Results 1–20 of 487 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Cat Smith

Oral Answers to Questions — Cabinet Office: Voter Registration (16 May 2018)

Cat Smith: Three thousand eight hundred: that is the number of people nationally with no fixed abode who are registered to vote. Does the Minister agree that that is woefully under-representative of the number of homeless people and families in this country? One way to make it easier for people with no fixed abode to register to vote would be to remove the requirement to print the form. Why is the group...

Digital, Culture, Media and Sport: Youth Services (10 May 2018)

Cat Smith: The Minister refers to the £90 million that is going to be made available to youth programmes via dormant accounts, but will she acknowledge that this makes up just 17% of the shortfall of £765 million that has been cut from our youth services since 2011? When are the Government going to get serious and give local authority youth services the funding they so desperately need?

Breast Cancer Screening: Points of Order (2 May 2018)

Cat Smith: On a point of order, Mr Speaker. I seek your guidance on how to secure the correction of a statement made by the Government. In September 2017, the Cabinet Office wrote that “alleged electoral fraud through voter impersonation more than doubled between 2014 and 2016”. That statement was later used to justify the Government’s voter identity trials, which are taking place at...

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence: Voter ID Pilots (23 Apr 2018)

Cat Smith: (Urgent Question): To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office if she will make a statement on the Government’s policy on voter ID pilots taking place at the local government elections on 3 May.

Oral Answers to Questions — Defence: Voter ID Pilots (23 Apr 2018)

Cat Smith: Thank you for those comments, Mr Speaker, and for granting this urgent question. The Minister talked widely about the system in Northern Ireland, but the Electoral Commission recommended that, as in Northern Ireland, these trials include measures such as free voter ID cards, which have not been rolled out by this Government. That means that the trials taking place in the English local...

Infected Blood Inquiry (29 Mar 2018)

Cat Smith: I thank my hon. Friend the Member for Kingston upon Hull North (Diana Johnson) for continuing to champion this important issue. I echo the concerns that she and other colleagues have raised. The victims of this appalling tragedy have been waiting decades for answers and for justice. Sadly, they continue to wait for the justice they so desperately deserve. I note the Minister’s personal...

Oral Answers to Questions — Cabinet Office: Electoral Fraud (28 Mar 2018)

Cat Smith: Over 40 leading charities and academics have written to the Minister expressing their concern that these voter ID pilot areas have failed to carry out equality impact assessments adequately. Most participating authorities have identified negative impacts on various groups, such as people with disabilities, Asian and black communities and Travellers, but astonishingly Bromley Borough Council...

Overseas Electors Bill (23 Feb 2018)

Cat Smith: I thank the hon. Member for Montgomeryshire (Glyn Davies) for promoting this Bill so that we can debate the extension of voting rights to overseas electors. As a modern, progressive, socialist party, we are committed to building a truly global Britain, and to championing our core values of equality, social justice and opportunity for all. Globalisation has led to a broad section of British...

Overseas Electors Bill (23 Feb 2018)

Cat Smith: I fully support my hon. Friend’s private Member’s Bill. I hope that Members across the House who want a more inclusive democracy where every eligible voter is on the electoral roll will continue to support her Bill. She raises an interesting point about why this matter is before us on a Friday as a private Member’s Bill. It is deeply concerning that this measure has been put...

Overseas Electors Bill (23 Feb 2018)

Cat Smith: My hon. Friend makes a valid point. That is the context of local government funding being reduced significantly over the years, which has forced local authorities to review their electoral services. That has led to significant reductions in core service funding and staffing levels, with a growing number of skilled professionals leaving local authority elections teams. The impact of austerity...

Overseas Electors Bill (23 Feb 2018)

Cat Smith: The report that my hon. Friend raises is very worrying and should be of concern to Members across the House. When 43% of local authorities agree that they do not have sufficient funds to administer a poll, we should all be worried about the integrity of our electoral system. The Government fail to understand that cuts to public services can have devastating consequences. Last year, the...

Overseas Electors Bill (23 Feb 2018)

Cat Smith: Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. My hon. Friend’s intervention was particularly about the capacity of local elections offices. Were the Bill to be successful, the impact on local elections offices in councils up and down the country would be huge, because the process of registering an overseas elector can take around two hours. If those offices were to see a huge increase in the number...

Overseas Electors Bill (23 Feb 2018)

Cat Smith: Let me return to the Bill. I want to ask the Government three questions. Have they any indication of how many of the estimated 5 million Britons living abroad would apply to be overseas electors in the run-up to a UK parliamentary election or national referendum if the 15-year rule were removed? How do they intend to fund EROs for the additional costs incurred by these proposals? What steps...

Overseas Electors Bill (23 Feb 2018)

Cat Smith: Given the overstretched nature of elections offices up and down the country, I suspect there would not be the capacity for such a check. Given that the Government are this May planning to trial requiring ID at polling stations, it seems that the requirements to prove the identity of an elector living in the UK are far greater than—

Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster: Parliamentary and Local Elections (21 Feb 2018)

Cat Smith: It is clear that disabled people are under-represented in our democracy and our politics, but in 2015, the Minister’s Government abolished the access to elected office fund, which supported many disabled people in meeting the extra costs in standing for office. How can the Government claim to be making democracy more accessible when these financial barriers are put in their place?

Oral Answers to Questions — Work and Pensions: Topical Questions (5 Feb 2018)

Cat Smith: My constituent Mrs Allinson suffers from multiple sclerosis. She has been receiving the personal independence payment for 24 months, but was recently reassessed and denied it on the ground that she can work, although only part time. Given that she is no longer getting that money, she is working full time and damaging her health. Do the Government recognise that disabled people need support to...

Baby Leave for Members of Parliament (1 Feb 2018)

Cat Smith: On that point, will my right hon. and learned Friend give way?

Baby Leave for Members of Parliament (1 Feb 2018)

Cat Smith: I thank my right hon. and learned Friend for making an excellent speech, and declare my interest as one of those Members with a growing bump. Does she agree that that highlights the urgency with which we have to address the issue? I am not the only Member of the House who is currently pregnant. Does she agree that we are working to a deadline? Babies do not wait; it is not going to stay in...

Capita: Business of the House (1 Feb 2018)

Cat Smith: Almost three months ago, on 3 November, I wrote to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government about the Preesall gas storage facility plans in my constituency. I am still waiting on a reply. Will the Leader of the House look into this on my behalf?

Taliban and is/Daesh Attacks: Afghanistan: Contaminated Blood Inquiry (29 Jan 2018)

Cat Smith: I thank my hon. Friend the Member for Kingston upon Hull North (Diana Johnson) for raising this important issue and echo the concerns that she and others colleagues in this House have raised. The victims of this appalling tragedy have been waiting decades for answers and for justice, and it is unacceptable that they are now having to wait even longer as the Government miss their own...


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