Andrew Bridgen: I welcome the establishment of the stronger towns fund. Will my right hon. Friend assure the House that towns across the midlands and the north, from Cleethorpes to Coalville and from Accrington to Ashby-de-la-Zouch, will have an opportunity to benefit from this fund?
Andrew Bridgen: Will the Minister join me in commending the excellent work of Conservative-controlled North West Leicestershire District Council? By building the new homes that our country needs and attracting business, investment and jobs, it has managed to freeze council tax since 2010 and it has pledged to freeze council tax for a further four years, if it is successfully re-elected on 2 May.
Andrew Bridgen: My right hon. Friend will have been as shocked as I was to see the appalling scenes of Venezuelan troops using violence and intimidation to prevent vital aid from entering their country, which has been ravaged by socialism for decades. Will my right hon. Friend join me in calling on all parties around the world, and in particular the Labour leadership in this House, to condemn utterly...
Andrew Bridgen: What recent discussions he has had with his international counterparts on the status of the presidency in Venezuela.
Andrew Bridgen: Does the Solicitor General agree with the widely reported comments of Olly Robbins, the Prime Minister’s chief negotiator, who, I believe, spoke in vino veritas when he said that he saw the backstop as a bridge to a future partnership? Clearly, that is a future partnership involving a customs union, which would prevent our having an independent free trade policy. If he does not agree with...
Andrew Bridgen: Will the Minister join me in welcoming the work of UK researchers to develop a new protocol for managing asthma, such as a pill to reduce the number of attacks by targeting airway muscles, developed in partnership with researchers in Canada?
Andrew Bridgen: While the failure of Flybmi’s business model and the loss of 100 jobs in my constituency is a setback causing obvious distress for employees and disruption for passengers, it comes at a time of considerable growth and development in and around East Midlands airport, with over 7,000 new jobs being created over the next two years. Will the Government do all they can to ensure that Flybmi’s...
Andrew Bridgen: What powers and resources does my right hon. Friend have to ensure that any British citizen returning from the so-called caliphate in whose case the burden of proof does not permit a criminal prosecution face mandatory and robust deradicalisation programmes?
Andrew Bridgen: Will my right hon. Friend clarify for the House that it is in fact NATO, not the European Union, that has been and will continue to be the cornerstone of European security and defence?
Andrew Bridgen: Given the comments of Sir Terry Morgan, the former chairman of HS2, to the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee last month—he said, “Nobody knows” the number, when asked what he thought the final cost of the HS2 project would be—and reports in the media that senior Government sources have said that the “costs are spiralling so much that we’ve been actively considering other...
Andrew Bridgen: The hon. Member for Nottingham South (Lilian Greenwood) says that the east midlands has the highest proportion of people on zero-hours contracts, but she failed to add that we also have the highest economic growth outside of London and the south-east. Does my right hon. Friend agree that the best guarantees of improving workers’ rights, conditions and wages are a strong demand for labour,...
Andrew Bridgen: We are not accusing the Minister of any weaselly get-out, but she and the Electoral Commission have to understand that there will be no weaselly get-out for any of us if we find ourselves in this situation without clarity on election law. This is a very worrying situation.
Andrew Bridgen: I wish to recap. Worryingly, a candidate in an election could be liable under the law for spending on his behalf that he neither authorised, nor was even aware of.
Andrew Bridgen: The Leader of the Opposition is a former national chairman of the Stop the War Coalition. Under his chairmanship, the coalition issued a statement praising Daesh for its “internationalism” and “solidarity”. Does my right hon. Friend agree that although we might have many words to describe Daesh, those are certainly not two of them?
Andrew Bridgen: Female genital mutilation is abhorrent and barbaric and should never be inflicted on any girl or woman in this country or, indeed, any country. In the spirit of equality, will the Minister update the House on the Government’s policy on male genital mutilation?
Andrew Bridgen: Does the Minister recall that in 2010 the system we inherited for funding higher education was completely unsustainable? Does he agree that that was demonstrated by the fact that it was the previous Labour Government who commissioned the Browne review?
Andrew Bridgen: “When the facts change, I change my mind” is a quote widely attributed to John Maynard Keynes, someone normally highly supported on the Opposition Benches. Will my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State confirm that the facts have changed and it is only prudent that Government policy changes to reflect the new reality?
Andrew Bridgen: Will my right hon. Friend confirm that someone on benefits moving into work under the legacy welfare system that we inherited from the Labour Government could have lost up to £9 of every £10 they earned? There was no incentive to work whatsoever.
Andrew Bridgen: Some people are paid four weekly, not monthly, so one month of the year, they will get two payments. Will the Minister ensure that universal credit can cope adequately with this situation?
Andrew Bridgen: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the most recent assessment is of the benefit cost ratio for phase 2B of HS2; and whether an assessment has been made of the potential merits of running 14 trains an hour at 195mph.