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Results 1–20 of 10000 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Simon Hughes

The Shrewsbury 24 (24 Mar 2015)

Simon Hughes: It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Caton. I pay tribute to the hon. Member for Blaydon (Mr Anderson); he knows that I respect hugely his commitment to this issue. I will not repeat myself, but he also knows from the large debate that we had on the Floor of the House in January last year that I am very sympathetic to the cause that was the basis of the dispute. I...

The Shrewsbury 24 (24 Mar 2015)

Simon Hughes: I absolutely understand the hon. Gentleman’s drawing that conclusion. To be fair—trying to step back for a second—the fact that nothing has been said can be open to interpretation in either direction, but I completely understand the view that if there were nothing to hide, someone might have said that. Legalistically, however, people might rightly have said that they could make no...

The Shrewsbury 24 (24 Mar 2015)

Simon Hughes: Within my powers as a Minister in the Ministry of Justice I have done all that I can do. I do not have the power to direct other Departments to release documents for which they have the responsibility. The process is: application to the Department, which the researcher of the hon. Member for Blaydon has made, and, if turned down, a Freedom of Information Act appeal to the commissioner and to...

The Shrewsbury 24 (24 Mar 2015)

Simon Hughes: We do not hold any of the documents in my Department. The reason that I was responding to the debate is in part because I am the Minister with responsibility for freedom of information. I have ensured that the hon. Gentleman and the hon. Member for Blaydon know exactly how to use the powers given to them by the law. I cannot take those powers away from them and I cannot tell Departments which...

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Child Grooming (17 Mar 2015)

Simon Hughes: We have taken action to enable the police to intervene earlier to protect children where there is a suspicion that grooming has taken place. As a result of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015, which amended section 15 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003, we have reduced from two to one the number of initial occasions on which the defendant meets or communicates with a child considered at...

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Child Grooming (17 Mar 2015)

Simon Hughes: I am very clear that the point the hon. Gentleman raises is centrally important. I am aware of the report that has come out today, but I have not read it in full. The failing in the past has been that the young people have not been listened to and heard and, when they have spoken out, people have not believed them. Public authorities, the Crown Prosecution Service and the rest of the...

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Child Grooming (17 Mar 2015)

Simon Hughes: I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his continuing interest in this issue. As well as the working group he mentioned, which found that there were gaps in the availability of services and commissioning, the Government have strengthened the non-statutory services and put more money in to make sure they are able more competently to deal with this. The figure I have is £7 million—that was...

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Child Grooming (17 Mar 2015)

Simon Hughes: There are two points. First, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and all Ministers are very clear that when vulnerable individuals go into the criminal justice system we must identify whether in fact the issue that needs to be addressed is a mental health issue or is a drugs issue or something else. So we try to prevent people from going through the criminal justice system because it...

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Child Grooming (17 Mar 2015)

Simon Hughes: The hon. Gentleman is right to raise that issue. NSPCC research has shown that six in 10 teenagers have been asked for sexual images or videos online. That is an extraordinary figure, and many of them feel compelled to provide those images as a result of peer group pressure. We are absolutely convinced across the Government, including in the Department for Education, that personal, social,...

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Rehabilitation Services (17 Mar 2015)

Simon Hughes: The coalition is committed to transforming rehabilitation in order to reduce reoffending and, consequently, to reduce the number of people who are victims of crime. Since 1 February under the new system, providers from the public, voluntary and private sectors have been providing the new transforming rehabilitation services. The crucial thing is that all those people who are currently...

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Rehabilitation Services (17 Mar 2015)

Simon Hughes: I am grateful to you for your concern, Mr Speaker. The Secretary of State offered me the chance to opt out, but I volunteered to come here and do my duty, so I hope I am forgiven. I might have to curl up and hide in the corner in a minute, however. I would say to the hon. Member for Dartford (Gareth Johnson) that in the year ending last March, 57% of all adult offenders released from custody...

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Rehabilitation Services (17 Mar 2015)

Simon Hughes: I do not have all the details, but I will ensure that the right hon. Gentleman has a detailed answer, which I will put in the Library. Yesterday, when I was visiting a women’s prison in Yorkshire, I was looking at how we might improve the way in which we detect drugs. It is difficult because they are often hidden in very private places. We are absolutely determined to stop drugs coming into...

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Rehabilitation Services (17 Mar 2015)

Simon Hughes: Within the Department, I have particular responsibility for all female offenders. I have visited every single female prison and I am clear that the schemes that rehabilitate people through engaging with them and planning for training, work and housing are absolutely central. We are committed to using such schemes. May I also take this opportunity to say that there are some phenomenally...

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Topical Questions (17 Mar 2015)

Simon Hughes: This is an issue that has exercised a lot of colleagues in the House. We do not have any power to tell other jurisdictions what to do, including in the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man. We have a mechanism of communicating the decisions of our courts to their courts, and we have ways in which the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and others support people in pursuing their rights, but there...

The Hague Abduction Convention (10 Mar 2015)

Simon Hughes: I am very happy to be serving under your chairmanship, Sir David. I am grateful to the hon. Member for Foyle (Mark Durkan) for raising this really important issue. I am conscious that I can only deal with his constituency case by factual commentary, as it were, and not by intervention. I am pleased that the hon. Member for Sheffield, Heeley (Meg Munn) has also spoken. I was very happy to...

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Nuisance Phone Calls (3 Feb 2015)

Simon Hughes: Tackling nuisance calls is a priority for the coalition and I welcome my hon. Friend’s interest in the subject. We are working closely with colleagues in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to reduce the irritation and distress they cause. Our Department’s claims management regulator has worked with industry and consumer groups as part of the nuisance calls taskforce. It published...

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Nuisance Phone Calls (3 Feb 2015)

Simon Hughes: There are three specific issues on the table. The first is what we did in December, which allows for new, tough financial penalties on companies—by which I mean companies as a whole—that break the rules. The second is the proposal that we have consulted on and are about to respond to, which would lower the threshold at which enforcement action can be taken and produce a fine of up to...

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Nuisance Phone Calls (3 Feb 2015)

Simon Hughes: I recognise my hon. Friend’s assiduous work on this issue and I am very happy to pick up on the issue that the claims management regulation unit may not be as effective in practice as we believe it is in theory. We are determined to protect the public. Nuisance phone calls and nuisance texts, particularly to the vulnerable, are unacceptable. They must be dealt with and we will do that with...

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Incentives and Earned Privileges Scheme (Women Prisoners) (3 Feb 2015)

Simon Hughes: We have some excellent women’s prisons led by excellent governors. The impact of coalition policies on women are always considered carefully by Ministers. I am committed to ensuring that that is done for women in prison, for which I have a particular responsibility. There was an equality impact assessment for the incentives and earned privileges policy, which came into effect in November...

Oral Answers to Questions — Justice: Incentives and Earned Privileges Scheme (Women Prisoners) (3 Feb 2015)

Simon Hughes: The incentives and earned privileges policy framework is an important reform to ensure that privileges in prison are no longer automatic. It is a reform that we brought in—it was not the case under the last Labour Government—and I hope Labour now supports the principle that people should earn privileges. On women’s clothing, however, female prisoners are not required to wear prison...


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