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Bills Presented: Backbench Business — Select Committee on Governance of the House (10 September 2014)

Jack Straw: Separation.

Bills Presented: Backbench Business — Select Committee on Governance of the House (10 September 2014)

Jack Straw: It is a pleasure to follow the fourth former Leader of the House of Commons and become the fifth to speak in the debate. The right hon. Gentleman was right to draw attention to the fandango that greeted the initial proposal not to change the role of the Lord Chancellor but to abolish it—something that, as I am witness, did not quite succeed. I am grateful to those who tabled the...

Bills Presented: Backbench Business — Select Committee on Governance of the House (10 September 2014)

Jack Straw: If that is the view of the Committee, I would of course come back to the House. My view, however, is that if this job is to be done in this Parliament, it must be done in practice by 12 January, or no more than a couple of weeks later. I am not standing for Parliament again, but if the House wants to pass a sort of Blackburn-max arrangement and create me as the Member for Blackburn for life,...

Bills Presented: Ukraine, Middle East, North Africa and Security (10 September 2014)

Jack Straw: Does the right hon. Gentleman also accept that the welcome decision by both parties to have a larger aid programme cannot be a substitute for money spent on the more difficult areas of intelligence and diplomacy? As our aid programme increases so too must our diplomatic programme.

Bills Presented: Ukraine, Middle East, North Africa and Security (10 September 2014)

Jack Straw: I draw to the House’s attention the fact that I am co-chairman of the all-party group on Iran and also co-chairman of the British-Turkish Forum. I begin by echoing the sentiments expressed by my right hon. Friend the shadow Foreign Secretary to the Foreign Secretary—a great post that I hope he enjoys. I always felt it was living history, but I had echoing in my head the words of...

Bills Presented: Ukraine, Middle East, North Africa and Security (10 September 2014)

Jack Straw: I thank the hon. Gentleman for his intervention. The United States has gone out of its way to assist its own companies to ensure that they exploit, as widely as possible, the provisions in the sanctions regime—including those that were extended in the agreement with Iran of 24 November last year—and take up these opportunities, and western European countries are doing the same....

Bills Presented: Ukraine, Middle East, North Africa and Security (10 September 2014)

Jack Straw: I am absolutely certain that it did, but the sanctions, led by the United States, allowed for the export from the west to Iran of agricultural products, food products and pharmaceuticals. Those concessions were exploited by the United States and western European countries. It is only the United Kingdom that has added to those sanctions, through additional, gratuitous efforts that simply hurt...

Bills Presented: Ukraine, Middle East, North Africa and Security (10 September 2014)

Jack Straw: May I take the right hon. Gentleman back to his answer to the hon. Member for Reigate (Crispin Blunt) about the position of the Assad regime? The whole House shares his view that this is an odious regime, but surely what has changed is that two years ago it was rational to assess that the Assad regime could be removed. Is that still his view?

Oral Answers to Questions — Communities and Local Government: NATO Summit (8 September 2014)

Jack Straw: May I thank the Prime Minister and my right hon. Friend the Leader of the Opposition for their generous tributes to our north-west colleague and friend, Jim Dobbin? I know that they will be much appreciated. I want to ask the Prime Minister about the searing divisions that are now opening up within the Gulf Co-operation Council, with allegations by some states in the GCC that others,...

Oral Answers to Questions — Work and Pensions: EU Council, Security and Middle East (1 September 2014)

Jack Straw: In an article that the Prime Minister wrote in The Daily Telegraph on 16 August, he spoke about the need to build alliances in the region, including, he said, perhaps even with Iran. Does he agree that, yes, while there is a negotiation to be had with Iran over the nuclear dossier, frankly, as he indicated, we need Iranian co-operation more than ever, as it is one of the few stable states in...

Bill Presented — Counsellors and Psychotherapists (Regulation) Bill: Retirement of the Clerk of the House (16 July 2014)

Jack Straw: What did you say?

Bill Presented — Counsellors and Psychotherapists (Regulation) Bill: Retirement of the Clerk of the House (16 July 2014)

Jack Straw: If I may, I will begin by paying tribute to the Leader of the House for his work as Foreign Secretary. The right hon. Gentleman will know from my interventions in the House that I have great admiration for the way in which he conducted that office and for his indefatigable energy. Few who have not held the office—still more who have not been married to one who has—appreciate its...

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister: Special Measures Regime (16 July 2014)

Jack Straw: Does the Secretary of State agree that it is a tribute to the new leadership of Professor Eileen Fairhurst, the chair of the East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, the other senior clinicians and managers, and the vast majority of staff at the trust, who are of a high quality, that the trust has been able to turn around and get out of special measures? Does he also accept that, as Professor Sir...

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister: Engagements (16 July 2014)

Jack Straw: It is fundamental, is it not, that the holder of the office of Attorney-General should be fiercely independent, defend the rule of law and be ready to speak legal truth to power. Given the distinction and respect with which the holder of that office pursued that role, what possessed the Prime Minister to dismiss him yesterday?

Bills Presented: Clause 6 — Commencement, duration, extent and short title (15 July 2014)

Jack Straw: My hon. Friend puts it much better than I did. That is the truth. We have a compressed programme and there will be complaints again about that, but the House usually rises in the middle of December, and if the Bill were to be repealed at the end of December and the House wanted proper time to consider this legislation, we would need to start on it in early November at least, which is only a...

Bills Presented: Clause 6 — Commencement, duration, extent and short title (15 July 2014)

Jack Straw: Of course I accept that the public are concerned, but from my long experience they have a clear view of how to balance the interests of liberty and their own personal security—that is what this is about, not the security of the state—and they implicitly acknowledge that, although the systems that we have built up during the past 30 years may not be perfect, they do provide that...

Bills Presented: Clause 6 — Commencement, duration, extent and short title (15 July 2014)

Jack Straw: I will deal first with the point made by the hon. Member for Cambridge (Dr Huppert) and others about the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000. I was the Minister responsible for RIPA. It was a carefully constructed Act that was preceded in 1999 by a lengthy consultation process. Everybody recognised at the time that it was a major improvement on the legislative regime for intercepting...

Bills Presented: Clause 6 — Commencement, duration, extent and short title (15 July 2014)

Jack Straw: I do not know in precise detail. I used to know when I was responsible for these matters as Home Secretary and Foreign Secretary. Even when I was Foreign Secretary and Home Secretary, when there were fewer telecommunications providers, the ones that were wholly UK-based inevitably had a different and closer relationship than those based overseas but which were providing telecommunications...

Bills Presented: Clause 6 — Commencement, duration, extent and short title (15 July 2014)

Jack Straw: That is a matter for the Minister. Sometimes, companies do not wish to be named; sometimes they do. If they did wish to be named—they are not slow in coming forward in other respects to let us know their views—they would have named themselves.

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