Debates between Lord Udny-Lister and Lord Sharpe of Epsom during the 2019 Parliament

Afghan Interpreters

Debate between Lord Udny-Lister and Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Wednesday 18th October 2023

(8 months, 1 week ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Sharpe of Epsom Portrait Lord Sharpe of Epsom (Con)
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I am happy to provide the noble and gallant Lord with that information; I will do my very best to find it.

Lord Udny-Lister Portrait Lord Udny-Lister (Con)
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My Lords, does the Minister accept that much of the world is not as stable as we would like, and that we have a duty of care to locally employed staff in our embassies, particularly in countries which are in difficulty at this time and could be in a similar situation to Afghanistan? Have we learnt these lessons?

Independent Cultural Review of London Fire Brigade

Debate between Lord Udny-Lister and Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Tuesday 29th November 2022

(1 year, 6 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Sharpe of Epsom Portrait Lord Sharpe of Epsom (Con)
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I thank the noble Baroness for her questions. I think it is useful to remind the House that the report confirmed that the disadvantage and discrimination that affects brigade staff does not translate into its operations and does not impact on the way the brigade prevents and responds to incidents. It is important to note that and to note our admiration for firefighters, who walk into trouble as opposed to walking away from it.

As for the Government’s response, we should bear in mind that responsibility for London Fire Brigade rests with the Mayor of London, but the Government published a fire reform White Paper in May. That set out proposals to reform the way the fire service supports and values its people. At its heart are plans to improve culture and professionalism and to put ethics at the heart of the service. The Government have also funded a number of important change programmes in the fire sector. We have supported the creation of a new code of ethics for fire and rescue services, setting out clear national expectations for standards of behaviour. The Fire Standards Board, which is funded by the Home Office, has produced fire standards to support the core code of ethics as well as a specific safeguarding standard, supported by guidance from the National Fire Chiefs Council. It will shortly be publishing new fire standards on leadership.

Lord Udny-Lister Portrait Lord Udny-Lister (Con)
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My Lords, could the Minister please advise, first, that responsibility for the London Fire Brigade rests with the Mayor of London, who has a deputy mayor responsible specifically for the London Fire Brigade? So my first point is on governance—what is being done on that? Secondly, what will then be done about removing the individuals who have been clearly identified in this process? We only recently had the report of the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police on how we could not get rid of large numbers of policemen who need to leave the service quickly. Thirdly, national training has always been an issue for the fire brigade. The central Fire Service College in Moreton-in-Marsh was closed many years ago. It still has not been replaced and there are all sorts of training and governance issues around the fire brigade.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom Portrait Lord Sharpe of Epsom (Con)
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That is very clear; there is fairly evidently a failure of leadership. However, as I mentioned, I commend the leadership of Andy Roe, who commissioned a report into his own brigade. That was courageous and, as I say, he has committed to acting on all the recommendations.

There were two recommendations on getting rid of people. One is for a historical review of complaints, which will obviously investigate potential historical injustices. I imagine that will have some sort of component to do with removing people.

I am happy to confirm that the Mayor of London has operational responsibility for this, along with his deputy. That is on the website, and he claims it for himself. This is not blaming; it is merely stating a fact.

Covid-19: Vaccination Programme

Debate between Lord Udny-Lister and Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Tuesday 22nd February 2022

(2 years, 4 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Sharpe of Epsom Portrait Lord Sharpe of Epsom (Con)
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I think I have already answered the question on shelf life. I obviously cannot comment on the Iranian Government. In terms of what more the Government can do, I have already outlined a number of measures we are trying to take with regards to shelf life in particular. As I say, these decisions are taken very carefully by the Foreign Office and the health department.

Lord Udny-Lister Portrait Lord Udny-Lister (Con)
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My Lords, will the Minister tell us what is happening for those countries which have difficulty in getting supplies in because of conflict or non-recognition? I use the example of Somaliland, where all the supplies go through Somalia and then arrive in Somaliland only when they are out of date. There are a number of countries like this, so what action is being taken to deal with these problem areas?

Lord Sharpe of Epsom Portrait Lord Sharpe of Epsom (Con)
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My Lords, the UK is supporting the humanitarian buffer of last resort to support populations displaced by conflict in various parts of the world, including Afghanistan. Obviously, we welcome continued application of this instrument to support vulnerable populations where needed.