Michael Tomlinson: I know my hon. Friend has looked at the issue carefully, and he heard my intervention on the hon. Member for Rhondda (Chris Bryant). Sentences seem to be the same for summary offences as for indictable offences, so will he consider whether it is necessary to increase sentences for indictable offences?
Michael Tomlinson: On that point, I am trying to understand the hon. Gentleman’s reasoning for the sentence on indictment being exactly the same as the sentence on summary. Will that be teased out in Committee? What was his thinking on that?
Michael Tomlinson: Will my right hon. Friend give way?
Michael Tomlinson: Was my right hon. Friend as surprised and disappointed as I was, during Prime Minister’s questions, to hear this policy described and characterised as “calculated cruelty”? There is nothing cruel about getting more people into work. There is nothing cruel about encouraging more people to work more than a mere 16 hours. There is nothing cruel about simplifying an overly...
Michael Tomlinson: While not ignoring human rights abuses and the abuse of minorities, including Christians—the Minister either has acknowledged or would acknowledge such abuses—does he agree it is important for the international community to continue with dialogue to reach a diplomatic solution, and that this nuclear deal makes the region a safer place?
Michael Tomlinson: What steps the Government are taking to tackle electoral fraud.
Michael Tomlinson: I welcome the fact that the Government are piloting voter ID. I had the privilege of being in Iraqi Kurdistan for the recent independence referendum, when voter ID was used with apparently few difficulties. Which local authority areas are involved in the Government’s pilot, and how can the system be rolled out to further authorities in due course?
Michael Tomlinson: I warmly welcome the Prime Minister’s statement, particularly her comments about EU citizens and, equally importantly, UK citizens living and working in the EU. She is right that the ball is very much in the EU’s court, but will she ensure that the issue remains front and centre and is resolved as quickly as possible?
Michael Tomlinson: I warmly welcome the latest employment figures, particularly the youth employment figures. We are within touching distance of record youth unemployment. On young disabled people, will the Minister comment on Leonard Cheshire Disability and the great work it does, particularly its Can Do scheme? I think she recently met ambassadors of that scheme.
Michael Tomlinson: I congratulate the Secretary of State on delivering yet another manifesto pledge, and I commend both her and the Schools Minister for their hard work in this area. Was she as disappointed as I was with the tone of Labour Front Benchers in response to this statement. Not only does this formula help historically underfunded areas such as mine, but it will help across the whole country,...
Michael Tomlinson: I am grateful to the Secretary of State for his comments about the green belt and areas of outstanding natural beauty, both of which are reasons why Dorset is such a special place in which to live and work, and to visit. Will he reaffirm the Government’s position on the green belt, and reassure my constituents and the three local planning authorities that cover my constituency that...
Michael Tomlinson: Last week in Westminster, there was the launch of the manifesto on strengthening families. The Leader of the House found time to attend, and I commend her for the work she has done in this area. Can she find time for a debate on strengthening families, particularly with an angle on the important link between prisoners and families? The odds of reoffending are 39% lower if people retain...
Michael Tomlinson: My hon. Friend is talking about the expansion of student numbers, and that is right, but is it not also right that the proportion of students from disadvantaged backgrounds has gone up as well—not just the number but the proportion?
Michael Tomlinson: Will the hon. Gentleman give way?
Michael Tomlinson: The Leader of the Opposition’s precise words were: “I will deal with it.” Those were his words. The hon. Member for Ilford North (Wes Streeting) wandered into the Chamber, made an intervention and has now left. He should have stayed to hear this. His leader said that he would deal with it and has now gone back on that.