Social Security

– in the House of Commons at 6:10 pm on 13th March 2018.

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Motion made, and Question put,

That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Social Security (Contributions) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 (S.I., 2018, No. 120), dated 31 January, a copy of which was laid before this House on 1 February, be annulled.—(Angela Rayner.)

The House divided:

Ayes 285, Noes 314.

Division number 131

See full list of votes (From The Public Whip)

Aye

No

Question accordingly negatived.

Photo of Angela Rayner Angela Rayner Shadow Secretary of State for Education

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. It is clear that the Secretary of State has survived the Division by promising not to press ahead with the Government’s plans to phase out childcare vouchers for another six months, along with other new childcare measures. May I ask your opinion, Mr Speaker, on any suggestion from the Government that there will be an oral statement explaining what will now happen during and after that period?

Photo of John Bercow John Bercow Speaker of the House of Commons, Chair, Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, Chair, Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, Chair, Commons Reference Group on Representation and Inclusion Committee

I am grateful to the hon. Lady for her attempted point of order, but I am afraid that her attempt to solicit my opinion will not be successful. I am not aware of any intention for a statement to be made, but the hon. Lady has aired her concern, and it is therefore on the record for all to see.

Photo of Tom Watson Tom Watson Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Last week the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport announced his intention to drop the Leveson inquiry despite new revelations from The Sunday Times whistleblower John Ford, including the obtaining of stolen data on the private information of Dr David Kelly a week before his death. The Secretary of State justified the decision by saying that

“the fact that this activity stopped in 2010 underlines the point that the world has changed. Practices such as these have been investigated. Newspapers today are in a very different position from when the alleged offences took place.”—[Official Report, 7 March 2018;
Vol. 637, c. 326.]

I have just received new allegations that contradict that information. The blagger says that he knows individuals who are still engaged in these activities on behalf of newspapers. The Secretary of State has no evidential basis on which to make his rather complacent assertion. Have you had notice of a statement from the Secretary of State, Mr Speaker, so that he can justify what evidence he has to say that blagging ended in national newspapers in 2010?