Bob Stewart: Forgive me, I thought I was on new clause 14. I will shut up in that case, having been admonished by you, Mr Robertson. I totally agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Ochil and South Perthshire, but he had a stake in the country while he was away. My queasy thought is that, while they may be very small in number, some people might not. That is my point and now, Mr Robertson, I am quashed.
Bob Stewart: The hon. Gentleman referred to the hon. Member for City of Chester, who is extremely popular with my old soldiers. That will give him quite an advantage, despite the fact that he is from that accursed Opposition party. I want to reassure him that he is extremely popular with old soldiers, and they will probably—despite my instructions to the contrary—vote for him.
Bob Stewart: No love-in this time, but I am worried about two things connected to the proposed new clauses. The first is how difficult it would be for an electoral registration officer to ascertain someone’s home 50 years ago. That would be extremely difficult. I know there will be records, but as time goes by people’s memories will obviously recede and blocks of flats and houses will be...
Bob Stewart: I am slightly concerned, but I hope that the Minister will be able to answer my question. In a general election, our electoral communications are sent out by the Post Office. Am I right to assume that they will be sent to all overseas voters? Will the Post Office and the Government pay for every single overseas voter on the electoral roll to receive an electoral communication from all parties...
Bob Stewart: Personally, I consider stamp duty to be daylight robbery. The Government do nothing for it; they just take money from people who are trying to get a home.
Bob Stewart: Does my right hon. Friend agree that Sir Roger Scruton has shown true courage and humanity through some of his journeys, particularly to the east, and that his writings and speeches are actually pretty good—
Bob Stewart: I have to say that my hon. Friend is absolutely right: they are better than mine. But I will finish my question. Does the Secretary of State agree that Sir Roger Scruton continues to have massive respect for all sectors of our society?
Bob Stewart: When NuGen hands back the Moorside site to the NDA in January, will it be the taxpayer who pays for the clean-up, or—I hope— its preparation for a new tenant?
Bob Stewart: The Minister said that a million fewer people are stopped and searched than in 2010 and that the success rate then was around 10%. What are the results under the new regime—are we getting more convictions?
Bob Stewart: We have not talked about the French much today, but the French suffered incredible casualties. My wife’s family lost 17 members at Verdun. We have a biscuit tin full of Croix de Guerre, Légions d’Honneur and Médailles Militaire, but we do not even know to whom they were given. The French really suffered, as did the Germans.
Bob Stewart: May I pursue that point? I understand from what I heard last night that, as support for the poppy has grown in the Republic of Ireland, there has been a surge in the number of people from the Republic who want to join the British Army again. Is that not wonderful?
Bob Stewart: I thought the speech by the right hon. Member for Leeds Central (Hilary Benn) was very touching; I thank him for giving it. I want to talk about an incident in my life that connected me to the first world war. On Friday 17 December 1982 at St George’s church, Stockport, I attended the funeral of a young soldier from my company who had been killed in Northern Ireland. Sadly, it was the...
Bob Stewart: Let me remind my right hon. and learned Friend of the words of Geoffrey Studdert Kennedy—“Woodbine Willie”: “There are many kinds of sorrow in this world of love and hate but there is no keener sorrow than a soldier’s for his mate”.
Bob Stewart: I absolutely endorse what the hon. Lady says. She is probably right that the people who are bullies do not even realise that they are bullying. It is tragic, but they do not, and they need that pointed out and to be educated.
Bob Stewart: The truth of the matter is that it is down to leadership. I agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Harwich and North Essex (Sir Bernard Jenkin): we are talking about leadership, and all the rules count for nothing if our style is wrong. We know what is right, and people who do wrong should be called out by the rest of us and dealt with. We do not need commissions or rules for that. What is...
Bob Stewart: Can I just get this right? Is it correct that our country gives more family benefits to our people who need them than any other developed country? [Interruption.]
Bob Stewart: Will the European partners of British citizens have to apply for settled status?
Bob Stewart: On the practicalities of sending out a form to someone abroad every year, presumably that would be quite an expense to the electoral system. I presume that the people abroad who want to stay on the roll will have to send a letter back, and will have to pay for the postage.
Bob Stewart: I presume that British embassies have some sort of form or instructions for overseas voters. An overseas voter who wants to find out what is going on could go to the embassy if perhaps they did not have a computer or were not on the internet, for example.
Bob Stewart: Does the Minister agree that the pay reduction seems a bit unfair, because the vast majority of MLAs actually want to do their job; it is only a small percentage that are stopping the Assembly being reassembled?