Stephen Hesford: I do not mind not being mentioned in the hon. Lady's tour d'horizon of hon. Members' speeches. My speech clearly did not have any effect on her, and that is a matter for her; I can take it. However, I asked her a question-
Stephen Hesford: Last week, the hon. Member for Reigate (Mr. Blunt) said in terms, in a Delegated Legislation Committee, that the Conservative party positively supported minimum pricing, and that that was itsr policy. There was an exchange about that, and he was absolutely clear. In my speech, I asked the hon. Lady to clarify whether that is the Conservative position, and I think that it would help this...
Stephen Hesford: Tesco is in favour of minimum pricing. I do not think there could be a better illustration of the point that my hon. Friend is about to make.
Stephen Hesford: I speak as yet another member of the Health Select Committee. I should like to echo the praise of my hon. Friend the Member for Dartford (Dr. Stoate) for the Chair of the Select Committee, my right hon. Friend the Member for Rother Valley (Mr. Barron), who led this inquiry admirably. It is in no small part thanks to the way in which he and the Clerks of the Committee put it together that we...
Stephen Hesford: I do not want to gainsay that, but the Irish experience should also be considered. A ban was introduced there, and, I think, in Spain as well. There were other precedents, but I take the hon. Gentleman's point. I have said that alcohol is not the dangerous substance that tobacco is, but, as the Health Committee heard, the death rate from tobacco-related illness was 120,000 a year when the...
Stephen Hesford: I thank my hon. Friend, but it is more sophisticated than that, as the price rise is aimed at those who are the most vulnerable. That is why this would be such a successful and discriminatory measure-discriminatory in the positive sense that it discriminates in the interest of those who need assistance to avoid the dangers that they are not presently able to avoid. I mean, of course, young...
Stephen Hesford: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent representations he has received from the construction industry on the housing pledge; and if he will make a statement.
Stephen Hesford: The reverse is true in my constituency, where three new dental practices have opened in the past year-I had the honour of opening all three. The hon. Gentleman's experience of the new contract is considerably different from mine.
Stephen Hesford: rose-
Stephen Hesford: To make it clear, not only is the experience on the ground in my constituency different from what the hon. Gentleman is describing, but the new dental practices are NHS dental practices.
Stephen Hesford: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his Department's policy is on the provision of services for people diagnosed with fibromyalgia; and whether he plans to review that policy.
Stephen Hesford: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when he expects to make a final ruling in the Wirral Library Review; when he plans to publish the new National Strategy for Libraries; and if he will make a statement.
Stephen Hesford: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when he plans to publish his Department's strategy for library services; and if he will make a statement.
Stephen Hesford: Theoretically.
Stephen Hesford: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps he is taking to ensure that there is a comprehensive and efficient library service in (a) Wirral and (b) England.
Stephen Hesford: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent assessment he has made of the merits of altering the basic rate of income tax.
Stephen Hesford: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what his timetable is for making a decision on the Wirral Library Service following receipt of the report of the Charteris Review into the service.
Stephen Hesford: My hon. Friend rightly says that if no decision has been taken and there remains an interest in the process of reaching any decision, it might be premature for her to intervene, but surely in order for that process to give consideration to the right principles and the right issues she can take an oversight view. When one is talking about potentially spending £150 million of public money in...
Stephen Hesford: I congratulate my hon. Friend on securing this important debate. May I remind him of a meeting that we had with the Under-Secretary of State for Health, my hon. Friend the Member for Brentford and Isleworth (Ann Keen), whom I am pleased to see in her place tonight? Does he remember that that meeting was not wholly positive? Is that one of the reasons he feels the need to bring the matter...
Stephen Hesford: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the potential effects on public health of organic foods in the last 10 years.