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Part of Debate on the Address – in the House of Commons at 12:41 pm on 16th October 2019.

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Photo of Theresa May Theresa May Conservative, Maidenhead 12:41 pm, 16th October 2019

I am very happy to commend the Hampshire force for the work that it does in introducing specialist specials. It is extremely good. Hampshire has always been one of the forces at the forefront of the use of technology and at looking at these issues around cyber-crime. We want to be the safest place in the world to be online and the best place in the world to set up a digital business, so the proportionate approach set out in the online harms Bill is absolutely right.

I want to say just a word about the Environment Bill, because it will have an enormous impact on people’s quality of life. I was pleased that, when we launched the 25-year environment plan last year, we set out the aim to be the first generation to leave the environment in a better state than when we came into government. That is so important. The debate is often crystallised around climate change, but it is about so much more than that. If we are to deal with these issues, it is about the very small ways that, individually, each one of us can make a contribution. Within the Bill, I am particularly pleased about the work that is going to be done on biodiversity, on protecting natural habitats and, indeed, on waste crime, which afflicts too many of our constituencies.

There are many excellent Bills that will improve people’s quality of life, building on four years of good Conservative Government and nine years of Conservatives in government. None the less, I wish to press the Government on three areas. The first is on mental health. The work done by Sir Simon Wessely and his team in reviewing the Mental Health Act 1983 was incredibly important. Some of the findings of that work were truly shocking, particularly in relation to the way that some people in mental health crisis were being treated. It is important that this Government not only consider the Government response to that review of the Mental Health Act as soon as possible, but commit to introducing new legislation—a new mental health Act—to deal with these issues. I sat and listened to the testimony of some service users, and it was truly shocking to hear how they had been treated as second-class citizens, or worse, in their treatment. We do need to address that.