Keith Simpson: No.
Keith Simpson: Is the hon. Gentleman a candidate?
Keith Simpson: We in the Chamber are indeed an inclusive body of men and women, although a number of colleagues have said that this important debate on defence policy has been unfortunately timed. I know, for example, that the Chairman of the Defence Committee has written formally to the Leader of the House—and, I believe, to Madam Speaker—to protest about the debate being held on a day on which, for...
Keith Simpson: I am aware of that, but I have telephoned twice, and have twice been given promises—not by the Minister's office, but by another office. As I say, I am making my point in the gentlest possible way, but I must say that debates such as this are rather a waste of time if hon. Members who ask questions are given no answers. The MOD will of course want to assess the role of the armed forces in...
Keith Simpson: Under a Conservative Government.
Keith Simpson: Yesterday, the junior Home Office Minister blamed the public for the queues outside the passport office. Does the Deputy Prime Minister support the junior Minister's statement?
Keith Simpson: In my constituency, in the town of Reepham where I live, I have been burgled twice in two and a half years. My right hon. Friend is no doubt aware that there is no full-time police presence in Reepham—a market town of 4,000 people. She is right that we must overcome the perception that any reaction will come from tens of miles away.
Keith Simpson: Will the Minister give way?
Keith Simpson: Will the right hon. Gentleman tell us how many extra police officers Norfolk will get?
Keith Simpson: Hon. Members frequently use the word "crisis" and it becomes almost meaningless, but I fully concur with what my hon. Friend says. This summer in my constituency, I have met dozens of pig farmers who are facing bankruptcy in the next few weeks. What we are looking for from the Minister—I accept that he hopes to announce some proposals next week—are some real, hard proposals to lift this...
Keith Simpson: Yes, they can.
Keith Simpson: I concur with everything that the hon. Gentleman has said. In my constituency, Coltishall Airfield first school, which was built as a middle school, has 100 per cent. service children, and we are campaigning on their behalf to turn it back into a middle school, because many service personnel and their children are being disadvantaged.
Keith Simpson: Does my hon. Friend agree that one of the tragedies for the British pig industry is that it has met the highest standards, but ironically it is now being penalised for doing so? As far as its members can see, nothing has been done to address the situation for the past year, since the present Minister of Agriculture took office.
Keith Simpson: rose—
Keith Simpson: Putting aside party politics, the Minister must appreciate the desperation of pig farmers all over the country. Whether or not she thinks that they are wrong, she must accept that farmers perceive deep complacency in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. They do not want sympathy, but action.
Keith Simpson: A sound man.
Keith Simpson: Dial a demon.
Keith Simpson: The Home Secretary has described the English as very aggressive and violent. Does the Prime Minister agree?
Keith Simpson: What about Alastair Campbell?
Keith Simpson: The Secretary of State has said that the decision is an important one. The RAF is looking forward to receiving the aircraft, but will the right hon. Gentleman confirm that the RAF equipment budget is overspent? If so, how is it to afford the aircraft?