Throwline Stations

Damien Moore Excerpts
Monday 24th January 2022

(2 years, 3 months ago)

Westminster Hall
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Damien Moore Portrait Damien Moore (Southport) (Con)
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It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Ms Ghani, and to follow my hon. Friend the Member for Dover (Mrs Elphicke). I thank my hon. Friend the Member for Don Valley (Nick Fletcher) and the Petitions Committee for bringing forward this important debate.

This petition was signed by 606 of my constituents in Southport. I am all too aware of the tragic case of Mark Allen; I send my condolences to his family and friends and join my colleagues in calling for throwlines to be installed to prevent such needless loss of life in the future.

Landowners have a duty of care to those on their land. By speaking in this debate, I want to suggest that that duty should be strengthened, with further legal requirements for landowners to assess and act on the risks posed by open bodies of water. I welcome the fact that, since the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, the Government have enforced legal requirements to prevent employees and other people from coming to harm during work activities. However, the 1974 Act has well-known limitations; under the legislation it is not possible to enforce simple solutions such as a duty to provide throwlines near all bodies of water, for example.

In a modern, 21st-century country such as the United Kingdom, it is unacceptable that drowning continues to be one of the leading causes of accidental death. It is estimated that a shocking 44% of drowning fatalities happen to people who had no intention of even entering the water. Drowning in the United Kingdom is reported to account for more accidental fatalities annually than fire deaths in the home or cycling deaths on the road. Men are the most at-risk group in every age group, accounting for eight in 10 of all deaths.

Mark Tami Portrait Mark Tami (Alyn and Deeside) (Lab)
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I apologise for coming in late—there was traffic, I am afraid.

Does the hon. Gentleman agree that people, particularly very small children, can drown in very shallow water? There are areas—in caravan parks or places like that—that people think are safe, but which are not safe for very small children. There have been terrible occurrences and deaths of children drowning in only a foot or so of water.

Damien Moore Portrait Damien Moore
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The hon. Gentleman makes an important point. That is why it is incredibly important for landowners to carry out risk assessments around open bodies of water, particularly where children are concerned, so that protections such as throwlines can be put in place.

In Southport, the sea rarely comes in, but when it does it is rapid and all too often deadly. Our local rescue services go above and beyond in their duty to warn and protect; I welcome the opening, last week, of Southport’s new £1.4 million lifeboat station. The Southport Offshore Rescue Trust, which is independent from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, was founded by Kath Wilson after her son passed away in 1987 while fishing off the Southport coast. Southport Lifeboat is crewed entirely by volunteers and has helped to safely return more than 5,000 people since it was founded. I am sure that we all want to congratulate Kath and her excellent team of volunteers on their amazing work.

I also want to highlight that the RNLI has some excellent videos and explainers about what someone can do if they are in trouble in the water, including dealing with cold water shock, and I encourage all hon. Members to share them with their constituents. If those watching take anything away from this debate, it should be the three extremely important words provided by the RNLI: “Float to Live”.

I am sure that many of my colleagues are aware of the tragic incident involving Ben Smith-Crallan, who fell into a lake in Southport’s Botanic Gardens and sadly died following complications from an infection. Following the “Make a change for Ben” campaign, led by my constituent David Rawsthorne, tens of thousands of pounds have been raised for improvement works to the gardens, including the installation of an aeration fountain at the end of the lake to ensure that water is oxygenised, and potential measures to stop people falling in. I would add throwlines to the list of safety measures that need to be included.

The UK drowning prevention strategy acknowledges the difficulty caused by the fact that responsibility for managing water risks is dispersed among a number of organisations. While many, such as the Southport Offshore Rescue Trust and the RNLI, do excellent work, further efforts should be made to unite their various responsibilities to ensure that resources are effectively used, responsibility is clearly defined and individuals are best protected.

Let us start with the simple solutions. We should heed the calls of this petition to implement throw bags and throwlines around open bodies of water and go further by expanding opportunities to learn how to swim and spreading awareness around water safety. When the UK drowning prevention strategy was published in 2015, it called for accidental drowning fatalities in the United Kingdom to be halved by 2026. The latest data shows that we are halfway there, with a 25% decrease since the strategy was published. We should maintain that progress—even speed it up if we can—and ensure that we all do everything we can to prevent senseless tragedies, such as that of Mark Allen, from ever happening again. I urge my hon. Friend the Minister to do everything she can to help prevent those tragedies from occurring in the future.

Oral Answers to Questions

Damien Moore Excerpts
Tuesday 2nd March 2021

(3 years, 2 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Dominic Raab Portrait Dominic Raab
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The hon. Lady takes a heartfelt interest in this matter. I have recently spoken to the families of all three British-Iranian dual nationals. Of course, we accept that there is a long-standing dispute in relation to the IMS debt that needs to be resolved, but that is separate from the arbitrary detention of British nationals. Frankly, we should not be giving succour to the idea that anything should happen other than their unconditional and immediate release.

Damien Moore Portrait Damien Moore  (Southport) (Con) [V]
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The International Atomic Energy Agency has confirmed that Iran’s uranium stockpile is now more than 14 times over the limit agreed in the 2015 nuclear deal. Does my right hon. Friend believe that the framework is working? What consequences will there be for Iran’s continued non-compliance? [R]

Dominic Raab Portrait Dominic Raab
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My hon. Friend raises an important issue. Iran’s systemic non-compliance with its obligations under the joint comprehensive plan of action are rightly a concern of the whole international community, particularly the state parties to the JCPOA. Frankly, Iran has a clear choice: return to compliance or face increasing economic and diplomatic isolation. On 18 February in Paris, I joined my French and German counterparts and the new US Secretary of State Tony Blinken to reinforce the transatlantic alliance and concerted action to bring Iran back to full compliance, which is our overriding focus.

Occupied Palestinian Territories

Damien Moore Excerpts
Thursday 24th September 2020

(3 years, 8 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Damien Moore Portrait Damien Moore (Southport) (Con)
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It is a pleasure to follow the hon. Member for Hammersmith (Andy Slaughter). I congratulate the hon. Member for Aberavon (Stephen Kinnock) on securing this important and timely debate, especially given the patience that he has had to show in bringing it to the Floor of the House, and I also congratulate other hon. Members.

It is often claimed that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict comes from Palestinian spokespeople claiming that ongoing Palestinian terrorism is the result of Israel’s occupation of the west bank and Gaza and its settlement construction, adding that the violence will cease only when those end. While I recognise that settlements are counterproductive, I do not believe they can be regarded as a permanent obstacle, and it is misleading to argue that the settlements are the primary reason for the continuation of the conflict. Indeed, violence long predates the existence of settlements, which began construction in 1967, following Israel’s occupation of the west bank. Violence against Jews in the region had been taking place even before the state’s establishment in 1948. For millennia, Jews lived in the west bank, known as the biblical lands of Judea and Samaria.

Naz Shah Portrait Naz Shah (Bradford West) (Lab)
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The hon. Gentleman is making an important speech, but would he be kind enough to outline whether the settlements are illegal or not?

Damien Moore Portrait Damien Moore
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I thank the hon. Lady for that intervention, and I will get to my beliefs on that later in my speech.

Between 1948 and 1967, Jordan refused Jews access to territory including the old city of Jerusalem and Judaism’s holiest sites. It is also important to note that the Palestine Liberation Organisation was formed three years before the Israeli occupation began, in 1967, with the goal of liberating Palestine—meaning modern-day Israel.

What is more, Israel has a history of removing settlements in the interests of peace. Had settlements been the main cause of violence, one would have expected it to decrease following Israel’s unilateral withdrawal of settlers from all settlements in Gaza in 2005. On the contrary, Palestinian violence has intensified and tens of thousands of rockets and missiles have been fired into Israeli communities in the last 15 years. Had continuing settlement construction been the main motivation behind the Palestinian Authority’s refusal to engage in direct peace talks with Israel, why did they fail to talk with Israel after Prime Minister Netanyahu unilaterally imposed a 10-month moratorium on settlement building in 2010?

It is my view that settlements are just one of several core issues that can be ultimately resolved in final status negotiations between the parties. Moreover, the blueprint for resolving the issue of settlements has been long accepted between the parties, including the Palestinians themselves. The principle of land swaps, under which Israel compensates Palestinians with territory equivalent to that of the settlements, has been agreed for decades and offered by Israel in successive peace proposals. Instead, it is the end of claims and recognition of Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state that perhaps best explains their justification and refusal to accept peace. Yet in recent weeks, as has been mentioned by hon. Members on both sides of the House, we have seen the beginnings of significant change and the formalisation of that is important. The trilateral Abraham accords, signed by the UAE and Bahrain, explicitly acknowledge the Jewish people and the importance of co-existence, mutual understanding and mutual respect between Jews, Muslims and Christians in the region.

I welcome the Foreign Secretary’s recent call on the Palestinian Authority to engage with the peace process. I hope that the Palestinians seize this moment to work with their Arab neighbours and use their new-found commonality with Israel to broker a deal and have a long-lasting two-state peaceful solution.

Oral Answers to Questions

Damien Moore Excerpts
Tuesday 22nd January 2019

(5 years, 4 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Jeremy Hunt Portrait Mr Hunt
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Absolutely. In fact, I had an exchange with Martin Griffiths, the Yemen special envoy, yesterday. De-mining the road between the port of Hodeidah and Sana’a so that food supplies can come from the port into the rest of the country is essential, and I think that the whole House will wish to express our admiration for the bravery of the aid workers who are in Yemen right now.

Damien Moore Portrait Damien Moore (Southport) (Con)
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T3. Recently, six underground tunnels built by the Iran-funded Hezbollah terror group were discovered leading into Israel from Lebanon. The deepest tunnel had electricity and a rail system. Does my right hon. Friend share my fear that Hezbollah was building those highly advanced tunnels in order to launch a large-scale invasion of northern Israel, on the watch of the United Nations and the peace- keeping United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon? [R]

Alistair Burt Portrait The Minister for the Middle East (Alistair Burt)
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My hon. Friend is right. The discovery of those tunnels has highlighted concerns about a re-armed Hezbollah in Lebanon, and it is essential for them to be dealt with by both UNIFIL and the Lebanese armed forces. They constitute a clear breach of UN Security Council regulation 1701.

Oral Answers to Questions

Damien Moore Excerpts
Tuesday 4th December 2018

(5 years, 5 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Jeremy Hunt Portrait Mr Hunt
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I, too, congratulate the Back Bencher of the year.

I raised this issue when I was in Tehran on 19 November. I pointed out to the Iranian Government that if they are unhappy with the coverage of the BBC Persian service, there is a very simple thing that they can do: allow their representatives to be interviewed on it and allow them to put across their point of view, at which they smiled and changed the subject. We will, however, continue to press on that point.

Damien Moore Portrait Damien Moore (Southport) (Con)
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13. What steps the Government are taking with international partners to tackle the illegal wildlife trade.

Harriett Baldwin Portrait The Minister for Africa (Harriett Baldwin)
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We will continue to work with international partners to drive progress in tackling this terrible crime and deliver on the commitments made at October’s London conference. Some 57 countries have adopted the conference’s declaration so far.

Damien Moore Portrait Damien Moore
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Will my hon. Friend update the House on the progress that is being made towards the Government’s target of halving the number of elephants killed for ivory by 2024?

Harriett Baldwin Portrait Harriett Baldwin
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We are leading from the front. As my hon. Friend knows, we are bringing in an ivory ban in the UK. We have formed a high-level political coalition, the Ivory Alliance 2024, and we are urging everyone to tackle something that is extremely urgent, because the number of African elephants has declined by 30% over the past seven years.

Oral Answers to Questions

Damien Moore Excerpts
Tuesday 30th October 2018

(5 years, 6 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Mark Field Portrait The Minister for Asia and the Pacific (Mark Field)
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It is important to remember that President-elect Bolsonaro received a clear mandate from the Brazilian people, and we will of course endeavour to work with his Administration. However, as the hon. Gentleman will be aware, our view on racism, homophobia and misogyny is clear—it would never be acceptable. We will remain the strongest of champions on human rights on the international stage and will not shy away from expressing that view where we disagree with other Governments, including our closest allies.

Damien Moore Portrait Damien Moore (Southport) (Con)
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I declare an interest as the chairman of the all-party parliamentary group on Tunisia. Yesterday the Tunisian capital, Tunis, was the target of a suicide bombing—the first attack in the country since 2015. What support are my right hon. Friend and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office providing to Tunisia in the wake of yesterday’s attack to ensure that its tourist economy, strengthened by UK holidaymakers, does not falter as it is starting to gather speed?

Gaza: Humanitarian Situation

Damien Moore Excerpts
Tuesday 26th June 2018

(5 years, 11 months ago)

Westminster Hall
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Each debate is chaired by an MP from the Panel of Chairs, rather than the Speaker or Deputy Speaker. A Government Minister will give the final speech, and no votes may be called on the debate topic.

This information is provided by Parallel Parliament and does not comprise part of the offical record

Damien Moore Portrait Damien Moore (Southport) (Con)
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It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Paisley. I congratulate the hon. Member for Easington (Grahame Morris) on securing the debate, although I am saddened that this contribution is on a fraught and hostile topic that concerns many of my Jewish constituents in Southport. I draw hon. Members’ attention to my entry in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests. I recently made a trip to Israel and the west bank with a number of colleagues—a trip that I will refer to.

Last Wednesday, a rocket exploded outside a nursery in southern Israel. No children were hurt, but the rocket was one of 45 fired from the Gaza strip that day. In recent weeks, dozens of balloons and kites with explosives attached to them have floated into Israel. One landed on a children’s trampoline. Fortunately, no children were hurt. We rarely hear about violence emanating from the west bank or the deprivation there. I ask hon. Members to consider why. What is the difference between the two territories? The answer is simple. Whereas the Palestinian Authority want to create a lasting peace, the regime that controls Gaza wants to wage war against the Jewish people. Such hatred informs its decisions, which worsen the lives of ordinary Gazans.

Even more worrying is the anti-Semitism of Hamas. If we want to understand the humanitarian situation in Gaza, we need to appreciate the importance of the hatred that drives Hamas to launch bombs attached to balloons in the direction of innocent children. Since its foundation, Hamas has promoted the sort of perverse anti-Semitic stereotypes that some in our own country now believe. Its original charter accused the Jews of controlling Governments and triggering wars between them. It asserted that the Jewish people needed to be broken and their dream of a Jewish state destroyed. Even its revised charter denies Israel’s right to exist.

Such unrelenting hatred causes obvious concern in Israel, but it creates only misery for Gaza. It is the reason why Hamas hides its weapons in the homes of innocent people; why it fires rockets from unprotected schools and hospitals; and why it channels tens of millions of dollars of international aid into maintaining a network of tunnels that terrorise Israel. This year I had the opportunity to see one of those tunnels. Only by seeing it can a person comprehend the true scale of the terror infrastructure that Hamas has created. It is nothing like what many anti-Semitic commentators would have us believe. The tunnels are not built to assist those who might be fleeing. They are the product of sophisticated technical engineering, built with the purpose of supporting Hamas in achieving a prescribed outcome. Concrete slabs support the walls and ceilings of the passageways, many of which have electric wiring and lighting.

It is right that we concern ourselves with the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza, yet I ask hon. Members to keep in mind what continues to make the humanitarian situation in Gaza unfavourable. Is it a lack of support by the international community? No. Is it the chronic shortage of humanitarian funding? No. It is the anti-Semitic hatred of Hamas that keeps Gaza in its current pitiful state.