Debates between Baroness Evans of Bowes Park and Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle during the 2019 Parliament

Wed 25th May 2022
Thu 24th Feb 2022
Wed 26th Jan 2022
Thu 6th Jan 2022
Tue 16th Nov 2021
Thu 13th May 2021
Thu 28th Jan 2021
Thu 7th Jan 2021
Wed 23rd Sep 2020
Thu 25th Jun 2020
Mon 3rd Feb 2020

CHOGM, G7 and NATO Summits

Debate between Baroness Evans of Bowes Park and Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle
Monday 4th July 2022

(1 year, 9 months ago)

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Baroness Evans of Bowes Park Portrait Baroness Evans of Bowes Park (Con)
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What my noble friend is asking about is the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment, which I mentioned in response to the noble Lord, Lord Newby, which is the G7 initiative to narrow the investment gap for sustainable, inclusive, climate-resilient and quality infrastructure in emerging markets and developing countries. We, through the G7, intend to mobilise the private sector for accelerated action and support just energy transition partnerships. As I mentioned, one has already been set up with South Africa, and we are currently working towards further partnerships with India, Indonesia, Senegal and Vietnam. It is that initiative that the G7 will be developing within that space.

Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle Portrait Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle (GP)
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My Lords, my question follows on from that, on the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment. Will the Leader of the House agree with me that it is crucial that this money avoids the errors that have happened so often in the past, where money has gone into the priorities of investors rather than the needs of the poorest in society? Will she agree that this money needs to take a rights-based, gender-sensitive approach, delivering a just transition rather than ensuring that the rich in some countries get richer and the global north benefits—particularly in ensuring that the global south does not get laid on with even further levels of debt burden when it is already carrying levels of debt that it is unable to afford?

Baroness Evans of Bowes Park Portrait Baroness Evans of Bowes Park (Con)
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I certainly agree with the noble Baroness that we need to make sure that this initiative delivers for the poorest countries in the world, and that we work in a collaborative and effective way. That is what is happening in the development of this partnership. As I have said, we already have the first one announced, we are working towards several more, and we will support partners in developing countries and emerging markets in a fair and sustainable way.

Sue Gray Report

Debate between Baroness Evans of Bowes Park and Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle
Wednesday 25th May 2022

(1 year, 11 months ago)

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Baroness Evans of Bowes Park Portrait Baroness Evans of Bowes Park (Con)
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As I have said, the Prime Minister has taken responsibility. He has apologised and committed to making changes to address many of the issues raised and, as I mentioned in response to the noble Lord, Lord Collins, a number of those have been set out in the Statement. I reiterate again that Sue Gray recognises that and has said she is pleased that progress is being made in addressing the issues. That is not to say that there is not further work to do, but action has been taken, and it has been taken speedily.

Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle Portrait Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle (GP)
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My Lords, the seven Nolan principles of public office have been raised already this evening, but it is worth going through them: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty, and leadership. Would the Leader of the House claim that the Prime Minister, today and in the behaviour outlined in Sue Gray’s report, has lived up to those seven principles?

Baroness Evans of Bowes Park Portrait Baroness Evans of Bowes Park (Con)
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All Ministers of the Crown are expected to maintain high standards of behaviour and to behave in a way that upholds the highest standards of propriety. The Prime Minister has accepted that his behaviour, on occasion, did not meet those standards, and for that he has wholeheartedly apologised.

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Baroness Evans of Bowes Park Portrait Baroness Evans of Bowes Park (Con)
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I repeat again that he has taken responsibility. The Statement says that he himself has learned lessons. I have pointed out some of the practical things that have already happened on the back of the interim Sue Gray report on some of the issues she identified around leadership and other elements and structures in No. 10. That is in place. As I mentioned, there are now more ways for staff to raise concerns. There are practical things that have been done in No. 10 and the Cabinet Office to help address what has been said. He has taken and is taking steps. There may well be more to come, but tangible action has already been taken as a result of the interim Sue Gray report.

Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle Portrait Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle (GP)
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The Prime Minister today told the other place that it was “appropriate” to hold gatherings to thank Downing Street staff for their service. I go to a tweet from Adil Ray OBE, the actor and writer, who, with understandable and rightful anger, noted that at exactly the same time you were told to

“go straight home on your own or watch on zoom when your loved ones were leaving this Earth.”

Does the Leader of the House really believe that at that point in time it was appropriate to hold those Downing Street gatherings?

Baroness Evans of Bowes Park Portrait Baroness Evans of Bowes Park (Con)
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Like everyone, I feel incredibly sorry for everyone who was touched in such a horrific way by Covid. We all have immense sympathy but, as I have said and can only repeat, the Prime Minister has made a full and unreserved apology for what happened in No. 10 and taken steps to start to tackle some of the issues involved.

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Baroness Evans of Bowes Park Portrait Baroness Evans of Bowes Park (Con)
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I would certainly thank the doctor that you saw for the incredible work and service he provided and all the hard work that people across the NHS provided. The Prime Minister and civil servants within No. 10 and the Cabinet Office, and indeed across government, were also working very hard, obviously doing completely different things but helping to ensure that we had help for the homeless, to help provide shielding packages and to ensure that the doctor you saw had the PPE that he needed. But that is absolutely not to say that the doctor you met —and I am sure many other people around the country—faced similar circumstances, and the Prime Minister has acknowledged the anger that someone like that doctor might well feel.

Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle Portrait Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle (GP)
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To return to the previous question I put to the noble Baroness the Leader of the House, I will simplify this down. The Prime Minister said today that it was appropriate to hold these gatherings to thank Downing Street staff for their service. Does the noble Baroness the Leader agree that it was appropriate to hold those gatherings?

Baroness Evans of Bowes Park Portrait Baroness Evans of Bowes Park (Con)
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I have already answered that question.

Easter Recess: Government Update

Debate between Baroness Evans of Bowes Park and Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle
Monday 25th April 2022

(1 year, 12 months ago)

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Baroness Evans of Bowes Park Portrait Baroness Evans of Bowes Park (Con)
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The noble Baroness’s question involved a lot of “ifs”, and I am afraid I am not going to speculate. The police investigation is under way. What I can say on the basis of what has happened is that the Prime Minister has offered a full and unreserved apology, he has made it clear that he respects the outcome of the police investigation—as I said, that is still under way—and he has paid the fine that has been issued to him and has apologised fully.

Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle Portrait Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle (GP)
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My Lords, the Leader of the House gave us the latest figures on applications and approvals for the Homes for Ukraine scheme, but I am not sure if she has seen a report from Brighton emerging today. In what is sadly an inevitable next step, a placement has broken down, the Ukrainian in question having been faced with a demand from the host to support the payment of utility bills.

Brighton council is highlighting that there is no mechanism underneath this hastily designed scheme whereby a person whose placement has broken down can be placed somewhere else. So, a Ukrainian refugee who came to this country seeking refuge was told, “Here is the scheme and here’s how it works”, and they are now being thrown into the hands of a charity. A local church is providing a home for a few days, but the problem is inevitably going to land in the council’s lap. However, it would appear that there is no provision under the scheme for a placement to be transferred or a person to be replaced. Will this be looked at and dealt with as a matter of urgency, because it is obviously likely to occur again?

Baroness Evans of Bowes Park Portrait Baroness Evans of Bowes Park (Con)
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I thank the noble Baroness. I was not aware of the case but obviously, she has now raised it. If she would like to send me further details or contact my noble friend Lord Harrington directly, I am very happy to facilitate that or ensure that this issue is raised with him.

As she rightly says, it is a new scheme and I suspect that other issues may arise that will need to be addressed, but as soon as intelligence is gathered, we can deal with them. As I say, if she would like to send me more details, I am very happy to pass them on, or she can speak to my noble friend directly. We have in this House a Minister responsible for such things, so we will certainly take on board these issues, which, as she rightly says, need to be addressed.

Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle Portrait Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle (GP)
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If I may I will raise another issue in this rather scattergun Statement; I believe this is within the rules. In the other place, reference was made to what the Prime Minister described as “Russia’s barbaric onslaught” on Ukraine. The Labour Member for Rhondda raised the issue of the reported involvement of mercenaries—particularly one mercenary company, Wagner—in some of the most horrific events there. He also referred to what is usually known as the United Nations Mercenary Convention, more formally known as the International Convention against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries. The Prime Minister said that he would study the proposal because the UK has not signed up to this UN convention and has not been a proponent of it. Can the Leader of the House confirm that the Government are seriously looking at this, and will she ensure that we hear in this House—in some way or another—the outcome of that study?

Baroness Evans of Bowes Park Portrait Baroness Evans of Bowes Park (Con)
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I am sure that if the Prime Minister said he would study it, he will. What I can say is that we are continuing to gather evidence to assist ongoing investigations into crimes committed in Ukraine, such as the ICC investigation. We have led 41 states to refer atrocities to the ICC and we are providing additional funding to it. UK military and police are providing technical assistance to the investigations. The Metropolitan Police War Crimes Unit has commenced the collection of evidence, and we are working very closely with the Ukrainian Government. We have also appointed a former ICC judge, Sir Howard Morrison, as an independent adviser to the Ukrainian prosecutor-general, and we have welcomed the OSCE’s Moscow Mechanism report, which is the first independent report to identify evidence of potential Russian war crimes in Ukraine.

I reassure the noble Baroness that we are leading action in this area and we will continue to do so, because we want to ensure that all perpetrators are brought to justice for crimes that have been committed in Ukraine.

Ukraine

Debate between Baroness Evans of Bowes Park and Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle
Thursday 24th February 2022

(2 years, 1 month ago)

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Baroness Evans of Bowes Park Portrait Baroness Evans of Bowes Park (Con)
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Yes. In the Statement, it was quite clear that the sanctions will also be applied to Belarus for its role.

Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle Portrait Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle (GP)
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My Lords, in responding to the Front-Bench questions, the noble Baroness the Leader of the House said the international community must speak as one. That is identifying it, I think rightly, as a world crisis, not just a European one, as it has sometimes been painted. I note the very powerful contribution from Kenya’s ambassador to the United Nations reflecting on his own country’s experience that the recovery from the “embers of dead empires” must be completed without creating new forms of oppression and domination. Will the UK go to the United Nations General Assembly to seek collective action under the uniting for peace procedure created by Resolution 377A, given that it is obvious that action by the Security Council would be blocked by Russia?

Baroness Evans of Bowes Park Portrait Baroness Evans of Bowes Park (Con)
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The noble Baroness will be delighted to know that my noble friend hotfooted it back from the UN this morning and will no doubt be able to give more information on that in the debate tomorrow.

Ukraine

Debate between Baroness Evans of Bowes Park and Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle
Wednesday 26th January 2022

(2 years, 2 months ago)

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Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle Portrait Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle (GP)
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My Lords, in responding to the Front-Benchers, the noble Baroness the Leader of the House said, regarding dirty money, “I accept there is more to do”. She may be aware of the report yesterday from the Center for American Progress, a think tank known for being close to the Biden Administration, suggesting what to do if Russia invades. In its recommendations, it mentions, at paragraph 1.2, the formation of a

“U.S.-U.K. counter-kleptocracy working group.”

It explains this by saying that the US should propose the working group

“in part to prod stronger action from the U.K. government.”

Will the UK Government be waiting for that prod, or will they take stronger action immediately, not in the long-term future?

Baroness Evans of Bowes Park Portrait Baroness Evans of Bowes Park (Con)
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In answer to questions at the beginning, I set out a whole range of things that we have done, and are doing, to tackle money-laundering and economic crime. We will continue with that work.

Covid-19

Debate between Baroness Evans of Bowes Park and Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle
Thursday 6th January 2022

(2 years, 3 months ago)

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Baroness Evans of Bowes Park Portrait Baroness Evans of Bowes Park (Con)
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The noble Lord is absolutely right, which is why a huge amount of work around NHS reform is going on in government. The integrated care White Paper and other things will be coming down the line.

Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle Portrait Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle (GP)
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My Lords, the Minister addressed ventilation and air filtration in schools but the noble Baroness, Lady Smith of Basildon, asked about stepping the issue up more broadly. In her response, the Minister said that antiviral drugs were the key to the next stage of dealing with the pandemic, but surely we need to get beyond treating infected people. As a ballpark figure, air sanitation provides a 70% reduction in the transmission of disease. This is a long-term, systematic solution that should be implemented not just in schools but everywhere, particularly in public buildings. Should we not be getting ahead of the viruses rather than continually chasing after them?

Baroness Evans of Bowes Park Portrait Baroness Evans of Bowes Park (Con)
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I agree with the noble Baroness’s last point but I think that she miscategorised me slightly. I did not say that antivirals were the only answer; I said that they are one part of a suite of things that we need to be doing, from ventilation through to hygiene and cleanliness. There is a whole range of things that we will need to do, but she is absolutely right: we need to understand how we can live with Covid and not continually chase our tails, because we can see the damage that it causes.

COP 26

Debate between Baroness Evans of Bowes Park and Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle
Tuesday 16th November 2021

(2 years, 5 months ago)

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Baroness Evans of Bowes Park Portrait Baroness Evans of Bowes Park (Con)
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I thank my noble friend. The UK presidency marked Ocean Action Day at COP, championing a call for action to protect and restore ocean health and resilience. For instance, more than 100 countries have now signed up to protect at least 30% of the global ocean by 2030. My noble friend Lord Goldsmith is obviously very heavily involved in this work and will continue to lead international action in this area.

Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle Portrait Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle (GP)
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My Lords, like the noble Lord, Lord Newby, I was surprised that the Prime Minister rather bravely referred to Aristotelian virtue in the Statement. Four essential characteristics of virtue, according to Aristotle, are prudence, temperance, courage and justice. There is no provision in the Glasgow agreement for loss and damage payments—reparations for the fact that the global south is already suffering deadly horrendous damage because of the emissions of the global north. The Statement says that Alok Sharma will push countries to go further. Will the UK lead in putting in funds for loss and damage, as Scotland has already done, reflecting the fact that the most vulnerable nations made it very clear at COP that they expect this to be fully sorted out at Sharm el-Sheikh?

Baroness Evans of Bowes Park Portrait Baroness Evans of Bowes Park (Con)
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I am surprised that the noble Baroness did not realise that this was, in fact, the first COP decision that included a position on loss and damage, which is a recognition of how seriously developed countries are taking their obligations. The Glasgow dialogue was launched better to co-ordinate financial support for extreme impacts, and it agreed that there would be a dialogue between parties, relevant organisations and stakeholders to discuss the arrangements for funding activities to avert, minimise and address loss and damage. We also established the functions of the Santiago network, which will provide technical assistance to developing countries to address loss and damage. So progress was most certainly made.

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Baroness Evans of Bowes Park Portrait Baroness Evans of Bowes Park (Con)
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I completely agree with the noble Viscount. That is why we were so pleased, for instance, with the 140 leaders representing over 90% of the world’s forests pledging to halt and reverse forest loss by 2030. We also had 45 nations pledge action and investment to protect nature and to shift to more sustainable ways of farming and, as I mentioned earlier, there was action on the global ocean. The noble Viscount is absolutely right, and that is why we put this front and centre and included it in COP in a way that had not happened before. My colleague, my noble friend Lord Goldsmith, is leading this: he is passionate about it and will continue to talk to global colleagues in order to keep this agenda going forward.

Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle Portrait Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle (GP)
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My Lords, the Statement says that we have seen countries that really should know better dragging their heels on their Paris commitments. The Minister will be aware that the Beyond Oil & Gas Alliance has launched, led by Denmark and Costa Rica and also involving the states of California and Quebec. Given that we are committed to 1.5 and one of the commitments of the Beyond Oil & Gas Alliance is 1.5, meeting Paris commitments, are we not dragging our heels by not signing up to this alliance?

Baroness Evans of Bowes Park Portrait Baroness Evans of Bowes Park (Con)
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No. We have been central to action in this area. For instance, we were central to setting up the Powering Past Coal Alliance which now has 165 members, including national and subnational Governments, businesses and organisations. We will obviously continue to look at this area but we are certainly leading the way. In fact, the transition is already under way. In OECD countries, the share of coal in power generation has fallen from a peak of 40% in 1990 to a low of 23% in 2019. As we have said, although perhaps we had watered-down language, as we have all accepted, the end of coal is in sight, and that is what we want to continue to work to.

Covid-19 Update

Debate between Baroness Evans of Bowes Park and Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle
Thursday 13th May 2021

(2 years, 11 months ago)

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Baroness Evans of Bowes Park Portrait Baroness Evans of Bowes Park (Con)
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I thank my noble friend. We are obviously aware of the concerns raised about the challenge of securing indemnity for live events. Reopening when we are confident it is safe to do so will reduce the chance of cancellations and interruption, which is why the rollout of the vaccination programme is so critical. We also want to be sure that any investment or intervention would lead to an increase in activity. At the moment, for instance, we understand that social distancing remains one of the key barriers to activity. I can certainly reassure my noble friend that DCMS officials are working across government and with the affected sectors to understand the challenges and are keeping the situation under review to determine the most appropriate and effective response.

Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle Portrait Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle (GP) [V]
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My Lords, in light of the difficulties Australia and New Zealand, with their excellent Covid control track records, have had in preventing breakouts of infection from quarantine facilities, can the Leader of the House tell me how many cases of infection have been traced to English quarantine facilities, an issue of particular importance given concern about the B16172 variant? If she is unable to answer this now, could she perhaps write to me later?

Baroness Evans of Bowes Park Portrait Baroness Evans of Bowes Park (Con)
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I will write to the noble Baroness.

Covid-19

Debate between Baroness Evans of Bowes Park and Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle
Thursday 28th January 2021

(3 years, 2 months ago)

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Baroness Evans of Bowes Park Portrait Baroness Evans of Bowes Park (Con) [V]
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I assure my noble friend that much work is going on in our scientific community to analyse the new variants. As she will know, the UK has one of the most extensive genomic sequencing capabilities in the world. We have offered a new variant assessment platform to work with the WHO to offer our expertise in genomic sequencing to other countries. Indeed, we have sequenced over half of all viral Covid genomes that have been submitted to the global database. I assure her that we are at the forefront of work on these variants.

The one thing that I hope will give her some comfort is that all the current evidence continues to show that both vaccines we are currently using remain effective against both UK and South African variants. Moderna has said that it expects its vaccine to protect against the South African variant as well. It has also said that the reduction in antibody levels suggests that immunity could wane more rapidly, so Moderna is having a further look at its vaccine. That shows how much work is going on, both within the companies developing vaccines and more broadly, to make sure we stay ahead of these new variants.

Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle Portrait Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle (GP) [V]
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I will follow on from the comments of the noble Lord, Lord Newby. Perhaps the greatest area of government failure, although there is tragically lots of competition, is the failure to provide sufficient support to the infected and exposed who cannot self-isolate. Given that the Government are finally looking to set up quarantine hotels for overseas arrivals, will they consider a similar programme for those such as families forced into over- crowded accommodation by the bedroom tax, who cannot self-isolate in their current accommodation?

Baroness Evans of Bowes Park Portrait Baroness Evans of Bowes Park (Con) [V]
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I am not aware of any plans in that area, but I am happy to pass on the comments made by the noble Baroness about other things we might look at to the relevant departments.

Covid-19 Update

Debate between Baroness Evans of Bowes Park and Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle
Thursday 7th January 2021

(3 years, 3 months ago)

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Baroness Evans of Bowes Park Portrait Baroness Evans of Bowes Park (Con)
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I think all the devolved Administrations are working closely with central government. As I mentioned in response to a previous question, we are allocating vaccine doses based on the business-as-usual Barnett formula, and more than 1.3 million people across the UK have already received the first dose of the vaccine. Of course, we will continue to work closely together because we want to ensure that the programme is rolled out across all four nations so we can all benefit from it.

Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle Portrait Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle (GP) [V]
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My Lords, the noble Baroness may well be aware that in Brighton and Hove the council made the decision to close nurseries under its control, except to vulnerable children and those of key workers. Councillor Hannah Clare of Brighton and Hove Council has written to the Education Department to say that it believes that the same data and science that led to school closures applies also to the early years sector. I note that the Early Years Alliance says that many nurseries are closing voluntarily to protect the staff, the families and their communities. Will the noble Baroness tell us how the science differs between primary schools and nurseries, and whether the Government will provide financial support to nurseries making this decision in the interests of their communities?

Baroness Evans of Bowes Park Portrait Baroness Evans of Bowes Park (Con)
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What I can say to the noble Baroness is that within schools, vulnerable children and those of key workers can still attend, and we intend that early years settings remain open.

Covid-19

Debate between Baroness Evans of Bowes Park and Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle
Wednesday 23rd September 2020

(3 years, 6 months ago)

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Baroness Evans of Bowes Park Portrait Baroness Evans of Bowes Park (Con)
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My noble friend is absolutely right: ensuring that we protect jobs and support those in work has been central to our work so far. As I mentioned in a previous answer, we have put in place an unprecedented package of support for businesses, including grants, loans and the furlough scheme. We will continue to support business to make sure that we have a thriving economy once we come out of this crisis.

Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle Portrait Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle (GP) [V]
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My Lords, the noble Baroness, Lady Smith, the noble Lord, Lord Newby, and the right reverent Prelate the Bishop of Rochester have all effectively set out the scientific and medical problems with the rule of six and the lack of clarity or logic in the rules announced. Will the Government consider, instead, having rules that will be enforced and guidance for the public, with a clear division between the two? Confusion between the two has been a significant source of problems. Rather than, for example, threatening to roll out the Army for two groups of neighbours numbering seven who are standing at a distance and briefly exchanging greetings in the park, will they acknowledge that it is the vulnerable and communities already suffering discrimination who are most likely to be affected by such enforcement action?

Baroness Evans of Bowes Park Portrait Baroness Evans of Bowes Park (Con)
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I have made it clear that the military will not be rolling out but may be called upon to help with certain back-office duties, so I do not accept that characterisation by the noble Baroness. Of course, she and others have correctly talked about the need for clear messaging and guidance, which is, and will continue to be, at the forefront of our minds.

Covid-19 Update

Debate between Baroness Evans of Bowes Park and Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle
Thursday 25th June 2020

(3 years, 9 months ago)

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Baroness Evans of Bowes Park Portrait Baroness Evans of Bowes Park
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I am happy to reiterate that, subject to public health advice, it is indeed our aspiration to reopen gyms and leisure facilities by mid-July.

Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle Portrait Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle (GP) [V]
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My Lords, in answer to the noble Lord, Lord Balfe, the noble Baroness referred to using local action committees as the way in which local lockdowns will be achieved. I refer to my interest in the register with the Local Government Association and to the words of Ian Hudspeth, who speaks for it on health matters. He and other local authorities have been begging for information on getting direct, real-time data about diagnoses of Covid-19, so that they can see and manage what is happening in their local areas. Can she say when or if that real-time information, down to the detail of at least street and postcode or small local areas, will be given to local authorities and those local action committees?

Baroness Evans of Bowes Park Portrait Baroness Evans of Bowes Park
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What I can say is that we have made £300 million available to local authorities to work with test and trace to develop the local outbreak control plans. Those plans will identify and contain potential outbreaks in places such as workplaces, ensure that testing capacity is effectively deployed, and help the most vulnerable in self-isolation.

Covid-19: Strategy

Debate between Baroness Evans of Bowes Park and Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle
Tuesday 12th May 2020

(3 years, 11 months ago)

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Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle Portrait Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle (GP)
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My Lords, this Statement launched the Government’s document, Our Plan to Rebuild. It says:

“Anyone with symptoms should isolate immediately, alongside their households, and apply for a test. If a negative test is returned, then isolation is no longer required.”


But the NHS is widely reported as estimating a false negative rate of 30% for swab tests. On 1 May, Pulse Today reported that the advice from NHS England is for GPs and other staff who have tested negative not to return to work if they still have symptoms. Can the noble Baroness the Minister explain the dangerous, and potentially deadly, apparent gap between those two sets of advice?

Baroness Evans of Bowes Park Portrait Baroness Evans of Bowes Park
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If people have symptoms, they should of course self-isolate, along with their household. As we have said all along, it is extremely important that people look after themselves, follow the advice and self-isolate if they think they have any symptoms. We are moving forward from the lockdown in an extremely cautious manner, and it is absolutely imperative that everybody puts their health, and the health of everyone around them, first.

Global Britain

Debate between Baroness Evans of Bowes Park and Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle
Monday 3rd February 2020

(4 years, 2 months ago)

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Baroness Evans of Bowes Park Portrait Baroness Evans of Bowes Park
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I thank my noble friend for his comment. Things can be considered, but we have an excellent Select Committee system, with excellent EU committees, the Constitution Committee and others which I think all noble Lords will agree did a fantastic job on scrutinising and holding the Government to account during the last phase of our discussions with the EU. I have no doubt that they will continue to do so going forward. We will listen to their advice and reports very carefully.

Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle Portrait Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle (GP)
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

My Lords, in a speech this morning the Prime Minister said that a free trade agreement should be

“governed by science and not by mumbo-jumbo”.

In the spirit of good science, the precautionary principle is critical to preventing environmental harm and maintaining food safety. Will the Minister guarantee that this precautionary principle will be at the centre of any free trade agreement, as it is at the centre of the EU’s negotiating position? Also, drawing on the contribution of the noble Lord, Lord Newby, on the COP talks, will she acknowledge that this is not something that happens at the end of the year but a full 12-month process on which we are already behind, having to start again with the new president?

Baroness Evans of Bowes Park Portrait Baroness Evans of Bowes Park
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As I have said, we have a clear timetable for negotiations going forward and look forward to them beginning. We remain committed to world-class environmental, product and labour standards. Our reputation for quality, safety and performance is what drives demand for UK goods. We have absolutely no intention of harming this reputation in pursuit of any trade deal.