Covid-19: Support for UK Industries

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:53 pm on 25th June 2020.

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Photo of Theresa Villiers Theresa Villiers Conservative, Chipping Barnet 4:53 pm, 25th June 2020

I thank the Backbench Business Committee for making possible these first debates from the Petitions Committee on the Floor of the House. I thank all who have contributed. Above all, I would like to thank once again those who created and supported the e-petitions. The e-petitions were started by Matthew Rakowski-Goreta, Miles Croxford, Oliver Tooley, Evgenia Galinskaya and Anand Limbachia, who can all be assured that their voices have been heard by the Government in the support package and by Members in this House this afternoon.

As others have done, I commend the Government for a package of support that has saved the livelihoods of so many millions of people. It was delivered at phenomenal speed. My experience in Government makes me think that it is so difficult to get even the smallest thing done at speed. The speed of the reaction was essential. I ask the Government to reflect on those gaps in provision that have been identified, particularly by the Treasury Committee: the newly employed, the newly self-employed, directors of limited companies, and freelancers on short-term contracts. I also echo the strong points that were made about securing the future of aviation and, of course, of the performing arts and culture, where the need for support and for a plan for reopening is urgent.

I close by echoing the comments, praise and thanks to my hon. Friend Darren Henry. It was a great honour that he made his maiden speech in the debate for us all to hear. It was a heart-warming story, and I wish him well with his tenure in the House.