Results 61–80 of 2027 for speaker:Keith Simpson

Written Answers — Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Armed Conflict: Sexual Offences (6 Mar 2015)

Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he plans to take to incorporate lessons learned from the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative into teaching at the Diplomatic Academy; and if he will make a statement.

Written Answers — Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Armed Conflict: Sexual Offences (6 Mar 2015)

Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many (a) full-time UK-based and (b) locally-engaged staff in his Department are working to support the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative in (i) London and (ii) overseas; and if he will make a statement.

Estimates Day — [2nd Allotted Day] — Estimates 2014-15 — Department for Communities and Local Government: Ministry of Defence — Defence and Security Review (NATO) (2 Mar 2015)

Keith Simpson: Does not the hon. Gentleman, as well as my hon. Friends, accept that we can all caricature the Treasury for obvious reasons, such as in 1998 and 2010, but if we sat in the Treasury and looked at the way in which the Ministry of Defence under successive Governments has been totally incompetent—in handling budgets, the overruns and the way in which individual services have competed with each...

Estimates Day — [2nd Allotted Day] — Estimates 2014-15 — Department for Communities and Local Government: Ministry of Defence — Defence and Security Review (NATO) (2 Mar 2015)

Keith Simpson: I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Penrith and The Border (Rory Stewart) on introducing the debate with such clarity and depth of knowledge. This autumn the Prime Minister, whoever he is—no doubt it will be my right hon. Friend—will revisit the strategic defence and security review. He is on record as saying that he thinks it just needs a light touch. With the greatest respect...

Estimates Day — [2nd Allotted Day] — Estimates 2014-15 — Department for Communities and Local Government: Ministry of Defence — Defence and Security Review (NATO) (2 Mar 2015)

Keith Simpson: I am using the latest figure provided by the House of Commons Library. There are lies, damn lies, and statistics. The fact is that if we put together the budgets of those three Government Departments, that part of the national security budget is about £45.95 billion. If we throw in, say, another £5 billion to £10 billion for the intelligence services and GCHQ, we have about £55 billion....

Business of the House (12 Feb 2015)

Keith Simpson: With other colleagues, my right hon. Friend rightly criticised the delay before the setting up of the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war. Is he not perturbed that there is now a similar delay by our own Government in considering the lessons from the war in Afghanistan? I initiated a short debate yesterday, in which the Minister for the Armed Forces lamentably failed to answer any of the...

Afghanistan — [Mark Pritchard in the Chair] (11 Feb 2015)

Keith Simpson: Will my right hon. Friend give way?

Afghanistan — [Mark Pritchard in the Chair] (11 Feb 2015)

Keith Simpson: My right hon. Friend has only six minutes left, but will he address some of the questions that we have all raised?

Afghanistan — [Mark Pritchard in the Chair] (11 Feb 2015)

Keith Simpson: It is a great pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Pritchard, and to see an interesting cross-section of colleagues present at what I hope will be a good debate about the lessons from the war in Afghanistan. Over the past week I have had to put up with a number of colleagues rather facetiously asking, “Lessons from which Afghan war?”—with the assumption that my right hon....

Afghanistan — [Mark Pritchard in the Chair] (11 Feb 2015)

Keith Simpson: The hon. Gentleman makes a valid point. That is the law of unintended consequences. I do not think that we, the Americans or our allies wanted things to turn out in that way in either Iraq or Afghanistan, but he is correct: that story is continuing and should concern all of us. Were the policy and strategy outlined by the British Government at the time correct? Were they well thought through?...

Afghanistan — [Mark Pritchard in the Chair] (11 Feb 2015)

Keith Simpson: There is a direct connection, although I do not necessarily completely agree with the hon. Gentleman’s logic. If he will bear with me, I shall come on to that. The basis of British foreign and security policy is twofold: first, absolutely to hang on to and stand by the special relationship with the United States of America; and, secondly, to play a leading role in NATO. Those two elements...

Afghanistan — [Mark Pritchard in the Chair] (11 Feb 2015)

Keith Simpson: The problem with our participation in the Iraq campaign and our military commitment in Afghanistan, which then expanded, was that the policy aims changed, and widened out. There is an argument—I do not actually stand by it but there are many who believe it, including perhaps some hon. Members present—that, through our participation in Iraq and Afghanistan, we made our streets less secure....

Afghanistan — [Mark Pritchard in the Chair] (11 Feb 2015)

Keith Simpson: I agree with my hon. Friend. That was the problem. The material in the public domain—official records and the memoirs of civil servants and senior military officers—shows that it is difficult to establish how, for example, our commitment to Helmand came about. Helmand province was irrelevant in terms of the overall security picture in Afghanistan, and we did not want to go there. The...

Afghanistan — [Mark Pritchard in the Chair] (11 Feb 2015)

Keith Simpson: As we all know, that kind of co-ordination is helpful, but it is not the same as having a proper machine, with minutes, allocation of clear objectives and a full-time National Security Adviser.

Afghanistan — [Mark Pritchard in the Chair] (11 Feb 2015)

Keith Simpson: It is indeed. My right hon. Friend, who is very experienced, has touched on a problem that occurred not only with the Foreign Office but with DFID and the Ministry of Defence. Often in life, there is the feeling that once an overall decision has been made to do something, the phrase, “I hear what you say,” comes out, but people are not prepared to factor in what they have heard because it...

Afghanistan — [Mark Pritchard in the Chair] (11 Feb 2015)

Keith Simpson: There is no doubt that the Americans have viewed with a degree of dismay what they see as the decline in the critical mass of our foreign policy and defence, because they value that. However, they have often been disappointed in our ability to deliver what we promise. We suffer, and have suffered in the past, from what I call “Montgomery syndrome”—a snobbery, particularly among the...

Afghanistan — [Mark Pritchard in the Chair] (11 Feb 2015)

Keith Simpson: None of us is naive enough not to think that the view of the Treasury is paramount, but there has to be a balance. It is not about Ministers versus the military. I would draw into the National Security Council not only the CDS but the chiefs of staff. I would put their fingers in the mangle, because we know that they leak like sieves. The Times recently ran a front-page story about the fact...

Business of the House: Backbench Business — Iraq Inquiry (29 Jan 2015)

Keith Simpson: I congratulate my right hon. Friend the Member for Haltemprice and Howden (Mr Davis) and other hon. Members on bringing forward this debate. There is no doubt that pressure in this House and the other place—I also had a small debate in October in Westminster Hall on the Chilcot inquiry—was undoubtedly one of the reasons why Sir John Chilcot wrote to the Prime Minister. He realised that a...

Business of the House: Backbench Business — Iraq Inquiry (29 Jan 2015)

Keith Simpson: I agree with my hon. Friend, but the other factor, which has been touched on by a number of hon. Friends and colleagues, is that this is not a stand-alone British inquiry. We were the junior partner in an alliance with the United States of America. That lies at the heart of the Iraq inquiry. I would like to emphasise—I have discussed this with a number of hon. Friends and colleagues—that...


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