Virendra Sharma: Will the Prime Minister commit to securing and simplifying the future for people up and down the UK and pledge to protect the pensions dashboard?
Virendra Sharma: The Indian state of Kerala has suffered its worst flooding in almost 100 years. One million people have been displaced and more than 400 have already died. What is the Foreign and Commonwealth Office doing to ensure that it offers adequate consular assistance to British citizens in Kerala and to those with relatives in the state?
Virendra Sharma: Whether the Government plan to take steps to maintain economic and social rights as part of their negotiations on the UK leaving the EU.
Virendra Sharma: I thank the Minister very much for her response. In 2009, the Secretary of State said that he did not believe in economic and social rights. How can he guarantee that he will not use Brexit as an excuse to slash protections for minorities and workers?
Virendra Sharma: I beg to move, That this House has considered the closure of the Swaminarayan School. I am delighted to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Howarth, and I welcome the Minister to his place. We are all deeply saddened by the news of the Swaminarayan School’s closure after what will have been 28 years of academic, social and faith-based achievements. The school has consistently provided...
Virendra Sharma: I thank my hon. Friend for that contribution, which speaks for itself. I fully agree with him that the contribution that the school has made to society in general is great. I will fight to ensure that the Hindu community of west London continues to have its needs met, despite the closure of an essential part of that community. The end of the Swaminarayan School is a great loss, but we are not...
Virendra Sharma: If he will make a statement on his departmental responsibilities.
Virendra Sharma: The Government are conducting a review of the impact of the swingeing cuts to legal aid since 2012, but they have so far refused to say whether more funding will be made available for legal aid. Will the Secretary of State confirm that additional funding will be made available if it is found to be required, or is the review simply an exercise in moving legal aid funding from one cause to another?
Virendra Sharma: What assessment he has made of the proportionality of the EU’s countermeasures to US tariffs on steel and aluminium.
Virendra Sharma: After we have left the EU and turned our back on our trading partners, what steps will the Secretary of State’s Department take to ensure that the UK can stand up to aggressive trade practices?
Virendra Sharma: What steps he is taking to improve social mobility in post-16 education.
Virendra Sharma: In a country with world-leading education, why is there such a significant attainment gap for those with English as a second language?
Virendra Sharma: What recent assessment his Department has made of the cost-effectiveness of funding for the National Citizen Service programme.
Virendra Sharma: I thank the Secretary of State for his answer. Does he think that the high pay of its senior administrators is in line with the spirit of the NCS?
Virendra Sharma: What assurances has the Minister received that the British steel industry can supply Heathrow expansion sufficiently?
Virendra Sharma: What is the Secretary of State doing to secure more trade with India?
Virendra Sharma: I join hon. Members in paying tribute to Tessa Jowell—an amazing woman, politician and friend. Some remember the Olympic games as Tessa’s crowning achievement, but those of us who were closest to her know that they were not what she was most of proud of. As a true memorial, and in the week in which the Government can find £50 million for grammar schools, will the Prime...
Virendra Sharma: Order. The Minister will get a chance to respond to the debate, and I would appreciate it if she would—
Virendra Sharma: I will send you another bottle of water.
Virendra Sharma: Order. The hon. Member for Aberdeen North (Kirsty Blackman) is not responsible for the Scottish Government. Rather than directing questions to the Scottish Government through her, it is better to ask her a relevant question.