Parliamentary Questions & Answers

Written Parliamentary Questions (PQs) allow Members of Parliament to ask government ministers for information on the work, policy and activities of government departments. You can find Helen's Written PQs here.

You can also read Helen's Oral Parliamentary Questions below or visit the new Hansard here.


Legislating for UK Withdrawal from the EU
Commons Chamber on 30 March 2017

The public are extremely worried about these Henry VIII clauses. In chapter 3 of the Secretary of State’s White Paper, he says that one area where he wants to use secondary legislation is on the change from EU institutions. There are 40 of these EU institutions, ranging over areas from medicines to aviation safety. If we lose, he will have a choice. He can either set up a new one, or abandon the regulation altogether. Does he really think it is appropriate to do that through statutory instruments?

Local and Regional News

Westminster Hall on 30 March 2017

I beg to move, That this House has considered the future of local and regional news providers.

Personal Independence Payment: Regulations
Commons Chamber on 29 March 2017

Does my hon. Friend agree that the Government seem to be in a place where the NHS is catching up with the need to treat mental health conditions properly, but other public services, whether they be the Department for Work and Pensions or the Prison Service, are simply stuck in the past, and that this must change?

Employment: Mental Health [watch]
Commons Chamber on 27 March 2017

The Secretary of State should beware of being so enthusiastic that he ignores the real needs of people who cannot go to work. I had an email this morning from one of my constituents saying that her husband had taken his life on Friday. He first came to us in 2016 when his award of employment and support allowance was under review. Despite his doctor’s protest, he was made to have a face-to-face assessment. We sought an extension of the six-month award; that was refused. At that point, he was so stressed that he attempted suicide. The PIP award was reviewed again in January. Will the Secretary of State please ensure that when doctors say that people with mental health conditions should not have face-to-face assessments, they do not have face-to-face assessments?

Medical Research and Development (Israel)
Commons Chamber on 23 March 2017

I, too, express my condolences to the families of all those who died, and I wish the very best for those who were injured.

One notable thing about Israel’s trade relationship with the EU is that Israel is part of Horizon 2020. Has the Secretary of State considered whether, after Brexit, we should stay in Horizon 2020 and the European Medicines Agency?


Money Laundering: British Banks
Commons Chamber on 21 March 2017

Has the Minister discussed the matter with the former Chancellor, the right hon. Member for Tatton (Mr Osborne), who the US House of Representatives found intervened with the American authorities to prevent HSBC from being prosecuted in 2012? What has the FCA specifically done since the “global laundromat” was discovered in 2013?

Advisory Committee on Business Appointments/Ministerial Code
Commons Chamber on 20 March 2017

In 1523, Cardinal Wolsey become the Bishop of Durham. He never visited his diocese. What steps is the Minister taking to ensure that hon. Members do not start behaving like medieval clerics instead of modern politicians?

Sky/21st Century Fox: Merger
Commons Chamber on 16 March 2017

I congratulate the Secretary of State on how she is handling this matter which, if I may say so, is better than any Secretary of State since 2010. She says that she cannot respond to any substantive questions on Leveson 2 because it is under judicial review. When will the judicial review be resolved so that we might come back to Leveson 2?

Class 4 National Insurance Contributions
Commons Chamber on 15 March 2017

I know that the Chancellor of the Exchequer will want an endorsement from me like a hole in the head, but I am rather disappointed because there is a lot wrong with national insurance. In the wider review, will he also look at the absurd way in which it kicks in at £8,000, well below the personal tax allowance, and at the very unfair top 2% rate?

Visible Religious Symbols: European Court Ruling
Commons Chamber on 15 March 2017

When I was married, as part of the service my husband gave me a ring. We all know that that is culturally loaded. Wedding rings are allowed, but headscarves on young Muslim women are a problem. I ask the Minister for the fifth time—unlike the hon. Member for Stafford (Jeremy Lefroy)—what she will do about G4S.

European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill
Commons Chamber on 13 March 2017

I am very grateful to the right hon. and learned Gentleman for that intervention. The point I was going on to make was that it is obviously reasonable for us in this House to have a vote, not just because we all believe in democracy, and not just becau...

European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill
Commons Chamber on 13 March 2017

I wish to speak particularly to amendment 2, which is very similar to new clauses 99 and 110, which we debated about a month ago. Conservative Members have complained about Lord Pannick’s drafting. When Ministers make that complaint, I feel it is sligh...

European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill
Commons Chamber on 13 March 2017

How?

European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill
Commons Chamber on 13 March 2017

I am grateful to the Secretary of State for giving way. If he is so confident about this, why can he not allow the rest of us to be confident by agreeing to Lords amendment 2?

Turkey: Human Rights and the Political Situation
Westminster Hall on 9 March 2017

My right hon. Friend is making an important speech on a vital issue for the people of Turkey and its neighbouring countries. Has she observed the way in which that repression also affects the media? We have heard that one journalist has been killed and 56...

Vinovium House

Commons Chamber on 8 March 2017

I am very pleased to have this opportunity to raise the proposed closure of Vinovium House, the office in Bishop Auckland that administers part of the child maintenance system, with the consequent loss of between 85 and 100 jobs. I have tabled early-day m...


Budget Resolutions

Commons Chamber on 8 March 2017

I am pleased to follow the hon. Member for North West Hampshire (Kit Malthouse), with whom I am happy to serve on the Treasury Committee. I agreed entirely with what he said about science and about making tax digital. He ended with some remarks about the...


Budget Resolutions
Commons Chamber on 8 March 2017

The hon. Gentleman should give way not to me, but to the OBR, which he has been complimenting so much. Paragraph 4.6 on page 86 of its report states: “Given the uncertainty regarding how the Government will respond to the choices and trade-offs with wh...

Sky/21st Century Fox: Propose Merger
Commons Chamber on 6 March 2017

The Secretary of State is handling this matter in a very careful and considered manner. On Leveson 2, is she saying that she is now legally constrained there as well and that she cannot simply decide to go ahead, which is what many people think she should...

Opel/Vauxhall:Sale to PSA Group
Commons Chamber on 6 March 2017

The Secretary of State knows that the efficiency of the plants is down to the industry and the policy is down to him. Does his activism go so far as he having yet instructed his officials to have conducted an impact assessment of the impact on the automot...

Digital Infrastructure
Commons Chamber on 28 February 2017

Current tax rules do not allow companies to set the cost of mathematical research against tax. That is obviously very out of date in an era of data science, and it does not apply to science and engineering. Will Ministers take this as a Budget representation?

Economic Growth: Yorkshire
Commons Chamber on 28 February 2017

And the Skipton.

Commons Chamber on 20 February 2017

The Secretary of State approaches this issue with great calm and carefulness. I am sure that he has looked at the impact on the firm of being inside or outside the customs union. He wants a zero-tariff regime with Europe, but we have heard that a high pro...

Jobcentre Plus (Closures)
Commons Chamber on 20 February 2017

I have met the 83 people who work at Vinovium House in my constituency—another office that is scheduled for closure. Will the Minister explain what the impact of the closure ​of that child maintenance back office will be and how it can possibly be efficient to close an office in one of the most low-rent towns in the entire nation?

European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill
Commons Chamber on 8 February 2017

rose—

European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill   
Commons Chamber on 8 February 2017

The hon. Gentleman is making a very good point now. In fact, it is exactly the point that I would have made had I been called. He is absolutely right. Does he agree that, if we leave the single energy market and lose the interconnectors, we will need high...

European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill     
Commons Chamber on 8 February 2017

The hon. Lady says that we are not interested in an unbiased assessment. Had she been here yesterday, she would have seen new clause 43, which sought an even-handed impact assessment. Why cannot she read the amendment paper before making her wild assertio...

European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill   
Commons Chamber on 8 February 2017

On a point of order, Mrs Laing. Is it appropriate for an hon. Member to refer to a document that is not available to the whole House?

European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill   
Commons Chamber on 8 February 2017

The right hon. Gentleman said that there was a letter from the Home Secretary. Was it a letter for Conservative Members only? Now that he has referred to it in the House, is it not appropriate to put it on the Table or in the Library for all hon. Members...

European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill
Commons Chamber on 8 February 2017

rose—

European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill   
Commons Chamber on 8 February 2017

The right hon. Gentleman is absolutely wrong. Norway was part of the Nordic free movement area with Sweden, Finland and Denmark way before the European Union was even invented.

European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill

Commons Chamber on 6 February 2017

I am pleased that the Minister understands that parliamentary scrutiny is essential, but we have heard from Government Back Benchers that everything will have to close down once the negotiations begin. Therefore, what has happened in the past seven months...

European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill
Commons Chamber on 6 February 2017

I have not thought about that in as much detail as the hon. Gentleman, but it will be interesting to see what the Minister says when he responds to the debate from the Dispatch Box tonight. As I was saying, we should have proper, structured scrutiny, a...

European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill [watch]

Commons Chamber on 6 February 2017  
[Here's my speech from yesterday’s debate on new clauses 29 and 33 tabled in my name - there were several interventions).]

It is as pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Howarth. I should like to speak to new clauses 29 and 33, tabled in my name and those of other right hon. and hon. colleagues. The Secretary of State—who is not here for this debate—said with his u...

European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill
Commons Chamber on 6 February 2017

The hon. Lady is making a very important speech, but is she aware that it is not necessary to leave behind all those EU agencies? When it comes to research and development, for example, Israel belongs to Horizon 2020. Does the hon. Lady not think that the...


Informal European Council
Commons Chamber on 6 February 2017

The Prime Minister said that the other European Union member states welcomed the clarity of her objectives. Did she have any discussion with them about the realism of completing the substantive negotiations within 18 months?

Exiting the EU: New Partnership
Commons Chamber on 2 February 2017

The Secretary of State has said that we will have meaningful votes on a range of things. How can it be, then, that paragraph 8.43 of the White Paper commits us to leaving the customs union, which will have a devastating effect on manufacturing, without an...

Exiting the EU: New Partnership
Commons Chamber on 2 February 2017

Well, it is not in the White Paper.

Government Negotiations

Commons Chamber on 26 January 2017

The Secretary of State has repeatedly said that he can maintain flexibility and give the House a say through the great repeal Bill, but that only covers things in legislation. When will the House be able to consider the value of the EU agencies and the co...

Article 50 (watch)
Commons Chamber on 24 January 2017

Further to the question asked by the hon. Member for Wellingborough (Mr Bone), when the Labour Government legislated for the Lisbon treaty, Parliament had 25 days, including 11 days in Committee of the whole House, to debate it. There are 66 days before 3...

Occupied Palestinian Territories    
Commons Chamber on 19 January 2017

Palestinian Christians are suffering the effects of the settlement. Two weeks ago, I stood on the hills behind Bethlehem and saw how the six-lane motorway and the wall carve through Palestinian farmland. Their houses are being demolished and I met a young...

Occupied Palestinian Territories 
Commons Chamber on 19 January 2017

1. What support the Church of England is giving to Christians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Hill Farmers  
Commons Chamber on 19 January 2017

I am grateful for that response from the Secretary of State. Of course, paying for environmental goods will only work as a strategy if the hill farms are financially viable. She knows that some of them are earning £14,000 a year, so income support mechani...

Hill Farmers  
Commons Chamber on 19 January 2017

3. What assessment she has made of the potential effect on hill farmers of the UK leaving the common agricultural policy.

Small Businesses   
Commons Chamber on 17 January 2017

The most useful thing that the Treasury could do for small manufacturers in my constituency is announce an objective of staying in the customs union. Up to now, the Treasury has been a beacon in saying that it wants decisions based on analysis, not on rhe...

Social Care: Funding
Commons Chamber on 16 January 2017

Unfortunately, Durham has already had to make £55 million-worth of cuts. The precept will bring in £4 million, but another £40 million of cuts are in the pipeline. Some villages will face private contractors being unable to afford to provide any social ca...

Social Care: Funding
Commons Chamber on 16 January 2017

8. What steps he is taking to ensure that adult social care is adequately funded.

Topical Questions
Commons Chamber on 10 January 2017

Earlier this morning, the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, the hon. Member for Bournemouth East (Mr Ellwood), said that the Government only support UN Security Council resolutions when they know they can be enforced. So, if t...

Domestic Violence Victims: Cross-Examination (watch)
Commons Chamber on 9 January 2017

The need for training of the judiciary goes beyond the family courts. A constituent came to see me because her ex-partner had taken a case about the management of family property to the civil court, and the judge had said it was irrelevant that he had bee...

Topical Questions
Commons Chamber on 15 December 2016

I am sure that the Secretary of State is delighted to be back in the Cabinet, but does he agree that the 1 million jobs that will be put at risk if we leave the customs union matter more than his own career?

Points of Order
Commons Chamber on 14 December 2016

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. You will understand my delight and pleasure at coming out at No. 2 in the shuffle for International Trade questions tomorrow. My question was about whether the Department had made an assessment of the potential...

National Funding Formula: Schools/High Needs
Commons Chamber on 14 December 2016

I have a letter from the National Union of Teachers, which is extremely alarmed that pupils in Bishop Auckland will lose £452 over the Parliament. Will the Secretary of State tell me what will happen in my constituency? She has reassured London MPs and th...

The Government's Plan for Brexit (watch the full Opposition Day Debate here)
Commons Chamber on 7 December 2016

My hon. Friend is making an excellent speech about the importance of the farming sector. She will know that we have had representations from the National Trust and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, which have millions of members, all of whom...

The Government's Plan for Brexit
Commons Chamber on 7 December 2016

When the right hon. Gentleman looks at the way the other European countries conduct their negotiations within the EU at the moment, he will surely acknowledge that, for example, the Chancellor of Germany goes to her Parliament and receives a negotiating m...

The Government's Plan for Brexit
Commons Chamber on 7 December 2016

The Secretary of State repeats that what he is doing is—he thinks—in the national interest, but he must have heard from industrialists, as Labour Members have, that the uncertainty and lack of clarity from Ministers means that people are putting back proj...

 

Draft Representation of the People (Electronic Communications and Amendment) (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2016
General Committees on 5 December 2016

The Minister says there is a consultation. I know it is the responsibility of the Committee of Selection and not the Minister to choose the members of this Committee, but does he not think it a little odd that there is not a single member with a Northern...

Topical Questions
Commons Chamber on 1 December 2016

The OBR, the IMF, the Bank of England, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research and the London School of Economics all say that Britain’s share of world exports will fall post-Brexit. Does that not show how empty the Government’s rhetoric is...

Historical Sexual Abuse (Football)
Commons Chamber on 29 November 2016

I have had extended conversations with the right hon. Lady’s Department, with the Department for Education, and with Sport England. What my hon. Friend the Member for Kingston upon Hull North (Diana Johnson) said is true: there is a big loophole. Indeed,...

Digital Economy Bill
Commons Chamber on 28 November 2016

Before the Minister sits down, will he commit to writing to me about the amendments that I tabled?

Digital Economy Bill
Commons Chamber on 28 November 2016

The hon. Gentleman puts it very well. I point out that we have the Official Secrets Act and the libel laws and lots of protections; we do not need any tighter legal criminalisation on the statute book.

Digital Economy Bill
Commons Chamber on 28 November 2016

I am glad that is not the Minister’s intent—I did not think that it was—but the Media Lawyers Association highlighted in its written evidence that it thought there was a problem. So if the Minister wants to avoid his colleagues in another place having to...

Digital Economy Bill
Commons Chamber on 28 November 2016

The hon. Gentleman is right. Under the Bill, publications made in the media that are in the public interest are not on the list of exceptional circumstances in which information to combat fraud against the public sector and related personal information...

Digital Economy Bill
Commons Chamber on 28 November 2016

I am pleased to follow the right hon. Member for Maldon (Mr Whittingdale). I was a little unkind to him earlier this evening, so I would like to make amends by saying that he spoke a lot of good sense on illegal downloads. I would like to speak to amen...

Digital Economy Bill
Commons Chamber on 28 November 2016

It might come up when we discuss my amendment.

Digital Economy Bill
Commons Chamber on 28 November 2016

The right hon. Gentleman said that, but he also said that he thought that this was a difficult area, and one of the reasons why he thought so was that people enjoyed doing it. Grown-ups enjoy having sex and grown-ups enjoy drinking alcohol, but that does...

Digital Economy Bill
Commons Chamber on 28 November 2016

I am pleased to take part in this debate, and I was pleased to put my name to new clause 1. I am extremely pleased to follow the right hon. Member for Maldon (Mr Whittingdale), and I am glad to see the new regime on the Government Front Bench, who have ba...

Digital Economy Bill
Commons Chamber on 28 November 2016

Another problem with the unpredictability is that people under some contracts pay for what they receive—what other people send in texts, emails and so on—but that is not under their control.

Digital Economy Bill
Commons Chamber on 28 November 2016

I am grateful to the Minister for agreeing to amend the Bill in this important area. As he is addressing the responsibility of social media sites, what action is he thinking of taking to prevent what happened recently, when Facebook refused to give the po...

Electronic Voting: House of Commons
Commons Chamber on 24 November 2016

Does not the right hon. Gentleman agree that it gives Opposition Members an opportunity for team building, which is extremely important? Will he do everything he can to keep the issue at the bottom of his in-tray?

Topical Questions
Commons Chamber on 24 November 2016

T7. We have already had an exchange about the importance and inadequacy of broadband in rural areas. Are Ministers aware that Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs has a crazy plan to make all businesses with a turnover of more than £10,000 submit tax retur...

Autumn Statement
Commons Chamber on 23 November 2016

The most alarming number in the OBR forecast is the 13% drop in forecast business investment, and the Chancellor said it himself: the big problem is uncertainty. The OBR says rather plaintively: “we asked the Government for ‘a formal statement of polic...

National Health Service Funding
Commons Chamber on 22 November 2016

In my constituency there are some villages where no social care is available because none of the private providers can afford to deliver it. Does the hon. Lady, in her role as Select Committee Chair, know whether that applies in other parts of the country...

National Health Service Funding
Commons Chamber on 22 November 2016

Since the Secretary of State thinks community hospitals are so important, will he guarantee that the Richardson in Barnard Castle will stay open?

National Health Service Funding
Commons Chamber on 22 November 2016

Is this the explanation for the secret plan in County Durham to cut the number of beds for frail elderly people by 20%?

Autumn Statement Distributional Analysis, Universal Credit and ESA
Commons Chamber on 16 November 2016

I am pleased to take part in this debate, and to follow the hon. Member for South Suffolk (James Cartlidge). He made the very fair point that benefits that go to pensioners in the higher tax brackets could be an area that is targeted for reductions. If we...

Autumn Statement Distributional Analysis, Universal Credit and ESA (watch)
Commons Chamber on 16 November 2016

I am pleased to take part in this debate, and to follow the hon. Member for South Suffolk (James Cartlidge). He made the very fair point that benefits that go to pensioners in the higher tax brackets could be an area that is targeted for reductions. If we...

EU Customs Union (watch whole debate)

 Commons Chamber on 2 November 2016

I am slightly nervous that the Minister might sit down before I ask him another question. He said his Department is looking at 50 sectors. My basic request tonight is that we should have more information and facts from the Department, so will he make a st...

EU Customs Union

Commons Chamber on 2 November 2016

I am listening with interest to what the Minister is saying, but according to my constituents, who do a great deal of exporting, exporting to Switzerland is a nightmare in comparison with exporting to the EU, because of all the bureaucracy. Does the Minis...

EU Customs Union

Commons Chamber on 2 November 2016

We need to explore that and think about it in a little more detail. A leaked document from the Treasury found that were we to leave the customs union, our GDP would fall by some 4.5%. Of course, I am not asking the Minister to comment on a leaked docum...

EU Customs Union

Commons Chamber on 2 November 2016

Let me come on to give some of those strong reasons. If we were to leave, we would face tariffs ranging generally between 5% and 10% on our exports. Even more significantly, our exporters would have to comply with the rules of origin. I think this is the...

EU Customs Union

Commons Chamber on 2 November 2016

We joined the Common Market, which is the customs union, in 1973. Now we have voted to leave the European Union. People want to leave the EU, because of their concern about migration and perhaps about the ECJ. In my opinion, the move is not driven by conc...

EU Customs Union

Commons Chamber on 2 November 2016

I am pleased to have the opportunity to have a short debate on the UK’s membership of the customs union. My constituents voted to leave the European Union, largely because of what they see as uncontrolled immigration, but also because of the slightly b...

Press Matters (watch)

Commons Chamber on 1 November 2016

The Secretary of State says that she wants to come up to date with what is going on now, and not just look back at the tragedies of 10 years ago. Well, she needs only to look at the case of Fatima Manji to see that the same people being complained about w...

 

Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill [Lords]
Commons Chamber on 31 October 2016

I am delighted that the Secretary of State is introducing this Bill today. Her points about destruction will have been brought home to everybody when Palmyra was destroyed very recently. Can she assure the House that after the 62 years we have waited sinc...

 

Nissan: Sunderland
Commons Chamber on 31 October 2016

The Secretary of State obviously said the right thing to Nissan. He knows that there are many manufacturing industries with international supply chains, such as Glaxo in my constituency, so when he is sitting in the Brexit Cabinet Sub-Committee, will he i...

Oral Questions to the Chancellor
Commons Chamber on 31 October 2016

 

Oral Questions to the Secretary of State for Works and Pensions
Commons Chamber on 31 October 2016

 

 

Standing Order No. 143 (watch)

Commons Chamber on 27 October 2016

Does the Leader of the House agree with the hon. Member for North East Somerset (Mr Rees-Mogg) that the document to trigger article 50 is one that the European Scrutiny Committee would recommend for debate and possible vote in the main Chamber? If he does...

Standing Order No. 143
Commons Chamber on 27 October 2016

1. Whether he has had discussions with his ministerial colleagues on the scope of Standing Order No. 143(1)(ii) and 143(1)(vi).

European Council

Commons Chamber on 24 October 2016

The Prime Minister has had a lot of questions about the customs union, because, for exporters into the EU, having to comply with the rules of origin from the outside would raise costs by 25%. She knows that Nissan is one of those exporters. It has an ext...


Light Pollution

Commons Chamber on 24 October 2016

Brexit does give us the opportunity to control public procurement, so when the Minister is talking to local authorities about what kind of LED lighting to purchase, will he encourage them to buy lights from Thorn in Spennymoor in my constituency?


Light Pollution 

Commons Chamber on 24 October 2016

Light pollution is not just a problem for people who want to look at the stars; it is also a problem for birds, which become confused about when they should begin the dawn chorus. They sing for so long that they have no energy left to mate. I am sure that...

Light Pollution

Commons Chamber on 24 October 2016

11. If he will issue guidance to local authorities on taking steps to control light pollution and protect dark skies.

Single Market

Commons Chamber on 20 October 2016

Were we to leave the customs union, the businesses exporting 44% of our exports to the EU would face extra costs for compliance with the rules of origin, which the OECD estimates at 25%. Does the Secretary of State not agree that membership of the customs union is even more important than membership of the single market?

 

Parliamentary Scrutiny of Leaving the EU

Commons Chamber on 12 October 2016

I am very pleased to have this opportunity to speak in favour of the motion on the parliamentary scrutiny of the UK leaving the EU, which was put down by my hon. and right hon. Friends. We all want Parliament to scrutinise the negotiating strategy before...  

 

Parliamentary Scrutiny of Leaving the EU

Commons Chamber on 12 October 2016

Exiting the European Union (watch)

Commons Chamber on 5 September 2016

The right hon. Gentleman has always been a great defender of parliamentary democracy. Throughout the afternoon he has emphasised that the situation is complex and there are trade-offs to be made. That is why it is so incomprehensible to many of us that he does not want the House to have a vote before the path is chosen for how to trigger article 50. I wonder whether he is aware of the statement made by the former Foreign Secretary, Lord Hague, that it would be sensible

“to endorse the start of negotiations”

as

“a defeat for the terms of exit, after lengthy negotiations…could leave the UK in…limbo”.

Northern Powerhouse (watch)

Commons Chamber on 19 July 2016

Earlier, he was very vague about the European structural funds. Some £800 million of European structural funds were part of the north-east devolution deal. Without a guarantee from the Government, the loss of that money will drive a coach and horses through the deal. [Interruption.] I will give the Minister time to listen to what the Chancellor is saying in the hope that he can come to the Dispatch Box and say that the Government will guarantee the £800 millio

Article 50: Parliamentary Approval

Commons Chamber on 11 July 2016

I thank the Minister for that reply. If the royal prerogative is used to trigger article 50, would that not be a clear breach of the promises made to the public by the Brexiters during the referendum campaign that they would “take back control” and “resto...

Article 50: Parliamentary Approval (watch)

Commons Chamber on 11 July 2016

(Urgent Question): To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster to make a statement on whether the Government will seek parliamentary approval before triggering article 50.

Surplus Target and Corporation Tax (watch)

Commons Chamber on 4 July 2016

Cutting corporation tax in this way is highly likely to annoy our EU partners, which is extremely foolish in the run-up to the article 50 negotiations. Would not a better way of averting the risk of recession be to promise to replace the EU funds we are going to lose, and which were such an important part of the northern devolution deals?

EU Council

Commons Chamber on 29 June 2016 (watch)

When the Prime Minister got back from Brussels last night, was there any message from the hon. Member for Uxbridge and South Ruislip (Boris Johnson) about where to find the £350 million for the NHS?

Outcome of the EU Referendum

Commons Chamber on 27 June 2016

The farming community will be affected by this vote almost more than any other. It, too, was promised a continuation of subsidies and support. What reassurance can the Prime Minister give it that this will indeed be the case?

EU Membership: Economic Benefits

Commons Chamber on 15 June 2016

Britain stands at a crossroads. The nation has to make a big choice: whether to stay in the EU or to leave. The EU was built on the ashes of world war two once people realised that security and prosperity were linked. Today, again, the world is an uncerta...

EU Membership: Economic Benefits

Commons Chamber on 15 June 2016

Did my hon. Friend see the story in the Financial Times today pointing out that both Sir James Dyson and Anthony Bamford had been caught breaking competition laws by the European Commission, and suggesting that that was their motivation?

BBC White Paper

Commons Chamber on 8 June 2016

My hon. Friend is of course right, and I shall move on to the argument about contestability in a moment. In some respects the White Paper is a good document because it provides lots of interesting facts and background. One particularly interesting aspe...

BBC White Paper

Commons Chamber on 8 June 2016

I am very pleased to have the opportunity to speak in the debate. Some of what I say will reflect the fact that I chair the NUJ parliamentary group, the financial support for which is specified in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests under my name...

BBC White Paper

Commons Chamber on 8 June 2016

May I suggest to the Secretary of State that tweaking that level downwards might be reviewed at the five-year point?

Engagements

Commons Chamber on 8 June 2016

Q6. With industrialists such as GlaxoSmithKline and Hitachi warning that if we left the EU, jobs would be lost, the Brexit economist Patrick Minford has revealed that under his side’s strategy, manufacturing would be mostly eliminated. Will the Prime Mi...

Employment Trends

Commons Chamber on 7 June 2016

This morning, the head of Hitachi warned that a Brexit vote means that jobs will be lost. What is the Treasury’s estimate of the number of jobs that will be at risk if we leave the European Union?

11 May 2016

White Paper on the BBC Charter

The cuts to local authority funding have created a crisis in the availability of regional arts and culture. In the BBC, however, we have a national institution that enables people to have access to the best, irrespective of where they live or what they earn. Does not the Secretary of State understand that by chipping away at the independence and the finances of the BBC, he is increasing unequal access, and that that is why he has created such a big backlash?

10 May 2016

Key Stage 2 Tests

Last Wednesday the Prime Minister was not able to tell the House his definition of a modal verb or what the past progressive tense is, or to distinguish a subordinating conjunctive from a co-ordinating conjunctive. I want to give the Minister a second chance. In the sentence “My baby was born in the hospital where my father works”, are the words “where my father works” a preposition phrase, a relative clause, a main clause or a noun phrase?

4 May 2016

North East Ambulance Service

I am most grateful to my hon. Friend for securing this extremely important debate. I am very concerned about the management. That was highlighted to me when I wrote a letter to the North East Ambulance Service about ambulance services in Teesdale. I got a letter back headed, “Ambulance services in Weardale”. The worst thing that happened was to Violet Alliston, whose partner rang three times in an hour. No ambulance came, and she died. That is obviously totally unacceptable.

21 April 2016

Topical Questions

The Conservative manifesto pledged “to stop children's exposure to harmful sexualised content online, by requiring age verification for access to all sites containing pornographic material and age-rating for all music videos”. Why did the Secretary...

 

First World War Commemoration

These matters are obviously extremely important, but the Department is also responsible for protecting children online. This morning the Internet Watch Foundation said that child abuse images are appearing behind adult pornography sites. Can the Secretary...

 

Prime Ministers Questions

Some people think that the worst case that has been made so far to vote to leave the EU is the claim that England is an island. Will the Prime Minister tell the House the worst argument that he has heard from the Brexiters?

19 April 2016

Bank of England and Financial Services Bill [Lords]

National Insurance numbers (Other EU nationals)

21 March 2016

Welfare

Budget Changes (or watch here)

16 March 2016

Budget Resolutions and Economic Situation 

15 March 2016

10 March 2016

9 March 2016

2 March 2016

1 March 2016

23 February 2016

3 February 2016

1 February 2016

26 January 2016

7 January 2016

5 January 2016

15 December 2015

14 December 2015

10 December 2015

25 November 2015

24 November 2015

19 November 2015

9 November 2015

5 November 2015

28 October 2015

27 October 2015

22 October 2015

20 October 2015

14 October 2015

17 September 2015

16 September 2015

15 September 2015

8 September

Finance Bill

Refugee Crisis (Helen attempted to speak)

9 July 2015

Budget Resolutions and Economic Situation

8 July 2015

English votes on English votes

6th July

Concessionary TV licences

Greece

29th June

Greece

25th June

Child Poverty  (You can also watch Helen challenging the Government on Child Poverty measures on Newsnight here.

22nd June

Food Banks

Onshore Wind Subsidies

16th June

Science Budget

11th June

Business of the House

RBS

4th June

Broadband Coverage

11th June

Channel 4

RBS



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