Results 1–20 of 9480 for speaker:Mark Harper

Housing, Planning and the Green Belt (6 Feb 2018)

Mark Harper: I am grateful for that news, Mr Deputy Speaker, as it means that I can expound my argument a little more fully than I had thought. I congratulate my constituency neighbour, my hon. Friend the Member for Tewkesbury (Mr Robertson), on securing the debate. In the limited time I have—notwithstanding your generosity, Mr Deputy Speaker—I wish to cover three points. First, I do not...

Housing, Planning and the Green Belt (6 Feb 2018)

Mark Harper: That proposal sounds sensible. I am not familiar with the detail, but given what my hon. Friend sets out, it sounds like the local authority is focusing on demand. We will need significantly more of that if we are to meet demand in London. My hon. Friend the Member for Tewkesbury put his finger on it when he spoke about housing demand. Clearly, compared with the situation when I was younger,...

Housing, Planning and the Green Belt (6 Feb 2018)

Mark Harper: I am glad that I have cheered up the hon. Gentleman as my remarks have developed, and I hope that I have had that effect on at least one or two other colleagues. He is right that that is the answer. There is a regional housing problem in the United Kingdom. House prices in London and its surrounding areas are massively out of kilter with the rest of the country, and we can deal with some of...

Housing, Planning and the Green Belt (6 Feb 2018)

Mark Harper: I am grateful to my hon. Friend and constituency neighbour, with whom I share a local authority, for giving way. He is making a good point: this is a regional problem. Figures from the Office for National Statistics on household growth in Gloucestershire show that our local planning authorities are building, or planning to build, enough houses to cope with the population growth. There is a...

Women’S Suffrage Centenary (6 Feb 2018)

Mark Harper: May I add my support to that of my hon. Friend the Member for Harwich and North Essex (Mr Jenkin) in urging the Minister to look at section 106 of the Equality Act? When the right hon. and learned Member for Camberwell and Peckham (Ms Harman) was taking the Act through the House, she drafted that clause in a cross-party manner; I worked with her when I was the shadow Minister. There is...

Health and Social Care: Topical Questions (6 Feb 2018)

Mark Harper: As the Secretary of State carries out his social care funding review, I urge him to look carefully at whether we should look again at implementing the Dilnot commission’s proposals. Given that we legislated for them, they are the only way that we are going to tackle the issue with the sufficient urgency.

Oral Answers to Questions — Wales: Cross-border Economic Opportunities (31 Jan 2018)

Mark Harper: I am grateful to the Secretary of State for inviting my district council and my tourism industry to his Severn growth summit. I am also grateful that the tolls will be removed, given that the old Severn bridge is half in my constituency and the gateway to Gloucestershire, not just Wales. May I urge him, as he continues these cross-border opportunities, fully to involve business and industry...

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister: Engagements (31 Jan 2018)

Mark Harper: My right hon. Friend will be aware that the country faces significant cyber-threats from other countries and from non-state actors. He will also be aware that we are protected from those by our security and intelligence services, including the men and women at GCHQ in my county of Gloucestershire. When the Government publish the results of the security review, will he confirm that we will...

Refugees and Human Rights (24 Jan 2018)

Mark Harper: In the limited time available to me, I want to cover three points. First, I am proud of the help that we have given to refugees in the region. Like my hon. Friend the Member for Corby (Tom Pursglove), I will focus my remarks on Syria. I also listened carefully to what was said by the hon. Member for Bristol West (Thangam Debbonaire). We have indeed been very generous: we have helped 5...

Refugees and Human Rights (24 Jan 2018)

Mark Harper: rose—

Oral Answers to Questions — Northern Ireland: Leaving the EU: Alignment (20 Dec 2017)

Mark Harper: Is the Secretary of State not right to highlight that Northern Ireland’s rightful place is to make sure it is aligned with the rules of the rest of the UK, which is why Conservative Members had a clear manifesto commitment to do nothing to damage the single market of the United Kingdom?

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister: Engagements (20 Dec 2017)

Mark Harper: Gloucestershire College is building a brand-new campus in my constituency, made possible by millions of pounds of Government support. May I thank the Prime Minister for that investment, and does it not show that this is a Government committed to investing in the skills necessary to make this an economy and a country fit for the future?

Parliamentary Constituencies (Amendment) Bill (1 Dec 2017)

Mark Harper: First, I should declare an interest—although it is not strictly an interest—as the Minister who took through the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act 2011. I feel some obligation to defend the very sensible proposals and arrangements that Parliament legislated for in that Act, as they are under attack from what are, I must say, some of the most ridiculous arguments I...

Parliamentary Constituencies (Amendment) Bill (1 Dec 2017)

Mark Harper: I would not go quite as far as that, as there is a serious point about representation, but the public were certainly not devastated by the idea of a modest reduction in the size of the House. The other place is, I think, the second largest legislative Chamber in the world after the Chinese National People’s Congress, and this lower House of Parliament is one of the largest lower...

Parliamentary Constituencies (Amendment) Bill (1 Dec 2017)

Mark Harper: I am glad the hon. Gentleman raised that point. It is certainly the case that there are more Members of the House of Lords, because at present, although they can retire, funnily enough when it is suggested to someone who has a life appointment with a considerable income attached to it that they should retire, very few choose to do so—although, to be fair, more of them have been retiring...

Parliamentary Constituencies (Amendment) Bill (1 Dec 2017)

Mark Harper: Not at all. I have made the point that the other place has managed to reduce its costs, but importantly, its Members do not have any constituents to represent. It has made some savings. I have suggested that we could save costs by reducing the size of this House quite modestly. We would still remain a very large lower House of Parliament compared with many others.

Parliamentary Constituencies (Amendment) Bill (1 Dec 2017)

Mark Harper: My hon. Friend is right, but I do not want to dilate too much on the other place as I am still pursuing the first argument that the hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton made in favour of his Bill. The second part of the hon. Gentleman’s first argument, which dealt with trust in politics, was about the size of constituencies. He was talking about their geographical size. We obviously...

Parliamentary Constituencies (Amendment) Bill (1 Dec 2017)

Mark Harper: I am familiar with that issue. The hon. Gentleman might not be aware that when we were originally taking the legislation through, that issue was raised with me by colleagues from both Devon and Cornwall. Indeed, I think this was the issue that prompted my former right hon. Friend the then Member of Parliament for Witney and Prime Minister to make his unfortunate comment about the width of the...

Parliamentary Constituencies (Amendment) Bill (1 Dec 2017)

Mark Harper: I recognise that there are complexities due to local government boundaries, but I have to say that Members of Parliament are probably the only people who, when driving around the country, see boundaries in front of us as we cross them. I do not know whether other Members have a similar experience, but as I drive past the various signs on the M4, I think of myself passing through the...

Parliamentary Constituencies (Amendment) Bill (1 Dec 2017)

Mark Harper: I accept that, but we have to balance these things, which is what the boundary commissions do.


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