Results 161–180 of 1114 for speaker:Mr Peter Duncan

Scottish Parliament (Constituencies) Bill (9 Feb 2004)

Mr Peter Duncan: If the balance of the argument is so clear-cut, why was it not foreseen in 1998 when the hon. Lady's colleagues in government made it clear that the number had to remain at 129 before being reduced?

Scottish Parliament (Constituencies) Bill (9 Feb 2004)

Mr Peter Duncan: This has been a good debate on a small Bill. When the Secretary of State opened the debate, he may have talked more about issues that were outside the remit of the Bill than was wise, but the debate has yet again brought the banter on Scottish affairs to the Floor of the House and I am sure that the wider public are delighted. The Scottish Grand Committee is a regular highlight in my diary...

Scottish Parliament (Constituencies) Bill (9 Feb 2004)

Mr Peter Duncan: The hon. Gentleman anticipates me. I had been warned of that likelihood, so I am keeping my pager switched on in case I am called away for an urgent Division in another place. The Secretary of State has reversed, in totality, one part of the commitment made by Donald Dewar in 1998. We also heard the astonishing revelation that the Secretary of State for Scotland, in whose constituency...

Scottish Parliament (Constituencies) Bill (9 Feb 2004)

Mr Peter Duncan: The hon. Lady is right; there was consistency in terms of the evidence to the Committee in that respect. The hon. Member for Clydesdale (Mr. Hood) made a powerful speech in an old-Labour way, if he does not mind me characterising it thus—back to the future, as they say. He reflected on the over-governance of Scotland, and on the fact that the two constituencies in Lanarkshire—I should...

Scottish Parliament (Constituencies) Bill (9 Feb 2004)

Mr Peter Duncan: I am afraid that the hon. Gentleman is falling into the trap of asking me to justify a system that the Labour party created. If he has a problem with the relevant part of the 1998 Act, he should point it out to the Secretary of State for Scotland. The right hon. Member for Cunninghame, North (Mr. Wilson)—[Interruption.] I apologise, I meant to say the hon. Member for Cunninghame, North; he...

Scottish Parliament (Constituencies) Bill (9 Feb 2004)

Mr Peter Duncan: Absolutely. As it says in the song: "You don't know what you've got till it's gone." The hon. Member for Strathkelvin and Bearsden (Mr. Lyons) made clear his view that list MSPs do not engage people in the party political process, but I should point out that, of course, the Scotland Act 1998 was not our work. He rightly pointed out that 13 per cent. of the electorate said that they did not...

Scottish Parliament (Constituencies) Bill (9 Feb 2004)

Mr Peter Duncan: I am sorry to point out something that might be too difficult for the hon. Gentleman to contemplate, but to assist him in his dilemma, I remind him that in the Select Committee on Scottish Affairs he voted with me in order to implement the Scotland Act 1998. I wonder whether he could consider doing so tonight.

Scottish Parliament (Constituencies) Bill (9 Feb 2004)

Mr Peter Duncan: The hon. Gentleman suggests that the commission should have been set up a year ago when the then Secretary of State, the right hon. Member for Airdrie and Shotts (Mrs. Liddell), made the announcement. Does he not take on board the powerful point made by the hon. Member for Cunninghame, North (Mr. Wilson) that the commission is being set up to deal with a problem that has not yet occurred?...

Scottish Parliament (Constituencies) Bill (9 Feb 2004)

Mr Peter Duncan: Our beliefs are consistent, and the hon. Lady will accept that they are consistent with our view that small government is better for the Scottish people. That is why we believe that we need a smaller Scottish Parliament and that the same agenda can be delivered by 108 rather than 129 Members.

Scottish Parliament (Constituencies) Bill (9 Feb 2004)

Mr Peter Duncan: Is the hon. Gentleman absolutely convinced of the need for 22 Ministers to run the Scottish Executive?

Scottish Parliament (Constituencies) Bill (9 Feb 2004)

Mr Peter Duncan: There is a straightforward explanation. The fact that Orkney and Shetland are separate constituencies results in a greater proportion of the total number of MSPs.

Scottish Parliament (Constituencies) Bill (9 Feb 2004)

Mr Peter Duncan: Does the hon. Gentleman not understand the simple truth that the matter under discussion is not devolved to the Scottish Parliament? Higher education in Scotland is devolved to the Scottish Parliament.

Scottish Parliament (Constituencies) Bill (9 Feb 2004)

Mr Peter Duncan: I know that the hon. Gentleman has a vigorous campaign of surgeries in his constituency. If he were to ask people attending those surgeries whether there were too many politicians in Scotland or too few, what does he think most of them would say?

Scottish Parliament (Constituencies) Bill (9 Feb 2004)

Mr Peter Duncan: Does the hon. Lady accept that the consensus reached was on the balance between proportionally elected top-up Members and constituency Members? Therefore, if the number of constituency Members of the Scottish Parliament were reduced, it would be logical to maintain that proportion and reduce the number of list Members.

Scottish Parliament (Constituencies) Bill (9 Feb 2004)

Mr Peter Duncan: I am sorry; I was not seeking to intervene, but I shall take the opportunity to do so. The hon. Lady must accept that that was her system, decided on under the consensus that came out of the convention. She is seeking to deny the consensus on the one hand and uphold it on the other.

Scottish Parliament (Constituencies) Bill (9 Feb 2004)

Mr Peter Duncan: The right hon. Gentleman referred to remarks by my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Devizes. He may recognise this comment, too: "we also believe that the Parliament could operate efficiently with fewer Members, and that there are good arguments for maintaining the linkage in constituencies."—[ Official Report, 12 May 1998; Vol. 312, c. 224.] Those are the words of the former...

Written Answers — Cabinet Office: Civil Service Jobs (Relocation) (5 Feb 2004)

Mr Peter Duncan: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many Civil Service jobs have been relocated to Dumfries and Galloway since 1997.

Written Answers — Work and Pensions: Child Support Agency (26 Jan 2004)

Mr Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what powers the Child Support Agency has in making deductions from earnings orders against army personnel.

Written Answers — Work and Pensions: Pension Credit (26 Jan 2004)

Mr Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what percentage of pensioners from (a) the UK, (b) Scotland and (c) Dumfries have received pension credit since its introduction.

Business of the House (22 Jan 2004)

Mr Peter Duncan: Has the Leader of the House had the opportunity to review the extraordinary revelations this morning in the Scottish press about the lack of preparedness for Scottish troops, particularly the Black Watch, as they entered theatre without enough nuclear, biological and chemical armoury? Lieutenant Colonel James Cowan said: "If decisions had been taken earlier then the right kit could have been...


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