Results 1–20 of 2000 for (((in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates') OR in the 'Lords debates') OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Vera Baird

Business of the House: Clause 9 — Race (6 Apr 2010)

Vera Baird: With the leave of the House, Mr. Speaker, I shall reply to the debate. As ever, the hon. Member for Oxford, West and Abingdon (Dr. Harris) has over-argued his case. I hope that he sometimes has pause for thought about how conjuring up surreal incidents of harassment-putting forward examples that have never existed and suggesting that people behave as outrageously as he wants to suggest-can...

Business of the House: Clause 9 — Race (6 Apr 2010)

Vera Baird: Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Business of the House: Clause 9 — Race (6 Apr 2010)

Vera Baird: I thank the hon. Gentleman for giving me the opportunity to intervene. He is utterly wrong, but he knows that, because he said this about six times in Committee, and I have told him six times that he is wrong. The case law is incredibly clear. For the sixth time, let me say that it is called Driskel v. Peninsula Business Services, and the Employment Appeal Tribunal made it clear that where...

Business of the House: Clause 9 — Race (6 Apr 2010)

Vera Baird: That is completely wrong as well. The hon. Gentleman knows perfectly well that we had this very same debate on about 15 different amendments all the way through our consideration in Committee. Forgive me, but he is verging on the disingenuous by pretending that this is something new. It clearly and totally is not.

Business of the House: Clause 9 — Race (6 Apr 2010)

Vera Baird: I am not sure what day Department for Culture, Media and Sport questions is, but I think that question was an excellent one formulated for the next event. This is the Equality Bill. [ Interruption. ]

Business of the House: Clause 9 — Race (6 Apr 2010)

Vera Baird: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Amendments 93 to 95 dip back into the religious world and the occupational requirement exception for organised religion in paragraph 2 of schedule 9-a paragraph and schedule with which we became very familiar in Committee. These amendments were opposed by the Government and would remove from the religious occupational requirements exception the proportionality test and...

Business of the House: Clause 9 — Race (6 Apr 2010)

Vera Baird: I beg to move, That this House agrees with Lords amendment 1.

Business of the House: Clause 9 — Race (6 Apr 2010)

Vera Baird: The amendments in this first group all relate to the scope of the Bill and are either concessionary or clarificatory. They are fairly random in their subject matter, so I shall take them in numerical order. Lords amendment 1 provides a power to add caste as a subset of race, which is covered by clause 9. The case for legislating against caste discrimination has been argued with passion during...

Business of the House: Clause 9 — Race (6 Apr 2010)

Vera Baird: It is subject to the affirmative resolution procedure; I can assure the hon. Gentleman of that.

Business of the House: Clause 9 — Race (6 Apr 2010)

Vera Baird: The process should be that the report comes out in August and if there is evidence-we intend to disclose and discuss it with all the stakeholders that brought the issue to our attention-amendment 1 would ensure that, if necessary, we could introduce an amendment through secondary legislation to include race and caste in the definitions. I hope that my hon. Friend finds that process...

Business of the House: Clause 9 — Race (6 Apr 2010)

Vera Baird: We hope that everyone will co-operate, and we hope that the hon. Gentleman will encourage that co-operation in the usual way he encourages these radical and progressive measures to bear full fruit.

Business of the House: Clause 9 — Race (6 Apr 2010)

Vera Baird: I want to make some progress, if the hon. Gentleman does not mind. Following full consultation, including with political parties, the Electoral Commission and the Equality and Human Rights Commission, regulations will set out among other things which protected characteristics must be reported on, when, for what period the data are to be published and in respect of which elections and which...

Business of the House: Clause 9 — Race (6 Apr 2010)

Vera Baird: I think it makes it very much clearer, which is very important, especially for legislation that simply will not work unless it is accessible, comprehensible and understood by everybody who wants to be protected by it. Amendments 90 and 108 on gender reassignment would amend schedules 3 and 24 to make it clear that it is not unlawful discrimination for a minister of religion to refuse to...

International Women's Day (11 Mar 2010)

Vera Baird: I want to take a minute or two to thank everyone who has participated in the debate, male and female. It is good to welcome our brothers, whether or not we agree with them-I do not agree with the hon. Member for Kettering (Mr. Hollobone). None the less, it is good to see them participate fully in a debate that centres on women's issues. Once they are raised, everyone sees them as human...

Oral Answers to Questions — Solicitor-General: Rape Cases (11 Mar 2010)

Vera Baird: I have frequent discussions with the Director of Public Prosecutions about the prosecution of rape cases. He is at the start of a national programme of visits across the entire service, a primary focus of which will be discussing with front-line staff cases involving violence against women and rape. The notion now is that we know what good practice is, but it needs to be spread consistently...

Oral Answers to Questions — Solicitor-General: Rape Cases (11 Mar 2010)

Vera Baird: My hon. Friend makes a very good point. May I tell her how much positive feedback there was from the CPS on her address earlier this year? The CPS now takes very seriously the way in which myths and stereotypes can affect its own decision making-it tries to train that out-and how they can be highly relevant in court. Whether the CPS or barristers are doing the advocacy, the CPS makes a point...

Oral Answers to Questions — Solicitor-General: Rape Cases (11 Mar 2010)

Vera Baird: I would have to write to the hon. Gentleman with precise figures, but I am sure that sometimes plea negotiations take place. Sometimes a complainant is not very keen to carry on with a prosecution, and some lesser verdict might none the less put the man on the sex offenders register and fire a shot across his bows, as it were. However, if the hon. Gentleman wants detailed figures, I will...

Oral Answers to Questions — Solicitor-General: Serious Fraud Office (11 Mar 2010)

Vera Baird: I am reasonably pleased with the significant progress that the SFO has made over the past two years. It has reduced the time taken to deal with referrals from the public to 20 working days on average, and reduced the time by an average of nine months to investigate and prosecute crime. It has a 91 per cent. conviction rate, achieved its first ever serious crime prevention order this year, and...

Oral Answers to Questions — Solicitor-General: Serious Fraud Office (11 Mar 2010)

Vera Baird: There was, of course, a whole transformation programme flowing from the de Grazia report, and there was a new director in the form of Richard Alderman and a good deal of change in the higher management echelons of the SFO. The progress made was independently evaluated by the Cabinet Office capability review team in December 2009, and it regarded the SFO as having made very significant strides...

Oral Answers to Questions — Solicitor-General: Serious Fraud Office (11 Mar 2010)

Vera Baird: Yes, that is right, as I understand it, but none the less a good deal of work is going on in that direction. I think that there is a question later on this, but probably about 9 per cent. of the funding has, I think, gone into that area, and two specific sections of its work force are dealing with it. Clearly, any specific funding comes through a different kind of funding stream for...


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