Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:35 am on 26th January 2023.

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Photo of Penny Mordaunt Penny Mordaunt Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons 10:35 am, 26th January 2023

Let me clarify for the hon. Gentleman that this is not about people not wanting to protect life. It is not about a moral judgement on behalf of those individuals. People who work in the blue-light sector and people who work in caring professions care deeply about the wellbeing of others. That is why they are in those professions. The problem is how these minimum service levels are arrived at and ensuring that we can have confidence in them and that they are also arranged in a timely way. Unlike nursing unions, which have a clearly defined and agreed way of working that covers the whole of the area affected by industrial action, the other services that I have referenced do not. They are very fragmented, and arrangements are often worked out with local management, as opposed to across the nation affected. This is about protecting the public and ensuring that when industrial action takes place, we can still protect the public. It is most acute, I am afraid, in the transport sector. I hope that that clarifies the position for the hon. Gentleman.