David Evennett: I strongly support my right hon. Friend’s statement today and the information that he has given us. Obviously, local people will need maximum reassurance. Will he reaffirm that the risk to the general public is very low and that the Government’s top priority is the safety and wellbeing of local residents?
David Evennett: Given that we are a Government and a party that strongly supports business and entrepreneurs, what estimate has my right hon. Friend made of business investment in the UK during the last eight years?
David Evennett: rose—
David Evennett: What progress is the Department making in implementing the findings of the race disparity audit?
David Evennett: I welcome my hon. Friend’s proposals, and I am grateful for his recent visit to Bexley to see our local plans for coping and dealing with childhood obesity. Chapter 2 is a good plan. Does he agree that targeting sedentary lifestyles is a top priority, and that to do so we need parental involvement?
David Evennett: May I welcome the advances the Government have achieved in this field and my right hon. Friend’s positive approach, contrary to what the hon. Member for Huddersfield (Mr Sheerman) said? What more can be done to tackle the skills shortage in the construction sector?
David Evennett: I serve on the Procedure Committee with the hon. Gentleman and am always interested in what he has to say. He is making an interesting case, but is he against the idea of reducing the House’s size from 650 to 600 MPs? That is one of the two issues that really ought to be considered today.
David Evennett: What progress the Government have made on improving the safety of prison officers.
David Evennett: When I recently visited Pentonville prison, I was naturally concerned about reports of a number of attacks on its prison officers. The safety of our prison officers is of paramount importance, so what further steps is my hon. Friend taking to ensure that they have all the support they need to keep themselves safe?
David Evennett: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Can my hon. Friend confirm that the first ever statutory definition of domestic abuse will recognise that it is not just physical, but can take many different forms—psychological, sexual, economic and emotional—all of which should be considered?
David Evennett: Now that the UK is providing 10.5% of the total budget set out in the humanitarian joint response plan, will my right hon. Friend advise and update the House on what he is doing to get other countries to step up to do their bit?
David Evennett: Does my right hon. Friend share my concern that the increasing intolerance and intimidation of people who put themselves forward for public office is deterring many people from doing so?
David Evennett: What steps is my right hon. Friend taking to ensure that more women are taking up apprenticeships in science, technology and manufacturing?
David Evennett: Yes, a new franchise would be great and is desperately needed—at the moment it is so bad it cannot be believed—but the problem is the bigger picture: investment, regeneration, and getting more homes, jobs and businesses into the area. That cannot be done just by improving a rail service that is inadequate at the moment.
David Evennett: I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Dartford (Gareth Johnson)—my constituency neighbour—on securing this important debate. It is a pleasure to join him in helping to highlight the potential benefits of extending Crossrail to Ebbsfleet. For years, the borough of Bexley has suffered from a terrible rail service. Delays, cancellations and poor excuses have become the norm....
David Evennett: Indeed. I am delighted to see the hon. Lady here, showing that we have cross-party support for what we are discussing—and she is absolutely right. I was going to come on to that, but she is ahead of me. This is not just about new homes; it is also about businesses and jobs, which are vital for our local economy. Estimates from the C2E—the Crossrail to Ebbsfleet—campaign...
David Evennett: I welcome my right hon. and learned Friend’s statement and apology today and congratulate both him and the Prime Minister on bringing a dignified end to this long-running case. Will he reaffirm that it is crucial that we always strike the correct balance between counter-terrorism and security and acting in accordance with the rule of law and, of course, our British values?
David Evennett: Will my right hon. Friend welcome the re-election of Bexley’s Conservative council, congratulate it on its good record locally, and look forward to its continuing to implement efficient and effective Conservative policies?
David Evennett: I welcome my right hon. Friend’s statement and congratulate her on her new ministerial responsibilities. What assessment has she made of the recent levels of religious persecution in Syria? What steps is she taking to ensure that persecuted religious minorities have access to humanitarian aid?
David Evennett: I am pleased to be able to participate in this debate on schools, although I am rather disappointed by the Opposition’s motion. I have a lot of time for the hon. Member for Ashton-under-Lyne (Angela Rayner), who made an interesting speech and is a passionate believer in education, but any debate on schools must be wide-ranging and not just about money. Resources are of course vital,...