Simon Hoare: The right hon. Gentleman is speaking with his customary passion on this issue, which he says is at the heart of Scottish National party thinking. I am not an expert on devolved powers, but my understanding from reading the legislation is that the Scottish Government have the powers to rectify this issue if they so wish. He chastises the Treasury Bench for a lack of action, but we have seen no...
Simon Hoare: The Scotland Act 2016 does not preclude the right hon. Gentleman—
Simon Hoare: I agree entirely that pensions are reserved, but discretionary payments could be made by the Scottish Government. Why have they not done so?
Simon Hoare: I refer the House to my entry in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests. Given the supposition that the rebels will not engage in the important UN-led process unless Iran allows them to and that there is no interest in Iran in thawing relations with Saudi Arabia or improving Saudi Arabia’s perception in the world, how does my right hon. Friend see peace being delivered?
Simon Hoare: I am following the right hon. Gentleman’s argument with close attention. Part of the leave argument was to take back control—not just to the House of Commons, but to the country and Parliament as a whole. Is he now trying to undermine the bicameral system?
Simon Hoare: Can my hon. Friend confirm that if changes are made to the women’s pension arrangements, it will create discrimination against men, and that would be unfair?
Simon Hoare: What steps the Government are taking to stop the use of drones over prisons.
Simon Hoare: My hon. Friend will know that technology moves ever faster, day by day. Can he assure me that HMP Guys Marsh in my constituency will have access to the relevant funds to have the technologies in place to combat the use of drones and mobile telephones?
Simon Hoare: What plans he has to ensure that landlords and letting agents meet contractual obligations to tenants.
Simon Hoare: I refer to my entry in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests. May I urge the Secretary of State, in clamping down on rogue practices in the private sector, to keep a weather eye on some of our housing associations, which often seem to think that they are above and beyond the rules and regulations that govern the private sector?
Simon Hoare: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I have composed myself.
Simon Hoare: As I understand it, there are six days in the programme motion—[Interruption.] Forgive me; there are eight days in the programme motion for a Bill on which the Labour party will not divide the House. It seems bizarre to divide the House on the programme motion.
Simon Hoare: On a point of order, Mr Speaker. I appreciate that I have not been in this House for that long, but this is a debate in which the hon. Gentleman has cast some very serious allegations against Conservative Members with no substantiation whatsoever. A number of colleagues have tried to intervene to tease and prise out the argument that he is putting—he is perfectly in order; I take that...
Simon Hoare: The hon. Lady nailed it in a remark that she made a moment or so ago. There have been just three sitting days since the Opposition day debate. Were we to presuppose that Her Majesty’s Government would seek to respond to that debate—let us not presume that—would it be fair, in all honesty, to expect them to do so within three sitting days?
Simon Hoare: It is a pleasure to speak in the debate and to follow my hon. Friend the Member for Eddisbury (Antoinette Sandbach). Let me start, as so many right hon. and hon. Members have—[Interruption.] I have only said three words, and the hon. Member for Rhondda (Chris Bryant) is asking me to speed up. I mean, I was just clearing my throat, and I was just about to congratulate him on bringing...
Simon Hoare: Oh, he does not want me to. In that case, it is a great pleasure not to congratulate him on bringing in the Bill. To please him, as a fellow Welshman—that was obviously one of his key criteria for Members taking part in the debate—I will be as quick as I can. It is important to remember, for the benefit of those the Bill seeks to protect, that there are protections in the law...
Simon Hoare: Inadvertently, the hon. Gentleman—in his usual humble, don’t look at me, I’m pretending not to be here sort of way—has drawn attention to the hon. Member for Halifax (Holly Lynch). I know from talking to my hon. Friend the Member for Louth and Horncastle (Victoria Atkins) and to my right hon. Friend the Member for Great Yarmouth (Brandon Lewis), when he was the...
Simon Hoare: The hon. Gentleman nods, and I note that, as does the Minister. I am also tempted to include traffic wardens, who are not always the sort of people we cheer for, but they do good work enforcing parking regulations, and they often suffer a huge amount of abuse from people who are caught. My hon. Friend the Member for Beckenham (Bob Stewart) made me think about our armed forces. We have all...
Simon Hoare: I commend my right hon. Friend and the Department for their granular approach to this tragedy—that seems the right approach. Finding the truth and identifying justice is crucial. Will he update the House on the progress on the inquiry?
Simon Hoare: May I urge my right hon. Friend to be very granular when making such sub-regional assessments, to ensure within a regional context that rural areas, not just urban areas, secure the funding that they need?