Bob Stewart: I wish to help the hon. Gentleman by saying that my uncle was at school on the edges of Loch Ness as a boy and saw the Loch Ness monster. As a consequence, tourism expanded hugely—it was in all the Scottish newspapers. It was only at his funeral that it was allowed that that was a fake.
Bob Stewart: This afternoon, I should like to talk about a subject that has been much in the news recently—namely, chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defence. I also want to talk about the Royal Air Force Regiment, which currently has key responsibility for protecting us in the United Kingdom. I gather that the RAF Regiment was hugely instrumental in cleaning up after the Salisbury...
Bob Stewart: I rise in support of the hon. Lady’s point. I bet there are a heck of a lot of people who have autism, and no one can really understand that they have it—they probably do not understand it—but a lot of people are like that and they are adults.
Bob Stewart: As everyone here today knows, autism takes many forms and it is sometimes not physically obvious. That is probably why some people are not diagnosed when they are children. However, most are, so I want to talk about one of them. In the early 1970s, my parents ran a home for children with special needs at Chinley in the Peak district. My superb younger sister Alison Stewart, now Mrs Alison...
Bob Stewart: My right hon. Friend mentioned that one in eight children from low-income backgrounds is likely to become a high-income earner. What is the percentage for the rest of children—what percentage becomes high-income earners—so that we have a good comparison?
Bob Stewart: On 17 September last year, the threat level for our country was reduced from “critical”, which meant that an attack was imminent, to “severe”, which means that an attack by terrorists is highly likely. The senior Metropolitan police counter-terrorism officer in our country has said that that threat is likely to last for five years. We all see the threat level on the...
Bob Stewart: Does the Secretary of State have a view on what should happen to the salaries of those who work for MLAs? They have no choice, and we should be sympathetic to that.
Bob Stewart: rose—
Bob Stewart: I just want to point out to my hon. Friend—because he is a friend—that Carrickfergus was the first battle honour of the Cheshire Regiment, in 1689.
Bob Stewart: I was under the impression that grant funding would stay the same, at least in the short term, so there would not be a big difference.
Bob Stewart: I think that my right hon. Friend has already answered the question I wanted to ask: did all the parties agree not to take it back to 2014?
Bob Stewart: The hon. Gentleman talks about the North West 200 and the Portrush, Coleraine and Portstewart triangle. Is it sheer coincidence that right in the middle of that triangle is the Bushmills distillery?
Bob Stewart: I thank my right hon. Friend for giving way, and I also thank my right hon. Friend the Member for East Antrim (Sammy Wilson) for his contribution. I do not quite understand why a Minister could not come to make such decisions relatively shortly, although, as far as I can ascertain, we are not at that stage yet. We are not returning to direct rule, but we might be moving towards pragmatic,...
Bob Stewart: Many soldiers have actually received compensation and pensions. Is the hon. Gentleman including them in the figure of 500, or are they separate?
Bob Stewart: Assuming an Executive is reconstituted at some stage during the year—perhaps, say, in six months’ time—would members of that Executive have any ability to fiddle, change or adjust the budget that my right hon. Friend is proposing, or is it set for the year?
Bob Stewart: I am deeply affected by listening to the story of the hon. Lady’s granddaughter. When did the hon. Lady and her husband know that they were carriers? That is pretty important.
Bob Stewart: Does that mean that the hon. Gentleman’s constituent will have Orkambi for life, or will it be taken off him later?
Bob Stewart: On my good friend’s excellent point, I wonder how much it costs to put a child in hospital for a month. I am pretty sure it is not far off £100,000.
Bob Stewart: My point is very straightforward. It seems grossly unfair that some people can get hold of this drug and some people cannot. We ought to level the playing field.
Bob Stewart: Being born with cystic fibrosis is just the bad luck of the draw. Until I started researching cystic fibrosis to speak today, I had no idea that one in 25 of us carries a faulty gene that causes it. Nor did I realise that people were born with the condition and cannot catch it. The Cystic Fibrosis Trust tells me that about 10,400 people have cystic fibrosis in this country. It is bad luck if...