Results 1–20 of 1315 for speaker:Dr Mo Mowlam

Opposition Day: Government Running Costs (18 Jan 2000)

Dr Mo Mowlam: I beg to move, To leave out from "House" to the end of the Question, and to add instead thereof: notes that, compared to the previous administration, the costs of central Government have not risen in real terms, and have indeed fallen; supports the progress made by this Government in cleaning up politics and rebuilding the bond of trust with the British people, broken through the failures of...

Opposition Day: Government Running Costs (18 Jan 2000)

Dr Mo Mowlam: The Prime Minister made no secret of the fact that he wanted special advisers in the Government to help drive the Government's policies forward. I make no apology for the fact that we are governing in a different way from the previous Administration. Given the mess that they got into, I am sure that most people welcome the change. In answer to the question from the hon. Member for Chichester...

Opposition Day: Government Running Costs (18 Jan 2000)

Dr Mo Mowlam: That is an insult to the civil service. The quote I gave was from the head of the Association of First Division Civil Servants, whose integrity the hon. Gentleman has just questioned. Civil servants continue to be impartial advisers. If they were not—if we did not have special advisers giving us political advice—there would be the potential for politicisation. At the moment, there is not.

Opposition Day: Government Running Costs (18 Jan 2000)

Dr Mo Mowlam: Alastair Campbell is not a party spokesperson. It is right that he is not paid out of the party purse. His contract makes it clear that he is employed to speak to the media on the Government's behalf. He expresses not his own views but those of the Prime Minister, and he avoids personal attacks. [Laughter.] Does the hon. Member for Mid-Norfolk (Mr. Simpson) want to follow that up? Alastair...

Opposition Day: Government Running Costs (18 Jan 2000)

Dr Mo Mowlam: Not for the moment. The fact that Alastair Campbell's is a political appointment means that civil servants are not being asked to become involved in political arguments. As with all special advisers, Alastair Campbell's appointment helps to preserve impartiality. [Interruption.] I look forward to hearing less of the raucous shouting and more inclination to deal with reality. The civil...

Opposition Day: Government Running Costs (18 Jan 2000)

Dr Mo Mowlam: Not at the moment. Let me deal with the media monitoring unit to which the hon. Member for South Cambridgeshire also referred. There is, indeed, an attempt to monitor the media; all Governments have done it.

Opposition Day: Government Running Costs (18 Jan 2000)

Dr Mo Mowlam: I just want to finish this point. I have given way to the hon. Gentleman already. Media monitoring is an important aspect of Government policy and is intended to correct inaccuracies. All Governments have done it. The media move faster today, and there are many more outlets. That means more questions to which people expect a faster response. We have a duty to respond, to keep the public...

Opposition Day: Government Running Costs (18 Jan 2000)

Dr Mo Mowlam: I was making the point that pre-legislative scrutiny allows more people to be included in consultation. That can only help us to make decent policy. We have increased the openness of government. The Freedom of Information Bill will involve everyone more closely in decisions that affect their lives. The Representation of the People Bill will increase access to democracy by improving disabled...

Opposition Day: Government Running Costs (18 Jan 2000)

Dr Mo Mowlam: That was done on specific issues such as private Members' Bills or matters on which that Government were split. We are introducing pre-legislative scrutiny on legislation so that parties across the House may consider it in advance. The hon. Member for South Cambridgeshire made allegations about task forces. There are clear lines of accountability for task forces. They are accountable to...

Oral Answers to Questions — Cabinet Office: Rural Affairs (2 Feb 2000)

Dr Mo Mowlam: I chair the new Cabinet committee on rural affairs. The committee met at the end of last year and will meet again as and when necessary. The committee's role is to co-ordinate the Government's policies affecting rural areas.

Oral Answers to Questions — Cabinet Office: Rural Affairs (2 Feb 2000)

Dr Mo Mowlam: I think the role of co-ordinating between Departments is valuable. I have a love of the countryside and an understanding of agriculture: I was merely pointing out that I do not have a vested interest—from one perspective or the other. What the hon. Gentleman said about the Prime Minister is patently not true. My right hon. Friend made it clear when he spoke to the National Farmers Union...

Oral Answers to Questions — Cabinet Office: Rural Affairs (2 Feb 2000)

Dr Mo Mowlam: The ministerial network is working with Departments that have an interest in rural affairs to ensure that we maximise the impact of our policies for rural communities. The suitability of a rural department has been discussed on and off many times. There are vested interests on both sides. Obviously, that view will be considered in the rural White Paper, but our current position is that the...

Oral Answers to Questions — Cabinet Office: Rural Affairs (2 Feb 2000)

Dr Mo Mowlam: There is no such failure. The performance and innovation unit is looking into the future of rural post offices and will produce a report. The previous Government did nothing to stop shops and post offices closing—in fact, 32 schools closed every year—but we have put extra money into more schools and buses. We have already offered village post offices and shops a 50 per cent. tax relief...

Oral Answers to Questions — Cabinet Office: Truancy (2 Feb 2000)

Dr Mo Mowlam: Good progress is being made in implementing the social exclusion unit's report and, as part of that process, the Department for Education and Employment recently launched "Tackling Truancy Together" for consultation. My right hon. Friend the Minister for School Standards and I are monitoring progress within and across Departments in Whitehall and beyond.

Oral Answers to Questions — Cabinet Office: Truancy (2 Feb 2000)

Dr Mo Mowlam: As chair of the ministerial network that exists to ensure that we meet our targets by working with Ministers across Departments, I firmly believe that we have a chance. We have put an extra £500 million into the policy, so there is money "on the ground"—as with the unit that has been established in the school that my hon. Friend mentioned. We have introduced guidelines to help schools...

Oral Answers to Questions — Cabinet Office: Truancy (2 Feb 2000)

Dr Mo Mowlam: I know of the right hon. Lady's interest in the matter. Let me reassure her that child mental health will be one of our considerations when a system is established—either in the form of units, or in another form that will enable us to deal with the specific question of educational health in schools—for repeated truants, and kids who have been excluded from school. That system will be...

Oral Answers to Questions — Business and Civil Service Secondments (8 Mar 2000)

Dr Mo Mowlam: The "Modernising Government" White Paper and Sir Richard Wilson's recent report to the Prime Minister on civil service reform made it clear that the Government are keen to promote the exchange of people and good practice between the civil service and other organisations. Such opportunities can take many forms, ranging from temporary secondments, to short-term attachments, to job sharing and...

Oral Answers to Questions — Business and Civil Service Secondments (8 Mar 2000)

Dr Mo Mowlam: The scheme has been running since the 1970s and recently we have done what we can to expand it because there is no doubt about the advantages that it brings in terms of the exchange of ideas, creativity and a learning process from which all can benefit. We have recently tried to expand it beyond the business community, which has been the focus of the scheme since the 1970s, to include all...

Oral Answers to Questions — Business and Civil Service Secondments (8 Mar 2000)

Dr Mo Mowlam: There is no doubt that manufacturing industry did an enormous amount for this country in the 1970s and we owe it a great debt. We will benefit from exchanges in the manufacturing, retail and voluntary sectors, because only through the exchange of ideas is progress made. The numbers are increasing in business and the voluntary sector, and trade unions have made an important contribution, with...

Oral Answers to Questions — Business and Civil Service Secondments (8 Mar 2000)

Dr Mo Mowlam: I am not sure what that has to do with secondments, but I can assure the hon. Gentleman that public resources are not used for political purposes, as has been made clear time and again from the Dispatch Box.


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