May I join the Prime Minister in wishing everyone in Wales, and all Welsh people around the world, a very happy St David’s day. May I also express the hope that, today, the workers at the Ford plant in Bridgend get the assurances that they need about their job security and their futures.
I echo the Prime Minister’s tribute to Gerald Kaufman who served in this House since 1970 and was the longest serving Member. He started in political life as an adviser to Harold Wilson in the 1960s. He was an iconic, irascible figure in the Labour party and in British politics. He was a champion for peace and justice in the middle east and around the world. Yesterday at his funeral, Mr Speaker, the rabbi who conducted the service conveyed your message on behalf of the House to his family, which was very much appreciated. Afterwards, I spoke to his family and to his great nephews and great nieces and asked them how they would describe Gerald, and they said that he was an “awesome uncle”. We should remember Gerald as that, and convey our condolences to all of his family.
Just after the last Budget, the then Work and Pensions Secretary resigned, accusing the Government of
“balancing the books on the backs of the poor and vulnerable.”
Last week, the Government sneaked out a decision to overrule a court decision to extend personal independence payments to people with severe mental health conditions. A Government who found £1 billion in inheritance tax cuts to benefit 26,000 families seem unable to find the money to support 160,000 people with debilitating mental health conditions. Will the Prime Minister change her mind?