Results 1–20 of 7054 for speaker:Bob Neill

Domestic Gas and Electricity (Tariff Cap) Bill: Future Relationship Between the UK and the EU (18 Jul 2018)

Bob Neill: Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman would like to consider this: at least virtually the totality of the Conservative party was here to take part in the debate, which cannot be said about other parties. Will he also bear in mind that what matters to both his constituents and mine, in areas heavily dependent on the City and financial services, is that we ensure security of access to the best...

Domestic Gas and Electricity (Tariff Cap) Bill: Future Relationship Between the UK and the EU (18 Jul 2018)

Bob Neill: I entirely agree with what my right hon. Friend says. Does he recognise that that is also the sentiment of businesses in this country, from manufacturing through to the key financial services sector? Does he also agree that ultimately the Conservative party is a pragmatic party rather than a rigid one, and imperfect though any deal or proposal may be, it is worth going for?

Domestic Gas and Electricity (Tariff Cap) Bill: Future Relationship Between the UK and the EU (18 Jul 2018)

Bob Neill: I welcome my right hon. Friend to his post. Will he bear it in mind that there must be linkage between the very welcome liberal approach to visa regimes that he mentions and, in relation to professional services, mutual recognition of qualifications so that lawyers and other professional advisers can operate on the current fly-in, fly-out policy that is critical to the City of London and...

Oral Answers to Questions — Treasury: Unemployment Levels (3 Jul 2018)

Bob Neill: Businesses in my constituency have been telling me that as we leave the EU they want to have the assurance and clarity of security of their supply chains, not to be burdened with undue regulation and paperwork in relation to customs, and in financial services both clarity and certainty of alignment and regulation; they also want the ability to fly in key personnel across our EU markets to...

Ministry of Justice (2 Jul 2018)

Bob Neill: This has been a most useful and well-informed debate. I am grateful to the Minister for his response, and we will undoubtedly return to a number of these matters, both with him and with the Under-Secretary of State for Justice, my hon. Friend the Member for Charnwood (Edward Argar), whom I and my Committee members also welcome. I value the comments that have been made. It is right that we...

Ministry of Justice (2 Jul 2018)

Bob Neill: Does my hon. Friend agree about the importance of the objectivity that properly experienced counsel on both sides bring to these matters, as has been seen demonstrated in a number of recent cases? That cannot be got on the cheap—and I must declare my interest as well.

Ministry of Justice (2 Jul 2018)

Bob Neill: Like me, my hon. Friend has a long background in the criminal justice system as a practitioner. Does he share my concern that there has been a marked decline in the availability of duty solicitors and other legal aid solicitors to attend police stations and courts, and that the average age of a duty solicitor is now about 47-plus?

Ministry of Justice (2 Jul 2018)

Bob Neill: It is a pleasure to start this debate. I thank the Backbench Business Committee for having facilitated it, my colleagues on the Select Committee on Justice for the work that they have done on the estimates and, more broadly, the work of the Ministry of Justice during this Parliament so far and beyond. This is an important debate because although the Ministry of Justice is one of the smaller...

Ministry of Justice (2 Jul 2018)

Bob Neill: I am trying to give an overview, so I will come on to legal aid and access to justice issues. I will deal with the prisons and probation part of the budget first, because it is the largest element and therefore the elephant in the room in financial terms. There have been efforts to deal with this. The Ministry succeeded in getting the funding for 2,500 extra prison officers. That is...

Ministry of Justice (2 Jul 2018)

Bob Neill: That is an admirable objective, but I regret to say that the evidence of our inquiry is that it seldom happens adequately in practice. One of the findings, which is for another debate, is that in many cases the level of supervision has in fact declined. Sometimes, it happens purely by phone calls once every six weeks, and in many cases the involvement of the voluntary sector and other local...

Ministry of Justice (2 Jul 2018)

Bob Neill: I really cannot give way again because time presses, and I know that others will touch on this issue. There have already been concerns about certain cost-raising measures. Increasing fees and reducing eligibility were found to be unlawful by the courts, so those measures have had to be revisited. Withdrawal of legal aid in some areas has created a significant increase in litigants in person....

Ministry of Justice (2 Jul 2018)

Bob Neill: I will, but this really must be the last time.

Ministry of Justice (2 Jul 2018)

Bob Neill: That is an entirely fair point, and I welcome it. There needs to be more publicity generally for public legal education, and mediation is an important part of that, but even then, it is important to realise that many people—particularly those going through a family breakdown—will not feel able or confident to go to that on their own initiative without some assistance. Early legal...

Select Committee on Justice (28 Jun 2018)

Bob Neill: It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Bone. In a different context, in weather like this many of us might have been told that we could remove our wigs, rather than our jackets. We do not have to do that today. It is a pleasure and an honour to present this Justice Committee report on transforming rehabilitation. It is the result of an eight-month inquiry, during which we took...

Select Committee on Justice (28 Jun 2018)

Bob Neill: I very much agree. I hope—indeed, I am sure—that my hon. and learned Friend the Minister will take that view back to her ministerial colleagues. It is very clear that the situation was not acceptable. Putting more and more sticking-plaster money into the system is not a sustainable way forward. I am glad to say that on an earlier occasion when the Minister of State gave evidence...

Select Committee on Justice (28 Jun 2018)

Bob Neill: Yes, I think that is right; I do want to be constructive. Whether or not we would have started from here is an interesting question for debate, but we are here. Turning round systems such as this is a bit like turning round an ocean liner: it takes a long time. A U-turn is not practical, it seems to us, in these circumstances. That is why we say that an urgent review by the Ministry is...

Select Committee on Justice (28 Jun 2018)

Bob Neill: I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for those comments. I am not sure how far the roll-out has gone so far, but we certainly believe that the move in Scotland is in the right direction, and that is evidenced by the situation in many other jurisdictions, where there has been the same effect. I would not want to be held to specific numbers, but I think that the direction of travel to which the...

Select Committee on Justice (28 Jun 2018)

Bob Neill: The hon. Gentleman, whose work on the Select Committee is much appreciated, is absolutely right. There are examples of good work being done in the system. In the north-east in particular, there are some areas where the voluntary sector has worked well, taking a leading role within CRCs, but they are the exception to the rule. That is why we think that the new system must have specific targets...

Select Committee on Justice (28 Jun 2018)

Bob Neill: That is absolutely right. My recollection is that that was not the way through the gate was sold at the time it was brought in. I think there is a little bit of rewriting of history there, to be blunt. The truth is that for a long time we have been appallingly bad at follow-up supervision of people who are released. Through the gate actually extended it to those serving sentences of one year...

Select Committee on Justice (28 Jun 2018)

Bob Neill: One problem that we have, to which we refer in the report, is the lack of transparency around the contractual terms. One would expect, if there were a complete failure of performance, that there ought not to be significant payments, as with any contract, but we do refer to the tendency—it is not unique to the Ministry of Justice; it is across Government—for the excuse of...


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