Nick Thomas-Symonds: Last Friday’s progress report on the negotiations was described by the Brexit Secretary as a mere “statement of intent”. Is that the position of the Government?
Nick Thomas-Symonds: Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s sister-in-law lives in my constituency, and local people have presented me with a petition for her release. May I press the Foreign Secretary directly? Did he request to see her personally, so that he could judge of her mental and physical wellbeing?
Nick Thomas-Symonds: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department has taken to combat hate crime motivated by a victim’s sexuality or disability.
Nick Thomas-Symonds: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many incidents have been recorded for hate crime against (a) gay and (b) disabled people in each of the last five years for which data is available.
Nick Thomas-Symonds: The Association of Medical Research Charities has now published its report on greater access to off-patent drugs on the frontline, to which many stakeholders have contributed, including me as chair of the all-party parliamentary group on off-patent drugs. May we have a debate on how to continue our cross-party agenda to increase access to off-patent drugs?
Nick Thomas-Symonds: I was referring to the statistics about the number of cases that have been referred to the Court of Appeal and subsequent increases. In 2015 there were 136 referrals, and 102 sentences were increased. In 2016, which is the most recent year for which there are statistics, 190 cases were referred and 141 sentences were increased. I raise those statistics to put the debate in context. Each year,...
Nick Thomas-Symonds: As a matter of fact, it is obviously the case that the unduly lenient sentence scheme does not cover the entire 80,000 cases. I totally accept that. That is absolutely correct.
Nick Thomas-Symonds: The hon. Gentleman is quite right, but that applies the other way as well. If the defendant appeals something, as long as it is within a reasonable band, it will not be appealable the other way either. The reasonable band exists to bring certainty and consistency to sentencing, which all of us in this House who believe in the rule of law should want. I take the point entirely that the unduly...
Nick Thomas-Symonds: It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Davies. I refer Members to my relevant entry in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests, indicating that I am a non-practising door tenant at Civitas Law in Cardiff. I congratulate the right hon. Member for Hemel Hempstead (Sir Mike Penning) on securing the debate, and on the considered way in which he introduced it. I know he...
Nick Thomas-Symonds: I congratulate my hon. Friend on securing the debate. On the issue of decline, does he agree that, in the three years since that particular aspect of the conflict ended, conditions are actually getting worse in the Gaza strip? Many constituents have contacted me about that declining humanitarian situation. We need to redouble our efforts internationally to tackle it.
Nick Thomas-Symonds: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, to where his Department has reallocated funding from the previous Work Programme and Work Choice to increase the employment opportunities of people with learning disability; and if he will make a statement.
Nick Thomas-Symonds: I entirely agree with the speech my hon. Friend has made so far. [Laughter.] I am sure I will agree even more as it develops further. She talks about the devolved Administrations, but is the truth not that this Bill also denudes this Parliament of powers through a number of Henry VIII clauses?
Nick Thomas-Symonds: Will the hon. Gentleman give way?
Nick Thomas-Symonds: I want to be absolutely clear about the new clause, because it says clearly: “Ministers of the Crown shall only create UK-wide frameworks if they have consulted with, and secured the agreement of, the affected devolved administrations.” It is very, very clear. I agree with the hon. Gentleman that we should be working across parties as much as possible, but there is really no need...
Nick Thomas-Symonds: I congratulate my hon. Friend on the speech she has started to make. Does she agree that one of the great betrayals and causes of instability is the constant promise that the pay cap is temporary, when all the time it has continued, and seven years down the line here we are?
Nick Thomas-Symonds: In the years for which I worked in the university sector, a great deal of time was spent going out to schools to encourage pupils from all backgrounds to apply to university. What sort of message does it send when the chair of the commission resigns and says that the Government simply do not have time for social mobility?
Nick Thomas-Symonds: The right hon. Gentleman will recall that we both called for action well over two years ago when he and I were our parties’ respective pensions spokespeople. Does he share my deep frustration that we have still had absolutely nothing?
Nick Thomas-Symonds: In 2014, the last Tory Prime Minister described electrification of the great western main line across south Wales as ”transformational for communities” and “huge”. Given that the Government have now cancelled electrification from Cardiff to Swansea, why should my constituents, or anyone else, believe Tory promises on rail again?
Nick Thomas-Symonds: Does the Minister agree that what has marked out the fight against polio is its international nature, and that we should be pressing this same approach to tackling other diseases at the Commonwealth summit next year?
Nick Thomas-Symonds: I congratulate my hon. Friend on securing this timely and important debate, and declare an interest as the chair of the all-party parliamentary group on off-patent drugs. Does she agree that, irrespective of what happens with the Brexit negotiations, the Government should guarantee that any patient who needs access to drugs will not wait any longer as a result of Brexit?