Business of the House Debate

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Department: Leader of the House
Thursday 30th November 2023

(2 months, 4 weeks ago)

Commons Chamber
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Penny Mordaunt Portrait Penny Mordaunt
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I think we all want our national broadcaster to be the best in the world, and we want its editorial standards and policies, and those who work for it, to be the best in the world. The BBC is operationally independent, but I hope it will reflect on what has happened over the past few weeks. I hope it will look at what it can do, perhaps through training, and at what is happening with its editorial teams and those who work for it in the field, so that the British public can rely on getting impartial, good advice, produced to the highest journalistic standards. The BBC is usually very good at these sorts of things, but there are certainly questions that I, as a licence fee payer, would want answered in this respect.

Selaine Saxby Portrait Selaine Saxby (North Devon) (Con)
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This is National Tree Week, and it is also 50 years since Conservative MP Sydney Chapman suggested the “Plant a Tree in ’73” campaign. It is even more important now that we preserve our woodland and plant productive forests for sustainable manufacturing and construction. What conversations has my right hon. Friend had with Cabinet colleagues on the deforestation due diligence legislation that we committed to in the Environment Act 2021, and on its progression through the House, and what other steps can I take to assist on this issue?

Penny Mordaunt Portrait Penny Mordaunt
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I thank my hon. Friend for mentioning Sydney Chapman and his campaign; it is nice to know of the legacy that Members of this place can leave. My hon. Friend will know that we are committed to implementing the provisions that she mentioned at the earliest opportunity through secondary legislation. We also recognise that businesses need clarity on their obligations, so that they can prepare to meet them. Questions to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs are on 7 December, next week, so she may wish to raise her point directly with the Secretary of State then.