Live Business Questions House of Commons


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Live Business Questions

Live coverage of the announcement of Commons business for the week ahead and questions to leader of the Commons Andrea Leadsom.


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brackets 2018. Space industry Act

2018. City of London Corporation

0:00:000:00:05

(Open Spaces) Act 2018. Order,

business question.

Could the Leader

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of the House please update the House

on forthcoming business?

Leader of

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the House, Andrea Leadsom.

The

business for the week commencing the

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19th of March, Monday the 19th of

March, second reading of the secure

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tenancies victims of domestic abuse

Bill laws, followed by a general

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debate on Welsh affairs. Tuesday the

20th of March, consideration of the

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business of a House motion followed

by proceedings on the Northern

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Ireland Budget, anticipation and

adjustments Bill. Wednesday the 21st

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of March, consideration of a

business of the House motion,

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followed by the seedings on the

Northern Ireland Assembly members'

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regional rates and energy Bill.

Thursday the 22nd of March, a

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general debate on the economy.

Friday the 23rd of March, the House

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will not be sitting. Business for

the week commencing the 26th of

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March includes on Monday the 26th of

March, second reading of the misuse

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Bill, loans. -- Lords. On Wednesday,

the Cabinet Office will be launching

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a campaign pack for parliamentarians

to use as we visit schools in our

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constituency to talk about the

amazing achievements of suffragettes

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in the fight for equality. Also,

this week as Shakespeare week, and

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he has a solid message for us in

this House as we seek to stamp out

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bullying and harassment. Think now

that duty will have strength to

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speak when power to flattery bowels.

Let's hope that all is well that

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ends well. -- flattery bows. I am a

huge fan of England rugby, and we

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face a great challenge against

Ireland on Saint Patrick's Day on

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Saturday. I am proud of our strong

United Kingdom. I would like to wish

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both teams a secure match, and to

wish everyone a very happy Saint

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Patrick's Day.

I thank the Leader of

the House for the business next

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week. I think it is an interesting

programme, and the Bill next week

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consists of two clauses, the long

title and then the main clause. But

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Kyrgios have the list of ministerial

responsibilities which I think not

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been published yet, and could I ask

the reader when the debate on

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restoration and renewal will finally

be scheduled? The withdrawal Bill is

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still in the other place and is not

due to come back until possibly May.

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The Shadow Secretary of State for

Education media point of order on

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Tuesday after debate that the

Government will not press ahead on

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childcare vouchers for the next six

months. We have now got these two

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time-limit, 12 weeks and six months.

Could we have some clarity for our

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constituents? And given there is

nothing scheduled after the 26th of

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May, could the Leader of the House

please schedule and opposition Day

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debate? Perhaps a debate on early

day motion 937, which I have asked

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for before, which deals with

abolishing bursar list' choice

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nursing statements? We thought the

Chancellor would make an

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announcement in the Spring

Statement. The Chancellor now

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describes himself as Tigger-ish, and

if he leads the tweets of some of

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his members, that he will know that

they are asking him to bounce out of

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the slowest of all T20 countries,

and so when he goes to plan a Saros,

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he will be lost in the queue. --

Buenos Aires. And that is before we

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left the EU. The President of

Luxembourg said, we had a special

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relationship with the EU. Before

they were out with a loss of opt

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outs, now they are out, they want a

lot of opt ins. I think that sums up

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exactly where we are. I did not

quite going from the Secretary of

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State for leaving the European Union

if he has actually visited Brussels,

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so could I ask when was in fact the

last time he visited? He did not

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actually say that he had visited the

Northern Ireland border within this

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millennium, so could I ask to urge

him to do so, and could she say

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whether the Prime Minister has

actually visited the Northern

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Ireland border? Following the

statement yesterday on the Green

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paper on the integration strategy,

Walsall was mentioned, and I have to

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say I was a bit upset the Secretary

of State to not alert me to the fact

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that he was going to mention Walsall

as one of the key areas. The ball in

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my constituency have already

contacted me, and resent the fact

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that Walsall is seen as a place that

is not integrated. I heard this

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morning at 10.00 that the Secretary

of State was visiting my

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constituency, it would have been

helpful if he had told me

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beforehand, because I could have

shown decent areas. The fact is, in

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July 2015, I in this chamber at

business questions, when I was

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sitting back there, the cut in

funding from the Walsall adult

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community college, and we had to

fight to get it back. My constituent

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is now offering training courses for

women in childcare levels one, two,

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three in the new Morrissey and

literacy. He struggles to get a

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place to hold these training

courses, because when he tried to

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get the library, it has been closed.

500 playgrounds have been

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outsourced. Those are the places for

social cohesion. Could we have a

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debate on the report found councils

are spending less on services, more

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on social care, and that Government

funding has fallen by 49.1% in real

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terms? 15 councils will be at risk

following Northamptonshire County

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Council imposing emergency controls.

It is the funding of the

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infrastructure of local Government

that helps with social cohesion. It

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is austerity that fuels division, as

people think there is not enough

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resources to go around, and blame

other people who seemed to be taking

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the resources. Could we have a

debate on the National union of

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teachers running a trust report on

visible and invisible barriers? All

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an urgent statement on the young

black boy who was tied to a tree in

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Bath and hit by white boys as he was

called names? There is no Government

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strategy to cover that. Sadly, I do

not really wants to end on a sad

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note, but I'm afraid I do have to. I

want to finally acknowledge the

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passing of some very eminent people

who have made a major contribution

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to our country. Brenda Dean was the

first female secretary of the trade

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union. She joined a trade union when

she was a teenager. Professor

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Stephen Hawking, a fellow for 22

years. I have read A Brief History

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Of Time, but I will have to read it

again. In his memory, we must ensure

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that the UK continues the fantastic

collaboration in science with the

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rest of Europe. He said that a

publicly provided NHS, publicly

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provided run system was the most

efficient, and those who say we

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cannot afford the NHS are wrong. We

cannot afford not to have an NHS.

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And finally, Sir Ken Dodd. I did

actually see him at the Palladium

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when I was younger, a long time ago.

We hope to see him, we will not only

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Mrs jokes, his songs, but actually

the image of a man wielding a

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feather duster.

I completely shut

out with the honourable Lady's

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tributes to Brenda Dean, Professor

Stephen Hawking and of course Sir

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Ken Dodd. What is untested and

humourless man he was. -- a

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fantastic. I also share our

commitment to a health service that

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is free at the point of delivery.

That will always be the case under

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this Government. She raises a number

of issues. Ministerial

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responsibilities, she and I have had

this discussion a number of times. I

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have chased this, and I am told that

that will be published in the next

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quarterly transparency around next

Friday, so let's hope. I am an aside

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on this. When we bring forward the

restoration and renewal debate,

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something I shall be updating the

House commission on Monday. I have

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spoken to Parliamentary council

about the drafting of that Bill. We

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need to get that ready and bring it

forward as soon as possible. Again,

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think she and I agree on that. I

hope the rubble already will be

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pleased, as I was, that we had the

days debate. I was tolerated, as no

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doubt she wasn't, that the

Government managed to win, with

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recent majorities, each of those,

which are very important for young

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people. To expand the number of

young people free school lunches by

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more than 50,000. We had an

opposition Day debate for Plaid

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Cymru and for the DUP, others will

be brought forward through the usual

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channels. She talks about our new

Tigger-ish Chancellor. I was

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delighted to see this new Disney

reference, and long may that class.

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I would like to point out to the

Honourable Lady, she says that it is

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misplaced, but manufacturing output

has now grown for nine consecutive

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months for the first time since

records began in 1968. We have had

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the best two quarters of

productivity growth in the financial

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crisis. The lowest year-to-year net

borrowing since 1998. The number of

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first-time buyers is that an 11 year

high, and employment is near a

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record high. These are reasons to be

optimistic and believe in our

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fantastic economy. I am delighted

the Honourable Lady has such faith

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in my ability to determine whether

the Prime Minister should go, I

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think it is very flattering she

thinks I should determine their

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travel arrangements. She mentions

the excellent work on the racial

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disparity audit and the

determination of this Government to

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ensure that where there is

inequality, we take very strong

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measures to try to remove any

barriers to the success of all parts

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of all races, all ethnic

backgrounds, all religions in this

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country to be able to progress. She

mentions that Walsall, her own area,

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will be part of that initial pilot

scheme. I welcome that, and I hope

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she does. She also mentions the

horrifying story of a young black

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boy being tied to a tree. I think we

all share absolute disgust and

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horror at that inappropriate,

utterly awful experience, and I hope

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that we in this House are always at

all times United in stamping out any

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behaviour of that sought wherever we

see it.

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It is the 346th anniversary of the

declaration of indulgence and I beg

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your indulgence in that... Freedom

of religion in this country,

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something that we all cherish. The

backbench ministers committee now

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has eight and allocated debates that

need time in this chamber and now

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that the government has taken today

and next Thursday, we will therefore

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be losing the opportunity to debate

autism and victims of autism and

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victims of surgical mesh, which are

subject members across the House are

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very keen to debate. Could I ask the

Leader of the House to ensure that

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we get backbench business times as

soon as possible? And on my behalf,

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Mr Speaker, can I ask for a debate

on both child six abuse and grooming

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of young children? Particularly

those in care. I have sat on the

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communities and local government

Select Committee for a long time

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now, seven years, and we went

through the Rotherham case in very

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great detail, and now we are hearing

cases across the country. I think it

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is time we had a debate in

government time on this very

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important issue so all members can

voice their views and we can hear

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what the government is going to do

about it.

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I am grateful to my honourable

friend for stunning in for the

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chairman of the backbench business

committee. I absolutely hear his

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request for backbench business days.

I hope he will welcome the

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government's determination to

provide government time for the

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debate on international women's date

on such an important year, which in

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previous years has fallen to the

backbench business committee to

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table, and also on Welsh affairs,

which unfortunately was a backbench

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day which was cancelled, in effect,

due to the appalling weather. We

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also have a government debate on the

economy, which I know something the

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backbench business committee was

keen to have. We are not ignoring

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the House. However, I do here is

specific mention of debates on

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autism and surgical mesh. I have

constituents of my home who suffered

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very profoundly from obligations

relating to surgical mesh and all

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members will want to do everything

we can for people who suffer from

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autism. We will be bringing forward

backbench days as soon as business

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allows. He also raises the question

of child six abuse, which is beyond

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appalling, and we heard this week

about the appalling situation in

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Telford. I will make representations

on his behalf.

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Can I thank the Leader of the House

for announcing the business for next

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week and also, in tribute to the

three names mentioned, I think the

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best thing we can help do is address

the cause of independence for nutty

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ASH. And can we also welcome

National Shakespeare Week. Surely it

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could only be a comedy of errors or

is that a power grab I see before

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me? I am surprised the leader has

not announced any debate on Russian

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relations. We have had to debates

which have been heavily subscribed

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this week. There is a great deal of

interest might across this House.

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Before Easter, can we ensure we get

a debate on Russia? Tomorrow is a

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first. We have got two consecutive

Scottish National Party members

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private member 's' Bill.

Particularly good and worthy Private

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Members' Bills on uniting refugee

families and ending the practice of

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unpaid internships. Can she do all

she can to make sure there is none

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of the usual, awful, disruptive

parliamentary practices that

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characterised so much of Private

member days. This is stuff our

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constituents absolutely loathe and

they want to see these bills

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progress. And can we have a proper

debate about English votes for

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English laws. Everybody in this

House knows this is an appalling,

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divisive measure that socially

organises this House based on

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nationality. I think there are still

people in the House was still

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confused about how it applies to

them. My Scottish Conservative

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friends determined to exercise their

prime function as unquestioning

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lobby fodder rushed through those

lobbies on Tuesday to vote to take

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free meals out of the mouths of a

million English only to discover

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that their votes didn't count

because of the English veto in the

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double majority vote. The Scottish

Tory draftees turned up to have

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their votes discounted in person.

The Scottish Tories do nothing but

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as questions of a parliament 400

miles away that they can't answer

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these questions, infuriating their

constituents. It is primarily

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responsible for their plummeting

relations.

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Well, thank you, Mr Speaker. I am

struggling to find something to

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agree with the honourable gentleman

on her. Perhaps on the independence

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of knotty ASH would be the safest

place to go. He calls for a debate

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on Russia and the government was

extremely grateful yesterday for the

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very calm and supportive response of

his party leader. The government

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very much appreciated that sensible

and very measured response and I

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will certainly make representations

and I'm sure there will be

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opportunities to refer the

discussion on this very serious

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subject. He talks about Private

Members' Bills. He will be aware

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this is by definition Private member

's bills. The government does not

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seek to interfere in the passage of

legislation in the debate on Private

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Members' Bills. And he mentions two

very important bills led by Scottish

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members. One on the reunion of

refugee families and the other on

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banning unpaid internships. Both of

those proposals have a good deal of

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merit. The government have strong

policies in each area. There was a

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good discussion this morning on the

radio about the merits of on the one

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hand abusive people who are trying

to apply for a job versus the merits

0:19:310:19:35

for small businesses being able to

check out in practical reality the

0:19:350:19:38

skills that individuals claim to

have. I think that debate will be

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very useful tomorrow. He also talks

about English votes for English laws

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and I would just like to put on

record that it is absolutely not the

0:19:480:19:53

case that free school dinners are

being taken away from children. I

0:19:530:20:01

deeply regret that honourable

members on the opposition have

0:20:010:20:03

deliberately sought to mislead and

to make vulnerable people feel yet

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more vulnerable. It is quite clear

that there will be 50,000 more

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children than today eligible for

free school meals by the time

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Universal Credit is rolled out and

that is a great regret to the

0:20:240:20:27

government that anyone should seek

to misrepresent that.

0:20:270:20:30

I just very gently say on advice to

the Leader of the House that she

0:20:300:20:35

would not seek to accuse members of

deliberately misleading the House

0:20:350:20:38

because that would be an accusation

that would touch upon somebody's

0:20:380:20:45

integrity and that is not orderly.

I'm sure she will want to withdraw

0:20:450:20:48

that. It is not negotiable, it just

has to be withdrawn.

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I will withdraw.

Could my right honourable friend

0:20:540:21:01

find time for a debate on food

labelling? I have been contacted by

0:21:010:21:07

Diabetes UK who feel very strongly

that food labelling should be much

0:21:070:21:12

clearer so that customers, when they

buy food and drink, can understand

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the effects it has on the health and

how farm animals are treated.

0:21:150:21:21

My honourable friend raises a very

important issue, not just, as he

0:21:210:21:26

says, for those with health problems

but also so that people who care

0:21:260:21:29

about the welfare of animals can see

precisely how the food they are

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eating has been treated during its

lifetime and of course in the way

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that it has been slaughtered. What I

can say to him is that when we leave

0:21:390:21:44

the European Union, we will no

longer be subject to EU food

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labelling regulations and we will be

able to look at this as a

0:21:470:21:51

Independent United Kingdom.

Last Friday night I stayed up all

0:21:510:21:57

night sleeping rough at Huddersfield

town football stadium to raise money

0:21:570:22:05

for local homeless charities. We

raised over 40,000 type -- £40,000

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that night. Would the leader agree

with me that we should encourage

0:22:100:22:15

other football clubs, including,

perhaps you could influence the

0:22:150:22:18

mighty gunners, to do the same to

raise money locally, but can we also

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have a statement on how the

government plans are going to

0:22:220:22:25

eradicate homelessness?

Can I congratulate the honourable

0:22:250:22:30

lady. That is an amazing thing to

do. In my own home town of

0:22:300:22:35

Northampton, there is a fantastic

homelessness centre that every year

0:22:350:22:39

there's a sleeper and I am fully

determined to do that myself one

0:22:390:22:42

year as well. Can I also

congratulate her on the amazing

0:22:420:22:48

fundraising effort. That is really

amazing news. And to everyone

0:22:480:22:53

involved with that. It is an

absolute priority of the government

0:22:530:22:56

to make sure that we tackle this

huge problem of homelessness and

0:22:560:23:00

rough sleeping. We have pleasure in

our manifesto to eliminate it by

0:23:000:23:05

2027, halving it by 2022. These are

very difficult issues and we have

0:23:050:23:11

committed £1 billion to tackling

rough sleeping and homelessness. But

0:23:110:23:14

it is not just about money, we are

changing how councils approach the

0:23:140:23:18

issue. We are implementing the

Homelessness Reduction Act. And we

0:23:180:23:26

are also very working very closely

with councils to look at what more

0:23:260:23:30

can be done in targeted ways to

tackle the problems that result in

0:23:300:23:34

homelessness and rough sleeping.

I joined the leader in

0:23:340:23:39

congratulating the honourable lady

and her message to colleagues will

0:23:390:23:42

have been heard and digestive.

Can my right honourable friend see

0:23:420:23:47

two ins a sense of urgency into

government departments, perhaps

0:23:470:23:53

starting with the Department for

Transport, because once again due to

0:23:530:23:56

heavy rainfall, the line from London

to Plymouth is cut off due to

0:23:560:24:01

flooding in the Exeter region. There

is a plan to fix it but it is taking

0:24:010:24:05

far too long and my constituents are

fed up about it and so am I. Can she

0:24:050:24:10

please help?

My honourable friend is a huge

0:24:100:24:15

champion for his constituency and he

is quite right to raise it. I

0:24:150:24:19

absolutely understand his

frustration and that of his

0:24:190:24:21

constituents. If he would like to

write to me I would be very happy to

0:24:210:24:25

fire a small rocket towards the

Department of Transport on his

0:24:250:24:29

behalf.

I have got constituents who bought a

0:24:290:24:36

new biomass boiler hoping to offset

some of the costs. After legal

0:24:360:24:42

action, they have got it removed and

now they have got a replacement

0:24:420:24:47

boiler but have been told they are

no longer allowed to access HIV. To

0:24:470:24:52

rub salt in the wounds, they have

now been demanded to pay money back.

0:24:520:25:00

Can we have a debate about the rules

and customers trying to do the right

0:25:000:25:06

thing in embracing green energy.

The honourable gentleman has raised

0:25:060:25:13

a very important point and we do

want to encourage everybody to take

0:25:130:25:18

every opportunity to reduce carbon

emissions and to turn our economy

0:25:180:25:23

green. I am delighted that in 2017

the UK enjoys the greenest year for

0:25:230:25:27

an atrocity ever. He raises a very

specific constituency point and I

0:25:270:25:33

urge him to raise it at questions

with the Department.

0:25:330:25:40

Since last Tuesday's debate in this

place on free school meals, I have

0:25:400:25:45

received numerous e-mails attacking

me for taking food out of the mouths

0:25:450:25:49

of the poorest children in my

constituency. Since I came into

0:25:490:25:53

politics to improve the lives of my

constituents, I find this abhorrent.

0:25:530:25:57

It is also a waste of taxpayers

money having to create these

0:25:570:26:02

rebuttals. Honourable members know

that no child will lose every school

0:26:020:26:05

meal as a result of these policies.

Can we please have a debate about

0:26:050:26:09

the way in which statements which

are made in this chamber that when

0:26:090:26:14

lifted out of context can be

unfortunately used on social media

0:26:140:26:17

to manipulate public opinion by the

party, which ends up harming our

0:26:170:26:25

most vulnerable constituents and

achieving the opposite effect?

0:26:250:26:30

I completely agree with my

honourable friend. She is absolutely

0:26:300:26:34

right to raise this matter in the

chamber. They will be no children

0:26:340:26:38

who lose their free school dinners

and in fact there will be a 50,000

0:26:380:26:42

increase by the time Universal

Credit is rolled out. As you have

0:26:420:26:47

said, Mr Speaker, while the use of

social media is broadly to be

0:26:470:26:51

welcomed, members should take care

to ensure that usage of selected

0:26:510:26:55

clips of debates does not create a

misleading impression of what has

0:26:550:26:59

taken place. Unfortunately, your

words were not heeded and a

0:26:590:27:03

misleading impression has been

created us and it is greatly to be

0:27:030:27:09

regretted and I do believe that it

does not help the integrity of this

0:27:090:27:13

place when honourable members

deliberately seek to put out

0:27:130:27:15

information which is incorrect. Is

that OK?

0:27:150:27:21

I would not get drawn into arguments

about policy. I absolutely stand by

0:27:210:27:25

that statement in its entirety, but

it is entirely compatible and

0:27:250:27:32

consistent with saying that people

cannot accuse other members of Miss

0:27:320:27:36

leading the House. -- misleading the

House. That first statement is

0:27:360:27:43

absolutely correct, people should

not use selective clips to give an

0:27:430:27:49

incorrect, inaccurate, erroneous

account of proceedings.

0:27:490:28:00

In all this well that ends well may

not be the case in relation to

0:28:000:28:04

Northern Ireland, more a case of

beware the Ides of March. Will the

0:28:040:28:08

reader the time available for the

debate on the subject of Northern

0:28:080:28:11

Ireland and the Foreign Secretary's

proposals for a minimal border

0:28:110:28:15

controls and the impact that will

have on border controls and security

0:28:150:28:19

in Northern Ireland?

The honourable

gentleman will be aware that the

0:28:190:28:27

Government policy is to ensure that

there is no hard border between the

0:28:270:28:30

Northern Ireland and the Republic of

Ireland, that when we leave the

0:28:300:28:34

European Union, we have a deal that

works all parts of the United

0:28:340:28:38

Kingdom, and that does not seek to

divide or undermine any part of the

0:28:380:28:43

United Kingdom from any other part.

He also might have hard when I read

0:28:430:28:47

out the business for next week there

will be two days of debates

0:28:470:28:51

pertaining to Northern Ireland next

week, he may well want to take the

0:28:510:28:55

opportunity to speak on those.

Can I

just please refer back to this whole

0:28:550:29:02

business of about statistics and the

use of statistics? There is nothing

0:29:020:29:05

wrong with a good, robust argument

in this place. What I would ask the

0:29:050:29:10

Leader of the House as this. If she

or any other Government minister

0:29:100:29:15

makes an assertion about facts, they

can quite properly be challenged and

0:29:150:29:20

brought back to this place, and made

to give an account of any inaccuracy

0:29:200:29:26

in the use of statistics as fact.

But it is not the same for

0:29:260:29:30

honourable and right honourable

members in the opposition in

0:29:300:29:34

particular, and I don't think it is

enhancing political debate for

0:29:340:29:39

people, and it is a growing problem,

week after week, almost a day after

0:29:390:29:44

day to assert facts but without any

accountability in this House. Is

0:29:440:29:50

there anything that the reader can

do? Because we had to lie on Channel

0:29:500:29:54

4's fax checker on Tuesday. The

library is an excellent source of

0:29:540:30:01

information, but it is imperative

that we all Act with the raster tea

0:30:010:30:05

and integrity, and are held

accountable when we make assertions.

0:30:050:30:13

That is exactly right. Mr Speaker,

you will recall I raised in this

0:30:130:30:17

chamber the issue of a private

response I gave to an honourable

0:30:170:30:21

member opposite, in relation to a

question they asked me privately,

0:30:210:30:24

that they then treated, implying

that I had answered something else,

0:30:240:30:28

which I personally was extremely

offended by. -- tweeted. My

0:30:280:30:34

honourable friend is exactly right,

social media clips that are

0:30:340:30:38

deliberately misleading and ignore

facts to make political points

0:30:380:30:41

undermine our democracy and our

Parliament, and it simply must not

0:30:410:30:44

happen.

Mr Speaker, you might like

to know that I fully intend on

0:30:440:30:50

spending the night with the

honourable member at least alien of

0:30:500:30:57

Huddersfield Premier League club. We

are working on a cancer fundraiser

0:30:570:31:08

last week, and I had to withdraw. I

have a serious request, can we get a

0:31:080:31:15

group of all parties for members of

this House to be made available on a

0:31:150:31:20

more transparent way? I have become

very tired of hearing when someone

0:31:200:31:26

stands up on this side of that and

the mumble, can I refer to my

0:31:260:31:29

interest in the register of

interest? And that is all. And if

0:31:290:31:34

you look at the richest of interest,

some of these people have amazing

0:31:340:31:39

business connections, large amounts

of investments, and indeed some of

0:31:390:31:43

them own half a county in

agriculture? And all we get is a

0:31:430:31:51

little aside, I think this House

isn't transparent enough in terms of

0:31:510:31:54

when you make a speech, you should

fully say what your interests are.

I

0:31:540:32:01

am looking at you wondering whether

this is more a matter for the chairs

0:32:010:32:05

and it is for the Leader of the

House. But I understand what the

0:32:050:32:08

honourable members saying clearly.

If you would like to write to me, I

0:32:080:32:14

would certainly be happy to take it

up with the procedure committee and

0:32:140:32:16

see whether this is an error we need

to review.

The position is actually

0:32:160:32:21

pretty clear. In a speech, a member

should declare an interest that

0:32:210:32:25

members of the House are aware of

it. There is no requirement to do so

0:32:250:32:29

in a question. But each member must

take responsibility for his or her

0:32:290:32:35

decision to decline. So I wouldn't

want it to be thought that there is

0:32:350:32:39

huge ambiguity about this. It may be

that it takes time for some people

0:32:390:32:44

to be fully conversant with the

required procedure, although that

0:32:440:32:48

isn't a problem that will afflict

the honourable gentleman, as he is

0:32:480:32:52

approaching his 39th year of

consecutive service in the House of

0:32:520:32:55

Commons. But I hope people will

appreciate how to go about this

0:32:550:32:59

matter, and it is certainly very

important. John Lamont.

This evening

0:32:590:33:05

I have a great pleasure of attending

the 90th birthday celebrations of

0:33:050:33:09

the Coldstream branch of the woman's

Institute. I'm sure my right

0:33:090:33:13

honourable friend would be welcome

to join me. And I wonder if we could

0:33:130:33:17

have a debate to pay tribute to the

great work that the woman's

0:33:170:33:21

Institute does, not just in Scotland

but across the whole of the United

0:33:210:33:25

Kingdom are supporting not just

women but also local charities?

I am

0:33:250:33:30

sure my honourable friend will be

very warmly received by DWI, he is a

0:33:300:33:34

great champion of his constituency.

And I do thank him for highlighting

0:33:340:33:39

the incredible work of the WRI which

has played a unique role as the

0:33:390:33:44

largest woman's voluntary

organisation in the country. The WI

0:33:440:33:50

has dedicated its time to a wealth

of worthy causes. I help all of

0:33:500:33:55

those celebrating the 90th

anniversary of the Coldstream branch

0:33:550:33:57

have a very enjoyable evening with

him. -- I hope.

Anti-social

0:33:570:34:04

behaviour is a growing concern

across my constituency, people tell

0:34:040:34:07

me that they feel intimidated and

unsafe in their homes. Please can we

0:34:070:34:11

have a debate on on the need for

increased funding for our police and

0:34:110:34:16

statutory youth provision to Act as

both a deterrent and a solution to

0:34:160:34:20

this problem of anti-social

behaviour?

I think the honourable

0:34:200:34:27

lady is quite right to raise the

real problem of anti-social

0:34:270:34:30

behaviour, which whilst low-level,

Kimberly wrecked people's lives and

0:34:300:34:34

their enjoyment of their homes and

so on. -- can really wreck. I will

0:34:340:34:47

look into the possibility of a

debate across the whole of the

0:34:470:34:49

House.

Each week across England and

Wales, some 80 dogs are stolen from

0:34:490:34:55

their owners, causing huge distress

to both the owners themselves and of

0:34:550:34:59

course the animals concerned. During

this pet theft awareness week, could

0:34:590:35:04

we have a debate on what is a

growing and really nasty problem

0:35:040:35:09

across this country?

I know my

honourable friend has done a great

0:35:090:35:16

deal to raise awareness of the issue

of dog theft. It is a terrible

0:35:160:35:21

crime, and whilst any theft of

property can be distressing for the

0:35:210:35:26

victims, the suffering will be much

greater when it is a family pet, and

0:35:260:35:29

I commend him for raising this

issue. The Government is very clear

0:35:290:35:33

that when such a crime happens, it

must be reported to the police

0:35:330:35:37

whenever it happens, so that that

crime can be investigated and the

0:35:370:35:41

perpetrators brought to justice. He

will know that the theft of a dog is

0:35:410:35:45

a criminal offence under section one

of the theft Act of 1968, and we are

0:35:450:35:49

determined to see it enforced.

Mr

Speaker, my constituents in Bristol

0:35:490:35:56

West are baffled at the way this

Government keeps pulling business

0:35:560:36:01

and not replacing it with time to

solve the pressing issues of the

0:36:010:36:05

day, almost as, lack of funding for

schools, challenges to the NHS, so

0:36:050:36:10

will the Leader of the House please

ask the Government to provide

0:36:100:36:16

further governments time or further

opposition day time for us to debate

0:36:160:36:18

and try to solve some of these

pressing issues?

As far as I'm

0:36:180:36:25

aware, Mr Speaker, the only business

that the Government has pulled as a

0:36:250:36:29

response to a request from the

opposition on Monday evening that,

0:36:290:36:32

due to the unprecedented number of

urgent questions and important

0:36:320:36:37

statements around things like

bullying and harassment and a

0:36:370:36:39

response to the Salisbury attack,

the opposition requested that the

0:36:390:36:43

Government pulled the business that

night. So I'm not entirely sure what

0:36:430:36:47

the honourable lady is talking

about.

Last Saturday I joined the

0:36:470:36:57

save our hospital campaign on a

march to highlight the anxiety and

0:36:570:37:01

stress in the local community

presently feels as we await the

0:37:010:37:04

outcome of the Department of Health

independent review panel's review.

0:37:040:37:12

The challenge of rural funding for

health care means we are not

0:37:120:37:15

investing fairly into England's most

sparsely populated community. We

0:37:150:37:23

need better palliative and

convalescent care, and we need to

0:37:230:37:26

give consideration to the challenges

faced by rural hospitals. The

0:37:260:37:34

Government allow a debate in

governments time to debate how we

0:37:340:37:39

all we can address these problems?

I

think you have highlighted

0:37:390:37:55

beautifully what a fabulous champion

for constituents my honourable

0:37:550:37:58

friend is, and she has rights to

raise the particular challenge of

0:37:580:38:02

sparsely populated areas and her

need for health care to be as good

0:38:020:38:05

as anywhere else in the country. I

myself have some challenges with a

0:38:050:38:10

local health care provision in a

less populated area, and I do

0:38:100:38:14

appreciate fully what she is saying.

I suggest to her that you might like

0:38:140:38:17

to seek an adjournment debate

specifically to deal with the issues

0:38:170:38:20

in Northumberland.

Last Friday, I

was tossed out by the entire primary

0:38:200:38:30

three class at Hanover Street

primary School -- door stepped, who

0:38:300:38:36

wanted to tell me that in three

years the Parliament use of straws

0:38:360:38:42

has doubled. They are concerned

about this would like to know what

0:38:420:38:45

the Government is doing to tackle

this issue.

Isn't that fantastic to

0:38:450:38:51

hear of young students doorstepping

the honourable lady? The Government

0:38:510:38:58

is committed to tackling and

reducing the use of plastics, and

0:38:580:39:01

are all manner of efforts, such as

the 5p levy on plastic bags, which

0:39:010:39:11

is reduced usage by around 9 billion

bags, an extraordinary number. There

0:39:110:39:16

is also an effort on the blue belt

to protect maritime environment. But

0:39:160:39:24

closer to home, we know that a

little and often ends up in our

0:39:240:39:29

sees, and so we have a new strategy

for England. But very specifically

0:39:290:39:37

to the point of plastic straws and

the use in this place, the

0:39:370:39:41

administration committee have taken

this up. They are committed to

0:39:410:39:44

reducing the use of single use

plastics, which includes plastic

0:39:440:39:49

knives and forks as well as straws,

and I can tell her that a number of

0:39:490:39:53

honourable members across this place

have committed to a plastic free

0:39:530:39:58

Lent, she would be very welcome to

join us should you wish to do so.

I

0:39:580:40:04

commend my honourable friend for the

hard work and determination she has

0:40:040:40:07

shown to deal with the issue of

bullying and harassment of all kinds

0:40:070:40:11

in Westminster. Could we please have

a statement on the ballooning

0:40:110:40:14

quietly she has proposed this week,

and is she able to confirm that this

0:40:140:40:18

enquiry will not look at individual

cases but instead look at whether

0:40:180:40:22

the respect policy as a whole is

working for staff in this place?

I

0:40:220:40:30

am grateful for his question, and I

can get some very specific

0:40:300:40:34

reassurance. The enquiry into the

bullying of House staff at I will be

0:40:340:40:38

posing on the 19th of March will not

be carrying out investigations into

0:40:380:40:43

individual cases. That is exactly

why I expected to attract the full

0:40:430:40:47

support of the House commission.

There are existing avenues open to

0:40:470:40:52

anyone wishing to raise specific

grievances, and those individuals

0:40:520:40:56

coming forward will be in Courage to

use those where they apply. But the

0:40:560:41:00

enquiry will be looking at whether

they are functioning properly. --

0:41:000:41:06

will be encouraged. My aim is to

stamp out bullying and harassment of

0:41:060:41:09

any kind in this place, and I

imagine every single person who will

0:41:090:41:13

wish to support this.

Can we have a

statement or a debate on the dispute

0:41:130:41:21

of universities at the moment? I

have two universities in my

0:41:210:41:24

constituency, and this debate has

been dragging on for weeks,

0:41:240:41:32

including lecturers' pensions. Can

we have an update or on that? And

0:41:320:41:35

before the Leader of the House gets

up to answer me, I'm aware that

0:41:350:41:39

there are educations on Monday, but

I would like a proper statements to

0:41:390:41:43

show me the matter is being taken

seriously by the House. -- education

0:41:430:41:47

questions.

I'm certainly very

personally aware of this, with my

0:41:470:41:54

eldest son facing finals and having

been denied the opportunity to even

0:41:540:41:58

go to university because of the

picket line to use the resources

0:41:580:42:01

there, let alone have any of the

face tuition that he was due to have

0:42:010:42:05

and has paid for. -- face-to-face

tuition. So I am personally

0:42:050:42:10

extremely cross about the way that

innocent students are being punished

0:42:100:42:13

during this dispute. I urge all

parties to get together and find a

0:42:130:42:18

resolution so that a generation of

graduates do not have to pay the

0:42:180:42:20

price.

0:42:200:42:26

Two weeks ago I raise the question

of non-levy apprenticeship funding

0:42:260:42:32

for Newcastle, Stafford, Shrewsbury

Town and other colleges. This is

0:42:320:42:35

becoming a serious situation and I

believe that our young people will

0:42:350:42:39

be let down if we don't resolve it.

Can I urge that we have a statement

0:42:390:42:43

or a debate on this matter as soon

as possible?

0:42:430:42:48

I know my honourable friend is very

supportive of the importance of

0:42:480:42:54

apprenticeships so I thank him for

his question. I can tell him that

0:42:540:42:58

the contracts for the delivery of

non-levy brandish ship training were

0:42:580:43:02

awarded on the basis of an education

and skills funding agency assessment

0:43:020:43:07

of information that was supplied

against clearly separate criteria.

0:43:070:43:09

Ofsted's weighting of this was not

considered as new entrants don't

0:43:090:43:16

have an Ofsted rating so would have

been disadvantaged. The government

0:43:160:43:21

was awarded over 700 providers with

contracts totalling £490 million to

0:43:210:43:27

deliver apprenticeship training for

non-levy payers. However, those who

0:43:270:43:32

were not successful in the

procurement can still provide

0:43:320:43:35

apprenticeship training to levy

payers directly.

0:43:350:43:40

In the last week I have had three

constituents contact me to express

0:43:400:43:44

their frustration that they are

unable to receive social security

0:43:440:43:48

payments into Post Office accounts.

With bank closures, including in my

0:43:480:43:54

constituency, can we have a debate

in government to the functions and

0:43:540:43:58

work of the Post Office to make sure

that we can resolve these issues to

0:43:580:44:02

make sure that constituents can

receive Social Security payments

0:44:020:44:05

into those accounts?

I think the honourable gentleman

0:44:050:44:10

raises a really important point. I

was delighted when city minister to

0:44:100:44:15

sign the arrangement with. This is

to provide basic banking services

0:44:150:44:18

for all UK banks. So this, the issue

that he raises, is news to me

0:44:180:44:28

personally. If he would like to

write to me about it, I will take it

0:44:280:44:31

up with the Department.

I thought yesterday the Prime

0:44:310:44:38

Minister didn't only speak for the

government but also the country over

0:44:380:44:43

Russia. I thought the Leader of the

Opposition was an apologist for

0:44:430:44:45

Russia. The duty of every member in

this House is to put country first

0:44:450:44:52

and party second. I congratulate the

18 Labour members who have signed an

0:44:520:44:57

early day motion 1071 supporting the

government. On this occasion would

0:44:570:45:02

it be possible for the Leader of the

House to have this debated next

0:45:020:45:07

week?

I entirely agree and associate

0:45:070:45:15

myself with the comments from my

honourable friend and I think that I

0:45:150:45:20

will certainly reflect his comments

to the government but that it will

0:45:200:45:26

not be possible as the business has

already been arranged for next week.

0:45:260:45:31

But I do encourage him to seek other

means for this matter to be debated.

0:45:310:45:44

Services eight and 19 will cease in

11 days' time resulting in villages

0:45:440:45:51

no longer having a direct bus route.

We are looking forward to be

0:45:510:45:57

Scottish Government's transport Bill

which will deal with many of these

0:45:570:46:01

issues. Can we have a debate on the

impact across the UK?

0:46:010:46:09

I think the honourable gentleman

raises what is clearly a very

0:46:090:46:13

important point. Bus services are

vital for many rural communities for

0:46:130:46:17

people to get to work, education and

to do the weekly shop. I am a huge

0:46:170:46:22

fan of the bus sector and the

importance of maintaining services.

0:46:220:46:26

However, it is an entirely devolved

matter and it would not be

0:46:260:46:30

appropriate for me to comment

further on specifics in his area.

0:46:300:46:42

There has been minimal attention

given to the events in Telford where

0:46:490:46:53

hundreds of children have been

abused and rates. Can we have --

0:46:530:47:02

abused and raped.

0:47:020:47:13

We have all been shocked by the

reports from Telford and we should

0:47:130:47:19

all be praising our honourable

friend, the member for Telford, who

0:47:190:47:23

has been totally right to speak out

as she has. I am very pleased that

0:47:230:47:27

the authorities are now going to

conduct an enquiry and it is

0:47:270:47:30

important this work gets under way

as quickly as possible so we can get

0:47:300:47:34

to the truth. My honourable friend

raises an important point about the

0:47:340:47:38

relative lack of reporting on this

subject versus other perhaps more

0:47:380:47:42

gossipy types of scandal. He is

right to raise the concern about

0:47:420:47:48

evenhanded reporting.

The Leader of the House may have

0:47:480:47:57

noticed that on several occasions I

have asked for debates on youth

0:47:570:48:01

violence and the root causes of

youth violence. I have noted that we

0:48:010:48:06

have not got these in terms of

government time and quite often the

0:48:060:48:10

Leader of the House gives creative

suggestions for how we might go

0:48:100:48:15

about having a debate on this. But

one of those, I was thinking we

0:48:150:48:21

could have opposition Day debates

and maybe I could lobby our front

0:48:210:48:25

bench to discuss the issue of youth

violence within an opposition day

0:48:250:48:31

debate. Can we have time for

opposition day debates, please?

0:48:310:48:37

Can I pay tribute to the honourable

lady for her work in this area. I

0:48:370:48:41

know she is supporting the

government in looking into the issue

0:48:410:48:45

of serious violence and she will be

aware that government's new serious

0:48:450:48:50

violence strategy is due to be

published in the spring and it will

0:48:500:48:53

look at ways to steer young people

away from a life of crime while

0:48:530:48:57

putting in place measures to prevent

and reduce the effect on victims of

0:48:570:49:02

serious crime. She asked for an

opposition day and I can assure her,

0:49:020:49:06

as I did to the honourable lady

opposite, that opposition days will

0:49:060:49:10

be forthcoming in the usual way and

in accordance with the standing

0:49:100:49:13

orders of this House.

I'm sure the whole house will be

0:49:130:49:20

delighted to hear that Wales' first

zero waste shop opened its doors on

0:49:200:49:27

the high street of Crickhowell in my

constituency of Brecon and

0:49:270:49:30

Radnorshire earlier this month. Can

we therefore have a debate on what

0:49:300:49:34

more the government can do to make

sure that more shots follow their

0:49:340:49:37

example and therefore help the

unnecessary -- reduce the

0:49:370:49:43

unnecessary plastic packaging that

is doing harm to our environment?

0:49:430:49:49

Firstly, can I congratulate his

constituents for this great

0:49:490:49:51

endeavour and wish them every

success. The passion with which

0:49:510:49:55

honourable members across the House

put forward ideas for reducing

0:49:550:49:58

plastic waste shows that is as

consumers as well as our

0:49:580:50:02

constituents will be very keen to

support such measures I retailers.

0:50:020:50:07

Obviously, he will be aware that the

small retailers Association have

0:50:070:50:11

committed themselves to joining in

the 5p charge for plastic bags,

0:50:110:50:15

which will all help, and I expect

all members to support their

0:50:150:50:19

retailers, who are doing so much.

Can we have a debate in government

0:50:190:50:30

time on the practice of housing

developers.

0:50:300:50:41

Can we have a debate to hold these

developers to account?

0:50:430:50:49

I think the honourable gentleman is

right to raise those issues. We all

0:50:490:50:54

have developments going on in our

constituencies where we have lots of

0:50:540:50:59

promises and then constituents are

disappointed by the lack of action

0:50:590:51:02

on those and I'm sure we all, as I

do, right furious letters to

0:51:020:51:07

developers asking them, we read

this, where is that? . I do

0:51:070:51:13

encourage the honourable gentleman

to seek a debate to deal with the

0:51:130:51:16

specific issues in his constituency,

but I commend him for raising this.

0:51:160:51:24

On Tuesday, amusement arcade

operators in Cleethorpes were

0:51:240:51:28

operating -- expressing their anger

at the possible withdrawal of the 1p

0:51:280:51:32

and 2p coins. They are now confused

as to what the government's policy

0:51:320:51:41

is. Could we have a statement to

clarify whether the consultation is

0:51:410:51:46

ongoing and whether or not it will

include possible withdrawal of the

0:51:460:51:50

1p and 2p coins?

The Prime Minister's spokesman has

0:51:500:51:58

said there are no proposals to scrap

1p or 2p coins. The call was simply

0:51:580:52:03

intended to help the government

better understand the role of cash

0:52:030:52:07

and digital payment. One of the

elements is whether the

0:52:070:52:10

denominational mix of coins meets

the public need and from the early

0:52:100:52:13

reaction it looks as if it does. I

think it is safe to say that the

0:52:130:52:18

penny has dropped, we have

considered change, we know we like

0:52:180:52:22

change, so we think we will probably

keep change and have no change.

0:52:220:52:28

Since raising the York housing

crisis in the chamber, my inbox has

0:52:280:52:34

been flooded with horrific stories

of damp and mouldy housing in York,

0:52:340:52:39

where landlords, whether council or

private landlords, have completely

0:52:390:52:44

fingered my constituents. --

completely failed my constituents.

0:52:440:52:54

And we have a debate so that once

and for all we stamp out doubt --

0:52:540:52:57

stamp out damp.

There is no doubt that the

0:52:570:53:03

government is determined to take

steps to help to ensure that all

0:53:030:53:06

homes are meeting the right

standards and that we do stamp out

0:53:060:53:11

issues like damp and other problems

that so many tenants have. She will

0:53:110:53:17

know that the government is

supporting the Private members Bill

0:53:170:53:20

of her honourable friend on bringing

homes to a decent standard. We are

0:53:200:53:24

also committed to protecting the

rights of tenants and giving them

0:53:240:53:27

more security through our tenant

fees Bill that is going to ban

0:53:270:53:31

unfair letting feels and other ways

-- letting fees and other ways in

0:53:310:53:36

which tenants are mistreated. I'm

sure there will be many

0:53:360:53:39

opportunities to raise this in the

coming months.

0:53:390:53:43

When the results of the English

votes for English laws were

0:53:430:53:46

announced on Tuesday, the number of

members from English constituencies

0:53:460:53:49

had not been counted by tell us,

they have been countered by an

0:53:490:53:53

electronic devices in the lobbies.

Is it not time to drag this place

0:53:530:53:58

into the late 20th century and

introduce electronic voting for all

0:53:580:54:00

divisions?

This is what I would say to the

0:54:000:54:06

honourable gentleman is, for many of

us, we find the lobby is a very

0:54:060:54:10

useful place to discuss matters

pertaining to our constituents and

0:54:100:54:13

to policy and it is a great

opportunity to meet with ministers.

0:54:130:54:18

I do encourage the honourable

gentleman to hang around a bit and

0:54:180:54:22

raise some of the issues he often

raises with me on a Thursday with

0:54:220:54:25

the relevant minister rather than

rushing through and electronically

0:54:250:54:28

voting. I commend it to him.

He will only be raising this matter

0:54:280:54:35

with ministers in the lobby if he

voted with them. I can't imagine

0:54:350:54:38

that happening very often. The

Leader of the House has made her

0:54:380:54:43

position and other members of the

House very clear.

0:54:430:54:47

I'm sure I'm not alone in being less

than impressed with the answers the

0:54:470:54:51

Foreign Secretary gave this morning

when he was quizzed on the Today

0:54:510:54:55

programme when he was asked what

action the government is taking to

0:54:550:54:58

freeze the assets -- assets to those

related to the Russian regime. I

0:54:580:55:07

know the government can't give as a

running commentary on what it is

0:55:070:55:11

doing at this moment in time but in

the near future this House will want

0:55:110:55:15

an account of what action they took

urgently to freeze those assets to

0:55:150:55:19

stop them being moved. Will the

Leader of the House convey that to

0:55:190:55:24

the government and make arrangements

for such a statement in the near

0:55:240:55:26

future?

This is a very serious matter and if

0:55:260:55:31

I can just say, what the Foreign

Secretary was making clear this

0:55:310:55:36

morning, unlike others, this country

abides by the rule of law, it is not

0:55:360:55:40

for ministers to simply decide to

freeze assets. We go by the law of

0:55:400:55:44

the land and we are putting in

place, as far as possible and within

0:55:440:55:49

the law, a review of all of those

who we suspect may have assets that

0:55:490:55:53

we may wish to consider freezing. Of

course ministers will come forward

0:55:530:55:57

and report to the House exactly what

is happening as soon as they are

0:55:570:56:00

able to do so.

Can the Leader of the House make

0:56:000:56:03

sure that as Universal Credit is

rolled out we have more regular

0:56:030:56:08

opportunities to question ministers

and tell them what is happening on

0:56:080:56:11

the ground? In Newport, with the

roll-out started in November, we

0:56:110:56:16

have seen a threefold increase in

food parcels and government

0:56:160:56:20

ministers need to listen to that.

Well, I do want to be clear that

0:56:200:56:27

Universal Credit is designed to make

work pay. There is evidence that

0:56:270:56:34

that is working. It is encouraging

more people to seek work and more

0:56:340:56:38

people to get work. The idea is to

reduce the capacity of the previous

0:56:380:56:42

benefits system. The honourable

ladies pigs as if somehow it is

0:56:420:56:46

making people worse off. It is

making people better off. The

0:56:460:56:50

government has listened very

carefully to the many

0:56:500:56:52

representations right across the

House -- the honourable lady

0:56:520:56:59

opposite.

0:56:590:57:09

Can we have a debate in government

time on the responsibilities of the

0:57:090:57:14

foreign and, wealth office. Three

weeks ago today I raised the urgent

0:57:140:57:19

case of Leo Colgan, the Inverness

man who had gone missing in Hamburg,

0:57:190:57:22

and despite taking the Leader of the

House's advice in writing to

0:57:220:57:28

ministers, three weeks later I have

not had a response despite having

0:57:280:57:32

chased and chased do to clearance

and awaiting signature. The family

0:57:320:57:36

is in trauma. Shouldn't ministers

come to the House and explain this

0:57:360:57:39

lack of urgency?

0:57:390:57:44

I am sorry to hear that, and I do

recall the honourable gentleman

0:57:440:57:48

reason that case with me. I am happy

to chase the Foreign & Commonwealth

0:57:480:57:52

Office on his behalf.

Two years ago,

one of my constituents was attacked

0:57:520:57:59

by her ex-partner and an accomplice.

She was eight months pregnant and

0:57:590:58:04

then flippantly targeted her

stomach, stamping on her, which

0:58:040:58:08

caused the loss of the child. She

has launched a campaign this

0:58:080:58:13

Mother's Day to get the 1929 infant

preservation Act updated. All the

0:58:130:58:19

Government provides time to debate

this issue to ensure that people who

0:58:190:58:25

deliberately caused the loss of a

child are adequately prosecuted and

0:58:250:58:28

given lengthy sentences?

I think all

honourable members will be appalled

0:58:280:58:33

to hear of that situation, that is

terrible and I am very sorry to hear

0:58:330:58:38

it. The honourable gentleman will be

aware that the Government has

0:58:380:58:41

brought forward a draft domestic

abuse Bill, this seems that it would

0:58:410:58:46

be very appropriate for him to

submit this particular case into

0:58:460:58:50

that draft consultation so that it

can be considered along with all of

0:58:500:58:55

the other measures that show the

Government's determination to stamp

0:58:550:59:00

out domestic violence, which is so

often directed towards women, and

0:59:000:59:07

I'm afraid very often, towards

pregnant women.

The human rights

0:59:070:59:12

commission released a damning report

on the impact of tax and welfare

0:59:120:59:15

reforms yesterday, which highlighted

that three quarters of household

0:59:150:59:19

with three children are losing out,

and three quarters of Pakistani

0:59:190:59:23

households are losing out as a

result of welfare reforms, a huge

0:59:230:59:26

concern for my constituents in

Glasgow Central. Can we have a

0:59:260:59:29

debate on Government time about the

important need for equality impact

0:59:290:59:34

assessment is to make sure the

Government is not racist?

I think

0:59:340:59:40

the honourable lady should welcome

the work of my right honourable

0:59:400:59:44

friend on the racial disparity audit

that is the first attempt by the

0:59:440:59:49

Government, any Government, to try

to measure whether there is

0:59:490:59:54

disparity in the treatment of people

according to race or ethnicity, or

0:59:540:59:59

indeed religion, as absolutely

vital. But what I would say to her

0:59:591:00:03

is that we do have many more

children, almost 600,000 fewer

1:00:031:00:07

children, living in workless

households. And 200,000 fewer

1:00:071:00:12

children in absolute poverty. Income

equality is now lower than it was in

1:00:121:00:16

any year under the last Labour

Government, so we are making

1:00:161:00:21

progress. We are committed to doing

more, this Government is showing

1:00:211:00:28

determination to stamp out the kind

of inequality she is talking about.

1:00:281:00:31

I'm sure the Leader of the House

will be interested to know that at

1:00:311:00:37

Hull University today, they are

releasing the preliminary evaluation

1:00:371:00:42

of Hull City of Culture. £300

million to risk money into the city,

1:00:421:00:50

more than nine out of ten households

engaged in at least one cultural

1:00:501:00:55

activity, and thousands of young

people engaging with the arts, not

1:00:551:00:58

to mention the acres of positive

publicity for the city. Can we have

1:00:581:01:04

a debate about the value in the

public investment in culture, the

1:01:041:01:09

success of Hull City of Culture, and

the lessons that can be learned for

1:01:091:01:14

Coventry when it takes up the battle

of City of Culture in 2021? -- bat

1:01:141:01:19

on.

I am grateful to her, she is a

huge champion of Hull City of

1:01:191:01:26

Culture, and the statistics are

hugely welcome because it

1:01:261:01:32

demonstrates what a success it has

been, and I think she is right to

1:01:321:01:35

call for the debate on what the

lessons can be for Coventry, so they

1:01:351:01:39

can take advantage of the excellent

experience she has had. I suggest

1:01:391:01:43

she raises at next Thursday.

Last

Friday, we held our Nottingham North

1:01:431:01:54

constituency jobs fair, and I'm

pleased to say we have 956 local

1:01:541:01:58

people come to that jobs. Of course

we had hoped we would not needed

1:01:581:02:02

jobs fair at all, but it is a real

sign of the impact of that event and

1:02:021:02:06

many people will get into work and

training as a result. Will the

1:02:061:02:09

Leader of the House gave me an

opportunity to shout praise on

1:02:091:02:15

Nottingham City Council, the local

DWP, on the rebalancing foundation I

1:02:151:02:19

am proud to check, and the many

people who made such a success?

I'm

1:02:191:02:24

sure the honourable gentleman was

also seeking a debate.

Yes, I was.

I

1:02:241:02:31

congratulate the honourable

gentleman for the enormous turnout

1:02:311:02:33

he has had at his jobs fair, I think

all honourable members have held

1:02:331:02:38

jobs fairs have found likewise the

enthusiasm from employers and from

1:02:381:02:41

people looking for a job has been

heart-warming. And of course, we

1:02:411:02:44

have seen an extraordinary increase

in employment so that now we are at

1:02:441:02:49

near record highs for employment

across the United Kingdom, including

1:02:491:02:54

well over 30% increases in

employment right across the UK,

1:02:541:02:59

rising in the East Midlands to 42%,

and the West Midlands 38%, and the

1:02:591:03:06

south-east unemployment is down by

47%. So I think we have some amazing

1:03:061:03:11

job statistics to look at as a

result of the measures we have put

1:03:111:03:14

in place to see a thriving economy

with lower taxes for people, and

1:03:141:03:20

more people with the security of a

wage packet to take home.

Last but

1:03:201:03:25

not least, and never forgotten, Mr

Peter Grant.

I am eternally

1:03:251:03:30

grateful. Can we have a statement

from the Work and Pensions Secretary

1:03:301:03:33

on the cold weather payments system?

Most of my constituency were

1:03:331:03:40

discovered to discover that it

wasn't cold enough to trigger the

1:03:401:03:43

payments during a week in which they

were under two to three feet of

1:03:431:03:47

snow, travel of any kind was

impossible, and we were subject to

1:03:471:03:52

Scotland's first-ever red alert due

to the danger from snow and ice. The

1:03:521:03:54

problem is that the DWP do not

measure the temperature England

1:03:541:03:58

office, they measure it at a coastal

location 20 miles away. -- do not

1:03:581:04:05

measure the temperature in

Glenrothes. So can we have some

1:04:051:04:12

assurance that next time this

happens, the people of Glenrothes

1:04:121:04:15

will have the payments they are

untitled to? -- entitled to.

The

1:04:151:04:26

honourable gentleman will be made

aware of the payments for people who

1:04:261:04:29

struggles to meet their own energy

bills. Monday the 26th

1:04:291:04:34