Results 1–20 of 7174 for speaker:Lord Willetts

Economic Activity of Public Bodies (Overseas Matters) Bill - Committee (2nd Day): Amendment 14A (17 Apr 2024)

Lord Willetts: My Lords, I intervene briefly, if I may, in support of Amendment 54, which is calling for a comprehensive list to be laid before Parliament. This debate is getting a bit metaphysical about public bodies, and it is revealing that there is no authoritative shared definition of a public body and no single authoritative list of public bodies. The term “public body”, on which the Bill rests,...

Higher Education - Motion to Take Note ( 7 Mar 2024)

Lord Willetts: My Lords, I congratulate the noble Lord, Lord Blunkett, on initiating this debate. Finding myself standing opposite him in the Chamber responding to a debate that he has initiated reminds me of when I was his shadow in another place years ago. It reminds me in particular of an incident when, as I spoke, I could see the then Secretary of State looking increasingly uncomfortable and challenged....

Economic Activity of Public Bodies (Overseas Matters) Bill - Second Reading (20 Feb 2024)

Lord Willetts: My Lords, in her opening speech, the Minister rightly reminded us of the very difficult circumstances, particularly in Israel and Gaza, that are the background to the Bill, while we have just heard in that powerful intervention a reminder of the lively public debate about the case for and against boycotts, divestment and sanctions. However, whatever we may think of those issues, surely across...

Workers (Economic Affairs Committee Report) - Motion to Take Note ( 8 Feb 2024)

Lord Willetts: My Lords, I congratulate my noble friend Lord Bridges on an excellent opening to this debate and all members of the committee on a really topical and important review—made even more topical by Monday’s ONS announcements, revealing how little we understand what is happening to the labour market and making his call for better data particularly important. I would like to draw on my position...

Industrial Strategy - Motion to Take Note ( 1 Feb 2024)

Lord Willetts: My Lords, it is a great pleasure to welcome the maiden speech from the noble Lord, Lord Rosenfield, to congratulate him on the points that he made and to welcome him to this House. By happy accident I follow him in this debate, and I realised that there were some rather significant career parallels. We both began our careers as Treasury officials and both then moved to 10 Downing Street. He...

Autumn Statement 2023 - Motion to Take Note (29 Nov 2023)

Lord Willetts: My Lords, it gives me great pleasure to welcome my noble friend Lady Vere to her post in the Treasury. I also draw her attention to my entry in the register of interests, especially my role as president of the Resolution Foundation, on whose analysis of the Autumn Statement I will draw. I agree with my noble friend Lord Frost that we must not fall into the trap of miserabilism, but I could...

King’s Speech - Debate (5th Day) (14 Nov 2023)

Lord Willetts: My Lords, I begin by congratulating the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Newcastle on her excellent maiden speech. We look forward to her future contributions to our debates in this House, and I think her powerful speech today was part of a Newcastle theme that is already running through this debate. The right reverend Prelate spoke of her commitment to that city. We heard from the noble...

Lifelong Learning (Higher Education Fee Limits) Bill - Report: Amendment 1 ( 5 Sep 2023)

Lord Willetts: My Lords, the amendments reflect widespread cross-party support for the Bill and its principles; they are not intended to destroy the Bill in any way. I see the case for the Bill, which of course I warmly welcome, as opening up new possibilities. We genuinely do not know the circumstances in which people may take them up and we do not know whether debt aversion is much more of an issue among...

Lifelong Learning (Higher Education Fee Limits) Bill - Second Reading (19 Jun 2023)

Lord Willetts: My Lords, I welcome the Bill. I begin by drawing the House’s attention to my interests as an honorary fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford, and a visiting professor at King’s College London. I also look forward to the two maiden speeches from new Members of this House, although it appears that both of them are significantly older than 29. We look forward to learning of their experiences....

Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill - Commons Amendment: Motion A (10 May 2023)

Lord Willetts: My Lords, we are now reaching the conclusion of what has been a long, time-consuming, complex process, and I think the process of revising and scrutinising this legislation has meant that we have ended up with a Bill that is better designed and stronger and more effective than when we started. The further amendment which the noble Earl, Lord Howe, has introduced today, having been passed in...

Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill - Commons Reason: Motion A1 (as an amendment to Motion A) (21 Mar 2023)

Lord Willetts: My Lords, I want briefly to reflect on the important points that have been made. First, I think there is widespread recognition that there is a problem. Of course I understand the problem; I have been on the receiving end of exactly the kind of threats to freedom of speech that this law is trying to tackle. I have seen student unions protect my right to speak and I have seen student unions...

Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill - Commons Reason: Motion A1 (as an amendment to Motion A) (21 Mar 2023)

Lord Willetts: My Lords, I declare my interest as a visiting professor at King’s College London and an honorary fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford. I warmly welcome the Minister’s assurances about how this legislation will work. I particularly welcome his commitment, and that of other Members of this House, to support the amendments in my name. These amendments bear a striking resemblance to amendments...

Budget Statement - Motion to Take Note (Continued) (16 Mar 2023)

Lord Willetts: My Lords, I was sitting like a coiled spring about to praise the excellent maiden speech from my noble friend Lady Moyo when we had the interruption of the Urgent Question and the brief adjournment, so it is a pleasure and an honour to resume the debate and, although my noble friend is no longer in her seat, to say how excellent her maiden speech was. Her most recent book, Edge of Chaos: Why...

Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill - Report: Amendment 22 ( 7 Dec 2022)

Lord Willetts: I would like to seek the opinion of the House on this amendment. It has been a really valuable and important debate, and I recognise the enormous contribution the Minister has made to our deliberations. However, the OfS is a very powerful mechanism. It is not some patsy that is in the pockets of vice-chancellors; it is a very effective regulatory mechanism which is further strengthened in...

Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill - Report: Amendment 17 ( 7 Dec 2022)

Lord Willetts: My Lords, I rise to speak to Amendment 22 in my name and those of other Members of this House. I begin by thanking Ministers for their engagement with the tricky issues around Clause 4 and, as we have heard, the wide range of views in this House about it. I make it clear that I completely back the principle of the Bill, which is the need for the right to freedom of speech to be backed with...

Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill - Committee (3rd Day): Amendment 63 (14 Nov 2022)

Lord Willetts: My Lords, in the light of that last comment, I can briefly intervene with reference to Amendment 65 in my name. I register my interests as a member of the board of UKRI and a director of Thames Holdings. I have two questions for the Minister but they arise also from the important intervention of my noble friend Lord Johnson of Marylebone. First, we do indeed need some sense of...

Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill - Committee (3rd Day): Amendment 58 (14 Nov 2022)

Lord Willetts: I thank the Minister for that response to a brief but very illuminating debate. I certainly learned from the debate that there are defects in the two amendments that I tabled. The noble Lord, Lord Grabiner, said they lacked sophistication, so I plead guilty to a certain rustic simplicity in just saying what should be done, and I have learned my lesson. I also understand the point that we...

Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill - Committee (3rd Day): Amendment 58 (14 Nov 2022)

Lord Willetts: My Lords, I will speak briefly to Amendments 58 and 59 in my name and that of the noble Lord, Lord Stevens of Birmingham. In many ways these amendments follow on naturally from the debate which we have just held in this Committee. It has become very clear that one of the problems that we face is the lack in this legislation of any provision for a coherent complaints procedure which works step...

Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill - Committee (3rd Day): Amendment 48 (14 Nov 2022)

Lord Willetts: My Lords, I hesitate to intervene in this debate as I am not a lawyer. We have heard four very powerful interventions from Members of this House with formidable legal expertise. Already, Clause 4 is looking rather vulnerable in light of the arguments that they have deployed so powerfully with their legal expertise. The noble Lord, Lord Stevens, who sadly cannot be with us today, and other...

Times Education Commission Report - Motion to Take Note (13 Oct 2022)

Lord Willetts: My Lords, I join other Members of this House in thanking my noble friend Lord Lexden for convening this debate on a very important report. I should register my interests as chancellor of the University of Leicester, a visiting professor at King’s College London and a director of Thames Holdings. It is an excellent report and I see that two commissioners who contributed to it are here in the...


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