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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 said that I was going to make some progress, and I will, because I want to raise a final point.

In the police protections Bill, there will be a measure to protect and give support to police drivers who are involved in chasing criminals, which has been an issue—there have been challenges when accidents have happened or people have been hurt. That is absolutely right, but it was always intended to be part of a wider Bill that would introduce reforms to sentencing for dangerous driving, which is an issue that Liz McInnes and other hon. Members on both sides of the House have taken up. I am disappointed that those reforms are not in the Queen’s Speech.

I am particularly concerned because of the case of my constituent Bryony Hollands, who was 19 when she was struck by a car in Nottingham in August 2015 and died. The individual responsible, Thomas Burney, was thought to have taken cocaine and was three times over the drink-driving limit. He pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving and to causing injuries by dangerous driving. He was sentenced to eight years imprisonment. He was released in August, halfway through his sentence. Her parents, among other parents who have found themselves in such tragic circumstances, have long campaigned for those reforms to sentencing.

In October 2017, we published the outcome of the dangerous driving consultation, and it was always the intention to introduce a Bill that included those reforms, the protections for police drivers and some other measures in relation to cycling. Although it is right to have the protections for police drivers, I am sorry that the other elements have not been included. I think it is probably the Ministry of Justice that is the prime Department here, and I urge it to look at ensuring that those reforms can be introduced to give some comfort to those parents, and others, who have sadly seen young lives taken away too early by dangerous driving, and who feel that justice has not properly been served.