Julian Smith: rose—
Julian Smith: On the subject of sound and fury, will the shadow Chancellor clarify what he would do to stick to the commitments he made when he signed up to the charter for budget responsibility only a few weeks ago?
Julian Smith: The Leader of the House is not only one of the finest Foreign Secretaries and parliamentarians that Britain has ever had but a much-loved and respected local North Yorkshire MP. May we have a debate about North Yorkshire, its people, its businesses, its beauty and its beer?
Julian Smith: I am sympathetic to many of my hon. Friend’s arguments, but does he not need to make it clear that the Government had a £38 billion black hole to deal with, and many major challenges had to be addressed in 2010?
Julian Smith: Small businesses across north Yorkshire are really worried about the fact that Labour has not yet ruled out a jobs tax, should it be elected. Are they missing something?
Julian Smith: Following the criticism over the weekend, does the Prime Minister agree that our intelligence and security services are doing the most amazing job in incredibly difficult times, and that we should pay tribute to every woman and man working in those services?
Julian Smith: Many small businesses and taxpayers in north Yorkshire will be shocked by the time line that the Chancellor has just described. Will he clarify once again what the last Government knew and when?
Julian Smith: On the point of people’s concerns about privacy, we now have a Select Committee, which has done a detailed report on Lee Rigby and has shown it is scrutinising Parliament and the intelligence services, and we now have the civil liberties board. We have tremendous oversight in this country, and is it not now time that we say we have got good control of our intelligence services and we...
Julian Smith: Does the right hon. Gentleman regret, as I do, that the amendments tabled by the noble Lord King that sought to bring back the draft Communications Data Bill, or all the elements of it, did not make it back to this House? Does he agree that we need to move forward with that as soon as possible?
Julian Smith: Last week, Bill went missing. This week, it is Ed, who had sole responsibility for these issues in 2007. Why does the Minister think that no substantive action was taken in those years?
Julian Smith: What progress she has made on ensuring that the Security Service is adequately equipped to tackle terrorism.
Julian Smith: A terror suspect is arrested every day, and our intelligence services are crystal clear that they need greater oversight of internet communications. When will the Government bring the Communications Data Bill back to the House?
Julian Smith: Taxis have been, and almost certainly still are, the trafficking method of choice of abusers and exploiters across the north. I welcome the Secretary of State’s strong words on taxi regulation, and I welcome this very robust statement. May I urge him and his Department to look at every taxi licensing authority across the north and make sure they are doing exactly the right thing?
Julian Smith: I welcome the statement and the foundations the Home Secretary has laid for the review. One local issue in north Yorkshire concerns the number of responsible bodies. I have spoken to victims, and they have a problem with the lack of co-ordination and the lack of training of the people dealing with the issue. In looking at funding and money, will she consider what help she can give to local...
Julian Smith: The issue that we are discussing is a major one for Britain, but it is particularly acute for North Yorkshire. Since 2002, the region has lost 489 farmers, which is the second worst performance and loss in the country. Even farmers who are doing their best to invest in and build their businesses—such as Paul and Janet Bolland near Skipton, who recently invested £700,000 in their...
Julian Smith: rose—
Julian Smith: rose—
Julian Smith: I pay tribute to my hon. Friend the Member for Hereford and South Herefordshire (Jesse Norman) for securing this debate. North Yorkshire was one of four pilot areas that won a Government commitment in 2010 to push forward with superfast broadband in rural areas. To counter the comments of the jumping jack shadow Minister, the hon. Member for Rhondda (Chris Bryant), the whole idea of the...
Julian Smith: I agree. That is a valid point and I acknowledge my hon. Friend’s expertise on this topic. I pay tribute to the Government for the £10 million fund for innovation—North Yorkshire has one pilot project called Airwave—but the exceptional broadband Minister may need to dig a little deeper over the coming months and years in order to top up that fund and get a few more...
Julian Smith: Absolutely. That is a well-made point. This is not just about the Government’s responsibilities; people are taking responsibility themselves. The B4RN project—Broadband for the Rural North—split between Lancashire and Yorkshire has sought out all of the disused wires and cables to make the most of the opportunities to deliver superfast broadband. We have not yet discussed...