Nick Thomas-Symonds: In my role as chair of the all-party parliamentary group on off-patent drugs, I have been proud to contribute to the working party on this issue over the past two years. The drug repurposing report produced by that group is now on the desk of the Minister in the other place, the noble Lord O’Shaughnessy. When can we have a statement from the Government on the report’s recommendations?
Nick Thomas-Symonds: When the 2016 referendum in Bermuda failed to reach the turnout threshold, what advice did the Foreign Office give to the Governor of Bermuda on this issue?
Nick Thomas-Symonds: Motability has been a lifeline, but it is obscene that this money has not been going to the neediest in our society. I appreciate the Secretary of State’s urgent request to the National Audit Office, but what steps will she take to monitor the level of reserves, to ensure that they are not hoarded in this way again?
Nick Thomas-Symonds: The Solicitor General is right to identify specific issues that need to be tackled on FGM. However, if we are to increase prosecution rates right across the range of offences, we need a properly resourced and robust disclosure system. The former Conservative politician and barrister Jerry Hayes has said: “The CPS are under terrible pressure, as are the police. Both work hard but are...
Nick Thomas-Symonds: I appreciate that there is a review, and I appreciate that there are long-standing issues, but there is also no doubt that social media—things like WhatsApp—and the examination of mobile telephones present new challenges that are time intensive and resource intensive. Surely it is the case that, without proper resources on those things, we will not have the system of disclosure...
Nick Thomas-Symonds: My constituents who have paid into pension funds deserve to have those moneys protected. Will the Secretary of State be a bit more specific? What specific changes to corporate governance does she want to see to ensure that high risk behaviour towards pension funds does not happen again?
Nick Thomas-Symonds: I congratulate my hon. Friend on securing the debate. Does she agree that the Government made the situation significantly worse by passing regulations in 2017 that have been found to be blatantly discriminatory against those with mental health conditions?
Nick Thomas-Symonds: First, I am grateful to the Backbench Business Committee for agreeing to the application led by my right hon. Friend the Member for Enfield North (Joan Ryan) and for allowing these important issues to be brought forward. While nobody in the House would deny the right to peaceful protest, we should of course debate in the House when offence and distress are caused by public displays, and we...
Nick Thomas-Symonds: indicated assent.
Nick Thomas-Symonds: I will make two points to my hon. Friend. First, when briefings are prepared, they tend to focus on the narrow issue of the debate, but let me be clear that we condemn anti-Semitism is all its forms. Secondly, with regard to peace going forward, we have to be careful about closing off diplomatic channels. For example, I was interested to read the comments made by former Prime Minister Tony...
Nick Thomas-Symonds: To ask about what would have happened had the whole organisation been proscribed is clearly counterfactual. I am sure that the hon. Gentleman will appreciate that that is entirely hypothetical.
Nick Thomas-Symonds: Nobody supports terrible, violent, barbaric acts; we simply look at the situation as it is and try to strike a balance. I have already set out—[Interruption.] I will deal with the hon. Member for Croydon South (Chris Philp) in a moment. I have already set out that I would be happy to speak to police forces around the country about using the powers that they have at the moment. The...
Nick Thomas-Symonds: I have heard a number of speakers make the point about the links. I simply observe that their activities are distinct—the activities of violence, which we absolutely condemn, on the one hand; and, on the other hand, engagement with the democratic process. Labour Members have supported the balance that the Government are striking, which is not to say that I am not sensitive to the views...
Nick Thomas-Symonds: The UK is in a unique position to tackle plastic waste in the world’s oceans due to the number of our overseas territories. Will the Secretary of State be speaking to those overseas territories to develop a comprehensive strategy in this area?
Nick Thomas-Symonds: I congratulate my hon. Friend on securing this debate and the way he has pursued this issue. Like him, I contributed to debates on it in the last Parliament. I was pleased, as were many colleagues, to see the pubs code at last, but does he agree that the key now is to see it implemented throughout?
Nick Thomas-Symonds: The hon. Gentleman has made the case well for having sufficient capacity available to us. Does he therefore agree that we cannot have a situation where Army numbers remain below 80,000? Quite simply, we need a larger Army.
Nick Thomas-Symonds: I would like to talk about a Welsh example: my young constituent Emily Clark, who was diagnosed at 16 and subsequently sadly passed away. During the period of her illness, her work in setting up the RemissionPossible initiative resulted in 4,000 more people joining the stem cell donor register. Will the hon. Gentleman praise Emily, and her mother Donna Dunn, who is continuing the work?
Nick Thomas-Symonds: Does the hon. Gentleman agree that one of the keys to treatment is having as many people as we can on the stem cell donor register? There are 660,000 selfless individuals on it at the moment. We should thank them and also encourage those between the ages of 16 and 30 to sign up.
Nick Thomas-Symonds: It is vital that developing countries have an effective tax collection system. What bilateral action are the Government taking to support countries to achieve that goal?
Nick Thomas-Symonds: May I wish you, Mr Speaker, and all Members and staff a very happy Christmas? Public legal education is also important in giving victims the confidence to come forward. This week the Attorney General published data on the use of complainants’ sexual history in the most serious sex trials. He also announced the provision of training. When will that training be available?