Paul Farrelly: I can assure you, Mr Speaker, that I have great respect for all staff I work with. I was the guinea pig in 2012 after a difficult phone-hacking report, for the original Respect policy. I was flayed by selective leaking six years ago, and it has happened again now. I ask the Leader of the House and hon. Members, before they jump to judgment after what was a very one-sided, selective BBC...
Paul Farrelly: rose—
Paul Farrelly: On a point of order, Mr Speaker. I ask your advice on how the House can put on the record its concern that the Conservative manifesto in 2017, with its promise to scrap Leveson 2 and section 40, pre-empted the results of a consultation that the Department for Culture, Media and Sport was carrying out. How can we be sure, particularly given the comments of Sir Brian Leveson, that that decision...
Paul Farrelly: Student living costs are the most pressing issue at Keele University in my constituency and certainly elsewhere in the country, where it is much more expensive to rent and simply get by. Rather than waiting an age for the conclusions of this review, should the Government not simply address this issue now, as well as the sliding scale of access to maintenance loans and the reintroduction of...
Paul Farrelly: There are also questions about NHS leadership. As the Minister is aware, Staffordshire is under great pressure. The Secretary of State received reports into the closure, with lack of consultation, of community hospitals in our area on 18 October, which slated two local CCGs. Yet a week later the NHS appointed the chief operating officer of those two CCGs to oversee four more in...
Paul Farrelly: I want to talk about the situation at my local hospital, the Royal Stoke University Hospital. Winter crises there are hardly new, but they have escalated year on year, and our hospital features luridly in the national press each winter. It is often the most affected, and it is no coincidence that its funding deficit is England’s worst. This winter, however, is the first time that Royal...
Paul Farrelly: I have been trawling back through my more recent memory banks. If I am not mistaken, before the Minister was taken to task and dismissed the new clause as a constitutional novelty, which is no argument, he was rather sympathetic to its content, so I was assuming that he might agree with it because it is, after all, in agreement with what the Prime Minister said.
Paul Farrelly: Will my hon. Friend give way?
Paul Farrelly: I am certainly not a lawyer. Would my hon. Friend care to explain to the House why she felt unable to support amendment 7 last week? Was it perhaps because, as well as not trusting the EU, she does not trust this House?
Paul Farrelly: rose—
Paul Farrelly: It is indeed on this point. Some of the Minister’s right hon. and hon.—and courageous—Friends from last week have, in good faith, signed amendment 400 this evening. Given that he is refusing to guarantee that the Government will stick to the letter and the spirit of amendment 7, they might feel that they are being led up the garden path.
Paul Farrelly: During the Minister’s course through the amendments, has he perhaps noticed new clause 54, which was tabled by the right hon. and learned Member for Rushcliffe (Mr Clarke) following the Prime Minister’s Florence speech? If he has noticed it, what does he think of it?
Paul Farrelly: Does my hon. Friend agree that services are so important to our economy that if we want to negotiate something that has not been negotiated before, it is likely to take far longer than two years?
Paul Farrelly: I pay tribute to my hon. Friend for his work in drafting and moving all these new clauses. Does he remember that when the Prime Minister visited India, the No. 1 topic on the Indians’ agenda was relaxing our immigration rules? How does that square with the Prime Minister’s immigration targets and her ambitions on Brexit?
Paul Farrelly: A red, white and blue Brexit.
Paul Farrelly: Is not the advantage of the right hon. and learned Gentleman’s very helpful amendment that it would give certainty? It would nail down, in black and white, what we have agreed and would place a legal responsibility on the Government. We would then avoid a situation whereby what people think has been agreed simply becomes a statement of intent within a matter of hours and days.
Paul Farrelly: Has my right hon. Friend given any thought to the consequences of the possibility, under the Government’s proposed procedure, of this House voting in favour but the other place voting against the motion?
Paul Farrelly: Presuming that the Government do finally make progress at some stage and we leave the single market, will the Secretary of State outline to the House what sort of agreement he expects to reach on UK access to the European market for services?
Paul Farrelly: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if he will ask (a) the local clinical commissioning groups and (b) University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust to publish the reasons for (i) closing wards in March 2017 and (ii) re-opening wards from November 2017 at Bradwell community hospital in Newcastle-under-Lyme; and what the cost to the NHS was of such decisions.
Paul Farrelly: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how many applications were received for the new position of Joint Accountable Officer for the six clinical commissioning groups in Staffordshire, how many initial interviews were held with applicants; and how many applicants were shortlisted for second interviews.