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Results 1–20 of 2000 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Nia Griffith

Defence: Army Equipment (16 Mar 2020)

Nia Griffith: The recent National Audit Office report on the Government’s defence equipment plan showed that there is a potential funding shortfall of £13 billion, which will no doubt affect Army equipment as well as Navy and RAF equipment. Given that this is now the third time that the NAO has deemed the plan unaffordable, when will the Minister get to grips with this funding crisis?

Defence: Army Equipment (16 Mar 2020)

Nia Griffith: I thank the Minister for his answer, but we know that the Army has cancelled various anti-armour projects and reduced the number of tanks it will upgrade. There have also been recent reports suggesting that the Army is to face further cuts in the integrated review. Can the Minister guarantee that the review will not be yet another cost-cutting exercise, leaving our armed forces short of the...

Defence: Topical Questions (16 Mar 2020)

Nia Griffith: This weekend there has been widespread concern about the Government’s communication strategy on the coronavirus pandemic, including a number of anonymous briefings to the media, such as one on the role of the Army. As well as providing more detail about Operation Broadshare, can the Secretary of State explain reports that the Government are working on the assumption that at least 20% of...

Defence: Defence Relationships: South East Asia (3 Feb 2020)

Nia Griffith: On the one hand, the Government have rightly been challenging China’s aggressive military actions in the seas around south-east Asia, yet on the other hand, despite the Secretary of State himself having reportedly branded China a “friend of no one”, the Government have granted Huawei significant access to the superhighways of our cyber and telecoms systems. Will the Secretary of State...

Defence: Topical Questions (3 Feb 2020)

Nia Griffith: Our armed forces were due to have access to Galileo’s encrypted system when it becomes fully operational in 2026, but now we have left the EU, that will not be the case. Can the Secretary of State tell the House when the UK’s own global navigation satellite system will be fully up and running? Given that the first satellites may only be launched by 2025, and the system will not be...

Defence: Topical Questions (3 Feb 2020)

Nia Griffith: The Government have actually said that the cost of any system could be up to £5 billion. If the plan is to have this UK option, what assurance has the Secretary of State received that the money will not have to come out of the existing defence budget, which is already under strain, leading to more cuts in other areas?

Defence: Strait of Hormuz: UK Shipping (21 Oct 2019)

Nia Griffith: Happy Trafalgar day, Mr Speaker. Yesterday I had the pleasure of seeing the sea cadets parade in a splendid fashion for Trafalgar day. I welcome the Secretary of State and the new Ministers to their posts. The situation in the strait of Hormuz and the wider Gulf has significantly escalated in the past few months. We have seen unlawful aggression in the international seas, British flagged...

Defence: Strait of Hormuz: UK Shipping (21 Oct 2019)

Nia Griffith: I thank the Secretary of State for his answer, but the Secretary of State will also be well aware of the catastrophic impact of the US withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal. Sadly, this is not the only commitment that the Trump Administration have very publicly undermined—withdrawing from the intermediate-range nuclear forces treaty and putting the chances of a new strategic arms...

Defence: Outsourced Departmental Contracts (21 Oct 2019)

Nia Griffith: I welcome the new Minister to her post. A report in the Financial Times today demonstrates that botched public sector outsourcing contracts wasted more than £14 billion-worth of taxpayers’ money just in the last three years, with the MOD found to be the biggest culprit, accounting for £4 billion-worth of the extra cost. At a time when our defences are badly in need of investment after...

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence: Armed Services: Optimal Size (8 Jul 2019)

Nia Griffith: Not only have RAF personnel numbers fallen by more than a quarter since 2010, but the Government are consistently failing to train enough pilots. Some 350 are currently on the waiting list, and the problem is going from bad to worse, the backlog having doubled in the past year. When will the Secretary of State get a grip on this situation and ensure that things are put right?

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence: Topical Questions (8 Jul 2019)

Nia Griffith: At a time when Army numbers are consistently falling, it is all the more important that we draw on the widest possible pool of recruits. Why, then, has there been a 45% increase in the number of officer cadets admitted to Sandhurst from independent schools, compared with just a 7% increase from state schools? I know the Secretary of State is personally committed to creating a level playing...

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence: Topical Questions (8 Jul 2019)

Nia Griffith: I am a little disappointed by that answer because when it comes to officers, there is a lot more that can be done. It is not just those from state schools who face barriers: just 10 of this year’s 600-strong cadet intake to Sandhurst are from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds—just 10. According to the MOD’s own statistics, the regulars and the reserves are also missing the...

Armed Forces Day (26 Jun 2019)

Nia Griffith: It is a delight to speak in this debate. This Saturday people will come together in communities across the country to say thank you to the men and women who make up our armed forces community. Ever since the first national event in 2009, Armed Forces Day has become an important date in our towns, cities and villages. There are well over 300 events taking place this year in every corner of the...

Armed Forces Day (26 Jun 2019)

Nia Griffith: I thank my hon. Friend for that intervention. He is right. Considerable progress has been made on awareness, but we still need to make sure people understand what the qualifications mean and how the qualities and skills of our armed forces personnel can be translated into today’s workplace. I understand from the Minister that he is very committed to work in that field. In recent weeks, we...

Armed Forces Day (26 Jun 2019)

Nia Griffith: Indeed. The hon. Gentleman makes a fine point and there is a very good case for having a consultation on what sort of voice would be practical for our armed forces—[Interruption.] If I may, I will make some progress. The pay body’s 2018 report highlights the extent to which personnel shortages put additional pressure on those who remain in the services. The latest personnel statistics...

Armed Forces Day (26 Jun 2019)

Nia Griffith: My hon. Friend makes a good point. None of us wants to see any of our serving forces and their families living in substandard accommodation. There are certainly issues to be addressed in respect of Amey and forces housing. In respect of the future accommodation model, we do not want personnel to be pushed into the private rented sector without any choice. Indeed, a recent Army Families...

Armed Forces Day (26 Jun 2019)

Nia Griffith: My hon. Friend is absolutely right. We need to make sure that children are properly supported and that a structure is in place within the local authority to ensure that schools are properly educated to understand that. Obviously, we are very concerned about this fragmentation of education in England, with the academies and academy trusts being a bit of a law unto themselves. What...

Use of Torture Overseas (20 May 2019)

Nia Griffith: Today’s revelations that the MOD has discreetly rewritten Government policy on torture are extremely concerning. Torture is not only morally reprehensible but prohibited under international law in the universal declaration of human rights, the international covenant on civil and political rights, and the convention against torture. There can be no justification whatsoever for torture. None...

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence: Capita Army Recruitment (20 May 2019)

Nia Griffith: May I welcome the Secretary of State to her post? It is scarcely credible that after all Capita’s incompetence on the recruitment contract, its failure on the defence estate’s management contract and the assessment by experts that this company carried the highest possible risk factor, the Minister is still pushing ahead with plans to outsource the Defence Fire and Rescue Service to...

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence: Topical Questions (20 May 2019)

Nia Griffith: Further to welcoming the Secretary of State to her position, I pay tribute to her for her service in our Royal Navy. Moreover, we on the Opposition Benches are committed to working constructively with her in areas where there is a clear consensus. One of those is personnel numbers. Every service is now smaller than it was this time last year. The Army alone has seen a drop of 2,000 trained...

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