Situation in Ukraine – John Whittingdale.
John Whittingdale: As my hon. Friend has said, there are 850 pages of these documents and so far the Chairman of the Select Committee is the only Member who has actually seen them. I understand that the documents have been sent to two Select Committees of Parliament and to the devolved Administrations. As a former Chairman of a Select Committee, I can say that leaks are not without precedent. I would not want...
John Whittingdale: Does my right hon. Friend share my concern about the decline of local newspapers and the consequences for local democracy? Will she welcome the launch by the BBC of the local news partnership, which will support the employment of local democracy reporters? Does she agree that, perhaps now, Google and Facebook, which also profit from local journalism, could support that initiative?
John Whittingdale: To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will list the revenue raised in each of the last four years from machine games duty on (a) Type 1, (b) Type 2 and (c) Type 3 machines; and if he will list the revenue raised in each of the last four years from remote gaming duty.
John Whittingdale: As vice-Chairman of the Committee on Exiting the European Union, I thank my hon. Friend for his answer. The Select Committee has not actually discussed this matter formally, but from my own point of view, may I tell him that what he has said to the House this afternoon seems to be entirely reasonable?
John Whittingdale: I welcome the announcement of the consultation, particularly as there is now information about the effect of category B2 machines that did not exist when the Culture, Media and Sport Committee looked into the matter around five years ago. Will the Minister confirm that the Government’s position remains that any future decisions will be evidence-based?
John Whittingdale: Does my right hon. Friend agree with the Committee on Exiting the European Union that it would be in the best interests of both sides if we could conduct the negotiations on the divorce settlement in parallel with those on our new relationship? Does she therefore agree further that any flexibility on the size of our exit payment must be linked to flexibility in other areas to be negotiated?
John Whittingdale: What progress her Department has made on establishing a public service broadcasting contestable fund.
John Whittingdale: While I recognise the BBC’s huge contribution to public service broadcasting, does the Minister agree that some TV genres are underserved, and that a public service broadcasting contestable fund could increase competition and innovation? Will he confirm that the Government intend to go ahead with a pilot in due course?
John Whittingdale: I understand and support my right hon. Friend’s decision, or at least the decision she is minded to take. However, she will be aware that by the time the CMA reports, it will be well over a year since the matter was first proposed, which has created considerable uncertainty for the companies and for investors. Does she therefore agree that whatever verdict the CMA may reach, that ought...
John Whittingdale: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what plans he has to extend the broadcasting of court proceedings.
John Whittingdale: Does my right hon. Friend agree that continued membership of the European single market, which some Opposition Members seem now to be advocating, would negate many of the advantages of leaving the European Union, while requiring us still to accept decisions that we could no longer influence? To that extent, it would actually be worse than continued membership as a full member.
John Whittingdale: Does my right hon. Friend agree that a failure to pass the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, transferring European law into British law, would plunge this country into chaos when we leave the European Union? Does he find it extraordinary that any party claiming to respect the decision of the British people should contemplate voting against it?
John Whittingdale: Does my hon. Friend agree that the pilot scheme that allowed the filming of judges’ sentencing remarks in criminal courts has been a success? Will he now consider going further in allowing the broadcasting of court proceedings, so that justice is not just done but seen to be done?
John Whittingdale: What steps he is taking to support economic and political development in Ukraine.
John Whittingdale: I congratulate my right hon. Friend on the organisation last week of the Ukraine reform conference in London, which demonstrated that Britain will continue to play a leading role on the world stage in the years to come. Can he confirm that, while Ukraine still faces major challenges, progress is being made in areas such as tackling corruption? Will he also tell us what more can be done to...
John Whittingdale: May I commend my right hon. Friend for the scrupulous way in which she is following the advice she has been given while giving the maximum opportunity for interested parties to comment at each stage? Would she also agree that the only thing on which the Opposition spokesman was correct was that when it comes to plurality, it is becoming increasingly obvious—and the general election...
John Whittingdale: Will my right hon. Friend welcome the appointment of Alex Mahon as the new chief executive of Channel 4, who I hope will bring a fresh approach? Will she confirm that it remains the Government’s view that the distinctiveness of Channel 4 will be enhanced by its being relocated outside London?
John Whittingdale: Where I agree with the right hon. and learned Member for Holborn and St Pancras (Keir Starmer) is on the fact that the decision that was taken just over one year ago was probably the most momentous political decision taken in my lifetime and that it will have profound consequences for this country. Obviously, it is essential that we should try to get the best possible deal. Unlike him,...
John Whittingdale: I accept your stricture, Mr Amess. I agree completely with my hon. Friend, whom I am delighted to see back in his place in the House of Commons. British farming is already doing a great deal to support the environment. In designing a new system of support, we should emphasise that farmers need to be rewarded for what they are doing to conserve the landscape for future generations. The...