07/03/2018 Prime Minister's Questions


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07/03/2018

Coverage of questions in the House of Commons to prime minister Theresa May from Wednesday 7 March.


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Scottish Government that leads on

this and it would be welcome to hear

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anything from the Scottish

Government. We would be happy to

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meet with them to discuss the

situation. Thank you.

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I would like to begin by updating

the House on the government's

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response to the incident that

occurred in Salisbury on Sunday and

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pay tribute to the work of all the

emergency services who responded at

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the scene and those who are now

caring for the critically injured

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individuals in hospital. The police

investigation is ongoing. Yesterday

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afternoon I chaired a meeting with

the National Security Council where

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we were updated on that

investigation which is now being led

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by counterterrorism police. This

morning the Home Secretary chaired a

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meeting of the government's

emergency committee, Cobra, and has

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asked for an update later today. In

addition to my duties in this as I

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shall have further such meetings

later on today.

Representing the

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south-west constituency can I align

my remarks with those of my right

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honourable friend, the incident in

Salisbury has caused concern across

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the south-west and the country.

North Dorset cancels and I share the

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Prime Minister's commitment to

delivering new housing, such as

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creating 1800 new homes in

Gillingham in my constituency. We

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understand how housing transforms

and supports local economic growth.

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Can I welcome this week's

announcement from the Prime

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Minister. Let's get Britain building

and deliver those quality homes of

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all ten years that our constituents

now need.

My honourable friend is

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absolutely right about the

importance of housing and earlier

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this week I confirmed the government

is rewriting the rules on planning

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to help restore that dream of home

ownership. We want to see planning

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permission going to people who will

build houses, not just sit on land

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and watch its value rise. New rules

will also make sure the right

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infrastructure is in place to

support housing development and

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planning changes will allow more

affordable homes to be prioritised

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for key workers. The government has

made it a priority to build the

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homes people need so everyone can

afford a safe and decent place to

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live.

Jeremy Corbyn. I thank the

Prime Minister for the short

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statement she made concerning the

incident in Salisbury and I think we

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all thank the emergency and security

services for their response and we

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await updates on the progress of

investigations into the cause of

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that incident. Mr Speaker, tomorrow

is International Women's Day, a

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chance to celebrate how far we have

come on equality for women, but also

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to reflect on how far we have to go,

not just in this country, but around

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the world. Later today, the Prime

Minister is due to meet Crown Prince

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Mohamed bin Salman, the ruler of

Saudi Arabia. Despite much talk of

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reform there has been a sharp

increase in the arrest and detention

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of dissidents, torture of prisoners

is common, human rights defenders

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are sent to prison, unfair trials

and executions are widespread as

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Amnesty International confirms. As

she makes her arms sales pitch was

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she also called on the crown prince

to hold the shocking abuse of human

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rights in Saudi Arabia?

First of

all, can I thank the right

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honourable gentleman for telling me

that it is International Women's Day

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tomorrow! I think that is what is

called man's planing! I look forward

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to welcoming Crown Prince Mohamed

bin Salman from Saudi Arabia...

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Labour backbenchers from sedentary

positions are shouting shame. Can I

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say to those backbenchers that the

link we have with Saudi Arabia is

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historic, it is an important one and

it has saved the lives of

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potentially hundreds of people in

this country. And can I say that

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actually the fact that it is an

important link is not just the view

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that I hold, the Shadow Foreign

Secretary this morning said, our

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relationship with Saudi Arabia is an

important one. She also went on to

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say that does not mean we should not

be pulling power punches and I

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agree, which is why I will be

raising concerns about human rights

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with the Crown Prince when I meet

him. As the right honourable

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gentleman started on the issue of

International Women's Day, I welcome

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the fact that Crown Prince will be

sitting down with and as the guest

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of a female Prime Minister!

Mr

Speaker, it is a year on and the

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government is of course still

suppressing a report into the

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funding of extremism which allegedly

found evidence of Saudi funding

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going to terrorist groups here in

the UK, so threatening our security.

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When will that report come out? Mr

Speaker, a humanitarian disaster is

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now taking place in Yemen. Millions

face starvation. 600,000 children

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have cholera because of the Saudi

led bombing campaign and the

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blockade. 600,000 children with

cholera is something I think

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everyone in this house should take

seriously. Germany has suspended

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arms sales to Saudi Arabia, but

British arms sales have sharply

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increased and British military

advisers are directing the war. It

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cannot be right that her government,

Mr Speaker, it cannot be right that

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her government is colluding in what

the United Nations says is evidence

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of war crimes. Will the Prime

Minister use her meeting today with

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the Crown Prince to halt the arms

supplies and demand an immediate

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ceasefire in Yemen?

Mr Speaker, the

right honourable gentleman raised

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two questions. On the first point he

made about the Home Office's

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internal review, this government is

committed to stamping out extremism

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in all its forms. I launched the

counter extremism strategy. The

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current Home Secretary has appointed

a counter extremism commissioner.

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The review we had gave us the best

picture of how extremists operating

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in the UK sustain their activities

and it improved our understanding of

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that and it's most important finding

is that contrary to popular

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perception, Islamist extremists draw

most of their financial support from

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domestic rather than overseas

sources. I understand that for

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reasons of some of the personal

content in the report this has not

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been published, however privy

Councillors have been invited to the

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Home Office to read this report.

That invitation was extended to the

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Shadow Home Secretary and so she and

other Privy Council colleagues on

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the Labour front bench are free to

go and read that report. The second

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issue that the right honourable

gentleman raised was the question of

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the humanitarian situation in Yemen.

We are all concerned about the

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appalling situation in Yemen and the

effect it is having on people,

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particularly the effect on women and

children. We have increased our

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funding for Yemen. Last year we

increased it to over £200 million

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and we are the third largest

humanitarian donor to the Yemen. We

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are delivering life-saving aid that

will provide nutrition support for

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1.7 million people, clean water for

1.2 million people. I was pleased

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when I went to Saudi Arabia in

December, I met with the Crown

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Prince, I raised with him then the

need to open the border to

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humanitarian and commercial supplies

and Saudi Arabia then did just that.

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This vindicates the engagement we

have with Saudi Arabia, to be able

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to sit down with them. Their

involvement in Yemen came at the

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request of the legitimate government

in the Yemen and is backed by the UN

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Security Council and we supported.

On the humanitarian issue I would

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say it is for all parties in the

conflict to ensure they allow

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humanitarian aid to get through to

those who need it.

Of course we all

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want all possible humanitarian aid

to go to Yemen and help the people

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who are suffering, but I refer her

to the remarks made by the former

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International Development Secretary,

I quote, we must not be afraid to

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condemn the nightly attacks on Yemen

by the Saudi air force which have

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killed and maimed innocent men,

women and children. A ceasefire has

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got to be urgent in order to save

lives in the Yemen. Mr Speaker, why

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does the Prime Minister thinks that

rough speaking felt under Labour but

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was doubled under the Conservatives?

First of all to respond to the first

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question that he raised in relation

to the Yemen and the conflict that

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is taking place there in the Yemen,

we have encouraged the Saudi Arabian

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government to ensure that when there

are allegations that activity has

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taken place which is not in line

with international humanitarian law

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that they investigate that and learn

the lessons from it. 55 reports have

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already been published as a result

of that. But on the issue of arms

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exports to Saudi Arabia, can I also

say that he seems to be at odds with

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his Shadow Foreign Secretary once

again who this morning said, the

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arms industry is not something I am

seeking to undermine as long as it

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is within international law. She

went on to say that she thought the

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UK can sell arms to any country as

long as they are used within the

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law. We agree, we have a very tight

arms export regime in this country

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and when there are allegations of

arms not been used within the law,

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we expect that to be investigated

and lessons to be learned on that.

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On the issue of rough sleeping, I

say to the right honourable

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gentleman that nobody in this house

wants to see anybody having to sleep

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rough on the streets of this

country. That is why this is a

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government that is putting millions

of pounds extra into dealing with

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rough sleeping. It is why we are

piloting the housing first approach

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in three of our major cities because

what we want to do is to ensure not

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just that we deal with the situation

where somebody is found sleeping

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rough, but actually that we prevent

people from sleeping rough in the

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first place.

Mr Speaker, in November

the Chancellor of the extra

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announced a rough sleeping task

force and £28 million for three

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pilot schemes to tackle

homelessness. I understand four

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months on the task force has not yet

met, not a penny has been spent on

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that programme. There is a

homelessness crisis in this country.

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Rough sleeping has doubled since

2010. Doesn't the Prime Minister

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think it is a little unambitious to

say we will tackle rough sleeping by

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2027?

Can I say we are going to

eliminate it, that is our aim by

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2027. Let me just perhaps... Perhaps

it would be helpful if I was to

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update the right honourable

gentleman because the task force he

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referred to has in fact met. It met

today! But more importantly because

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the right honourable gentleman has

asked me this previously, more

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importantly this is not the only

group of people we bring together to

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look at rough sleeping. We have an

expert advisory group that has been

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meeting over recent months and whose

reports and information and

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expertise is being input into the

task force. He talks about

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homelessness, statutory homelessness

is less than half its peak in 2003,

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but we recognise there is more to do

and that is why we want to see more

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homes

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being built. On rough sleeping it is

not just a question, of course we

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want people to have a roof over

their head, but we see half of rough

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sleepers with a mental health

problem and that is why we are

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putting more money into mental

health. That is why it is not just a

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question of improving figures, it is

a question of changing people's

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lives around. If he really cares, he

will look at the complexity of this

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issue and realise it is more than

giving people a roof over their

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heads, it is about dealing with the

underlying problems in the first

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place.

I am glad the government

showed such urgency in setting up

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this task force that it took four

months to have the meeting and it

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still has not actually achieved

anything. Many people in this

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country are very upset and very

embarrassed about the levels of

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rough sleeping in this country. I

got a letter this week from Barry, I

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volunteer in my hometown of

Southampton to feed the homelessness

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because of the lack of care and help

for these individuals, it is a

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disgrace. He points out the number

of unoccupied buildings in his town

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and many others. Does the Prime

Minister believes that haircutting,

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government cutting homelessness

services by 45% since 2010 has had

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some effect on the numbers of people

that are rough sleeping?

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I would say to the right Honourable

gentleman that if you think that the

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only way you sold issue is that by

bringing people together in a

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meeting, I have to tell him, that is

not the way to solve issues. The way

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to deal with these issues is

actually to get out there on the

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ground doing something about it.

That's why, that's why we are

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finding 48 projects to help roughly

put into urgency accommodation and

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to overcome the issues like a mental

ill health and substance. It is why

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there have been councils around the

country that had been taking that

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severe, during the severe weather,

insuring they are providing

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accommodation for people who are

sleeping on the streets but also

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dealing with the underlying issues

that lead to somebody sleeping on

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the streets. It's why, it's why we

are ensuring that we are

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implementing housing first in a

number of regions to put in trench

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to roughly split to accommodation as

a first step to rebuilding their

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lives. This is not about figures, it

about people. It's about ensuring

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that we aren't taking the action

necessary -- we are taking reaction

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necessary to deal with the problems

that people face which leads to

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rough sleeping. It's also about

ensuring we build enough homes to

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ensure that people are holding

houses when they are having planning

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permission -- building houses, which

should please him.

I don't that

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would come as much comfort for the

roughly put that I meet who are

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begging every day to find enough

money to get into the night shelter.

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Lord Porter has warned councils are

now beyond the point where council

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tax can plug the gap, as a result of

the government slashing council

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budgets and passing the buck. After

this deathly cold winter, we have

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more than twice as many people

sleeping rough on our streets. Just

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one step away from that fate are

60,000, 60,000 homeless households

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in temporary accommodation. We are

the fifth richest country in the

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world. The growing number of people

on our streets is a mark of national

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shame. With fewer social homes being

built, less support for the

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homeless, the task force that's

barely met, just how does the Prime

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Minister really propose to tackle

the homelessness crisis?

We propose

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to deal with the issue of

homelessness and to deal with the

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issues of those people who are not

homeless but want to be able to have

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a home of their own, by building

more homes in this country. We

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propose to deal with it, as I said

earlier this week, by ensuring that

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tenants get a fairer deal when they

rent the country. But I have to say

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there are more council houses built

under this conservative government

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that were built under 13 years of

labour. We have seen more social

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housing being built in the last

seven years than in the last seven

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years under the Labour government.

If he wants to look at the issue of

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a record in relation to housing, he

should look at the record of the

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last Labour government. And of

course it was the record of the last

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Labour government that was described

as bringing... That was described,

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the record of the last Labour

government was described...

Order,

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Mr Perkins, I know you're asking

about tennis at earlier but you

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appear to be attempting some sort of

imitation of crochet and you should

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not be making these curious to 60

nations, they make you look even

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odder than... -- curious

gesticulations. They make you look

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odder than... I thought your

behaviour was a tad odd and I'm

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concerned about your well-being! I

think the members from Wirral and

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Hull will look after you.

The record

of the last Labour government on

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housing was described as in crisis

and bringing misery and despair. Who

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said the last Labour government's

government was bringing misery and

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despair? The leader of the position.

-- opposition. He said Labour didn't

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have a good record on housing, I

agree, it is the conservatives who

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are delivering the homes the country

needs.

Thank you, Mr Speaker. Over

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the last three years, more than 2000

new homes have been built in North

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West Leicestershire including a

record 731 in the last 12 months.

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Additionally my local authority

building new council houses for the

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first time in decades. All in

contrast with just 227 houses

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completed in the year to 2010, the

last time Labour way in government.

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Will my right honourable friend use

this as an example to other local

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garment, we have an unemployed

Madrid 1% and no rust eaters --

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rough sleepers.

We are very happy to

join him in a good knowledge in the

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example being set by North West

Leicestershire. It is not just those

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figures that he had quoted which

have led to and contributed to last

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year's 217,000 new homes being

built, which is the best year bar

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one. But we are taking measures in

the budget to ensure money is

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available, so we are helping people

onto the housing ladder through help

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to buy. As he has referred to it, it

is the Conservative government which

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are delivering the homes that people

need.

On the 6th of February, the

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Royal Bank of Scotland announced

that ten branches that were

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earmarked for closure were going to

be given a reprieve. Subject to

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review at the end of the year. Will

the Prime Minister join with me on

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calling on the Royal Bank of

Scotland to do what they can to

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encourage people to open accounts to

make sure these branches are

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sustainable?

Can I say to the right

honourable gentleman, as he knows

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full well, it is the opening and

closing branches, which is a

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commercial matter for the Royal Bank

of Scotland. We says to call on

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people to open accounts and use

those branches, of course, one of

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the reasons why bank branches are

closing is because more people are

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choosing not to physically go into

the bank branches but bank on the

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Internet. It is the customer to

decide the customer banking

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arrangements that suits them.

I

should remind the Prime Minister

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that we own the Royal Bank of

Scotland and the Prime Minister

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ought to be holding the country to

account. I had a phone call from

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constituent of mine who found the

Royal Bank of Scotland yesterday and

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wanted to open a number of accounts

for him and his family. Rather than

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opening them in the local branch

which is one which is earmarked for

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a reprieve, he was told he should be

approaching a branch of swear. Mr

0:21:430:21:48

Speaker, that is outrageous. That

the Royal -- elsewhere. That is

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outrageous, that the Royal Bank of

Scotland are undermining the ability

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of these branches to stay open. Will

she caught in the chief executive

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and tell him that this behaviour

must end?

To the right honourable

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gentleman, he has raised these

questions before, and I say to him

0:22:050:22:08

that I would have thought that with

his background he would understand

0:22:080:22:12

that decisions are taken by

commercial organisations, by this

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commercial organisations, that it is

not for the government to tell

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people what sort of accounts they

have going to have or which branch

0:22:200:22:23

that should be opening those

accounts in. We take steps to make

0:22:230:22:28

sure that where there are branch

closures, that access to facilities

0:22:280:22:33

are available, which is why we have

the agreement with the post offers

0:22:330:22:37

to provide additional ability for

people to use the services through

0:22:370:22:39

the post-office. I have to say that

it is not right for him to suggest

0:22:390:22:46

that the government should be

telling people where they have their

0:22:460:22:48

bank accounts and how they should

hold but bank account. That is a

0:22:480:22:52

commercial decision for the bank and

a decision for individual customers

0:22:520:22:57

as to their own banking

arrangements.

We are now on to

0:22:570:23:01

backbenchers, I'm pleased to say.

But I want to hear lots of bank

0:23:010:23:05

bench members.

-- backbench numbers.

Thanks to income tax hikes by the

0:23:050:23:16

SNP government, thousands of UK

Armed Forces personnel who are

0:23:160:23:19

situated in Scotland will pay more

tax than their counterparts south of

0:23:190:23:22

the border. Can my right honourable

friend confirm that this

0:23:220:23:27

Conservative government is reviewing

steps that it can take to clean up

0:23:270:23:33

the SNP's mess and mitigate the tax

rise for our brave servicemen and

0:23:330:23:36

women?

This is a very important

point that she has raised. We do see

0:23:360:23:42

as a result of decisions taken by

the Scottish Nationalists in

0:23:420:23:45

government in Scotland that there

will be many people in Scotland

0:23:450:23:48

paying higher taxes. Somebody

earning over £26,000 pay higher

0:23:480:23:55

taxes in Scotland than the rest of

the UK. I was in the chamber for the

0:23:550:24:00

end of defence questions the other

day when my right honourable friend

0:24:000:24:04

the Defence Secretary said that the

point that she has raised is being

0:24:040:24:09

looked into.

Labour listed 1 million

children out of poverty. -- Labour

0:24:090:24:17

lifted 1 million children out of

poverty, this government is on

0:24:170:24:21

course to plunge a record 37% of

children into poverty. And

0:24:210:24:28

vulnerable people are denied social

care because of government cuts to

0:24:280:24:32

local authority. Is this really a

society working for everyone?

What

0:24:320:24:36

we see under this government is the

number of people in absolute poverty

0:24:360:24:40

has fallen under this conservative

government. We do want to insure

0:24:400:24:43

that families are supported in

supporting themselves, that is why

0:24:430:24:49

we have done things like increasing

the national living wage, increasing

0:24:490:24:52

the personal wage allowance so

people pay less tax and revising the

0:24:520:25:01

unfit to systems are more people can

get into the workplace.

-- the

0:25:010:25:07

benefit systems. I'm sure my right

honourable friend will agree with me

0:25:070:25:10

that air quality will improve the

lives of everyone in this country

0:25:100:25:16

and their children and

grandchildren. We are forming a

0:25:160:25:20

joint committee and working across

government is important cross

0:25:200:25:23

department, will be Prime Minister

put in a Cabinet minister to make

0:25:230:25:29

sure that our children and

grandchildren have good air quality?

0:25:290:25:32

This is an important issue and we

are committed to being the first

0:25:320:25:38

generation leading the environment

in a better state than the which we

0:25:380:25:41

inherited it, and we're taking

action to address abolition.

0:25:410:25:44

Emissions of toxic much junk -- to

address air pollution. Emissions

0:25:440:25:51

have fallen to them is more to do

which is why we have put in place a

0:25:510:25:55

plan to tackle air quality and

clean-up air transport which we will

0:25:550:26:02

be setting up this year. Both the

Secretary of State for business,

0:26:020:26:08

whose department covers the issues

around energy and air quality, and

0:26:080:26:14

indeed the Minister for energy who

attends Cabinet, are very well

0:26:140:26:19

versed in putting together the

arguments were better air quality.

0:26:190:26:23

As the Sandeep -- Saudi Crown Prince

Street across Westminster, will she

0:26:230:26:35

adjust the case of the writer who

has been in jail for six years

0:26:350:26:41

because he wrote something that the

government didn't

0:26:410:26:50

because he wrote something that the

government like? Will she stand at

0:26:500:26:52

that dispatch box and say that he is

no criminal and be set free?

I will

0:26:520:26:57

be raising a number of cases with

the Crown prince when I see him as

0:26:570:27:01

the next couple of days. The case he

has specifically referred to is not

0:27:010:27:08

a thing that has waited for this

visit to raise, we monitor the

0:27:080:27:15

situation and raise the question of

the Saudi government and we will

0:27:150:27:17

continue to do so.

Will the Prime

Minister support the work the oil

0:27:170:27:25

and gas authority are doing to help

facilitate the production of £1

0:27:250:27:30

trillion of oil and gas revenue from

the continental shelf, supporting

0:27:300:27:35

300,000 jobs? Will she join me in

paying tribute to the men and women

0:27:350:27:38

working offshore insuring our homes

stay warm?

I'm happy to join my

0:27:380:27:46

honourable friend in pain could be

to those who work in our offshore

0:27:460:27:49

oil and gas -- in paying tribute to

those who work in the offshore oil

0:27:490:27:58

and gas industry. We remain

committed to support the district,

0:27:580:28:01

building on the package announced in

recent budgets, and the Secretary of

0:28:010:28:07

State for business and the sector

recently committed to working

0:28:070:28:10

together to insure the UK continues

to enjoy the benefits of what is a

0:28:100:28:14

world leading offshore oil and gas

industry.

Nothing needs to find an

0:28:140:28:20

extra £12 million this year to care

for elderly and disabled people. --

0:28:200:28:25

Nottingham needs to find the money.

Her government's answer, adding 3%

0:28:250:28:29

to council tax bills, raises just

over three, leaving a huge gap to be

0:28:290:28:35

filled. No wonder Lord Porter,

Conservative chair of the LGA,

0:28:350:28:39

warned that some councils will be

pushed parallel perilously close to

0:28:390:28:48

the edge. Was she -- will she wake

up to the social care crisis and

0:28:480:28:56

give the local government the

funding it needs in the spring

0:28:560:28:59

statement?

We have recognised the

pressure that social care is under

0:28:590:29:02

which is why in successful fiscal

events, the Chancellor has given

0:29:020:29:08

extra money to local authority and

the social care statement. Next

0:29:080:29:12

week's statement is not a budget but

we have ensured that more money is

0:29:120:29:15

going into local councils, not just

through the presets that they are

0:29:150:29:19

able to raise but 2 million extra

has been put into social care.

By

0:29:190:29:27

far the most important market for UK

goods post Brexit and today is the

0:29:270:29:34

internal market. Does she agree that

the people and businesses of my

0:29:340:29:41

constituency and across Wales are

best served by the four nations of

0:29:410:29:44

the United Kingdom working together

positively and constructively to

0:29:440:29:49

make Brexit success?

I absolutely

agree. The four nations working

0:29:490:29:53

together to make a success of Brexit

but also this government is

0:29:530:29:57

committed to strengthening our

precious union in England, Scotland,

0:29:570:30:01

Wales and Northern Ireland. This is

about providing continuity and

0:30:010:30:05

certainty for people and businesses.

It's about making sure we don't

0:30:050:30:08

create a new barriers to doing

business, as my honourable friend

0:30:080:30:12

has said, in the internal market.

Mr

Speaker, York's housing crisis is

0:30:120:30:21

out of control. Whole families

crammed into tiny box bedrooms,

0:30:210:30:28

hundreds of damp and mouldy council

homes and Street homelessness at 15

0:30:280:30:33

fold since 2010. My constituents do

not want platitudes, they just want

0:30:330:30:39

warm homes. When can they have the

social housing they so desperately

0:30:390:30:44

need, and York's Tory Lib Dem

council have failed to deliver, as

0:30:440:30:48

has her strategy?

As she will have

heard earlier, this commitment is

0:30:480:30:54

making changes to ensure that we are

building more homes in this country.

0:30:540:30:59

I also say to the honourable lady,

one of the issues we have had to

0:30:590:31:03

look at is making sure that local

councils are producing local plans.

0:31:030:31:07

I believe that York has not had a

local plan for 15 years. I suggest

0:31:070:31:12

she speaks to her council about it

stop.

0:31:120:31:15

On Sunday evening, it was not Meryl

Streep winning an Oscar, but my

0:31:190:31:24

constituent Maisie, aged just six

years old. And born profoundly deaf

0:31:240:31:31

for her amazing performance in the

film The Silent Child. All she paid

0:31:310:31:38

tribute to the inspirational Maisie

and her school red Oaks primary

0:31:380:31:41

which has helped fill her potential?

I think everybody was captivated by

0:31:410:31:48

Maisie's example and by the film

that won the Oscar and I'm very

0:31:480:31:52

happy to join my honourable friend

in paying tribute to Maisie for her

0:31:520:31:56

in capital achievement. This is

important in highlighting the issue

0:31:560:32:00

of disabled people particularly deaf

children and this has captured the

0:32:000:32:08

imagination of many across the

world.

On Friday of next week, the

0:32:080:32:10

House will debate the private

members bill on refugee family

0:32:100:32:16

reunification being brought forward.

It's a very simple bill which will

0:32:160:32:21

allow families that have been torn

apart by conflicts to rebuild their

0:32:210:32:26

lives here together. It's supported

by a coalition of organisations

0:32:260:32:30

including the Red Cross, Amnesty

international and the refugee

0:32:300:32:36

Council.

For the government added

their support of this very important

0:32:360:32:38

Bill? -- will the government added

their support? We do have a good

0:32:380:32:45

record in this country of providing

places to refugees and helping those

0:32:450:32:50

who are particularly vulnerable. But

I understand as he will know that we

0:32:500:32:54

are listening to the point that we

hear in a mission to this bill. We

0:32:540:32:59

recognise the concern about family

reunification, there are rules

0:32:590:33:04

impose already but we will look

carefully at this.

This week, its

0:33:040:33:12

national friendship week and as an

apprentice myself, I can highly --

0:33:120:33:17

National apprenticeship week. I can

highly commended this route. Levels

0:33:170:33:24

of apprenticeship are up from last

year but can I ask the Prime

0:33:240:33:27

Minister to insure that all schools

are promoting apprenticeships,

0:33:270:33:30

particularly degree level, as a

first-class choice, debt free, and

0:33:300:33:38

not a second-class option?

I think

it is very important that we do

0:33:380:33:42

promote apprenticeships not as a

second-class option but as an

0:33:420:33:45

equally valid route through training

for young people. It about getting

0:33:450:33:51

the right education for every young

person. We should in courage of

0:33:510:33:55

schools to talk about

apprenticeships at the first stage.

0:33:550:34:01

When I visited the school, one of

the points the sixth formers made is

0:34:010:34:05

that they had heard about universe

-- University throughout schooling

0:34:050:34:12

but only heard about apprenticeships

at the sixth form. Can the Prime

0:34:120:34:17

Minister explain why last year,

there was a 60% drop in

0:34:170:34:21

apprenticeships?

We have seen, we

have introduced the apprenticeship

0:34:210:34:27

levy and we are looking at the

application of that levy. And we are

0:34:270:34:33

ensuring, we have a commitment

through a period of years for a

0:34:330:34:40

project, we will increase them to 3

million over this Parliament. We

0:34:400:34:43

will look very carefully at the

apprenticeship levy and the impact

0:34:430:34:48

it has.

0:34:480:34:49

On International Women's Day

tomorrow, we will be celebrating

0:34:540:34:57

record numbers of women in work

including our second female Prime

0:34:570:35:00

Minister. Yet attitudes toward

pregnancy mean that more than 50,000

0:35:000:35:10

women a year are forced out of their

jobs just for having a baby. When

0:35:100:35:14

will the government be taking

forward its review for existing

0:35:140:35:19

protections for pregnant women which

were suggested following an inquiry

0:35:190:35:26

into this issue?

She is right to

raise the issue. We have very clear

0:35:260:35:30

laws in this country that

dissemination in the workplace is on

0:35:300:35:33

lawful. There are clear regulations

in place which employ as --

0:35:330:35:41

employers must follow. --

discrimination in the workplace is

0:35:410:35:44

unlawful. We will review the

legislation relating to redundancy

0:35:440:35:49

in the next 12 months.

The Prime

Minister continues to sing the

0:35:490:35:54

praises of Universal Credit,

wilfully ignoring the devastation it

0:35:540:35:57

still causing. How do she square her

position with the fact that her Tory

0:35:570:36:03

colleagues in Stirling Council have

called for over half £1 million of

0:36:030:36:07

funding to mitigate the enormous

human suffering caused by Universal

0:36:070:36:12

Credit?

Universal Credit was

introduced as a more simple benefit

0:36:120:36:19

which is a benefit which enables and

encourages people to get into the

0:36:190:36:23

workplace. We have made a number of

changes in the way that Universal

0:36:230:36:28

Credit is operated, changes have

come into place and that includes

0:36:280:36:32

insuring that it's now possible for

someone to get a 100% advance of

0:36:320:36:36

their Universal Credit in very quick

time at the start of the application

0:36:360:36:41

where that is appropriate. Universal

Credit is a benefit that helps

0:36:410:36:46

people get into the workplace and

work is the best route out of

0:36:460:36:49

poverty.

Storm has left a trail of

destruction along the south coast of

0:36:490:36:57

Devon including washing away large

stretches of the A370 nine. Please

0:36:570:37:04

can the Prime Minister insure my

constituents that they will not be

0:37:040:37:07

left isolated and their community

separated, and can she pledge the

0:37:070:37:12

funds to help rebuild this vital

link and join me in thanking the

0:37:120:37:16

emergency services both in my

constituency and around the United

0:37:160:37:20

Kingdom for the extraordinary work

in desperately difficult

0:37:200:37:22

circumstances?

I'm happy and I'm

sure everyone is happy to join my

0:37:220:37:27

honourable friend in praising the

emergency services for the tireless

0:37:270:37:31

work they did to help people over

the severe winter weather. She is

0:37:310:37:36

right to raise concerns about the

A379 on the half of her constituents

0:37:360:37:45

and the Transport Secretary will

confirm that we will provide

0:37:450:37:49

financial assistance to insure that

this road is repaired as soon as

0:37:490:37:54

possible.

Battersea Power Station is

a £9 billion development pushed

0:37:540:37:59

through by Tory Wandsworth Council

with only 9% of so-called affordable

0:37:590:38:04

homes. 85% of these homes have been

snapped up by foreign investors.

0:38:040:38:09

This is an insult to the thousands

of people on the Wandsworth housing

0:38:090:38:13

waiting list. If the Prime Minister

in Paris that a Tory council is

0:38:130:38:18

siding with developers' --

embarrassed that a Tory council is

0:38:180:38:23

siding with developers' profit over

the Wandsworth people?

This is a

0:38:230:38:30

site that was derelict for over 40

years.

Order, order. It's very

0:38:300:38:36

discourteous, far too much noise in

the chamber. The question was heard

0:38:360:38:41

and very forcefully delivered by the

Prime Minister's answer must also be

0:38:410:38:44

heard.

This is a site that was

derelict for 40 years. It is now a

0:38:440:38:50

site that will be providing homes

and jobs. I would have thought that

0:38:500:38:53

is something to welcome.

Thank you,

Mr Speaker. March is brain tumour

0:38:530:39:03

research awareness month, dedicating

to supporting people affected by

0:39:030:39:07

brain tumours and raising funds and

awareness. They remain the biggest

0:39:070:39:11

cancer killer of children and adults

under 40, a fact that has to change.

0:39:110:39:16

There has been great progress over

the last month that the government

0:39:160:39:19

turning its attention to this

underfunded disease but so much more

0:39:190:39:22

candid and. Will the Prime Minister

join me in commending -- so much

0:39:220:39:27

more can be done. Will the Prime

Minister join me in commend all of

0:39:270:39:31

those raising funds this month and

recognise the many thousands of

0:39:310:39:34

people fighting this disease and

make a statement about how the

0:39:340:39:38

government will see the job through

it until we have the research, care

0:39:380:39:41

and cure that many people need?

I

would join my honourable friend in

0:39:410:39:46

commending all those who are raising

awareness of brain cancer and

0:39:460:39:51

working hard and tirelessly in

research and also raise funding in

0:39:510:39:55

this. It's a devastating disease. I

was right pleased to meet Barry

0:39:550:40:02

Strauss to hear her experience of

the NHS and is -- meet Baroness

0:40:020:40:08

Tessa Jowell and she has had a round

table on brain cancer. 20 million

0:40:080:40:14

will be invested over the next five

years helping to fund essential

0:40:140:40:19

brain Cancer Research and in

addition, Cancer Research UK will be

0:40:190:40:25

investing 25 million over the same

period.

The increase in provision of

0:40:250:40:35

health care within NHS England by

private providers continues to cause

0:40:350:40:39

fragmentation and undermining of

patient services. The Prime Minister

0:40:390:40:45

has thus far refused to exclude such

services from a US trade deal. Can

0:40:450:40:51

she tell us how the Scottish

Government will be included in such

0:40:510:40:55

negotiations so they can protect our

Scottish NHS from being bartered

0:40:550:40:58

away to get a deal?

She is a little

late because I was asked a question

0:40:580:41:06

about a US trade deal and the

National Health Service either

0:41:060:41:08

member for token on Monday in this

house and I -- by the member for

0:41:080:41:14

Twickenham on Monday and I maintain

that week maintain the principles of

0:41:140:41:18

the National Health Service and we

will not allow it to be undermined.

0:41:180:41:24

Later today, representatives from

the greater Grimsby transport board

0:41:240:41:29

will be meeting the Business

Minister to discuss the next stage

0:41:290:41:33

of their town deal. The proposals

would be a great boost for the

0:41:330:41:38

economy of Grimsby and Cleethorpes.

Could she reaffirm her support for

0:41:380:41:42

the proposals and similar

initiative?

He has raised this issue

0:41:420:41:48

with me before and I do welcome the

strong public private sector

0:41:480:41:52

approach which is being pursued by

the Great Grimsby Project board. I

0:41:520:41:55

know he is playing an active role in

that. There have been a number of

0:41:550:42:02

positive meetings of the Ministry of

Housing, communities and local

0:42:020:42:05

government and I would in courage

the board to in gauge -- in gauge

0:42:050:42:11

with officials continually so we can

see the developments taking place to

0:42:110:42:18

in the local area.

IMO is concerned

with protecting the -- I am always

0:42:180:42:24

concerned with protecting the rights

of smaller parties, so Nigel..

I am

0:42:240:42:31

grateful for your protection. Would

she acknowledge and praise the

0:42:310:42:37

success of the EU negotiator Michel

Barnier in bringing a measure of

0:42:370:42:42

progress in the negotiations in that

he has managed to unite the

0:42:420:42:53

opposition and the government in

utter defiance of the legal sexy has

0:42:530:42:56

brought forward and would she agree

that the EU need to get on and get

0:42:560:43:03

on and -- the legal text he has

brought forward. It is time that the

0:43:030:43:07

EU went on to the negotiations.

He

is absolutely right. It is now time

0:43:070:43:17

for the negotiators to get on with

the job of discussing the trade and

0:43:170:43:21

economic partnership for the future

and also within that, I'm pleased

0:43:210:43:24

that we will be able to discuss with

the Irish government and the

0:43:240:43:28

commission the practical details of

delivering on the solution for the

0:43:280:43:31

border between Northern Ireland and

Ireland so we continue to have the

0:43:310:43:36

free flow of trade between Northern

Ireland and Ireland and the rest of

0:43:360:43:40

the UK.

Last month it was announced

that a proposed merger between the

0:43:400:43:49

British Transport Police and police

got them was put on hold in the wake

0:43:490:43:52

of widespread criticism from a

number of different parties. What

0:43:520:43:56

discussions has she been able to

have with devolved ministers and

0:43:560:44:00

what steps has been taken? Will to

scrap this all fated proposal?

0:44:000:44:11

I recognise the concerns that have

been expressed. We were committed to

0:44:110:44:17

delivering on the Smith commission

proposals and as part of that we

0:44:170:44:21

will be delivering housing proposals

to the Scottish Government. Priority

0:44:210:44:25

must remain the safety of the

British public and we are committed

0:44:250:44:28

to working with the Scottish

Government to ensure a smooth

0:44:280:44:32

transfer of the function should that

be their decision. It is for the

0:44:320:44:36

Scottish Government to decide. I

would urge them to ensure that as

0:44:360:44:40

they are taking those decisions they

are putting the safety of the

0:44:400:44:42

security of the public first.

Is it

the policy of the government that

0:44:420:44:50

England should pull out of the World

Cup and if not what on earth was the

0:44:500:44:54

Foreign Secretary on about

yesterday?

The point the Foreign

0:44:540:44:58

Secretary was making yesterday was

that depending on what comes out in

0:44:580:45:02

relation to the investigation into

the attack on the two individuals

0:45:020:45:06

that took place in Salisbury that it

might be appropriate for the

0:45:060:45:10

government to look at whether

ministers and other dignitaries

0:45:100:45:12

should attend the World Cup in

Russia.

In advance of the Prime

0:45:120:45:18

Minister's meeting with the Crown

Prince of Saudi Arabia today, would

0:45:180:45:21

she agree with me that in fact the

kingdom is a force for a tremendous

0:45:210:45:26

stability and a troubled region?

Would she offer reassurance to the

0:45:260:45:30

Crown prince that this country will

stand with him in his efforts to

0:45:300:45:34

bring modernity, development and

reform to our Middle Eastern ally?

I

0:45:340:45:39

agree with my honourable friend, we

have had a long-standing and

0:45:390:45:42

historic relationship with the

kingdom of Saudi Arabia and that

0:45:420:45:47

will continue. It has been important

in our security and defence and it

0:45:470:45:51

is important for the stability of

the region. We also see a Saudi

0:45:510:45:55

Arabia that is reforming and

changing and is giving greater

0:45:550:45:59

rights to women. We should encourage

that and stand alongside Saudi

0:45:590:46:03

Arabia and work with them to help

the Crown Prince delivered on his

0:46:030:46:06

vision.

Today the Department for

International Development launches

0:46:060:46:12

the Joe Cox Memorial grants that

will empower women in some of the

0:46:120:46:17

most difficult parts of our world.

Will the Prime Minister join with me

0:46:170:46:22

in thanking wholeheartedly everyone

who made this happen? And also to

0:46:220:46:28

agree that when it comes to

preventing conflict her legacy must

0:46:280:46:33

teach us that women's voices must be

heard?

Can I say to the honourable

0:46:330:46:39

lady and thank her for raising this

issue and I am happy to welcome the

0:46:390:46:43

UK aid contribution that my right

honourable friend the International

0:46:430:46:48

Development Secretary has announced

today to the Joe Cox Memorial

0:46:480:46:51

grants. That is £10 million being

allocated to help grass-roots

0:46:510:46:55

organisations deliver on two causes

close to Joe Cox's Park, protecting

0:46:550:47:00

against identity -based Byland and

also boosting the social and

0:47:000:47:06

political development of girls and

helping to protect against identity

0:47:060:47:09

-based violence. The honourable lady

is absolutely right. She fought for

0:47:090:47:16

gender equality at home and in

developing countries and it is right

0:47:160:47:19

that we as a government and as a

country

0:47:190:47:23