Kwasi Kwarteng: What does the hon. Gentleman say to people like me who have received emails from compensation claim companies asking them to commit fraud? Does he acknowledge that phenomenon?
Kwasi Kwarteng: Several issues have been raised in this important debate, but I wish to address two main points. Whiplash claims have been a chronic problem in British insurance and road usage for some time. Eight years ago, I joined the Transport Committee, and I served on it for three years. We looked into the issue more than once and found that whiplash claims had gone up in England, so we looked across...
Kwasi Kwarteng: I would not have thought that it could be described as profiteering. It is a legitimate business. I know that many Opposition Members do not even believe in private enterprise or business. [Interruption.] They do not like that. They laugh rather nervously at my suggestion, but we know exactly where they stand. The idea that companies should make a profit—heaven forbid—is anathema...
Kwasi Kwarteng: My hon. Friend never gives way.
Kwasi Kwarteng: What plans the Government have to improve support for the children of alcohol-dependent parents.
Kwasi Kwarteng: I thank the Minister for his answer, but this is obviously a much wider problem, affecting more than just the children of alcohol-dependent parents. Will he tell the House what more can be done to ensure that people in the wider community can access that kind of help?
Kwasi Kwarteng: Amid this whole debate, is it not absolutely essential that the perpetrators of these crimes should be brought to justice and punishment? That is the most important issue in all of this. Does the Minister not agree with that?
Kwasi Kwarteng: What recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Defence on the Welsh Guards’ tour of Afghanistan.
Kwasi Kwarteng: Does my right hon. Friend welcome the Prime Minister’s announcement of an added commitment from the Welsh Guards to secure and to help NATO’s capacity-building mission in Afghanistan?
Kwasi Kwarteng: Will my hon. Friend give way?
Kwasi Kwarteng: Could my hon. Friend give the House any indication on timing for the consultation process?
Kwasi Kwarteng: This is a very important debate. In listening to speeches from across the House, I was struck by the fact that I had never seen the House so united in terms of the purpose and seriousness of this legislation. The real differences—if there are differences—are about the manner of dealing with this and how we get the best results. That is very encouraging. If one were to look at the...
Kwasi Kwarteng: Will my hon. Friend take an intervention?
Kwasi Kwarteng: I am delighted to speak in this debate, and, like a number of people, I have had the honour and privilege to sit through the vast proportion of it. The debate has been well conducted, with a lot of speeches touching on a number of important issues. The issue of knife crime and murder in our capital city of London is highly relevant to the Bill. Let no one pretend that what is happening in...
Kwasi Kwarteng: As I suggested, there is a social context that gave birth to the Bill—a huge increase in violent crime and fatalities in London. The two things, as I said, are related. If the Government are trying to address the issue of knife crime and fatalities in our capital, it is beyond my imagination to understand why .5 calibre guns should be banned as proposed in the Bill. I am delighted that...
Kwasi Kwarteng: That is a legitimate point. I hope that many of these difficulties and anomalies will be ironed out in Committee, because the Bill as drafted raises some interesting questions and, dare I say it, has a number of holes. Broadly, we have to accept that something had to be done. The new spate of acid attacks is largely unprecedented. I understand, as a point of history, that in the 19th century...
Kwasi Kwarteng: I didn’t say anything.
Kwasi Kwarteng: I just want to intervene on my hon. Friend to say that I was simply making a personal remark to myself; I was not addressing the House. I am very pleased that my hon. Friend is focusing on the issues related to the Bill that apply directly to the capital.
Kwasi Kwarteng: My hon. Friend uses the phrase “weapon of choice” among criminals. Is it not an irony that the criminals’ weapons of choice are already banned and are held illegally?
Kwasi Kwarteng: Given the intelligence we have received that the Mayor of London is doubling his PR budget, what role does the hon. Lady think he can play in trying to address the urgent problem in this city?