Debates between Kemi Badenoch and Lindsay Hoyle during the 2019 Parliament

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Kemi Badenoch and Lindsay Hoyle
Wednesday 7th February 2024

(2 weeks, 2 days ago)

Commons Chamber
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Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch
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That is a matter for the Home Office. I support all the work that Home Office Ministers are doing to tackle domestic abuse, and I know there would have been good reasons for not accepting those amendments to the Act. We will continue to do all we can. I have just heard from the Minister for safeguarding—the Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, my hon. Friend the Member for Newbury (Laura Farris)—that concessions are being made. We will continue to work with her and others to tackle domestic violence in all its forms.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call the Chair of the Women and Equalities Committee.

Caroline Nokes Portrait Caroline Nokes (Romsey and Southampton North) (Con)
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In some instances, there are good reasons why immigration control should be able to work with forces of law enforcement when it comes to domestic abuse. My constituent Emma has been serially abused, harassed and stalked by a US national, who crosses the border with no visa—he does not need one—to continue his campaign of harassment. Will my right hon. Friend please work closely with the Home Office to ensure that British women are protected from foreign abusers who have found ways around our immigration system?

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Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch
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As my hon. Friend will know, I too am an engineer by training, and we engineers have to stick together. We are very sceptical when people introduce to the lexicon terms that are not helpful to the real work of tackling serious criminal behaviour. I am not a fan of that term, and my hon. Friend will be pleased to know that microaggressions training was removed from the Government Campus prospectus in November 2022.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call the shadow Minister.

Ashley Dalton Portrait Ashley Dalton (West Lancashire) (Lab)
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Under the Conservatives, police-recorded rapes have soared to record highs while convictions have fallen to record lows. It emerged last week that the Conservative police and crime commissioner in Cheshire victim-blamed girls wearing short skirts for this epidemic. Why are these attitudes still tolerated in the Conservative party?

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Kemi Badenoch and Lindsay Hoyle
Thursday 25th January 2024

(4 weeks, 1 day ago)

Commons Chamber
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Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch
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I cannot comment on the ongoing Northern Ireland political process, to which I am not a participant. However, it is clear that we retain the ability to diverge. I agree with my right hon. Friend that if we are to seize the benefits of Brexit, we need to find that comparative advantage over the EU in our regulations, otherwise there would be no point. I remind her that I was the Business Secretary who made sure that there was transparency, rather than an invisible bonfire, in what we were doing on EU regulations. I ended the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice on 1 January. We have a comprehensive deregulation programme, which I am pushing. I understand her concerns, and I will speak to colleagues across Departments to ensure that they are raised at the highest level.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call the SNP spokesperson.

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Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch
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The Government maintain that we want to ensure that we keep steelmaking capability in the UK. At the moment, we import ore to make steel. When we talk about virgin steel many people assume there are no imports in the supply chain, but there still are, even now, and whatever changes we make will require some imports. However, we are making sure that our steel industry is more resilient than ever before, at a time when it faces oversupply from China and India. That is the real problem faced by the steel industry in all of western Europe. We do a lot with tariff measures, such as steel safeguards—

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call Debbie Abrahams.

Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch
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So there is a lot we are doing.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Please, do not do that. I called the next Member, so I expect you to sit down. It is topical questions, not free statements.

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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Order. The Secretary of State took advantage; I do not want the hon. Lady to do exactly the same.

Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch
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I believe that this might be an issue for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, but if the hon. Lady will write to me, we can look at that specific case.

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Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch
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It is good to see the hon. Gentleman working so hard for his community. The community ownership fund sits with the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, but I am sure that if he makes representations to those in the Department, they will be able to give him a more substantive answer.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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And the final—short!—question comes from Barry Sheerman.

Barry Sheerman Portrait Mr Barry Sheerman (Huddersfield) (Lab/Co-op)
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Will the Secretary of State look at the impact assessments of universities? The traditional universities are failing to meet the standards of sustainable development research, and Manchester, Huddersfield and Newcastle Universities are doing much better. Will the Secretary of State look into that, and push the other universities to do better?

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Kemi Badenoch and Lindsay Hoyle
Wednesday 13th December 2023

(2 months, 1 week ago)

Commons Chamber
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Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch
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I do agree. I am not even sure whether we can call it just sensationalist or woke. The research apparently was based on phrenology, which is a completely discredited type of science. I agree with my hon. Friend that this type of research is damaging to trust, to social cohesion and even to trust in health services. I have written to the director of the Museum of London to express my concern.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call the Opposition spokesperson.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Kemi Badenoch and Lindsay Hoyle
Thursday 30th November 2023

(2 months, 3 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber
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Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch
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The hon. Gentleman will know that we had the Northern Ireland investment summit a few months ago. We met lots of businesses and investors who talked about how they want to take advantage of these markets. In fact, we have had one of the first big investors into a factory in Belfast. What I can do is help him with some of the materials we have around the export academy and the export support service, which he can hand out to businesses in his constituency who want to find out more.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call the shadow Minister.

Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi Portrait Mr Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi (Slough) (Lab)
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For UK businesses to benefit from agreements like the CPTPP, we must have a clear plan to boost small business exports. Labour has a plan to remove export barriers, with clear information and support. That is in stark contrast to the Government’s approach, which has been a catalogue of failures, including the recent fiasco with the Government’s export website, which was so deficient that firms were forced to seek essential information from foreign Government websites. What immediate steps will the Department take to provide some stability and ensure UK businesses can excel in exporting?

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Kemi Badenoch and Lindsay Hoyle
Wednesday 25th October 2023

(4 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch
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The hon. Lady asks an excellent question, and I thank her for all the work she does campaigning for women’s rights. She has been at the vanguard of some contentious issues. She is quite right to raise candidate selection. All political parties have to make the very best of efforts in ensuring that a meritocracy exists and helping those including disabled people who might need additional assistance in participating through some of the difficult selection processes. I highlight again how diverse the Conservative party is, and the Cabinet in particular. That is testament to the fact that meritocracy works. We hope that others will learn from our example.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call the shadow Minister.

Yasmin Qureshi Portrait Yasmin Qureshi (Bolton South East) (Lab)
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The Labour party has more women and ethnic minority MPs than the rest of the political parties put together. We know that that leads to better outcomes for British people, but there is always further to go. That is why we have committed to enacting section 106 of the Equality Act so that all political parties would be required to be transparent about the diversity of their candidates. Why will the Government not do the same?

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Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch
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We are not stalling. Our pilot will support employers to take steps towards transparency in their own organisations, to see the impact for themselves. We know that this is not straightforward, which is why we will ensure that employers looking to implement greater transparency in their recruitment processes are able to access best practice and learn from each other.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call the Scottish National party spokesperson.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Kemi Badenoch and Lindsay Hoyle
Thursday 14th September 2023

(5 months, 1 week ago)

Commons Chamber
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Jon Trickett Portrait Jon Trickett
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Like many hon. Members, during the recess I visited various sites in my constituency, including Langthwaite business park, which is an immensely successful business park with more than 50 businesses now employing almost 2,000 people. It is adjacent to two former pit villages, South Elmsall and South Kirkby, where deprivation is still deeply rooted. The people who live in those villages are not able to take advantage of the jobs created by Wakefield Council, Mohan De Silva and Karen Harrison. What Government programmes has the Secretary of State put in place, or can she put in place, to ensure there is a linkage between areas of deprivation and new jobs?

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I think you need an Adjournment debate.

Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch
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There is a lot that we are doing, and I am sorry to hear that the hon. Gentleman feels that villages in his constituency still are not able to access much of what we have given. The West Yorkshire devolution deal provided about £1.14 billion of investment and we also had a shared prosperity fund across West Yorkshire. I urge him to speak to his local council, because that is the vehicle through which many of these opportunities will be provided, but if he has a specific business issue that he thinks is affecting those companies and those villages, we are happy to look at it in more detail.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call the shadow Minister.

Afzal Khan Portrait Afzal Khan (Manchester, Gorton) (Lab)
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My home city of Manchester was built on export and trade, but, as a result of the Tories’ mismanagement of the economy, apathy towards the export industries and neglect of everywhere outside the M25, the value of exports from London is more than three times that of the north-west. Does the Secretary of State honestly believe that she and her colleagues are committed to levelling up the whole of the UK, or will she admit that the Tories do not care about the benefits of trade reaching everyone in the United Kingdom?

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Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch
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The hon. Gentleman is quite right: this is an area where Northern Ireland has a comparative advantage. As we hosted the summit, we all looked out on the docks, and we could see that shipbuilding is integral to the country. UK Export Finance is supporting many of the companies that build ships and want to export this magnificent UK product all across the world. My hon. Friend the Minister for Industry and Economic Security spoke about the UK shipbuilding guarantee. We have been talking about this all week. Maritime investment is key, and if the hon. Gentleman would like further details on what we are doing that has an impact on his constituency, we can provide him with that information.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I welcome the shadow Minister to her new position.

Rushanara Ali Portrait Rushanara Ali (Bethnal Green and Bow) (Lab)
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Thank you, Mr Speaker. Business investment is lower in the UK than in any other G7 country and we rank 27th out of 30 OECD countries, ahead of only Poland, Luxembourg and Greece. More than half a trillion pounds-worth of under-investment by Government and business has left our economy trapped in a growth doom loop. What is the Secretary of State doing to undo this damage?

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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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With a question that long, we will be celebrating the next one.

Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch
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My hon. Friend is keen for a deal by Diwali, but as the Prime Minister and I have been at pains to say, it is about the deal, not the day. We are working as much as we can to get a deal, but we will not do so by sacrificing British interests. The deal has to work for both the UK and India. I met the Indian Commerce and Finance Ministers to ensure that we create a mutually beneficial deal.

Business and Trade

Debate between Kemi Badenoch and Lindsay Hoyle
Monday 4th September 2023

(5 months, 3 weeks ago)

Ministerial Corrections
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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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That’s three questions—pick whichever one.

Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch
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I do not think we need an audit. China is our fourth largest export market, and we are aware of the economic challenge that it poses across the world. We work with countries across the world, but we have a pragmatic relationship with China. We need to use our influence to help them get to a better place, but I take the hon. Gentleman’s point.

[Official Report, 29 June 2023, Vol. 735, c. 420.]

Letter of correction from the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, the right hon. Member for Saffron Walden (Kemi Badenoch):

An error has been identified in my response to the hon. Member for Huddersfield (Mr Sheerman).

The correct response should have been:

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Kemi Badenoch and Lindsay Hoyle
Wednesday 12th July 2023

(7 months, 2 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber
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Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch
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We believe that businesses are best placed to do that themselves, and we provide as much advice, guidance and support as possible. For example, the British Business Bank has led many schemes and initiatives to promote inclusivity in the workplace. However, if there is something specific where the hon. Gentleman thinks there is a gap in the market, I would be happy to hear about such an initiative.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call the shadow Minister.

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Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch
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If my right hon. Friend sees the work that we have put into our “Inclusive Britain” strategy, she will see that almost everything that is in action is about the public sector. There is so much we can do to promote racial equality in the workplace, but we need to do that fairly and transparently, as well as universally. The Equality Act 2010 protects characteristics, not groups. If she would like to work with me on any specific initiative, I would be keen to hear more from her about what she has been working on.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call the SNP spokesperson.

Kirsten Oswald Portrait Kirsten Oswald (East Renfrewshire) (SNP)
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There are growing concerns about new technology such as artificial intelligence and automation software being used in recruitment and employment. Studies show that AI perpetuates bias across gender, race, age and disability, as well as dialect and regional differences of speech. What recent assessment has the Minister made of the equalities impact of AI use in recruitment and the workplace? Has she raised that with Cabinet colleagues?

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Kemi Badenoch and Lindsay Hoyle
Thursday 29th June 2023

(7 months, 4 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber
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Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch
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I welcome the hon. Gentleman’s early-morning snarkiness as he asks about what we are doing for Scotland. We understand that there are issues that people have across borders, and my Department works closely with musicians and with all those who trade across borders to see what we can do to resolve those issues. If there are specific cases in the hon. Gentleman’s constituency, the Department is well placed to help his constituents with the issues he has described.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call the shadow Secretary of State.

Nick Thomas-Symonds Portrait Nick Thomas-Symonds (Torfaen) (Lab)
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Scotch whisky is an iconic Scottish export, and it is also hugely important strategically to the whole UK. Had Ministers completed the free trade agreement with India by Diwali last year, as was promised, the 150% tariff that producers of Scotch face when exporting to India could have been eliminated. Given that the 10th round of talks has recently ended, with an 11th planned soon, can the Secretary of State tell us whether the free trade agreement will be completed by Diwali this year?

Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch
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I have said repeatedly that it is about the deal and not the day. Every single trade agreement that we negotiate is bespoke to the specific country and tailored to its economy, to ensure that it benefits both the UK and the counterpart country. I am happy to say that the Scotch Whisky Association is very pleased with what it has been hearing about negotiations from its Indian counterparts, and we are working hard to make sure that the industry is successful.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call the Scottish National party spokesperson.

Richard Thomson Portrait Richard Thomson (Gordon) (SNP)
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The Scottish seafood industry has been hit with an estimated 50% increase in the cost of packaging owing to the requirement—thanks to the form of Brexit chosen by this Government—for export health certificates with every consignment. Does the Secretary of State accept that the form of Brexit that was chosen, and in particular the failure to align in respect of sanitary and phytosanitary matters, is adding costs to Scotland’s iconic seafood sector at a time when it can barely afford to absorb such costs?

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Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch
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I thank my hon. Friend for his question. He will be pleased to know that Ministers in the Department met their counterpart, the Malaysian export Minister, this very week. A lot is going on between our two countries. The Department works closely with the UK-ASEAN Business Council, and our first bilateral joint economic trade committee with Malaysia is expected later this year. It will help promote the bilateral trade and investment and economic co-operation that he rightly champions as the trade envoy to that country. He will know that I will be signing the CPTPP agreement next month in New Zealand.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call the shadow Minister.

Ruth Cadbury Portrait Ruth Cadbury (Brentford and Isleworth) (Lab)
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Clearly, it is vital that British businesses that want to export can access the benefits of trade deals. However, the Government admitted to me in a written answer that they have not modelled the benefits of the CPTPP for our hard-pressed manufacturing businesses, so will the Minister tell me how many UK manufacturers will benefit from the rules of origin requirements under the CPTPP?

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Barry Sheerman Portrait Mr Barry Sheerman (Huddersfield) (Lab/Co-op)
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Is the Secretary of State aware of just how much influence the Chinese Government and Chinese companies have on our economy? Is she aware that many times I have asked for an audit of how big that influence is? Does she share the concern of many businesses in our country that the Chinese Government are using subterfuge and espionage to further their interests?

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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That’s three questions—pick whichever one.

Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch
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I do not think we need an audit. China is our fourth largest export market, and we are aware of the economic challenge that it poses across the world. We work with countries across the world, but we have a pragmatic relationship with China. We need to use our influence to help them get to a better place, but I take the hon. Gentleman’s point.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Kemi Badenoch and Lindsay Hoyle
Thursday 18th May 2023

(9 months, 1 week ago)

Commons Chamber
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Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch
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I thank the hon. Gentleman for his question, for the work that he does as the chair of the all-party parliamentary group on Mexico and for his interest in the region. We do look at mutual recognition for qualifications in trade deals, but most of the time they tend to be in separate agreements. Because of the nature of how free trade agreements are structured, we try to ensure that they are focused specifically on trade. We have an upcoming upgrade to our trade deal with Mexico, as we do with several other countries. If he has specific areas that he would like us to highlight, now is the time to tell us which qualifications in particular we should focus on.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call the shadow Minister.

Gareth Thomas Portrait Gareth Thomas (Harrow West) (Lab/Co-op)
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While Labour Members recognise the diplomatic and security benefits of closer ties with the Indo-Pacific, Ministers’ negotiating skills are clearly not improved if Britain’s joining the CPTPP will lift economic growth here by only 0.08%. Will the Secretary of State tell the House why, in the accession talks, she was not able to resist giving some overseas corporate giants the right to access secret courts that could override the will of the British people, bypass Parliament and cost British taxpayers significant sums of money?

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Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch
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My hon. Friend is a doughty champion for his local fish and chip shops. We recognise the importance of fish and chip shops to local communities and the challenges they face. We have introduced a range of support measures to address the specific issues he raises, including changes to business rates that, across the country, are worth a total of £13.6 billion in lower bills. We are also supporting non-domestic energy customers through the energy bill relief scheme, and we recently introduced the energy bills discount scheme, which runs until March 2024. We will keep working closely with the sector as part of the Hospitality Sector Council to improve the resilience of businesses, including the fish and chip shops in Lowestoft.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call the shadow Secretary of State.

Jonathan Reynolds Portrait Jonathan Reynolds (Stalybridge and Hyde) (Lab/Co-op)
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It has now been 100 days since we first welcomed the right hon. Lady to her new post. In that time, we have seen steel production fall to record lows; the automotive sector has issued warning cry after warning cry that Government policy risks shipping jobs overseas; and the US has seen incredible sums invested under the Inflation Reduction Act and the EU has put forward its own significant response. Meanwhile, the UK remains trapped in the Conservatives’ low growth, high tax loop, with the lowest business investment in the G7. This morning, three of her predecessors, each from a different political party, have said that the Government need an explicit industrial strategy. Does the current Business Secretary agree with them?

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Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch
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indicated dissent.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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First of all, that is a point of correction rather than a point of order, but if somebody has made a mistake in the information given to the House, it must be corrected. I will leave that to whoever is right or wrong, and I am not going to make a judgment.

Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch
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Further to that point of order, Mr Speaker. I will write to the hon. Gentleman. I do not believe that what he has said is the case, but I will check the records and make sure that he gets a response to the correction he has made.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Thank you, Secretary of State. Please check, but please also correct the matter in writing for the record of the House—if that was the case, may I add?

Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill

Debate between Kemi Badenoch and Lindsay Hoyle
Thursday 11th May 2023

(9 months, 2 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber
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Kemi Badenoch Portrait The Secretary of State for Business and Trade (Kemi Badenoch)
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I am very sorry, Mr Speaker, that the sequencing that we chose was not to your satisfaction. I was—

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Order. That is totally not acceptable—

Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch
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It was not the right procedure.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Who do you think you are speaking to, Secretary of State? I think we need to understand each other. I am the defender of this House and these Benches on both sides. I am not going to be spoken to by a Secretary of State who is absolutely not accepting my ruling. Take it with good grace and accept it that Members should hear it first, not through a WMS or what you decide. These Members have been elected by their constituents and they have the right to hear it first. It is time this Government recognised that we are all elected—we are all Members of Parliament—and used the correct manners.

Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch
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Mr Speaker, I apologise. What I was trying to say was that I am very sorry that I did not meet the standards that you expect of Secretaries of State. Forgive my language. I have been trying to make sure that I provide as much clarity as possible, so I am actually very pleased to have come to the House to speak on this issue.

I have published a written ministerial statement to explain that yesterday we tabled an amendment to the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill that amends the operation of the sunset in clause 1. It is a technical change that introduces to the Bill a schedule of retained EU law that will be revoked on 31 December 2023. The schedule includes around 600 pieces of legislation provided by nearly all Departments, and spans a huge number policy areas. We tabled the amendment in response to concerns raised in this House, and it will provide the legal clarity and certainty that has been called for.

I reassure my hon. Friend the Chair of the European Scrutiny Committee that the 600 pieces of legislation in the schedule are not the limit of our ambition—neither the beginning nor the end—but over the past year, as Whitehall Departments have been working hard to identify retained EU law to preserve, reform or revoke, it has become clear that time constraints have led to the programme becoming more about preserving EU laws than prioritising meaningful reform. That is why we are proposing a new approach. Had I known the intense excitement that the House would feel about this issue, I would have come running to make sure that the technical details could be investigated by all and sundry.

As I have said, we are proposing a new approach, one that will ensure that Ministers and officials are enabled to focus more on reforming retained EU law and doing so faster. I am pleased to say that the Government have already reformed or revoked more than 1,000 pieces of REUL. In addition to the list of about 600 revocations in the schedule to the retained EU law Bill, about 500 further pieces of REUL will be repealed by the Financial Services and Markets Bill and the Procurement Bill, which means that we will have repealed not 600 but more than 2,000 pieces of REUL by the end of the year.

We are committed to lightening the regulatory burden on businesses and helping to spur economic growth, and our Edinburgh reforms of UK financial services include more than 30 regulatory reforms to unlock investment and boost growth in towns and cities across the UK. Our regulatory reform announcement yesterday set out a long-term plan to improve UK regulation over the coming months. As a down-payment on that commitment, we announced changes that will reduce disproportionate EU-derived reporting requirements and could save businesses about £1 billion a year. That is just the first in a series of announcements that the Government will be making on reforming regulations to drive growth, and in addition to the schedule the powers in the Bill will still enable us to revoke, replace and reform any outdated EU laws that remain on our statute book by 2026. This new approach will provide space for longer-term and more ambitious reforms. Members will no doubt be pleased to hear that it will also mean that fewer statutory instruments will be required to preserve EU laws that are deemed appropriate to be maintained.

I want to reassure my hon. Friend that we will still fully take back control of our laws and end the supremacy and the special status of retained EU law by the end of 2023. That will ensure that we are ending the shadow statute book and the inappropriate entrenchment of EU law concepts in domestic statute.

Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch
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My hon. Friend has asked many questions, and I will endeavour to answer them. I think he knows that he has heard the answers before, but I am nevertheless happy to respond on the Floor of the House.

My hon. Friend and I have had many private conversations in which we have discussed retained EU law. He wrote to me about attending the European Scrutiny Committee, and I replied that until the policy was settled I could not attend the Committee but instead could have engagement with colleagues, which is what I have done. I should, of course, be delighted to attend the European Scrutiny Committee. I attend numerous Select Committees in my role not just as Secretary of State for Business and Trade but as Minister for Women and Equalities, and I should be very happy to speak to the Committee, but—no doubt you will sympathise with this, Mr Speaker— there is no point having to talk about policy on the Floor of the House before we know exactly what is settled.

My hon. Friend claims that this is a change of policy, but it is a change of approach. The policy is still the same: we are ending EU supremacy, and we are ending interpretive effects. What we are changing is the way in which we are doing that. We could have ended up with a programme of 450 statutory instruments to preserve EU law. What I have done is respond to businesses in particular, but also to the parliamentarians—including many of those who are chuntering on the Opposition Benches—who have raised concerns with me about how we can have clarity and some transparency. I have shown exactly what we are doing. I have listed all the laws that we are removing. There is a key point to make here. We left the European Union not just to delete EU law from the statute book, but to make our economy better. To do that, we have to reform the laws. If we delete the laws from the statute book, we will be starting from scratch in bringing in the reforming primary legislation. This is a better approach. It was my suggestion to the Prime Minister. I am very pleased that he accepted it. I am very proud to be standing at the Dispatch Box showing that those of us who are Brexiteers can be pragmatic and do what is right for the British people. That is why I am very pleased to be explaining this change on the Floor of the House today.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call the shadow Minister.

Justin Madders Portrait Justin Madders (Ellesmere Port and Neston) (Lab)
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What an absolute shambles. I think that the Secretary of State is the sixth different Government representative at the Dispatch Box on this Bill, and unfortunately for her she is the one who will have to hear from us the words that no Government Minister wants to hear: we told you so. We did, repeatedly, as did the Institute of Directors, the TUC, the Bar Council and a host of other organisations.

It has to be asked: why did not the Government listen to those experts in the first place? It was completely unrealistic, reckless and frankly arrogant to think that they could strike 4,000 laws from the statute book in the timescale set out in the Bill. It is no use blaming the blob, the anti-growth coalition or the BBC. This humiliating U-turn is completely down to Government hubris that has found them crashing up against reality, so will the Secretary of State apologise to the entire House, and to all the trade unions and business, legal and environmental groups that were told by the Government that they were wrong?

Will the Secretary of State also apologise for announcing this policy change not to the House but to her friends—or should I say now her former friends—in the European Research Group and to the press? Can she tell us at what point the Government decided on this change of course and on what basis they have chosen the 600 regulations to be removed—or is it 2,000 now, because she mentioned that in her statement as well?

Although we welcome the humiliating climbdown that sees the cliff edge go, the Bill still gives enormous powers to Ministers and at last the cat is out of the bag about what they want to do with them. We are concerned that, although the mode of delivery has changed, the destination has remained the same. That is revealed in the “Smarter regulation to grow the economy” paper released yesterday, which contains a clear plan to water down TUPE and working time rights. We have warned time and again of the threat to workers’ rights in the Bill and in response the Minister said:

“The Government have no intention of abandoning our strong record on workers’ rights, having raised domestic standards over recent years to make them some of the highest in the world.”––[Official Report, Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Public Bill Committee, 22 November 2022; c. 144.]

Well, we can strike that from the record, as we can strike the Secretary of State’s leadership hopes. How can a Government elected on a manifesto promise to

“build on existing employment law”

justify an approach that will water down workers’ protections? It just goes to show that you cannot trust the Tories with workers’ rights.

Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch
- Hansard - -

One of the things that I have found most illuminating about this process is how little those on the Opposition Front Bench understand what we are doing. They simply stand up and repeat their usual talking lines. We have made repeated commitments that we are not watering down workers’ rights in this House. If the hon. Gentleman actually read and understood what we have written, he would understand that we are maintaining workers’ rights but reducing the bureaucracy. That would save £1 billion and is something that both workers and employers want. I know that it is really tough and there are lots of words in it, but the truth is, I say to those on the Opposition Benches, that I can explain it but I cannot understand it for them.

This is a very simple change in approach. We are having the exact same effect that we were always going to have. We are removing more than 2,000 pieces of EU legislation. It is delightful to see those on the Labour Front Bench and the ERG on the same side for once, as they claim to be. If I am upsetting people on both sides, I am probably taking the pragmatic middle ground and I am pleased to be doing so.

There is so much opportunity we can take on EU law reform and that is what this programme is about.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call the Father of the House.

Peter Bottomley Portrait Sir Peter Bottomley (Worthing West) (Con)
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May I say to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State that I am not upset? Her description of this change of approach is useful, and it meets many of the criticisms of the unamended Bill. I hope it is successful, and I hope people on both sides of the House and in industry make sure we keep the right bits and drop the bits that are useless.

Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch
- Hansard - -

I completely agree with my hon. Friend. We are taking an approach that works for everybody, not just for a particular group. We have to do what is right for business, we have to do what is right for consumers and we have to do what is right for the entire country. I voted to leave, and this is exactly the sort of reform I thought we would make when we left the European Union. I am very pleased to be able to take this through the House.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call the SNP spokesperson.

Alyn Smith Portrait Alyn Smith (Stirling) (SNP)
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I confess to being a wee bit conflicted this morning. I led for the SNP during our consideration of the Bill, and my key phrase was, “If you must do this damn silly thing, don’t do it in this damn silly way.” I am at least glad to see that we are doing this in a less damn silly way than we were, although I still disagree with it.

I share the anger that we have heard from Conservative Members. I respect their principle, even though I disagree with it. I do not like what the Bill is trying to do. I voted to remain, I enthusiastically committed to Scotland’s path back into the European Union and I want to see the UK have a close relationship with the EU, but I accept the majority view of this House. The Prime Minister made this commitment and he has questions to answer, because to describe this as a change of direction and a minor technical thing is to miss the point. This is a gross betrayal of the promises made to secure his election, and it is a key part of his personal manifesto. I do not think that betrayal should pass without consequence.

I am glad to see the end of sunsetting, which is a pragmatic change about which I should be glad, but I still do not like the Bill. It can still overrule the Holyrood Parliament on retained EU law, which is democratically offensive. We should also consider the costs of this exercise. What assessment have the Government made of the direct cost to the taxpayer of the work done thus far and now abandoned? I will be tabling parliamentary questions on this, but what wider assessment has been made of the costs to organisations such as the National Farmers Union of Scotland and others in dealing with this uncertainty?

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Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch
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We can always discuss amendments. The ones I am supporting are the Government amendments, which provide the certainty and clarity that Members in both Houses have asked for. What I am doing is a more transparent process that provides a lot more clarity. The fact that everyone can now see all the laws on the dashboards and the things that we are removing shows that we are coming to this process in good faith. I would appreciate Opposition Members doing the same.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call the Chair of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee.

William Wragg Portrait Mr William Wragg (Hazel Grove) (Con)
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This is very bracing for a Thursday morning, and there is nothing I enjoy more than a good bunfight with a Secretary of State. I say gently that although many of us would have a great deal of sympathy with what the Secretary of State has outlined, it is important to make the point that the manner, tone and approach taken not just by her at the Dispatch Box now, but generally, is much improved, and the House tends to be much more receptive to it, when proper processes are followed and invitations to attend Select Committee are readily accepted. I urge that gently as a lesson that might be drawn from this. If she was at all concerned by the volume of statutory instruments that might be descending upon us, the attendance this morning proves that there are plenty of willing volunteers for such Committees.

Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch
- Hansard - -

I do not disagree with that, but the statutory instruments that I would want us to be focused on in this House should be the ones that are repealing EU law; all those hundreds of statutory instruments that would have come through were for retaining and preserving EU law. That is not what we said we were going to do, which is why this approach is better. It is faster and it accelerates us towards reform. I do not think anyone in this House can accuse me of shying away from Select Committees, questions or the Dispatch Box. I am always happy, no matter how difficult the questions are, to take the questions here.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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In fairness, I have had to put the urgent question on.

Daisy Cooper Portrait Daisy Cooper (St Albans) (LD)
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Despite this screeching U-turn, the Bill still includes a power grab over environmental protections. Living in a nature-depleted country, it really concerns me that the Secretary of State can still change thousands of environmental laws at will, through secondary legislation, without scrutiny. Many of those laws relate to sewage that can be dumped into our rivers and chalk streams and on to our beaches. Will she make a firm commitment at the Dispatch Box today that the Government will not repeal or change any environmental law without due scrutiny by this House?

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Kemi Badenoch and Lindsay Hoyle
Wednesday 26th April 2023

(10 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch
- Hansard - -

My hon. Friend will know that the support we provide is based on need and not protected characteristics, so the decisive action we have taken has been to support households across the UK, while remaining fiscally responsible. We are delivering the largest ever increase in the national living wage, benefiting more than 2 million people—disproportionately women—and prioritising support for the most vulnerable families, increasing benefits in line with inflation, so that more than 10 million working-age families see an increase in their benefit payments.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call the Scottish National party spokesperson.

Kirsten Oswald Portrait Kirsten Oswald (East Renfrewshire) (SNP)
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According to the Fawcett Society, the UK Government lag behind other European countries in making companies act to close the gender pay gap and they have failed to introduce mandatory reporting of pay differences based on ethnicity. If the UK Government are serious about driving down pay inequality, why will they not require employers to set out action plans to improve gender equality and why will they not mandate intersectional ethnicity pay gap reporting? If they are not serious and they continue to refuse to act, will they devolve employment law to Scotland so that we can do it ourselves?

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Kemi Badenoch and Lindsay Hoyle
Thursday 23rd March 2023

(11 months, 1 week ago)

Commons Chamber
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Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch
- Hansard - -

In co-ordination with our allies, we have implemented the most severe economic sanctions ever imposed on any major economy and will maintain pressure on the Russian regime to secure peace. If the hon. Gentleman will write to me with more detail about what he is referring to, I can look into it, but I assure him that this Government are doing everything we can within the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill to ensure the integrity of our economy and our allies.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call the shadow Minister.

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Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch
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I thank the hon. Lady for her question, and this is a serious matter. The Minister responsible for industry and economic security—the Minister of State, my hon. Friend the Member for Wealden (Ms Ghani) —has been dealing with this issue, and she will get in touch if the hon. Lady writes to her.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call the shadow Minister.

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Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch
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As set out in the environmental improvement plan, the Government recognise the need to improve the resilience of our water supplies. We are committed to a twin-track approach of investment in new supply infrastructure and action to reduce leaks and improve water efficiency. This includes support for agriculture, such as grants for reservoirs through the farming transformation fund. The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs takes decisions on this issue, and we will liaise on my hon. Friend’s points and make references to Ofwat, which is the regulator in this case.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call the shadow Secretary of State.

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Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch
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In everything we do, we ensure that we continue to promote and assert British values. That includes within the trade agreements that we are signing with all countries.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call Jim Shannon.

Jim Shannon Portrait Jim Shannon (Strangford) (DUP)
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You have called me, and I have a question ready-made here, Mr Speaker. Like on “Blue Peter”, here is one I prepared earlier.

Only yesterday, the Secretary of State signed a trade deal with the Ukrainian First Minister to provide pivotal support to the Ukrainian economy. Has the Secretary of State assessed how soon that will impact Ukraine in helping it—[Interruption]—lay the foundation for revival?

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Kemi Badenoch and Lindsay Hoyle
Wednesday 25th January 2023

(1 year ago)

Commons Chamber
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Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch
- Hansard - -

We have no plans to devolve equal opportunities policy. Quite a lot of work is being done on ethnicity pay reporting. It should not be made mandatory. It is different from gender pay gap reporting, because it covers more than two separate categories. I am happy to write to the hon. Gentleman with more detail on the work that we are doing, but we will publish guidance for those companies that want to carry out ethnicity pay reporting in due course.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call the Chair of the Women and Equalities Committee.

Caroline Nokes Portrait Caroline Nokes (Romsey and Southampton North) (Con)
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Gendered abuse, harassment and bullying in the workplace is wrong, but it can happen anywhere. Does my right hon. Friend agree that when there is gendered abuse, bullying and intimidation in this Chamber, we should make sure that action is taken to stamp it out?

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Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch
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The Government have a strategy to tackle anti-Muslim hatred. I recommend that my hon. Friend raises this issue with the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, who is responsible for that portfolio as part of the communities strategy.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call the Scottish National party spokesperson.

Kirsten Oswald Portrait Kirsten Oswald (East Renfrewshire) (SNP)
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This week, the UK Government rejected outright five recommendations of the Women and Equalities Committee on menopause and the workplace, and they are not committing to any new work in response to the report. The Chair of the Committee, the right hon. Member for Romsey and Southampton North (Caroline Nokes), described the Government’s progress as “glacial” and their response as “complacent”. She pointed out the missed opportunity to protect vast numbers of talented and experienced women from leaving the workforce. Will the Minister change tack? Will she commit finally to acting on menopause and the workplace? If she will not, will she commit to look again at why devolving employment law in Scotland matters so much, so that we can do that work?

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Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch
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This is, as I mentioned earlier, an issue that the Government are working very hard on. I will raise it with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education, who can write to the hon. Lady and address those concerns more fully.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

Order. Before we come to Prime Minister’s questions, I point out that a British Sign Language interpretation of proceedings is available to watch on parliamentlive.tv.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Kemi Badenoch and Lindsay Hoyle
Thursday 15th December 2022

(1 year, 2 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch
- Hansard - -

I share my hon. Friend’s enthusiasm for CPTPP. Joining CPTPP will offer new opportunities for businesses in Orpington and across the UK. The potential increase to UK GDP is projected to be £1.8 billion. More than 99% of British goods exported will be eligible for tariff-free trade, including in new markets such as Malaysia. Customs procedures will become clearer and more efficient. Firms working in services will have increased market access, greater transparency and predictability.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call the shadow Secretary of State.

Nick Thomas-Symonds Portrait Nick Thomas-Symonds (Torfaen) (Lab)
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May I wish all hon. Members a very happy Christmas? In the spirit of Christmas cheer, I will offer the Minister for Trade Policy some help after his struggles in the Christmas quiz from my hon. Friend the Member for Brentford and Isleworth (Ruth Cadbury) earlier: it was, of course, the Prime Minister who said that the Australia deal was “one-sided”.

There is more:

“The first step is to recognise that the Australia trade deal is not actually a very good deal for the UK”.—[Official Report, 14 November 2022; Vol. 722, c. 424.]

Those are not my words, but the words of the former Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the right hon. Member for Camborne and Redruth (George Eustice). Quite simply, why should anyone have confidence in the Conservatives’ trade policy when they do not have confidence in it themselves?

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Kemi Badenoch and Lindsay Hoyle
Wednesday 30th November 2022

(1 year, 2 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch
- Hansard - -

My hon. Friend raises an extremely important point, and I agree with her. Protecting women and girls and preventing children from accessing harmful content, such as online pornography, is a priority for the Government. The Online Safety Bill will introduce new protections for women and girls online. Under the Bill, all services will need to proactively remove and prevent users from being exposed to priority illegal content. That includes the appalling illegal content that affects women and girls, such as revenge and extreme pornography.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call the shadow Minister.

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Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch
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The hon. Gentleman asks an excellent question. This is one of the issues that we looked at in our Inclusive Britain strategy. The Department for Education and the Government Equalities Office are working to ensure that we get the right proportion and representation of people in the education sector. He is right that there is under-representation; we need to look at ways within the Equality Act, such as positive action, to address that and ensure balance.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Before we come to Prime Minister’s questions, I would like to point out that the British Sign Language interpretation of proceedings is available to watch on parliamentlive.tv.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Kemi Badenoch and Lindsay Hoyle
Thursday 3rd November 2022

(1 year, 3 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch
- Hansard - -

The short answer to that is no, primarily because that would be a competency of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, but I would very much like to hear more about the trade opportunities that the hon. Gentleman has identified, which DIT can support in conversations with BEIS, to facilitate those sorts of plan.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call the shadow Minister, Ruth Cadbury.

Ruth Cadbury Portrait Ruth Cadbury (Brentford and Isleworth) (Lab)
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On behalf of His Majesty’s Opposition, I welcome the Secretary of State to her position on her first outing. The Government have committed to reaching net zero by 2050, but they continue to approve new licences for oil and gas projects. Projects approved before August 2023 could be protected from being stopped under a revised energy charter treaty. We know that other countries have been sued under the treaty when they tried to close down fossil fuel projects under their net zero commitments. How would the Government prevent that from happening in the UK under a revised energy charter treaty?

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Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch
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The hon. Gentleman raises a good point. We need to make sure that our policies are visible across the UK. I saw many businesses from Wales and similar regions in the west of England at the green trade and investment expo. They are pleased with the support that they are receiving from the Department. I think we have a visit to Cardiff planned with the Board of Trade soon. I hope that these are the sorts of things that he and his fellow MPs in Wales will be able to take advantage of.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call the shadow Secretary of State.

Nick Thomas-Symonds Portrait Nick Thomas-Symonds (Torfaen) (Lab)
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

After several months in which Ministers have come and gone without even facing questions at the Dispatch Box, it is good to have a chance, in this International Trade Week, to welcome the new team to the Department. I would of course like to welcome the Secretary of State and to wish her well in her new post, and I would also like to start on a note of consensus. The Secretary of State said during the leadership contest in the summer:

“Why should the public trust us? We haven’t exactly covered ourselves in glory”.

I entirely agree with her assessment of her party.

We know where the Prime Minister thinks that Conservative policy on trade has failed, because he called the Australia deal “one-sided”, so can the Secretary of State set out which other aspects of trade policy have failed and how she intends to improve them?

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Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Order. Mr Bone, that is the most irrelevant question I have heard in a set of questions. This is not like you; I thought your question would be at least on farming—whatever you want it to be.

Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch
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Yes. [Laughter.]

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

Excellent, that completes questions. Thank you for that contribution—not!

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Kemi Badenoch and Lindsay Hoyle
Wednesday 26th October 2022

(1 year, 4 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch
- Hansard - -

I know everyone wants to start Prime Minister’s questions quickly, but please forgive me, Mr Speaker, if my answer to this question is a tad longer than it ordinarily would be.

I am afraid that this particular individual is one who uses Twitter as a tool for defamation. He has even been sued by people in this House, such as the hon. and learned Member for Edinburgh South West (Joanna Cherry). As we begin a new era of equalities, I would like to say that the Equality Act is a shield, not a sword. It is there to protect people of all characteristics, whether they are young or old, male or female, black or white, gay or straight. We are running a compassionate equality strategy and we should not be distracted by people who use Twitter as a way to insult or accuse Members of Parliament.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

Before we come to Prime Minister’s questions, I would like to point out that a British Sign Language interpretation of proceedings is available to watch on parliamentlive.tv. I welcome the Prime Minister and call Dr Alan Whitehead to ask the first question.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Kemi Badenoch and Lindsay Hoyle
Monday 27th June 2022

(1 year, 8 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch
- Parliament Live - Hansard - -

I agree with both things, and we support all levelling-up bids.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

We now come to shadow Minister Alex Norris.

Alex Norris Portrait Alex Norris (Nottingham North) (Lab/Co-op)
- Parliament Live - Hansard - - - Excerpts

The recent report from the Public Accounts Committee was a huge blow to the way in which the Government are seeking to level up and it exposed once again the debilitating impact of beauty parades and unclear allocation criteria. If the Secretary of State thinks that was praise, then goodness me! This can be resolved in future by the Government accepting our calls for proper, sustained funding that is targeted at need. Therefore, to make sure that we are never in this situation again, will the Minister commit to accepting amendment 13 to the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill, which will start this process?

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Kemi Badenoch and Lindsay Hoyle
Monday 16th May 2022

(1 year, 9 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch
- Hansard - -

I am sorry that the hon. Gentleman’s area has not been successful in bidding for funds, but I remind him that it has received £12.6 million from the shared prosperity fund. The levelling-up bids are competitive, and the strength of the bids is part of what is measured, so I encourage him and his local authorities to continue trying.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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We come to the shadow Minister.

Alex Norris Portrait Alex Norris (Nottingham North) (Lab/Co-op)
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

A new study by the Centre for Business Research shows that by the end of next year, more than half the UK’s slowest-growing economies will be in the north of England. So much for the Government’s commitment to levelling up the country! If we want true levelling up, we need proper regional investment. Instead, we have a rolling series of beauty parades: the levelling-up fund, the towns fund, the high streets fund, the buses fund, the brownfield fund and all the others. Do Ministers really believe that levelling up is best served by making communities come cap in hand to Whitehall, where only some can win, and most must lose?

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Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch
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I thank the hon. Gentleman for raising this issue. We recognise that adult social care costs are increasing, which is why we have provided additional funding. For the hon. Gentleman’s borough of Bedford, we have provided an additional £2 million for this settlement year. We will continue to look at the pressure that councils are under, but I remind him that this settlement increased budgets significantly. Bedford Borough Council received a core spending power increase of 6.5% this year, worth £9.6 million. That makes available up to £156 million-worth of spending.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call the shadow Minister.

Mike Amesbury Portrait Mike Amesbury (Weaver Vale) (Lab)
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Ministers cannot escape the fact that according to the National Audit Office, 50% of central Government grant funding has been cut from the budgets of local authorities up and down the land since 2010. Ministers are living in a parallel universe where less is more. Millions have been taken out of the shared prosperity fund. The consequences are all too plain. We even have Sir Rod Stewart doing DIY, filling in potholes in Essex—a county with which the Minister will be familiar—and a third of libraries are closing. Those are real consequences.

At what stage will the Minister grasp the bull by the horns and provide fair funding for local authorities, based on genuine need? This should not be about competition or jumping through unnecessary hoops; we should be providing first-class public services for all.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Kemi Badenoch and Lindsay Hoyle
Wednesday 30th March 2022

(1 year, 11 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch
- Parliament Live - Hansard - -

I would be very supportive of a Margaret Thatcher day, but I think that is more a question for the Prime Minister than for me. My hon. Friend will know that all parties do quite a lot to support women into elected office and across the House we can agree that that is an important thing to continue.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
- Hansard - - - Excerpts

Before we come to Prime Minister’s questions, I would like to point out that the British Sign Language interpretation of proceedings is available to watch on parliamentlive.tv.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Kemi Badenoch and Lindsay Hoyle
Monday 7th March 2022

(1 year, 11 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch
- Parliament Live - Hansard - -

Yes, it is true that reorganisation can sometimes assist. I would be happy to meet my hon. Friend to discuss this issue.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call the shadow Minister, Mike Amesbury.

Mike Amesbury Portrait Mike Amesbury (Weaver Vale) (Lab)
- Parliament Live - Hansard - - - Excerpts

Members on both sides of the Chamber have said that any levelling up will ultimately be delivered by local authorities improving lives in their communities, but councils have faced and continue to face, despite the spin, serious shortfalls thanks to draconian Government cuts, including a 2% real-terms cut this year. Can the Minister explain how taking away £88 million from Burnley Borough Council in Lancashire over the last 10 years, even after taking into account the levelling-up funding, is fair? How is that levelling up? How will a £102 million shortfall over the next three years for Essex County Council—the Minister’s own county council—level up adult social care? Is it not time for Ministers to cut the spin, cut the claptrap and provide some substance and genuine levelling up for our hard-pressed councils?

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Kemi Badenoch and Lindsay Hoyle
Wednesday 23rd February 2022

(2 years ago)

Commons Chamber
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Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch
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I am afraid that I do not have an answer specifically on what we are doing on brain injuries, but I will get the relevant Minister to write to the hon. Member and provide the appropriate information.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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That was a bit of a stretch, in fairness.

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Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch
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I am afraid that I disagree with the hon. Gentleman. As I have just heard from the Minister responsible—the Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, my hon. Friend the Member for Mid Sussex (Mims Davies)—individual circumstances are taken into account and we are doing the very best we can for women in the workplace.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I call the SNP spokesperson.

Kirsten Oswald Portrait Kirsten Oswald (East Renfrewshire) (SNP)
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Maternity Action has recently highlighted that

“over the past decade the value of the basic rate of maternity, paternity and parental pay has also declined relative to women’s median weekly earnings, from 42% in 2012, to just 37% from April this year.”

Of course, new parents now also face a Tory cost of living crisis. There is overwhelming evidence for the value of supporting the youngest members of our society and the families who care for them, so will the Minister urge her colleagues to match reality to the rhetoric, introduce the long-awaited employment Bill and take the steps necessary to support parental leave and pay to better support new parents?

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Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch
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I thank my hon. Friend for that really important question. I have to say that I have been shocked by the really disgusting remarks that have been levelled at the chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission in particular. It is a disgrace that people are attacking the body that is supposed to be furthering equality in this country. No good can come of that.

I am sure that colleagues across the House share my desire for more people from minorities to take part in public life. That is one goal that we all share, but it is in jeopardy when the EHRC chair, an experienced parliamentarian from an ethnic and religious minority, can be subjected to vile, horrific personal abuse simply for encouraging others to comply with equality law. We support her. It is not healthy for our democracy for online smears and falsehoods, especially the ones that have been put forward by Vice News, repeated by those in the mainstream media who should know better, and deliberately designed to undermine public confidence in the independent regulator responsible—

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Kemi Badenoch and Lindsay Hoyle
Wednesday 24th March 2021

(2 years, 11 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch
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The hon. Lady raises a very interesting question, and this is something the Government are aware of and are looking into. Yesterday, I spoke to Dr Tony Sewell, who is chairing the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities; I am aware that it has researched this extensively and I look forward to seeing what its report says on it.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I am sorry we did not get as many Members in as normal, but we have to move on to questions to the Prime Minister.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Kemi Badenoch and Lindsay Hoyle
Wednesday 25th November 2020

(3 years, 3 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch
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As we discussed at the Women and Equalities Committee a few weeks ago, this is something that the Government Equalities Office is very much alive to. I am working with equalities Ministers across various Departments to see how the interventions that we are making are not going to impact on those groups who are most vulnerable, and I will continue to update her on that work.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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I welcome Charlotte Nichols to her first outing at the Dispatch Box.

Charlotte Nichols Portrait Charlotte Nichols (Warrington North) (Lab)
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Thank you, Mr Speaker.

There are over 600,000 people in work who are clinically extremely vulnerable. Current shielding guidance states that if they cannot work from home, they should not go to their usual place of work, but this does not entitle them to be furloughed. This means that many disabled people have had to ask their employer to put them on furlough in order to receive financial support. Where employers have refused to do so, an estimated 22% of disabled employees have had to choose between their lives and their livelihoods. Does the Minister think that this is fair?

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Kemi Badenoch and Lindsay Hoyle
Tuesday 15th September 2020

(3 years, 5 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch
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We have been looking at this relief for several years now, and the changes that we have made are going to benefit the vast majority of brewers. The smallest brewers will be exempt from most of the changes, and those brewers who have been unable to grow will now be able to do so. We had a long consultation and quite a few brewery groups have been very supportive of this change. We will have further announcements to come after the next technical consultation on this relief.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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In order to allow the safe exit of hon. Members participating in this item of business and the safe arrival of those participating in the next, I am now suspending the House for a few minutes.

Public Health England Review: Covid-19 Disparities

Debate between Kemi Badenoch and Lindsay Hoyle
Thursday 4th June 2020

(3 years, 8 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Urgent Questions are proposed each morning by backbench MPs, and up to two may be selected each day by the Speaker. Chosen Urgent Questions are announced 30 minutes before Parliament sits each day.

Each Urgent Question requires a Government Minister to give a response on the debate topic.

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

Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch
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Absolutely. We do welcome that. It is very heartening, as I said earlier, to see that communities all across the country are not just saying, but showing, how much we value the contribution that black and minority ethnic workers—key workers in particular—provide to our society.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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Lloyd Russell-Moyle—not here, so I call Jane Stevenson.

Jane Stevenson Portrait Jane Stevenson (Wolverhampton North East) (Con)
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I am a very proud Wulfrunian and I am proud that many of my fellow Wulfrunians have roots all over the world. Does the Minister agree that people are now concerned about this report, and that we need to keep pushing hand-washing and social distancing? Does she also agree that it is up to Members in this place to set an example to the BAME communities?

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Kemi Badenoch and Lindsay Hoyle
Wednesday 6th May 2020

(3 years, 9 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch
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The Public Health England review is going to look into this specific issue, but I must stress that we are working round the clock to protect everyone—absolutely everyone—on the frontline during this pandemic for as long as is required. NHS England has sent a letter to those running NHS care organisations recommending that employers should risk-assess staff as a precautionary measure to see if they are at greater risk and, if so, put other measures in place to protect them. That is something that will be going on around the country.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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We go across to the Chair of the Women and Equalities Committee, Caroline Nokes.

Caroline Nokes Portrait Caroline Nokes (Romsey and Southampton North) (Con) [V]
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We heard on Monday from the Health Secretary, and my hon. Friend the Minister has reiterated it, about the importance of robust data. Is my hon. Friend confident that the right data is being collected at sufficient pace? Specifically, what input is the Government Equalities Office having into the work of Public Health England, and is she confident that we will find out not only why and how BAME communities are affected, but what needs to be done to protect them?

Kemi Badenoch Portrait Kemi Badenoch
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The Government Equalities Office is refocusing the equality hub. The race disparity unit, the GEO and the disability unit want to spend more time on research and data so that we can help to inform Government Departments on their activity. We want to become more evidence-led. The Public Health England review is going to fit in with this overall strategy. It will be analysing how different factors, including ethnicity, gender and age, can impact on people’s health outcomes from covid-19. We are confident that this review will be able to analyse available data on health outcomes for NHS staff as well. We expect it to be published at the end of May.

Lindsay Hoyle Portrait Mr Speaker
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May I welcome to her new position the shadow Secretary of State, Marsha de Cordova?

Marsha De Cordova Portrait Marsha De Cordova (Battersea) (Lab)
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Thank you, Mr Speaker.

The British Medical Association found that black, Asian and minority ethnic doctors have been pushed to the frontline of this covid-19 crisis and that almost two thirds of them have felt pressured to work without vital personal protective equipment. This comes amid reports that 72% of all NHS workers’ deaths were of those from a BAME background. Finally, last week, Public Health England asked all NHS trusts to risk-assess their BAME staff and, where necessary, remove them from the frontline. What steps is the Minister’s Department taking to monitor the impact of this new measure and ensure that no more workers are risking their lives to save lives?