Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:11 pm on 13th September 2017.

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Photo of Peter Dowd Peter Dowd Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury 4:11 pm, 13th September 2017

Regrettably, I do not have much time to go through Members’ speeches, but I want to draw attention to the maiden speech by my hon. Friend Stephen Morgan—a Pompey boy. There are two victories in Portsmouth: HMS Victory and my hon. Friend’s victory, for which I thank him. He mentioned Arthur Conan Doyle’s time as a doctor in Southsea; if the Tories had their way, this country would be going back to Victorian times.

Some 5.4 million people work in the public sector—including members of my family; my wife and daughter work in the NHS, as I did for many years—and they provide services that are crucial to the good running and, literally, the order of the country. They provide the armed services that protect our country and the protection that this House enjoys day in, day out; they provide the services that educate and look after our children; and they provide the services that care for our disabled citizens and senior citizens. They provide services that we barely notice until things go wrong, such as traffic problems, floods, weather damage, public health emergencies and much more. Some 1.6 million of those people work in the NHS, providing the services that look after the physical and mental health of our—yes, our—constituents.