Hacker House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:17 pm on 25th September 2019.

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Photo of Matt Warman Matt Warman The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport 1:17 pm, 25th September 2019

The hon. Gentleman said that it was a pleasure to see me in my place, and it is a pleasure to see him still in his, although I am not sure how many of his hon. Friends share that view.

I am, of course, happy to repeat what I said before. The Prime Minister has had no role whatsoever in this application, and it is, I think, important to bear in mind that this is a decision made by officials, including people from the National Cyber Security Centre, the Department for Education and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. These are honourable people doing the right thing, and their reputation should not be impugned in the way the hon. Gentleman seeks to impugn it.

I have said that there was no lobbying, from either the Prime Minister or any other Member of Parliament, and we will seek to make public the bid submitted by Hacker House—I have it here—so long as there are no commercial sensitivities. The aim of the cyber skills immediate impact fund is to build our strength and depth in what is, as I know the hon. Gentleman will agree, a vital area. The Hacker House bid seeks to train people and to build a platform to train more people. That platform has already been built. He can check it out online for himself—he could even sign up—and we will seek to ensure it reaches hundreds of people. That is part of the bid and an important part of this country’s national cyber-security strategy. I would have hoped that he would have supported it, rather than raise a whole host of issues that are not relevant to this question.