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Byron Davies: Thank you, Mr Speaker, for allowing me to make my maiden speech during this particularly important part of the debate on the Gracious Speech. I shall return to the issue of devolution in the United Kingdom shortly. I pay tribute to all the Members who have made their maiden speeches this week. Let me also say that it is a pleasure to follow the hon. Member for Belfast South (Dr McDonnell)....
Byron Davies: What plans he has to strengthen the armed forces covenant.
Byron Davies: Ensuring that our servicemen and women can buy their own homes is, rightly, a priority for this Government. How many people have benefited from the Forces Help to Buy scheme so far?
Byron Davies: Organised crime is fuelled by corruption. That applies particularly to some countries in eastern Europe. Can the Prime Minister give me an assurance that this will be addressed in discussions at the summit with some of our newer member states?
Byron Davies: Will the hon. Lady comment on the fact that Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher built more houses in Wales in the last year of her premiership than the Welsh Labour Government have built since they came to power in 1999?
Byron Davies: rose—
Byron Davies: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. In a previous life, having worked considerably in operational terms with RIPA, one of the difficulties I found was with the communications providers. What are the Home Secretary’s ideas for the legislation to make sure that it does not create problems in future?
Byron Davies: What assessment he has made of the effects in Wales of the Government’s long-term economic plan.
Byron Davies: I thank my hon. Friend for that answer. Having hauled my constituency out of the hands of Labour dominance after 109 years, I wonder whether my hon. Friend agrees that the general election result demonstrated clearly what we knew all along, which is that the Labour party, together with its failing chums in Cardiff Bay, was consistently on the wrong side of the economic argument.
Byron Davies: I thank the Secretary of State for a very clear statement and for her responses on communities and tourism. My constituency contains a mountain range known as Mynydd y Gwair, forming a backdrop to the first area of outstanding natural beauty. Planning permission for one of Wales’s largest wind farms has been granted by Swansea’s Labour city council, against the wishes of a clear majority...
Byron Davies: Does the Minister agree that it would probably do the shadow Minister and other Opposition Front Benchers a great deal of good to move down to Wales, where there has been an 8% cut in the budget? Wales has not met A&E targets since 2008.
Byron Davies: What further discussions he has had with his counterparts in EU member states on the issues relating to EU reform raised by the Prime Minister at the June 2015 European Council.
Byron Davies: There are particular concerns with the recent EU accession countries in relation to corruption and maladministration. What is the UK doing to ensure that these countries conform to the high standards? What bilateral work, if any, is being undertaken to assist them in cleaning up their police, justice and Government departments?
Byron Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the budget for the International Corruption Unit at the National Crime Agency was in each year of that Unit's operation to date; and what that budget will be in each of the next three years.
Byron Davies: As a former Metropolitan police officer, I was relieved to hear my right hon. Friend’s announcement. Does she agree that the use of water cannon would have changed the face of traditional policing on the mainland beyond all recognition? Will she ensure that the police are provided with the most up-to-date equipment to fight criminality, including robust stop-and-search powers?
Byron Davies: Yesterday the Auditor General for Wales published a damning report on the Labour Welsh Government’s handling of the regeneration investment fund for Wales and the underselling of a large amount of publicly owned property. May we have a statement on the issue from the Secretary of State for Wales as soon as practicable?
Byron Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, what progress her Department has made on introducing enhanced data sharing to allow energy suppliers to deliver more targeted support to customers in the Broader Group.
Byron Davies: I am grateful for the opportunity to speak on this issue of critical importance. As the Prime Minister said yesterday, this is the biggest challenge facing countries across Europe today. Many people have taken the perilous journey, fleeing the ravages of the conflict that has torn Syria apart. They are fleeing the terrors of Bashar al-Assad, ISIL and other perpetrators of the terrible and...
Byron Davies: Save the Children does a remarkable job and I would always be open to helping with any of its initiatives. We are the second largest bilateral donor of aid to the Syrian conflict. We are providing more than 18 million food rations, 2.4 million medical consultations and 1.6 million people with clean water. That is the largest ever response to a humanitarian crisis. I welcome the Government’s...
Byron Davies: We must try to provide refugees with a more direct and safe route to the UK, avoiding the clutches of people traffickers. This point brings into sharp focus the current crisis in Europe. Tragically, the hazardous journey has cost many lives. When the Home Secretary winds up the debate, perhaps she will say whether she agrees that resettling refugees directly from the camps in the middle east,...