrace the principle,

everyone legally resident in this

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country should have a say in its

governance? Would she consider

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bringing forward proposals to allow

those who are born in other

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countries but who decide to stay and

make this country there are home

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after Brexit to allow them the right

to vote?

I am considering this point

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because there are a number of points

which needs to be taken into account

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as we complete an orderly exit from

the European Union but the point

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more broadly around this, if

somebody has citizenship in this

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country they have the right to vote

and we think that is correct.

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Minister for the Cabinet Office.

With your permission, I will take

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questions number two, number six and

number seven together, the

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government stated in its manifesto

commitment to maintain the voting

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age at 18, we therefore have no

plans to lower the voting age in

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elections, we continue to believe

the voting age should stay aligned

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with the age of majority at 18, the

point at which many other the rights

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and obligations are acquired, and in

line with international comparators.

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With growing support for both 16 on

the government own benches,

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including two former Education

Secretary is, the members for Putney

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and Loughborough, isn't the right

honourable George Osborne right when

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he says the government does not have

a majority to stop this anymore and

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it may as well get on and embrace it

and get credit. -- including two

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former Education Secretarys.

The

responsible thing for the government

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to do is to stand by not just the

policy that we stood on in the

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recent general election but on what

we believe to be right and I think

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that it is right that the age of

majority at 18 is the one where

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every man and woman in this country

acquires both the full right and the

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full responsibilities of adult

citizenship.

Dick Steen and

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17-year-olds are too childish to

vote, apparently, does that not all

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so apply in their ability to vote in

preservative leadership elections?

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LAUGHTER

-- if 16 and 17-year-olds.

We are

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talking about a decision in electing

the parliament and the government of

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the country, and while there are

some 16 and 17-year-olds who

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exercise and demonstrate in their

lives and enormous responsibilities,

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it is also the case that we make a

general protection in our law for 16

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and 17-year-old, for example,

through the criminal justice system.

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That is another way in which we

recognise at 18 is on average the

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right point in time, to make the

judgment.

Last week, my local

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authority, Rochdale Borough Council,

approved a motion, supporting votes

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at 16, that received cross-party

support, when will the Minister drag

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himself into the 21st-century and

get in line with the progressive and

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forward-thinking councillors

representing the Borough of

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Rochdale?

I'm always genuinely

interested to hear what is happening

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in Rochdale Council, I would draw

the honourable Lady's attention to

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the fact that 26 of 27 European

partners, Canada, Australia, New

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Zealand and the United States all

have a voting age that begins at 18,

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I don't think those countries can be

fairly be said to not be in the

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21st-century.

Can I encourage our

right honourable friend to follow

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the wise examples of the Labour

government, 13 years in office,

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radical constitutional changes but

did not bring forward proposals to

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reduce the voting age to 16 for very

good reasons.

My right honourable

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friend is spot on, not only that but

the last Labour government took a

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deliberate decision to increase from

16 to 18 the age at which somebody

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could buy cigarettes, purchase

knives and even use a sunbed.

Can I

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just agree so much with everything

that my right honourable friend is

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saying, isn't the real answer to all

of this to look at all of the laws,

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pertaining to the age of majority,

and actually have laws that make

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sense because as he identifies, you

are not deemed old enough at 17 to

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be able to use a sunbed, you can get

married at 16 with the permission of

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your parents but you cannot buy a

drink and celebrate it, and drive a

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car until are 17. The law is all

over the place, it needs a proper

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review, isn't that the way forward?

I think my honourable friend makes

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an interesting and valid point and I

would add to that that of course we

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make specific protections in our

law, in respect of criminal justice

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and asylum system, recognising that

people under the age of 18 need

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special protection.

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Thank you. During a debate in 2015,

the member from the original said, I

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am one of those who believes we

should allow voting at 16. Since

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then, a range of other senior

Conservatives have outlined their

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support, including the former

councillor who said that the

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Conservative Party whisks being on

the wrong side of history if it

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refused to back the measure. Will

the Minister agree with his

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colleague and support a vote at 16?

I stand by the manifesto that I do

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all in in 2017 and as has been made

clear this afternoon, by the

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position of which the Labour Party

to for the 13 years it was last in

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Government!

Number three.

Mr

Speaker, we are working hard to make

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sure that United Kingdom adduces as

you'll have enough chance to compete

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with winning contracts. I propose

changes to the procurement

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guidelines to make sure that

opportunity is greater for producers

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in the UK including those in Corby.

As my honourable friend is very

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aware, in Corby, we produce

brilliant quality steel tubes so

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what others of different that they

believe those public sector

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procurement rules are making to our

steel industry and will he join the

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outing the use of British Steel at

every opportunity?

I am happy to

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join him in history to be

Steelworkers of Corby and the steel

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industry in the United Kingdom more

generally. The guidelines they

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introduced mean that purchasing

laboratories that you take into

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account the wider social economic

benefits that UK producers can bring

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so that the contracts are not a lot

of money basis of cost alone. It is

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also the case that every public

authority is now required to

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incorporate criteria in all major

projects.

When Molly Government Gary

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at their commitments to publish the

performance of the Department of

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Government?

I hope we can do that

later this year. The most recent

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information that I have a that the

Government apartments are committed

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to following the guidelines but we

are carrying out checks to make sure

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that is being followed through as

well as the letter.

The Art of my

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constituency, we produce a

architecturally significant steel

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structures such as the 2012 Olympic

Stadium and the orbits culture. Will

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my honourable friend do all they can

to ensure the procurement buys

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British and from Bolton?

We want to

see both public and private sector

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customers by British Steel whenever

possible anti-government has

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published a pipeline of future

public procurement needing steel to

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make sure we can plan to take part

in that.

Question four.

The

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Government is committed to ethical

procurement, that is why the social

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value act considers the social

benefit of the approach. The

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industrial strategy also consider

the economic factors in design of

0:14:020:14:09

the major Government contracts.

With

the response, with the whole report

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between ultra-processed foods and

writing at the city, with adults not

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eating your five a day, what can

need procurement process do to

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ensure a healthy, sustainable eating

and source of the British producers?

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I think he honourable lady raises a

very important point. As I said, the

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public services social value act

actually enables patrollers to take

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into account those wider factors and

also encourage a so-called approach

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of procurement that wouldn't wider

factors and rolled it out for all

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contract over £10 million. We extend

into the facilities management

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framework which again look to making

this more available.

What

0:14:510:14:58

likeability will be yielded from

Brexit in public comment?

Minister.

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The lack one of the advantages of

Brexit izzard provides a wide range

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of opportunities for us to tailor

our procurement rules DD needs of

0:15:080:15:12

the country and once we have left

the EU, we will look at exactly

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those measures.

What certainty that

the minister have that there is no

0:15:150:15:20

direct or indirect gender

discrimination anywhere in this

0:15:200:15:24

Government's Supply chain?

In

October of last year, the Government

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produced a code of conduct in

relation to govern procurement which

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covered exactly those points and

that is dealt with any document.

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Question five.

Small businesses are

the backbone of our economy. We are

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committed to supporting them in

securing public sector contracts.

0:15:490:15:52

Our aspiration remains to spend one

third of our procurement spend with

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them by the end of 2022.

I thank my

honourable friend for his answer.

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Does he agree that the individual

Government apartments are crucial

0:16:050:16:07

roles to play in promoting small

businesses and Gromit in order to

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deliver greater diversity any firms

awarded Government contract?

I

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completely agree. We are working

with the departments to the Crown

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commercial SNE actions department by

department, with every departure

0:16:240:16:27

putting in place both a ministerial

lead and a senior official with a

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role to champion small businesses

and the figures so far showing that

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more than half of Government

apartments have increased the

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proportion in our spend on SNE.

When

they start the major work on this

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building, which will be a massive

multi-million pound infrastructure

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project, will be given to ensure

small businesses all around the

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country get contract and not just

the big corporations?

I certainly

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hope that'll be the case and I

believe our guidelines and approach

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to different Government apartments

will encourage small business to

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secure those opportunities but it'll

be a matter for the cancelled as

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well.

Thank you. With your

permission, I'll take questions

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eight and ten together. The Cabinet

Office working in close partnership

0:17:170:17:22

with all piloting local authorities

to ensure each pilot have a tailored

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and brands of awareness raising

campaign encouraging eligible voters

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to bring IDE duty-bound station.

Reset conducted by the Royal

0:17:300:17:35

National Institute for the Blind has

found that the polling cards in the

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Government pilot are still

inaccessible for blind and partially

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sighted people and often get

mistaken for junk mail. What

0:17:440:17:48

guarantee can the Government make

that restrictive ID requirements

0:17:480:17:53

will not disenfranchise disabled

voters?

This is an extremely good

0:17:530:18:01

point and it is exactly the kind of

thing I was referring to in my

0:18:010:18:05

earlier and zany Culver evidence as

to how there disabilities may be in

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some ways disempowered from using

the registration of voting system.

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In this particular case, I'm exactly

piloting local authorities to look

0:18:120:18:17

carefully at that issue in their own

work and I will undertake to do sell

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as well from the point of view of

the Cabinet Office.

What guarantee

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is can be made to those who cannot

currently access photographic ID

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that they will now be able to

without incurring a personal cost?

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Again, the local authorities

involved in the pilot ensuring that

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maybe they will be excluded that the

honourable gentleman may fear. They

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will be providing idea the voter

does not have it, in the format of

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bar-coded posed card type voting

polling cards. We have to make sure

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we do pilots to test this out.

The

election team and then another one

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of these pilot. But the Minister

agree with me that it is staggering

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that Labour opposed to a change that

is no different to collecting a

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parcel from the post office?

I think

that is absolutely right and I think

0:19:200:19:27

anybody who may oppose these

measures should think very

0:19:270:19:29

carefully. We do already ask that

people prove who they are many go to

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collect a parcel, rent a home, buy a

home, rent a car, travel, it is a

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normal thing to do is to use IDE in

everyday life.

One sentence only.

0:19:390:19:46

Short. Yell Magda Linette voter ID

is required in Northern Ireland,

0:19:460:19:50

will this be rolled out across the

country as quickly as possible so

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that all actions are free and fair?

I will be looking closely at the

0:19:530:19:58

result of these pilots to evaluate

whether it is possible to get

0:19:580:20:01

further with them. My priority here

is to do what we can to stand out

0:20:010:20:06

eligible fraud. Fraud is not a

victimless crime. You have your vote

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and used it to have it stolen and

that is what I'm looking for here.

0:20:100:20:15

Thank you. In the context of these

trials forcing people to show ID to

0:20:150:20:19

vote, any context of individual

eligible registration seen 2 million

0:20:190:20:22

people fall off the register and now

it seems proposal is to make postal

0:20:220:20:29

votes harder to obtain cover lies at

every change the cover and bring in

0:20:290:20:32

makes it harder for people to vote?

Wireless gather people voting?

Mr

0:20:320:20:42

Speaker, the honourable gentleman is

blowing something here out of all

0:20:420:20:45

proportion. Let's not forget we

already use IDE to register to vote.

0:20:450:20:50

What we're talking about here is

proving the person who is voting is

0:20:500:20:54

the same on is that you registered.

Let me return to an early answer.

0:20:540:21:00

The accuracy and completeness of the

register has increased. He is a

0:21:000:21:05

misunderstanding his own point.

Topical questions for the Chancellor

0:21:050:21:09

and Minister of the Cabinet Office.

Number one.

I was pleased to be able

0:21:090:21:19

to announce that Mr Justice lines

that with service chair for the

0:21:190:21:24

independent enquiry into the

independent blood scandal. Even in

0:21:240:21:28

experience Judge I'm confident will

conduct a thorough enquiry over the

0:21:280:21:32

coming weeks, speaking to those

affected to set up rental terms of

0:21:320:21:36

reference for the Government

providing all the support he needs.

0:21:360:21:39

The Minister's answer could hardly

be heard. Amber Valley. Nigel Mills.

0:21:390:21:47

Kenny confirm what plans he has two

include democratic participation in

0:21:470:21:54

relation to women's suffrage?

During

this year, we will host the first

0:21:540:22:00

national democracy week,

establishing a council to help

0:22:000:22:03

deliver a unified programme events

up and down the country. That will

0:22:030:22:08

help have those who are not

currently represented represented on

0:22:080:22:11

the electoral roll and inspire young

people and women in the story is

0:22:110:22:15

offered in our democracy.

All of us

in the house will have been saddened

0:22:150:22:20

last week by the tragic death of a

homeless man yards away. Can the

0:22:200:22:26

Minister tell class how the Cabinet

Office is working with all

0:22:260:22:31

departments to ensure this crisis is

resolved quickly?

Any such there is

0:22:310:22:38

a tragedy. The Government had

established an interministerial

0:22:380:22:43

group to drive forward our objective

of passing wrath sleeping by 2022

0:22:430:22:50

and eliminating King altogether by

2027 and I am playing an active part

0:22:500:22:57

in that. -- eliminating rough

sleeping altogether.

What Wright is

0:22:570:23:04

to reversible is this outside of

London and is Scotland not

0:23:040:23:10

considered an excellent destination

for this?

The Government is

0:23:100:23:12

committed to moving activities away

from London and the south-east.

0:23:120:23:16

There is a presumption that all new

non-departmental body should be

0:23:160:23:20

outside of London so we have created

Government hubs across the UK,

0:23:200:23:23

including Edinburgh and Glasgow and

I think the honourable gentleman

0:23:230:23:26

make a marvellous case for allegedly

more such opportunities in Scotland.

0:23:260:23:32

In my constituency, we are being

decommissioned and I think the

0:23:320:23:40

Government should work in harmony to

encourage future employment for

0:23:400:23:44

people in my constituency. Canada

and Australia typify job working

0:23:440:23:49

levels of Government, Willie

Minister Gregory hardly to ensure

0:23:490:23:52

the Scottish U and UK governments

work together to a lady fears of my

0:23:520:23:56

constituents and provide future

employment?

I completely understand

0:23:560:24:00

the importance of this for the

honourable gentleman's constituency.

0:24:000:24:07

The environ. That he is about making

sure all of the United Kingdom

0:24:070:24:12

benefits from a new industrial

opportunities now open to us. My

0:24:120:24:18

honourable friend will work with the

Scottish Government to make sure

0:24:180:24:20

that is delivered.

Too few of our

small businesses applied to provide

0:24:200:24:29

contract for Government because of

the bureaucracy involved. What

0:24:290:24:33

guarantees and feedback can be given

for when they do?

The honourable

0:24:330:24:38

gentleman raise an important point.

Small businesses are the engine of

0:24:380:24:41

economy and we are dedicated to

supporting them in public

0:24:410:24:46

procurement. That is likely

streamline these processes to

0:24:460:24:51

abolish complex questionnaires and

specifically in relation to too much

0:24:510:24:55

bureaucracy, they can report such

practices to the mystery shopper

0:24:550:24:58

service.

Thank you. On what date

with our Government officials first

0:24:580:25:06

instructed to work on draft

amendments to clause 11 of the EU

0:25:060:25:09

withdrawal Bill? Girl-mac work on

clause 11 has been going on for a

0:25:090:25:13

long time and to deliver on our

commitment to table an amendment

0:25:130:25:18

during the preceding ten House of

Lords. If you only possible, with

0:25:180:25:21

the agreement of the Scottish and

Welsh Government.

Will my honourable

0:25:210:25:27

friend mark the centenary of women's

suffrage by giving governments

0:25:270:25:31

support to my horrible friend and

neighbour, a member from the

0:25:310:25:34

Derbyshire was an activity selected

Bill to enfranchise those British

0:25:340:25:38

citizens who have lost the right to

vote?

Yes, I intend to seek on the

0:25:380:25:45

Governmentat the half on Friday in

that bill. This is an important

0:25:450:25:52

manifesto promise and I hope it will

gather cross party support. Goal

0:25:520:25:56

thank you for my colleagues in

Edinburgh will be voting today to

0:25:560:25:58

scrap the public pay cap. The 3%

rise for those earning under

0:25:580:26:03

£36,000. When the public service

workers in England see a similar pay

0:26:030:26:10

rise?

Public service workers are

among the most pounded and

0:26:100:26:13

hard-working people in this side and

we believe they should be fairly

0:26:130:26:16

rewarded. In respect to the Cabinet

Office, the budget confirmed the

0:26:160:26:20

moving away from the 1% average

public sector pay award and

0:26:200:26:23

proposals will be issued later this

year.

Thank you. Can I wish my

0:26:230:26:30

honourable friend every success with

the forthcoming meeting he is having

0:26:300:26:34

with the Scottish and Welsh

Government this week?

0:26:340:26:37

Will he invite them to be the same?

My honourable friend is right to

0:26:430:26:52

point to the importance of all parts

of the United Kingdom are working to

0:26:520:26:57

to deliver an orderly, smooth

Brexit. We want to work in

0:26:570:27:01

partnership with Scottish and Welsh

Government to deliver a big increase

0:27:010:27:05

in powers devolved to their

parliaments and governments.

Can I

0:27:050:27:11

welcome the announcement about the

appointment of Sir Brian Langstaff

0:27:110:27:15

of the judge to the public proposal

of looking at contaminated blood.

0:27:150:27:22

Then we'll get a family 's first

approach to the public enquiry and

0:27:220:27:26

the lobby and outward facing

secretary act to support all those

0:27:260:27:30

affected and the meetings will be

held around the regions and nations

0:27:300:27:33

of this

0:27:330:27:34

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