Esther McVey: We have only 10 minutes left and I am hoping to include a further three Members.
Esther McVey: Order. We have come to the end of the time allocated for the Committee to ask questions and, indeed, for this morning’s sittings. I thank our witnesses on behalf of the Committee: a big thank you to Dr Alison Cronin MBE, director of Monkey World; to Dr Simon Girling, chair of the Zoos Expert Committee; and to Dr Jo Judge, chief executive of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and...
Esther McVey: The meeting in public is now resumed and the proceedings are being broadcast. Before we start hearing from the witnesses, do any Members wish to make a declaration of interests in connection with this Bill?
Esther McVey: All done; all declared. We will now hear oral evidence from David Bowles, head of public affairs at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and from Paula Boyden, veterinary director of the Dogs Trust. Before calling the first Members to ask questions, I remind all Members that questions should be limited to matters within the scope of the Bill and that we must stick to...
Esther McVey: Absolutely.
Esther McVey: Three Members have caught my eye: Dr Luke Evans, Apsana Begum and James Daly. I am mindful of the time, so if anybody else wants to ask a question, could it be tight, and could questions be—well, as full as they need to be?
Esther McVey: Order. We have come to the end of the allocated time for the Committee to ask questions. I thank our witnesses: David Bowles, the head of public affairs for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals; and Paula Bowden, veterinary director for the Dogs Trust.
Esther McVey: Before we begin, I have a couple of preliminary announcements. I remind hon. Members that they are expected to wear face coverings and to maintain distancing, as far as possible. This is in line with the current Government guidance and that of the House of Commons Commission. Please give one another and members of staff space when seated and when entering and leaving the room. Hansard...
Esther McVey: Copies of written evidence that the Committee receives will be made available in the Committee Room and circulated to Members by email.
Esther McVey: I, too, congratulate the hon. Lady on bringing forward this issue and pursuing it in such a constructive, positive and enthusiastic way not just in the House but outside it too, and on the points she raises about the stigma attached to the menopause and the idea that women of a certain age are maybe past their prime. Absolutely not. People need to know that women’s lives actually might...
Esther McVey: I was carried away by the excitement of the moment, but you are quite right, Madam Deputy Speaker. The hon. Lady has done so much and will earn the gratitude of the whole country for what she is doing with this positive step forward today.
Esther McVey: I welcome the Government’s commitment to restoring peat bogs. What support, financial and otherwise, will be given to Lindow Moss in my constituency?
Esther McVey: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much power HS2 trains will need to run across each of the phases.
Esther McVey: Before we begin, I encourage hon. Members to wear masks when they are not speaking, in line with current Government and House of Commons Commission guidance. Please give one another and members of staff space when seated and when entering and leaving the room.
Esther McVey: We will come to the Front-Bench spokespeople no later than 5.30 pm. Given the number of Back-Bench Members here, I will not set a time limit.
Esther McVey: Given that figures sent to me by the Secretary of State’s Department show that since the pandemic the number of hospital beds has fallen by more than 6,000, will he assure me that proper additional capacity will be built back into the NHS as part of his plan rather than resorting to hugely damaging lockdowns and restrictions?
Esther McVey: For the questions that the Minister could not answer, will he write with full answers?
Esther McVey: It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Mundell. I start by saying that the time allocated to the debate today is woefully short. That adds to the public’s sense that people are not listening to them, that they are being silenced and that the Government do not want to listen to opposition to HS2. Nearly 2,000 people in Tatton signed the petition and I stand squarely with them...
Esther McVey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many temporary registered doctors there have been since March 2020; and how many of those doctors have been used by the NHS.
Esther McVey: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how many Afghan translators were used by the UK in Afghanistan over the last 20 years.