Fiona Bruce: Q The problem that you are raising is that there is quite a broad range of statements that could be not protected by the Bill because they are considered harassing. That is an issue that perhaps needs to be looked at.
Fiona Bruce: Q Thank you. The second point that I want to draw out is that you say that the Bill does not give academic staff access to affordable justice via an employment tribunal in the case of failure to be appointed. Do you think that the legal remedies proposed in the Bill are sufficient? Perhaps you could again talk about where the right to go to an employment tribunal might help in certain situations.
Fiona Bruce: Q Very briefly, in your experience, you believe that there is a real issue to be addressed in terms of freedom of speech and loss of employment or tenure.
Fiona Bruce: Dr Ahmed, in your evidence you say that there are several threats to free speech in higher education. You talk about two: self-censorship and regulation. Could you unpack those a little more, and tell us how widespread those problems are and what evidence you have of themQ ?
Fiona Bruce: Q You say that the Bill, although plainly not enough in itself, could be a first step “towards recreating a culture of robust and completely open debate without which a university education loses much of its point.” How effective will the Bill be in achieving that, and what more do you think needs to be done?
Fiona Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will take steps to ensure that (a) CrossCountry and (b) East Midlands Railway restore full rail services to (a) Congleton and (b) Alsager following recent network changes and disruption.
Fiona Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether new guidance has been issued to local councils on establishing priority for winter gritting since winter 2020-21.
Fiona Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what further funding the Government can provide to help secure progress towards the opening of a new railway station for Middlewich.
Fiona Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the findings of the July 2021 report of the all-party Parliamentary group on North Korea.
Fiona Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment his Department has made of the human rights situation in North Korea.
Fiona Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the progress made in implementing the 2014 UN Commission of Inquiry Report on human rights abuses in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in the context of the APPG on North Korea report, published on 20 July 2021.
Fiona Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department has taken to ensure that new housing development plans do not overload with traffic existing roads that are unsuitable for heavy numbers of vehicle movements, such as Giantswood Lane in Congleton.
Fiona Bruce: I thank the Government for proposing a bespoke refugee scheme focusing on the most vulnerable in Afghanistan. I am glad that, as the Home Secretary said today, it will include persecuted minorities—those who are persecuted simply on account of their religion or belief. That is absolutely in accord with our Government’s commitment to promoting and defending freedom of religion or belief...
Fiona Bruce: One aspect of my role as the Prime Minister’s special envoy for freedom of religion or belief is to represent the UK on the International Religious Freedom or Belief Alliance, which comprises 33 like-minded countries committed to championing FoRB. The UK has led the way in securing a statement from alliance members published today on the gov.uk website. Time precludes me from reading it...
Fiona Bruce: I rise to present a petition on behalf of residents of Sandbach in my constituency. It asks for provision for the existing Sandbach cemetery to be extended. I have met a number of local people who are very concerned that in a short time Sandbach residents will no longer have access to cemetery space in their own town and will have to travel some miles out of the town for burials and to visit...
Fiona Bruce: I strongly support this much-needed Bill. Over recent years, I have been very concerned to hear of numerous restrictions on freedom of speech in academic settings. A doctorate student told me: “There really is no point me trying for an academic career with my political and religious views.” A career councillor gives the advice to Christian students—students holding what many in this...
Fiona Bruce: I speak to oppose new clauses 55 and 42, which I urge colleagues to vote against. New clause 55 is truly shocking on many counts. It would legalise abortions in this country right up to the moment of the birth of a child. No reason would need to be given. The current 24-week limit provision would go. The new clause would legalise sex-selective abortions: an abortion could be legally performed...
Fiona Bruce: We recently celebrated UK National Marriage Week. As we come out of lockdown and welcome back larger weddings, may we have a debate about marriage, recognising that we do not want to price people out of marriage? That is not least because this week the Centre for Social Justice pointed out that those born into well-off families have a 96% chance of having two parents but, in our poorest...
Fiona Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that children and young people are able to attend youth residential activities over the forthcoming summer holiday period in the event that covid-19 restrictions are maintained beyond 19 July 2021.
Fiona Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps the UK is taking in Eritrea to help ensure that UN investigators have the necessary access to conduct an assessment of atrocities.