Ann Cryer: What assessment has my right hon. Friend made of developments in Afghanistan regarding the well-being of women and their health, education and ability to work for their families?
Ann Cryer: I have not prepared a speech, but I scribbled a few notes while my hon. Friend the Member for Aberdeen, South (Miss Begg) was speaking. The hon. Member for Castle Point (Bob Spink) asked what feedback we received when we travelled around. I did not attend all the out-of-London hearings, but I went to Manchester, Cardiff and Leeds. It was interesting that many of the people who gave evidence...
Ann Cryer: I agree, and that is what we all tried to do when we went out into the sticks and talked to people. The Speaker's Conference was started by Speaker Martin. He has been given some hard knocks over the past year or so, so I want to put in a good word for him. The conference was his idea. Unfortunately for us, Speaker Bercow was already a member of the conference, so we lost a member but gained...
Ann Cryer: I certainly agree with my hon. Friend. My membership of the parliamentary committee of the parliamentary Labour party enabled me to push things in that committee with the able assistance of Cathy Ashton, who spoke on behalf of her colleagues in the House of Lords. We pushed the then Prime Minister and the then Leader of the House to find time to get the measure through. Another measure that...
Ann Cryer: I am not sure that I follow that argument; the one thing does not necessary follow the other. I cannot remember anything being said at any time about reducing the number of MPs in Parliament, although perhaps my colleagues do. In my experience, we work a large number of hours, although it may be that at 70 I am finding it particularly hard. If we had fewer Members of Parliament, we would...
Ann Cryer: Baroness Deech gave a lecture last week on the negative impact on children born of first cousin marriages, so would now not be an appropriate time to have a full and frank debate on the subject, which might encourage health authorities to publicise their genetic screening and counselling facilities?
Ann Cryer: When my right hon. Friend next talks to food producers and packers, will he ask them to bear it in mind that an increasing number of us are living alone? It would be much easier to stop throwing food away if, for example, packets of bacon were reduced from eight rashers to just four rashers.
Ann Cryer: My question is about local food sourcing by the public sector. Is my hon. Friend aware that Airedale general hospital in my constituency now gets all its meals trucked from Pembrokeshire by a company called Sodexo? I campaigned against that, with people from the local community, but to no avail. That is what is happening, and it is absolutely ludicrous.
Ann Cryer: What assessment has my right hon. Friend made of the role that freight could play in the new high-speed rail network?
Ann Cryer: I know that the hon. Member for Epping Forest (Mrs. Laing) punches above her weight, but I want to correct the record. I am 70 and that is why I am retiring, not because I am disillusioned by anything in the House or with my party. I want to clarify that.
Ann Cryer: Does my right hon. and learned Friend agree that had it not been for the vast number of Labour women Members, we would not now have the forced marriage unit or the Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Act 2007? I do not think that my predecessor, a Conservative male MP, was aware that there were such things as forced marriages.
Ann Cryer: I thank my right hon. Friend for his excellent statement, which is very welcome. The Leeds line will have connections into my constituency. However, is this not a bad time for Network Rail to announce hundreds of redundancies of trackside maintenance workers-at the very time when the rail network is about to expand?
Ann Cryer: May we have an early debate about the safety and security of children who are taken to Pakistan for family holidays? May we also consider the damage caused to their education when they are removed from school during term time?
Ann Cryer: On a point of clarification, does my right hon. Friend agree that the excellent palliative care provided by the hospice movement and a possible acceptance of assisted suicide are not mutually exclusive, but could provide a legitimate end-of-life choice? My late second husband, John, died in the Marie Curie hospice in Bradford. It was his choice, and I appreciate the great care that it gave him.
Ann Cryer: Can we have an early debate on the findings of Sir Roger Singleton when he finalises his report on the treatment of children in madrassahs and other religious, part-time schools?
Ann Cryer: The hon. Gentleman is clearly very knowledgeable on this subject. Has he done a great deal of research? Is so, will he tell the House how often the defence of reasonable punishment has been used in court?
Ann Cryer: Yes, boundaries have to be established with children, but does not the hon. Gentleman understand that those boundaries must be established by parents, not teachers?
Ann Cryer: Is the hon. Gentleman arguing for the reintroduction of corporal punishment in schools? Is he saying that the problems he is discussing would be solved if teachers could hit those kids?
Ann Cryer: Will my right hon. Friend expand a little more on his thoughts on restorative justice, which the hon. Member for Cambridge (David Howarth) mentioned earlier? I visited Canada a couple of years ago with the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, and I met the chief of police for Toronto. He has real enthusiasm for restorative justice, whereby the offender meets the victim and learns what...
Ann Cryer: The hon. Gentleman keeps talking about certain aspects of my constituency, but I have been living there for a long time and the children are very dear to my heart. What if an inspector went into a home and discovered that the parent who had decided to home educate spoke no English? What is the hon. Gentleman’s remedy if we are not to have inspectors?