Importance of Natural Resources

Prime Minister’s Questions: 15 May 2019 – inequality, food poverty, climate change

>>Alan Brown (Kilmarnock and Loudoun) (SNP):
If she will list her official engagements for Wednesday 15 May.>>The Prime Minister (Mrs Theresa May):
May I start by thanking the Mental Health Foundation for organising this year’s Mental
Health Awareness Week? Having good mental health is vital to us all, which is why we
are investing record levels in mental health. We want to ensure that people receive treatment
and care when they need it. This morning I had meetings with ministerial
colleagues and others. In addition to my duties in this House, I will today be joining world
leaders and internet companies for a summit in Paris on tackling terrorist use of the
internet.>>Alan Brown:
I also support Mental Health Awareness Week. Instead of a transplant providing my constituent
Pauline Hunt with an improved and extended life, she has tragically received a death
sentence after receiving a malignant kidney. Pauline rightly needs answers, and comfort
that this will not happen to anyone else. Rather than her having to fight the system
to get these answers, will the Prime Minister ensure that NHS Blood and Transplant undertakes
a case review to identify why this malignancy was not picked up earlier and why red flags
were not identified post-operation?>>The Prime Minister:
The hon. Gentleman has clearly raised a very concerning case, and has given some details
here on the Floor of the House. I will ensure that the relevant Minister looks at the issue,
because it is obviously a matter of concern if somebody receives something that they believe
is going to give them their life but that is actually a malignant organ, as has happened
in the case raised by the hon. Gentleman. I will ensure that the relevant Minister at
the Department of Health looks into the matter.>>Mark Pawsey (Rugby) (Con):
The Prime Minister has often spoken about how important it is to ensure that everyone
gets a fair chance in life, which of course include carers. Will she therefore join me
in welcoming the award given to Annette Collier at Friday’s Pride of Rugby awards, run by
our fabulous local radio station? Annette is a leader for Rugby Young Carers, and her
great dedication, inspiration and enthusiasm is helping youngsters in my constituency to
live their own lives.>>The Prime Minister:
I thank my hon. Friend for highlighting this issue, because we obviously recognise the
importance of supporting young carers. We have published a cross-Government carers action
plan that is committing to improve the identification of young carers’ educational opportunities
and outcomes, as well as access to support and services. I am very happy to join him
in congratulating Annette on this award and thanking her for the amazing work she has
done and continues to do to support young carers. I also congratulate Rugby FM on identifying
people in the community like Annette who are doing so much help the lives of others.>>Jeremy Corbyn (Islington North) (Lab):
I join the Prime Minister in acknowledging Mental Health Awareness Week. I want to send
my support to all those campaigning all across the country to raise awareness of mental health,
and a message that all of us can do something about it by reaching out and talking to people
going through a mental health crisis, and also ensuring that there is proper funding
for our mental health services. I would like to pay tribute to the former
Labour MP for Birmingham, All Saints, Brian Walden, who passed away this week. He was
a very formidable figure in this House and a very strong political interviewer who every
politician really loved being interviewed by at the time—but they only said that afterwards. I think it would also be only right that the
House of Commons pays tribute to a leading Hollywood icon and campaigner for animal welfare,
Doris Day, who passed away this week. I am tempted to quote some Doris Day songs, but
I won’t. All right—“Whip-Crack-Away!” No, no, no. I do apologise, Mr Speaker—I
have obviously started a parliamentary singalong here. Speaking of icons, it would be right to acknowledge
that it is 40 years since my hon. Friend the Member for Huddersfield (Mr Sheerman) and
my right hon. Friend the Member for Birkenhead (Frank Field) were both elected to this Parliament
for the first time in the 1979 election. In the last two years, nine of the UK’s
richest hedge fund tycoons have donated £2.9 million to the Conservative party. Is this
a Government for the many or one in the pockets of an elite few?>>The Prime Minister:
Let me first respond to some of the tributes that the right hon. Gentleman paid. I am sure
that everybody across the House would wish to recognise the sad passing of somebody who
gave many hours of entertainment through her films and career—Doris Day. I would also like to congratulate the hon.
Member for Huddersfield (Mr Sheerman) and the right hon. Member for Birkenhead (Frank
Field) on having been elected into this House 40 years ago and having spent 40 years in
this House. I also note that 40 years ago, of course, it was the election of Margaret
Thatcher and her Conservative Government. It was always
said that Margaret Thatcher had enjoyed being interviewed by Brian Walden, who did indeed
not only have a career in this House but went on to have a very respected career in television
journalism as a broadcaster and interviewer. The right hon. Gentleman raises issues about
fairness and equality, and those who are better off in our society. Can I just say to him
that income inequality is down since 2010? As Conservatives, we want everyone to be better
off, everyone to have good jobs, and everyone to have a better life. But that is always
the difference between us and Labour: Labour wants to bring people down; we want to raise
people up.>>Jeremy Corbyn:
The Nobel prize-winning economist Sir Angus Deaton said that the UK risks having extreme
inequality levels of pay, wealth and health. Of the G7 countries, only the United States
is more unequal than the UK. Is that something the Prime Minister is proud of?>>The Prime Minister:
The right hon. Gentleman talks about income inequality and fairness. As I say, income
inequality is down since 2010. The lowest paid have seen their wages grow the fastest
since 2015. The top 1% are contributing more income tax than at any point under the last
Labour Government, and thanks to the Conservatives, millions of the lowest paid are no longer
paying any income tax at all. That is Conservatives delivering for everyone.>>Jeremy Corbyn:
Real wages are lower than they were 10 years ago. How can it be fair that we live in a
society where the average chief executive of a FTSE 100 company now earns 145 times
the annual average salary in this country? Some of the lowest rates of pay are among
young workers. That is why at the weekend, I announced that the next Labour Government
will abolish the youth rates, because, quite simply, if you are old enough to do the job,
you are old enough to be paid the wage to do the job. Does the Prime Minister agree
with that principle?>>The Prime Minister:
The impact of the policy that the right hon. Gentleman has announced is actually that it
will cost young people jobs. That is not just what I am saying. The director of the Institute
for Fiscal Studies said that the policy would “end up having quite a negative effect on
young people.” But we do not need to rely on quotes to know
what would happen to young people under a policy like that. We can just look at the
record of the last Labour Government on youth employment. Under the last Labour Government,
youth unemployment rose by 44%. Under the Conservatives in government, youth unemployment
has fallen by 50%.>>Jeremy Corbyn:
I seem to recall that it was the Conservative party that opposed the national minimum wage
in 1997. I seem to recall that it was the Conservative party that predicted millions
of jobs being lost because we wanted decent pay for people. Why do this Government continue to punish
our young people? Since 2010—[Interruption.] Well, since 2010, the Conservative party,
with its Liberal Democrat accomplices, has trebled tuition fees, abolished the education
maintenance allowance and cut child benefit. While wages remain lower than a decade ago
and housing costs have soared, more and more food banks are opening up in Britain. In Great
Yarmouth, one has just been opened for pupils at a school, and last week the Department
for Business established a food bank for its own staff in its building on Victoria Street.
Can the Prime Minister tell us what is going wrong in modern Britain when a Government
office in the centre of London has a food bank for some of its very low-paid staff to
get something to eat?>>The Prime Minister:
As the right hon. Gentleman knows, I think that the best way to ensure that people have
a good, stable income for their families is to ensure that they are in work. This is the
fourth question he has asked me, and in none of his questions so far has he welcomed the
fact that employment is at record levels, and unemployment is down at a record low.
The way he talks, you would think that inequality started in 2010.>>Marsha De Cordova (Battersea) (Lab):
It did!>>The Prime Minister:
One of the Labour Back Benchers shouts from a sedentary position, “It did!” Who was
it who said that the last Labour Government “ensured that the gap between the richest
and the poorest in our society” became “very much bigger?” Those are not
my words; they are the words of the right hon. Gentleman, attacking his own Labour Government.>>Jeremy Corbyn:
My question was about food banks in a Government office—>>Mr Speaker:
Order. I am very, very worried about you, Mr Spencer. You used to be such a calm and
measured fellow. You are now behaving in an extraordinarily eccentric manner—almost
delinquent. Calm yourself, young man, and your condition will improve.>>Jeremy Corbyn:
My question was about a food bank in a Government Ministry, which seems to suggest that in-work
poverty is the problem in Britain. The Trussell Trust handed out 1.6 million
food parcels last year, half a million of which went to children. A new report out today
by the End Child Poverty coalition shows that child poverty has risen by half a million
and is becoming the new norm in this country. The End Child Poverty coalition called on
Ministers to restore the link between inflation and social security. Will the Prime Minister
do that, to try to reduce the disgraceful levels of child poverty in this country?>>The Prime Minister:
The right hon. Gentleman talks about helping those who are low paid. It is this Government—it
is a Conservative Government—who introduced the national living wage. And what do we see?
Under Labour, someone working full time on the national minimum wage would have taken
home £9,200 a year. Now they take home over £13,700—£4,500 more under the Conservatives
for the lowest paid. That is the Conservatives caring for the low paid in our society.>>Jeremy Corbyn:
They may have changed the name, but the Institute for Fiscal Studies says that child poverty
will rise to over 5 million by 2022 at the current rate because of the strategies being
followed by the right hon. Lady’s Government. When the wealth of the richest 1,000 people
in Britain has increased by £50 billion in one year, but there is not enough money to
properly feed our children or pay workers a decent wage, we have failed as a society.
This country is seeing the rich get richer while the poor get poorer, while the Government
are in the pockets of a super-rich elite. More children in poverty, more pensioners
in poverty, more people struggling to make ends meet: when are the right hon. Lady and
her Government going to reverse the tax giveaways to the super-rich and make sure they pay their
fair share of taxes, so we can end the scandal—and it is a scandal—of inequality in modern
Britain?>>The Prime Minister:
In fact, as I have pointed out, the top 1% are paying more in income tax today than they
ever did under a Labour Government. But what have we seen from Labour in just the past
week? The Labour party has a plan for a system where everybody in this country would get
benefits. That means handouts to hedge fund managers paid for by tax hikes on working
people. Labour’s policy—money for the rich, paid by taxes on the poor.>>Nigel Huddleston (Mid Worcestershire) (Con):
As already noted, 40 years ago, Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister. During her premiership,
she convinced people like me and people from modest backgrounds right across the country
that it is the Conservative party that is the party of opportunity and aspiration. Does
the Prime Minister agree that education plays a pivotal role in unlocking these opportunities
and enabling social mobility, and will education and skills funding receive the attention it
therefore deserves in the upcoming spending round?>>The Prime Minister:
Of course, we are already putting record levels of funding into our schools—£43.5 billion.
My hon. Friend is trying to tempt me to talk about the spending review that is upcoming,
but I can assure him that we are committed to improving education for every child, because
I absolutely passionately believe that we should be making sure that how far a child
goes in life depends not on their background, their circumstances or who their parents are,
but on their individual talents and their hard work. Everybody in this country should
be able to go as far as their talents and their hard work will take them.>>Ian Blackford (Ross, Skye and Lochaber)
(SNP): I join the Prime Minister and the Leader of
the Opposition in welcoming Mental Health Awareness Week. Mr Speaker, pending your approval, we now
know that the Prime Minister’s three-times defeated Brexit deal will return yet again
in June. Can the Prime Minister tell us: has a back-room agreement been reached with the
Leader of the Opposition to sell out the people of Scotland and to force her shoddy deal through?>>The Prime Minister:
The only party that wants to sell out the interests of Scotland is the SNP, with its
bid for independence.>>Ian Blackford:
I am not quite sure what that had to do with the question. You might at least try, Prime
Minister, to answer the question. The people of Scotland are none the wiser about what
is going on in the secret Tory-Labour talks. Scotland’s people, and the will of the Scottish
Parliament, are being ignored. Enough is enough. Why is the Prime Minister so afraid of giving
the people of Scotland their say? The fact is, at the European elections next week the
people of Scotland will make their voices heard, whether Westminster likes it or not.
Next Thursday, the people of Scotland can vote SNP to stop Brexit and to send a clear
message that Scotland will not be ignored any more.>>The Prime Minister:
The right hon. Gentleman talks about the people of Scotland not knowing where things stand.
Well, the people of Scotland will know where things stand if the right hon. Gentleman and
his colleagues vote for the withdrawal agreement Bill and ensure that we leave the European
Union. If people want to vote for a party that not only is a Brexit party but is a party
in government that can deliver Brexit, they should vote Conservative.>>Mr Nigel Evans (Ribble Valley) (Con):
Can the Prime Minister confirm that, if we were to stay in a customs union and the single
market, we would have to pay billions into the European Union, we could not do free trade
deals around the world and we could not control our own immigration, and that we will never
betray the promise that we made at the last general election that we will deliver the
full Brexit—unlike the broken promises from the Labour party?>>The Prime Minister:
I am happy to confirm to my hon. Friend that we do indeed remain committed, and not just
to delivering Brexit and to securing a majority in this House to do just that; I can reassure
him on his specific points. In leaving the European Union, we want to—we will—end
free movement, restore full control over our immigration policy, open up new trading opportunities
around the world and end the days of sending vast payments to the European Union, and we
will not pay for market access. He mentions commitments that were made at the last election.
He and I both stood on a manifesto promising to deliver the best possible deal for Britain
as we leave the European Union, delivered by a smooth, orderly Brexit, as we seek a
new deep and special partnership, including a comprehensive free trade and customs agreement
with the European Union. I am committed to those objectives. I believe that we have negotiated
a good deal that delivers on those and I am determined to deliver it.>>Bill Esterson (Sefton Central) (Lab):
This Government say they are committed to tackling climate change, yet too often the
evidence suggests otherwise. Take the examples of their support for an oil refinery in Bahrain
but their refusal to help award-winning tidal energy specialists Nova Innovation. The reality
is, 99.4% of UK export finance in the energy sector goes on fossil fuel projects. If this
Government are serious about addressing the climate emergency, will they prove it by investing
in the future, not the past?>>The Prime Minister:
We are investing in the future and not the past. That is why we have been encouraging
issues like electric vehicles—the battery technology that is being developed here in
the UK. The hon. Gentleman talks about our interest and our support for what we need
to do on climate change. Just look at our record. Our renewable energy capacity has
quadrupled since 2010; annual support for renewables will be over £10 billion by 2021;
99% of solar power deployed in the UK has been deployed under the Conservatives in government;
and we have been decarbonising at a faster rate than any other country in the G20.>>Andrew Lewer (Northampton South) (Con):
It is vital for trust in the Prime Minister and the Government for dates to be set and
then stuck to. Can we have a definitive and unalterable date for the release of the Green
Paper on adult care?>>The Prime Minister:
My hon. Friend is absolutely right that we need to abide by, and will abide by, the Government’s
commitment to publish a Green Paper on adult social care. We want to ensure that, when
we do that, we are able to bring forward proposals that deliver the answer, or possible answers,
to the question we have to ask ourselves, which is how we can ensure that the social
care system is sustainable into the future. We will be publishing it at the earliest opportunity
and it will set out those proposals to ensure that the social care system is sustainable
in the longer term.>>Pete Wishart (Perth and North Perthshire)
(SNP): I do not know about you, Mr Speaker, but it
is looking a bit threadbare over on the Conservative Back Benches below the gangway. Maybe we should
examine the reason why. The Government can barely secure double figures in the opinion
polls. The UK is now an international laughing-stock, with the Prime Minister’s Back Bench just
wanting her going, as does the nation. She is now going to be bringing back her withdrawal
agreement for a fourth tanking, as her Back Bench queue up to say they will not support
her. Has the road now just run out, Prime Minister? For the sake of her nation, will
she please just go—and let Scotland go too?>>The Prime Minister:
From the hon. Gentleman’s references to those of us across this House, it is obvious
that his charm offensive to become the next Speaker has already started. May I also say
to him that it is in the interests of Scotland that it remains part of the United Kingdom,
and in the interests of the whole of the United Kingdom that we deliver on what people voted
for in the referendum and deliver Brexit?>>Rebecca Pow (Taunton Deane) (Con):
In Somerset, 15,200 children are now in good and outstanding schools compared with 2010—great
news—but, despite 5.9% more funding per pupil going into Somerset, teachers and parents
in Taunton Deane are increasingly coming to me to say that they are under funding pressures.
They are in the fifth lowest for secondary school funding and the bottom third for primary
school funding. Does the Prime Minister agree that to give our children the very best opportunity
in life we must correct that funding injustice in Somerset? With a stronger economy overseen
by this Government, we can and should do it.>>The Prime Minister:
I thank my hon. Friend for her comments about the increasing number of children in Somerset
in good and outstanding schools. It is indeed, as she says, our management of the strong
economy that enables us to put more money into our public services, such as education.
That is why we are putting a record level of funding into schools this year, giving
every local authority more money for every pupil in every school. We have introduced
the new funding formula to make distribution fairer across schools across the country.
We want to keep on improving education for every child so that, as I said in response
to an earlier question from my hon. Friend the Member for Mid Worcestershire (Nigel Huddleston),
we have the opportunity to ensure that every child can go on and achieve their full potential.>>Rosie Duffield (Canterbury) (Lab):
As this is Mental Health Awareness Week, does the Prime Minister agree with the Labour party
that it is time to scrap tests for pre-teenage children, such as SATS and, in Kent, the 11-plus,
which we know cause them to experience stress, anxiety and a sense of failure? The Prime Minister:
What is important as children go through their education is that we make sure they are receiving
the right education for them and we make sure that schools are providing the right quality
of education. Simple tests that enable judgments to be made about where children are in relation
to their learning through their school career are, I believe, right. It is right that they
were introduced and it is right that they continue.>>Vicky Ford (Chelmsford) (Con):
It is Mental Health Awareness Week and it is also exam time. At Anglia Ruskin University
in Chelmsford, the staff and students care deeply about supporting all those with mental
health issues. Will my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister urge the Secretaries of State
for Health and for Education to work together to provide a specific fund, so that our universities
can develop new and innovative ways to help students with mental health pressures?>>The Prime Minister:
My hon. Friend is right to raise the issue of mental health in universities. It is important
and it is a priority for the Government. NHS England is already working closely with Universities
UK, through the Mental Health in Higher Education programme, to build the capability and capacity
of universities to improve student welfare services and access to mental health services.
However, I am happy to ask both the Health and Education Secretaries to consider options
to look at the issue further.>>Mr Barry Sheerman (Huddersfield) (Lab/Co-op):
The Prime Minister is now well aware that I have had the privilege of serving the people
of Huddersfield for 40 years, but is she aware that when I came into this House I was a passionate
Eurosceptic? I changed my mind because I saw how the European Union delivered prosperity,
cleaned up the environment, and kept the peace and our security. That changed my mind about
the value to all the people of this country, as well as my constituents, of staying in
the EU. Is it not time that the Prime Minister spoke out on the truth about Europe, rather
than the big lie of the UK Independence party?>>The Prime Minister:
This House voted for the referendum. The Government at the time said they would abide by the decision
of the referendum. The people voted, the people made their choice, and it is right that the
Government deliver on that choice and deliver Brexit. The hon. Gentleman mentioned his coming into
this House and that he has been serving his constituents for 40 years. He mentioned prosperity.
Actually, in 1979 it was a Conservative Government that came in and turned around all the problems
of a Labour Government and gave this country prosperity.>>Ross Thomson (Aberdeen South) (Con):
On behalf of animal lovers across the country, may I congratulate the Prime Minister on introducing
Lucy’s law to stamp out the horrific and barbaric practice of puppy and kitten farming?
However, this law applies only to England. With the Welsh consultation closing this week,
does my right hon. Friend agree that unless the SNP Government now act to introduce Lucy’s
law, there is a real risk of Scotland becoming a hub for unscrupulous puppy farmers? Scotland
cannot be left behind.>>The Prime Minister:
My hon. Friend raises an important point. I congratulate him on the work he did on this
issue—he raised it regularly and championed the cause. It is ironic that, as an MP for
a Scottish seat, he was able to help to change the law here in England and ensure it was
brought in, yet the SNP Government in Scotland are not willing to change the law. It is time
the SNP Government got on with the day job and started legislating for things that matter
to people in Scotland.>>Thangam Debbonaire (Bristol West) (Lab):
The Prime Minister says that it is her deal, no deal or no exit from the EU. We voted against
her deal, and we voted against no deal for good reasons, but she has not shifted and
she is out of time. Will she admit now that all that is left is no exit, or will she go
back to the people?>>The Prime Minister:
The hon. Lady knows full well my response to the question about going back to the people.
The people were given the choice as to whether we should stay in the European Union in the
referendum in 2016. They voted, they gave their decision, and it is up to not just this
Government but this House to respect the decision taken when we as a Parliament gave people
that choice.>>Mr Simon Clarke (Middlesbrough South and
East Cleveland) (Con): At a crucial time, may I take this opportunity
to highlight the absolutely vital importance of supporting British Steel and in particular
its world-leading special profiles division at Skinningrove in my constituency? It is
a profitable business and a jewel in the crown of UK steel making. I urge my right hon. Friend
to deliver a productive outcome to the ongoing talks as swiftly as possible.>>The Prime Minister:
My hon. Friend raises an important point about British Steel. Obviously, I cannot comment
on the speculation about the future of Greybull Capital-owned British Steel. I realise this
is a worrying time for those employed there and their families. As everybody across this
House would expect, the Business Department is in regular contact with a wide range of
sectors and companies. Of course, last month the Government entered into a commercial agreement
with British Steel relating to its obligations under the EU emissions trading scheme, which
has provided support to that company.>>Mrs Sharon Hodgson (Washington and Sunderland
West) (Lab): Three weeks ago, the Prime Minister received
a copy of the children’s future food inquiry report, delivered to No. 10 by Dame Emma Thompson
and six young food ambassadors who all experienced food poverty. The End Child Poverty coalition
has found that, on her Government’s watch, half a million more children are having their
lives blighted by food poverty than at the start of this decade. Will the Prime Minister
meet those young food ambassadors to discuss the #Right2Food children’s charter as soon
as possible?>>The Prime Minister:
I have not seen the charter yet. I will look carefully at it, but, as I have said in response
to a number of questions on this issue, what is important is that we have in this country
an economy that enables people to get into good jobs. That is what we are delivering
as a Conservative party in government. That is what enables people to have that stability
in their income, and that is what enables people to be able to care for their children.>>Antoinette Sandbach (Eddisbury) (Con):
Will the Prime Minister join me in welcoming the final evaluation of the national bereavement
care pathway, which found that nine in 10 parents who had suffered the loss of a child—felt
they were treated sensitively and with respect?>>Mr Speaker:
Order. The hon. Lady has passed the test with flying colours.>>Antoinette Sandbach:
Not only did the hon. Lady pass the test; so too did the national bereavement care pathway.
It also found that eight in 10 healthcare professionals felt supported to deliver good-quality
bereavement care. Does the Prime Minister agree that these results are a rallying call
to the remaining NHS trusts to adopt the care pathway and ensure that all bereaved parents
receive better bereavement care?>>The Prime Minister:
I realise that this issue is close to the hearts of many Members across the House, including
my hon. Friend’s. She has spoken most movingly on this subject. I thank the all-party group
on baby loss for all its work. We recognise that all bereaved parents should be offered
the same high standard of care and support in an appropriate environment. These results
show the benefit of the national bereavement care pathway. It has already helped to strengthen
support for many bereaved families across the country, and I certainly urge all trusts
to adopt this approach.>>Caroline Flint (Don Valley) (Lab):
We rightly condemn the denial or abuse of trade union rights in Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh,
Colombia and many other countries, so will the Prime Minister agree that the victory
by Unite trade union members, who won £1.9 million compensation after major construction
firms unlawfully blacklisted and denied them work, is a victory for British values? Does
she agree that free and independent trade unions are a valuable part of our democracy?
Will she condemn the illegal actions of these construction companies? In an open democracy,
will she guarantee trade union representatives a right of access to workplaces to speak to
employees about their rights at work?>>The Prime Minister:
I recognise the important role that trade unions play in our democracy and the work
that can be done with them to enhance workers’ rights in this country. That is exactly what
the Government are doing. We want to see workers’ rights enhanced and improved and are already
on track to do that. I look forward to our continuing to be able to do so in the future.>>Neil O’Brien (Harborough) (Con):
A couple of weeks ago, I asked the Prime Minister about a family in my constituency who desperately
needed the life-changing drug Spinraza. This morning we have the wonderful news that it
will be made available in England. Will she now press for a managed access agreement to
be put in place as soon as possible, because the children who need this drug cannot afford
to wait a single day longer?>>The Prime Minister:
My hon. Friend raised a very important issue at the time, and I am very pleased that NHS
England and Biogen have agreed a deal that enables NICE to recommend this revolutionary
new treatment. As he said, it has the potential to transform the lives of young children with
spinal muscular atrophy and their families, and I will certainly ensure that the Department
of Health and Social Care acts on his request that it be made available as quickly as possible.>>Louise Haigh (Sheffield, Heeley) (Lab):
Research by the “Victoria Derbyshire” show has revealed that in the last five years
four children have been murdered following contact granted by the family courts to known
abusers. This morning, more than 120 MPs wrote to the Justice Secretary calling for an independent
inquiry into the treatment by the family courts of victims of domestic abuse and violence.
Does the Prime Minister agree that there is something wrong with a system that forces
contact between children and parents who are known risks to the child? If she does agree,
will she commission that independent inquiry today?>>The Prime Minister:
The family courts system should never be used to coerce or re-victimise those who have been
abused, and the child’s welfare must be the paramount consideration of the court in
any proceedings. I am pleased that the president of the family division published new draft
guidelines just last week that provided greater clarity on issues around the family courts,
such as increasing transparency. The Ministry of Justice has not seen evidence to suggest
a public inquiry is necessary, but I will ensure that the new Minister of State meets
the hon. Lady to discuss the concerns she has raised.>>Rachel Maclean (Redditch) (Con):
Will the Prime Minister congratulate the hard-working campaign team in Redditch who secured an increased
majority on the borough council in the local elections earlier this month? Will she visit
Redditch to find out how they are putting in place plans to unlock Redditch, and will
she recommit her Government’s resources to the crucial issue of regenerating towns
and high streets up and down the country?>>The Prime Minister:
I am very happy to congratulate all those campaigners—those elected councillors—on
their success in the Redditch Borough Council election, and I am pleased to see the council
moving forward with its plans to improve the town. Certainly we remain committed: we have
allocated sums to ensure that we see improvements in towns up and down the country, and we continue
our commitment to that. I am grateful to my hon. Friend for the invitation. I will ensure
that my diary secretary is aware of it, and we will see whether it is possible.>>Albert Owen (Ynys Môn) (Lab):
My constituent Gerald Corrigan was shot with a crossbow outside his home on Good Friday.
This weekend, he died of those severe injuries. I am sure that the House will join me in sympathising
with his family, his partner and his friends. The community is in shock. Will the Prime
Minister join me in appealing to the public for any information that they may have, and
to give that information to North Wales police in confidence? Will she assure me that, in
view of the number of such incidents, the law on crossbows will be reviewed, and will
she also ensure that the police have enough resources to conduct what is now a murder
inquiry?>>The Prime Minister:
The hon. Gentleman has raised a very worrying case, and, as he says, the thoughts of the
whole House are with the family, friends and partner of his constituent. It is terrible
to hear of an incident such as this. The Home Secretary has heard what the hon. Gentleman
said about the law on crossbows, and I absolutely join him in encouraging any member of the
public who has any information about what happened to get in touch with the police.
There is, of course, the anonymous route, which enables people who may be concerned
about giving information to the police to ensure that it reaches them without being
identified. If anyone knows anything that could help the police to catch those responsible,
I urge them to come forward.>>Mr Peter Bone (Wellingborough) (Con):
For more than 20 years I have worked with an incredible group of Conservatives in Wellingborough
and Rushden. They raise money for the party, they deliver leaflets and they knock on doors,
week in, week out. This Saturday, some 40 of us went out campaigning for the European
elections. Unfortunately, Sir, I have here a letter from
those Conservatives, addressed to the Prime Minister. They say that her deal is worse
than staying in the European Union, and that they want us to come out now on a no-deal
basis. More importantly, Sir, they have lost confidence in the Prime Minister, and wish
her to resign before the European elections. Prime Minister, what message have you for
those dedicated and loyal Conservatives?>>The Prime Minister:
First, let me thank all members of the Conservative party across the country who campaign regularly
in elections of all sorts. We have just heard about the group in Redditch Borough Council
who succeeded in getting excellent results in the council election. I thank all those
Conservatives for the time and effort that they put into promoting the Conservative cause. Secondly, let me say to Conservatives up and
down the country who are concerned about delivering Brexit that this is a Government who want
to deliver Brexit, and have been working to deliver Brexit. Sadly, so far the House of
Commons has not found a majority to do that. If everyone in the House of Commons had voted
alongside the Government and the majority of Conservative Members of Parliament, we
would already have left the European Union.>>Catherine West (Hornsey and Wood Green)
(Lab): The people of Hornsey and Wood Green are completely
distraught because a British Council worker, Aras Amiri, has been suddenly imprisoned in
Iran. The Foreign Secretary is kindly having a meeting with me and the family on Friday,
but will the Prime Minister please condemn this action by Iran, and will she please speak
to President Rouhani urgently about this terrible situation?>>The Prime Minister:
Obviously, we are concerned. We are always concerned when any individual is sentenced
purely on the basis of their employment with an entirely legitimate institution, as has
happened in this case. It is utterly shocking, and I am deeply concerned by the turn of events.
My thoughts are with the individual and her family at this time. As the hon. Lady says, the Foreign Secretary
is taking the issue up. The Government will press the case and the concerns that have
been raised, but sadly the arrest of this individual shows Iran’s attitude to entirely
legitimate organisations that are trying to foster better relations and cultural understanding
between countries.>>Stephen Kerr (Stirling) (Con):
The Prime Minister is rightly regarded by Scottish Conservatives as a trenchant champion
of the Union—and thank goodness for that. Does she agree that the UK shared prosperity
fund is an opportunity to strengthen the Union? Will she confirm that the fund will be led
by the needs of communities, and will not be Barnettised?>>The Prime Minister:
It is absolutely right that we have an opportunity, with the shared prosperity fund, to ensure
that we recognise the ways in which we can reduce disparities between communities and
between the nations within the United Kingdom. As my hon. Friend said, it is absolutely right
that that should be led by the needs on the ground. We should make sure that the money
is spent effectively, and that it delivers for people. That is our intention.

Reader Comments

  1. When I will LAND myself in house of Commons and even house of πŸ‘‘ πŸ‘‘ lord πŸ‘‘ πŸ‘‘ πŸ‘‘ it would like dream πŸ’­

  2. For a moment I thought I was watching Edinburgh fringe without the humour 🀑🀑🀑🀑🀑

  3. This f ing bunch in government have literally driven the people and the system into the ground, and for what? Making rich people richer. FFS !!….

  4. PM apply speaker and 🎀 mick,, my πŸ”Ÿ ten years would've 🐝 been there…… 🐝 🐝 🐝 🐝 🐝 🐝 🐝 🐝………… …….. 🐝 🐝 🐝 🐝

  5. So today's virtue signalling lamoid lapel decoration is the green mental health ribbon. What will next week's empty virtue-signalling gesture be? By the way Mr Speaker, my pet stick insect died last Friday, and I would like to pay tribute to Mr Sticky The Stick Insect for the many years of pleasure he gave us. He was a truly great stick insect of our age and I think all sides of the House will agree on that.

  6. What does it matter if unemployment is down if employment doesn't mean being able to afford to survive, let alone raise a family?

  7. May is thankful to the mental health system because she will soon be checking in to that hotel herself, she gives her word she will not go back to the people for a second vote so this probably means let`s prepare for a second referendum, for re-nvestment in towns i have a suggestion, Folkestone in kent, this was once a busy and wealthy town with a large commercial ferry and passenger ferry port, arcades, fishing harbour and markets, businesses and shops, cinemas, play parks, hotels and lots more. These things have now gone and on my last visit there it reminded me more of the "slums" and "hoods" found in America.

  8. Hello,

    I think you better use the stick than the candy.
    Authority is better led by severity and punishment to make law in running order of state.

    Check Al Green

  9. Two of those in need of mental health treatment are speaking in this video.
    So, Treasonous is Going to France to control the spread of internet terrorism. So, Sargon, Tommy R, Info wars, Vincent Vendetta, Ukip party, Fox, PJW, etc. etc. will be banned shortly.
    Treasonous is wearing orange, looks like she wants to 'Tango' the country – (again)!

  10. Theresa May has an impossible task, version 1… Brexit as was voted , leave means leave, no side dealing. Version 2 Don’t leave, put up all obstacles to effectively mean remain wins, even though the majority voted leave….. version 3 soft brexit, beg the EU to allow us to keep certain ties to the EU and masquerade as some kind of brexit…. I admire Theresa May for her attempt to navigate through an impossible task.
    Your can’t please all the people all of the time…….
    Corbyn is a total twonk….. Imagine this twonk leading us to deal with the world business economies, when he can only relate to minimum wage issues, whilst an area which needs addressing, when has anyone EVER heard him give his opinion on world trade …….?….

  11. I'm just SOOOOOOOO SICK of these out of touch career politicians that my head could explode!!!!! There are NO words that can explain how F*CKING MAD I am!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. I can tell Corbyn and May exactly what is going wrong. We are still in the EU, and why? Because of him his Labour party and May and her Tory party. We voted OUT 3 years ago.

  13. The problem with May is that she's competing with Corbin on the basis of his socialist values. She is accepting his values instead of rejecting them like she should.

  14. Mental Health Week, well we are aware that all these people in this place are Mental.
    Mental, if they think we are going to sit back and allow this farce to continue. Get this treacherous bunch of hypocrites out before they completely destroy our democracy.

  15. Prime Minister May, since your talking about mental heath issues, isn't it time you took time off and have yourself checked out? I'm sure many would agree with me that you are showing all the signs of someone with mental-health issues.

  16. Theresa May is doing a damn good job . When Comrade Corbyn closes every factory left over a bloody hoax , you will soon find out that you can't eat a bloody Brexit

  17. Robin Tilbrook will win his High Court Case, against this Nazi anti-democratic Tory Government. We will be out of this vile Nazi EU Dictatorship, as soon as the High Court concludes. Robin Tilbrook needs public donations in order to take the case forward, when the Nazi Tories appeal.

  18. the internet companies can and do block sites to torrent services but appear to be unwilling to block child porn and terroist sites.

  19. The United States has ensured peace in Europe, not the EU. This parliament is so arrogant too; they didn't like it when Peter Bone actually did his job by challenging the government on Brexit. The whole British establishment is a joke that needs bringing down and destroying.

  20. Why do people bother asking the PM any questions.. No matter what they ask, she just answers some other question she has in her head that has nothing to do with the question asked.. its all gobbledegook, its no wonder all the trust has gone in her

  21. all theses Tories should be lined up and shot for the deaths there cuts have caused time we held the lot of them accountable

  22. I’m furious that the government haven’t delivered brexit and from here on out it’s the brexit party that will get my support.
    I hope the tories and labour get wiped out by them since that is what they deserve after this betrayal

  23. Corbyn talks about the rich. Bit like him then. Has very profitable business interests in Mexico. Wonder what tax he pays and wages he pays his workers. Why Mexico? Looking at the stats, I was surprised how many millionaires are in the Labour Party. Corbyn one of the few then.

  24. A rubbish PM, a worse leader of the opposition and an execrable speaker of the house. Replace them all or our democracy is dead.

  25. I do wonder – as the parliament is still in no Position to decide anything… isnΒ΄t it time for a General election? A new Brexiteer or not Tori Leader wouldΒ΄nt change anything. I canΒ΄t see how anyway., Rhe fear of a second Referendum, which I find rather strange, is too big with Tories + Brexiteers. So what is left really? Asking the Eu for another Extension in october is… distastefull.

  26. Always putting the opposition down, it's getting very boring.
    People don't want to listen to their bickering .
    They want to know what they are going to do about the mess they've got the country in.

  27. Theresa May shut up 🀐 and resign πŸ˜‘πŸ˜‘πŸ€¬πŸ€¬πŸ€¬πŸ€¬πŸ–•πŸ–•πŸ–•πŸ–•πŸ–•πŸ–•πŸ–•

  28. If just too much immigrants from EU was the issue, can we negotiate just a fair criteria for issuing a visa to talented EU citizens and keep everything else same. Can this help our country to grow economically?

  29. Theresa May – About Climate Change – it doesnt matter if u r doing better than the other g4 countries – it matters when climate change will not happen – the uk IS NOT doing enough. If it was – why do I see animals choking and eating plastic – litter more common than ever in my area, thousands of people dying of air pollution related deaths – the expense of electric cars and renewable energy.
    Also about SATS – ABOLISH IT. I went through it and it was the most stressful period of my life and I have done other tests as well. SATS do not help children but pressurise them.

  30. About BREXIT – The leave campaign was based on lies, and current polls r showing that more people want to remain – so why dont u have a 2nd refferendum

  31. And Im sure none of these food banks and child poverty issues have anything to do with the migration plague that the UK is under… Right. Whine about poverty as you allow more and more poor into the country.

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