Peter Luff: What recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of steps taken by his Department to encourage more young people to obtain qualifications leading to careers in engineering.
Peter Luff: I welcome that very positive response from the Minister. However, given that continuing shortages of engineering apprentices and graduates will cost the economy as much as £27 billion a year in lost output, undermine our competitiveness and threaten our security, can he think of better words to inspire a new generation of young men and women to become engineers than those of the railway...
Peter Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will take steps to instruct Network Rail to resolve the land ownership issues at Honeybourne railway station.
Peter Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps she plans to take to enable teachers in primary schools to participate in subject-specific continuing professional development to maintain their understanding of basic mathematical and specific concepts.
Peter Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps she plans to take to enable teachers of STEM subjects in secondary schools to participate in continuing professional development to maintain their awareness of the career opportunities relevant to their subjects.
Peter Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, whether the £600 million announced in Budget 2015 to support the delivery of the change of use of 700Mhz spectrum includes provision to assist and compensate users of existing equipment in the programme making and special events sector.
Peter Luff: I genuinely want this to be a bipartisan debate, but could the hon. Gentleman clarify the shadow Chancellor’s comments in The Times on Tuesday this week, when he stated that his party would go “nowhere near the huge scale of defence cuts you are going to see under the Conservatives”? Does that mean that Labour will commit to at least the 1%-plus real-terms-equivalent budget increase?
Peter Luff: May I clarify one important point of detail? Early-day motion 757 as originally printed referred to a 20% target. Desirable as that would be, it was a mistake. I think 2% will do for the time being.
Peter Luff: As for others who have spoken in this debate, it is likely that this will be my last debate in Parliament. I am glad that it is on defence—the defining purpose of the state and of Parliament. I will seek not to repeat what others have said, but I want to say this. We have no more important role than to keep those who elect us safe from our enemies. This view is not as popular as it was....
Peter Luff: I could not agree with the hon. Gentleman more strongly. That is the precise figure that I have in mind for the level of resources from the defence budget that should be spent on S and T. It was 2.6% under the previous Government, but it declined under them to 1.2%. The White Paper on technology put a floor under it of 1.2%. It is far too low a floor, and what is more, as defence budgets have...
Peter Luff: The excellent new curriculums for computing and for design and technology can do much to inspire young people to take up STEM subjects, but further to the Minister’s last answer, can he reassure me that we recruit enough teachers to teach these important subjects?
Peter Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what plans he has to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the first recruitment of Gurkha soldiers into the British Army.
Peter Luff: What budgetary assumptions he is making to inform the strategic defence and security review.
Peter Luff: Does the Secretary of State agree that all the major parties in the coming election should commit to a real-terms increase in the defence budget and to the 2% NATO target, because only that way can we hope to keep our nation safe in an increasingly hostile and menacing world?
Peter Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what plans he has to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the UK establishing diplomatic relations with Nepal.
Peter Luff: My hon. Friend is making an excellent speech, and I am sorry to intervene on him yet again. Does he share my concern about the performance of BT Openreach, whose spectacular failure to connect houses in the new development at The Orchards in Evesham has appalled me? Many other such houses are occupied but still have no broadband connection. Has the time come for us to consider the legal...
Peter Luff: Let me begin by drawing attention to my entry in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests. I am encouraged by what the Minister is saying. I was attracted to new clause 16, but I think that his compromise —or alternative—proposals have their attractions as well. He said earlier that secondary legislation would be introduced at the earliest opportunity. Will that happen during this...
Peter Luff: Mr Speaker, there is a considerable irony in the fact that this debate on the crisis in Yemen comes immediately after your welcome statement on the British experience of the rule of law and democracy. What financial assistance are the Government providing to help stabilise Yemen?
Peter Luff: On a point of order, Mr Speaker. May I thank you for those kind words and express my own appreciation to you and to the Lord Speaker for your enthusiastic endorsement of the whole “Parliament in the Making” programme? May I also endorse what you said about my colleagues on the Speakers' advisory group and, above all, the energetic team, led by Caterina Loriggio, who are working so hard to...
Peter Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what the consequences will be for (a) Worcestershire County Council, (b) the Worcestershire LEP and (c) the district councils of South Worcestershire of the full implementation of the recommendations of the review by Sir Bob Kerslake of the governance and organisational capabilities of Birmingham City Council.