Kevan Jones: Is it not pretty fundamental that in a small country such as the United Kingdom, individual forces need to talk to one another? Having a common communication system is sensible, as the Defence Committee recognised in its inquiry into home defence to which my right hon. Friend the Minister gave evidence yesterday.
Kevan Jones: I appreciate what the hon. Gentleman says, but would he not agree that it makes sense to have a communication system that is common to each constabulary, because they have to talk to one another?
Kevan Jones: The amendment is just another example of Liberal Democrat double-speak. Earlier amendments suggested that things should be left to local police authorities, but this amendment would extend national standards to include extra devices; the list could be further added to.
Kevan Jones: Is it not the case that those who carry out inspections are not men from Whitehall but former senior officers, many of whom have held chief constable rank or the equivalent? We are not talking about civil servants from the Home Office, but those—certainly those whom I have met—with a lot of experience in operational policing.
Kevan Jones: I find it difficult to understand in which circumstances the Home Secretary could undermine the inspection process. An inspection will not be carried out by the Home Secretary, or by any other politician, but by senior police officers and the inspectorate. How could we arrive at a situation in which a Home Secretary might undermine the inspection?
Kevan Jones: As is usual for a Liberal Democrat, the hon. Gentleman is saying one thing to one audience and another to another. If NCIS or the NCS were to argue for something in the policing plan, and the local police authority said that it wanted something else, which of them would get supremacy? Would the local police authority have more say than the national police?
Kevan Jones: Half an hour ago, the hon. Gentleman argued that local police authorities should be the supreme bodies. How can he reconcile that with his request for a national body to be consulted on the national policing plan?
Kevan Jones: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary of State if he will make a statement on Government support for local authority emergency planning.
Kevan Jones: I welcome the opportunity to initiate this debate on consumer protection and the sale of holidays. For most of us, the purchase of a foreign holiday is our largest annual financial outlay. These holidays are eagerly looked forward to, and, frequently, carefully saved for. Most of us dream that, in our retirement, we will be able to take more frequent breaks at the time of our choosing,...
Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will make a statement on regional assemblies.
Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment his Department has made of the effect the new deal has had on long-term unemployment in the North-East.
Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health for what reason it was decided to establish a national stockpile of smallpox vaccine; who took the decision; and on what date.
Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many doses of smallpox vaccine have been procured; at what cost; and how was the number of doses determined.
Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if the smallpox vaccine to be supplied by Powderject will be trialled.
Kevan Jones: The hon. Gentleman has been speaking for 12 minutes, and I am fascinated by his economics lecture. He obviously welcomed the extra investment in the health service, but where would his party get that extra investment, if not from national insurance?
Kevan Jones: What reforms would the hon. Gentleman propose, in line with the tax plans that he does not intend to lay out tonight? [Interruption.] I accept his point about the election, but can he give a commitment that the Conservative party is committed to health care free at the point of need?