Debates between Simon Fell and Boris Johnson during the 2019 Parliament

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Simon Fell and Boris Johnson
Wednesday 12th January 2022

(2 years, 1 month ago)

Commons Chamber
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Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
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Again, I thank the right hon. Gentleman for his political advice, which I will take with a pinch of salt since it comes from the Scottish nationalist party. I think that most people looking objectively at what this Government have delivered over the last 18 months would agree—and I renew my contrition for the mistakes that have been made—that we have delivered the fastest vaccine and the fastest booster roll-out in Europe, and the result is that across the whole of our United Kingdom we have a record number of people back at work.

Simon Fell Portrait Simon Fell (Barrow and Furness) (Con)
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Q4. On Friday I met the chief executive of my local hospital trust, the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, to discuss how the trust was managing covid and the impact that it was having. That impact is stark. Between 12% and 15% of the workforce are away isolating, and 140 beds—about 20% of the total—are blocked because the hospital cannot get people back out into social care in the community. With that in mind, will my right hon. Friend consider reducing the isolation period to five days if it is seen to be safe to do so, and also accepting any MACA—military aid to the civil authorities—requests that are received, to help get people back into the community and into social care?

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
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Yes, we are certainly looking at reducing the isolation period, and we hope to bring you more about that, Mr Speaker, as fast as possible. We will certainly look at all MACA requests, but more fundamentally what we can do to alleviate the pressures in my hon. Friend’s hospital is to fix the health and social care divide. That is what this Government are also doing, after a generation of neglect.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Simon Fell and Boris Johnson
Wednesday 5th January 2022

(2 years, 2 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
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Actually, in my experience, what most Londoners want is protection from high-taxing Labour councils, but what they will also get is that we will deliver on our pledge to protect residents from serious fire safety risks, and also to manage the injustice that leaseholders face. The House can look forward to being updated shortly.

Simon Fell Portrait Simon Fell (Barrow and Furness) (Con)
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10. The very best of British science has been on display over the past 18 months, being responsible for the design and manufacture of many of the vaccines that have kept us safe during this pandemic. The focus of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on making the UK the best place to practise life sciences and to innovate is therefore welcome, as is its cluster strategy. With that in mind, will my right hon. Friend back Ulverston as the pioneer place for the cluster strategy to be rolled out, enabling high-wage and high-growth jobs to be based in my constituency?

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
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Yes, because we are going to get on with our job of levelling up across the whole of the UK, making sure that every part of this United Kingdom shares in our ambition to be a science superpower, which is what we are and what we will be. Ulverston has a rich history in the life sciences, and we are in regular consultation—not just officials in BEIS—with my hon. Friend and with officials in the sector to see what more we can do to further investment in the area.

Covid-19 Update

Debate between Simon Fell and Boris Johnson
Wednesday 12th May 2021

(2 years, 9 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Simon Fell Portrait Simon Fell (Barrow and Furness) (Con)
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I welcome the Prime Minister’s announcement about a public inquiry. When covid first rolled into Barrow and Furness, we had a disproportionate impact from it due to a toxic mix of underlying health conditions. With that in mind, can he confirm that the inquiry will take a look at not just the actions that the Government did or did not take, but what we need to do to make sure that we can build back healthier after this pandemic?

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
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My hon. Friend makes an extremely good point—it is a very important point. I hope that this is what they call a big teachable moment for the entire country about our obesity, our fitness levels and disparities across public provision not just between affluent areas, but within regions of the country. Levelling up needs to take place, and that is the ambition of this Government.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Simon Fell and Boris Johnson
Wednesday 17th March 2021

(2 years, 11 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Simon Fell Portrait Simon Fell (Barrow and Furness) (Con)
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If he will list his official engagements for Wednesday 17 March.

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister (Boris Johnson)
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I am sure colleagues across the House will want to join me in wishing everyone a very happy St Patrick’s day. I was delighted to visit Northern Ireland last week, where I was able to thank military and emergency response teams for their brilliant work throughout the covid-19 pandemic.

This morning, I had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. In addition to my duties in this House, I shall have further such meetings later today.

Simon Fell Portrait Simon Fell
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A decade ago, GlaxoSmithKline announced a £350 million investment in my constituency, which would have led to 1,000 jobs. In 2017, it reneged on that, and a few weeks ago it announced that it is closing its business altogether. We have gone from the very real prospect of having 1,000 high-paying, high-skilled pharma jobs in my constituency to the risk of having none by 2025. Will my right hon. Friend agree to meet me and throw the weight of the Government behind efforts to ensure that GSK does the right thing by my constituents and delivers for some very worried people?

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
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I thank my hon. Friend very much, and I express my deepest sympathy to all those in Ulverston affected by these job losses. I will certainly meet him. I believe that bioscience is one of the great growth areas for this country in the future, and I am determined that Barrow and Furness should take part in that boom along with everywhere else, as well as other high technologies.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Simon Fell and Boris Johnson
Wednesday 8th July 2020

(3 years, 8 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
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The hon. Lady raises a very important issue. The aviation industry has been very hard hit. We are supporting the sector in all kinds of ways, not just by supporting employees, but through the time-to-pay scheme and loans from the Bank of England and the Government to aviation. Of course, we are supporting local councils as well with billions of pounds—£3.2 billion. The most important thing is to get a medium and long-term solution that enables airlines to start flying again, so that Luton council can get the revenue it needs. I perfectly understand and support the points she makes.

Simon Fell Portrait Simon Fell (Barrow and Furness) (Con)
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It has been said, I hope not uncharitably, that my right hon. Friend has never met a bridge that he did not want to build. Off the Cumbrian coast, we have an opportunity to steal a march with a tidal barrage that would supply 5% of the UK’s energy needs in a green, sustainable way. It would leave a legacy of jobs in Copeland, Barrow-in-Furness and Workington—7,000 jobs. It would allow us to connect communities that have a terrible transport network at the moment with a shiny new bridge and it would allow us to build, build, build our way into a green revolution. Will the Prime Minister agree to meet me and my Cumbrian colleagues to explore this deal further?

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
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I am grateful to my hon. Friend for bringing that attractive idea to my attention. I know that several projects are being considered along the Cumbrian coast. I would advise him, first, to get in touch with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to see what he can do to take it forward, and I will give what support I can.

Oral Answers to Questions

Debate between Simon Fell and Boris Johnson
Wednesday 6th May 2020

(3 years, 10 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Simon Fell Portrait Simon Fell (Barrow and Furness) (Con)
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I have been very impressed by how businesses and individuals across my constituency have been borrowing and lending devices so that children can learn at home during the pandemic, an initiative that will be significantly enhanced by the £100 million recently given by the Education Secretary. However, my right hon. Friend the Member for Harlow (Robert Halfon), who chairs the Education Committee, has suggested that, when schools return, a catch-up premium should be brought in to close the gap between those most disadvantaged and left behind and their better-off peers. In constituencies such as Barrow that would make all the difference as we rebuild, so will the Prime Minister commit to such a scheme?

Boris Johnson Portrait The Prime Minister
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I thank my hon. Friend and congratulate him on the way he represents his constituents in Barrow. He is exactly right. That is why, among other things, we are ensuring that there are extra computers and laptops for disadvantaged communities, while making sure that we supply them with more 4G routers, which are invaluable at this particularly difficult time. There will be more to come, because this Government will pursue our agenda of uniting and levelling up across the whole UK.