Results 1–20 of 326 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 — Transport: Topical Questions (30 Nov 2017)

Cat Smith: This Government are presiding over a sustained fall in the number of bus journeys taken. Just this week, Kent County Council outlined plans to axe more than 70 bus routes in a bid to save £4 million. Does the Secretary of State accept that bus passenger numbers will continue to fall until his Government halt the cuts to local authorities?

Cabinet Office and the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster: The Queen’s Private Estate: Ethical Investment (22 Nov 2017)

Cat Smith: Donations to political parties show stark differences between our party and the Government’s. They are dependent on the ultra-wealthy few, while our party is powered by the many. In the light of the revelation in the Paradise papers that key Tory donor Lord Ashcroft was using offshore tax havens to shelter his wealth, will the Minister and his colleagues be accepting his donations to...

Cabinet Office and the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster: Voter Registration (22 Nov 2017)

Cat Smith: According to figures published by the Electoral Commission, nearly 11,000 people tried to vote on 8 June but found that they were not registered to vote once they reached the polling station. Will the Government examine the use of Government data to place electors on the roll automatically and pilot the idea of polling day voter registration to ensure that every eligible voter is entitled to...

Representation of the People (Young People’S Enfranchisement and Education) Bill (3 Nov 2017)

Cat Smith: It is a pleasure to speak from the Front Bench in this debate and set out the Labour party position, particularly given the fact that so many young people are watching our democracy in action from the Public Gallery. I worry what message we might be sending to them through the behaviour of some Members in the Chamber. The Bill is a historic opportunity to extend the franchise to 16 and...

Representation of the People (Young People’S Enfranchisement and Education) Bill (3 Nov 2017)

Cat Smith: I have only just started. If history has taught us anything, it is that our past is littered with bold actions, proud speeches and even lives lost to win and defend the right to vote. As we celebrate 100 years of women’s suffrage, we have an opportunity to reflect on how far we have come as a country and to look to extend the franchise to 16 and 17-year-olds. The case has never been...

Representation of the People (Young People’S Enfranchisement and Education) Bill (3 Nov 2017)

Cat Smith: I do agree with the hon. Lady, who is part of a coalition of five Opposition parties that agree that the time has come for votes for 16 and 17-year-olds.

Representation of the People (Young People’S Enfranchisement and Education) Bill (3 Nov 2017)

Cat Smith: I do not believe that there is any contradiction in our using an opportunity to education the young people of the next generation about politics. In fact, were we to look for any contradiction, it might be found in the fact that Conservative Members are arguing against votes for 16 and 17-year-olds, yet allowing 16-year-olds to join the Conservative party and potentially vote in the next Tory...

Proportional Representation — [James Gray in the Chair] (30 Oct 2017)

Cat Smith: The Minister makes the point that the elections for the police and crime commissioners had a higher proportion of spoilt ballot papers than a general election. If that is the case, perhaps the public are sending a message that they do not want to elect police and crime commissioners in the first place?

Proportional Representation — [James Gray in the Chair] (30 Oct 2017)

Cat Smith: I congratulate the more than 100,000 members of the public who supported the e-petition to secure today’s debate. This truly is their debate on proportional representation. Given that the petition reached the required number of signatures by March, I also thank them for their patience. The debate was slightly delayed by the June general election, and despite the shared disappointment on...

Proportional Representation — [James Gray in the Chair] (30 Oct 2017)

Cat Smith: I will not, because most of the people who have taken part in the debate want to hear from the Minister and I want to maximise the time that he has. A recent study by Demos found that only 37% of young adults in the UK feel that British politics today reflects the issues that matter to them. If we are to build a democracy that works for everyone, what are the Government doing to increase...

Proportional Representation — [James Gray in the Chair] (30 Oct 2017)

Cat Smith: If the hon. Gentleman had been here for the debate, he might have found that that question was answered earlier. What is the Government’s position on votes at 16? The First Secretary of State and Minister for the Cabinet Office said in a recent report that “it is important for Conservatives to demonstrate to young people…that we take their opinions seriously. Supporting a...

Tobacco Control Plan: Valproate and Foetal Anticonvulsant Syndrome (19 Oct 2017)

Cat Smith: Thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker. It is a pleasure to be able to be squeezed into the end of this debate, and I shall be brief. For me, this debate started within days of being elected as an MP in 2015, when my constituent Janet Williams got in touch to ask whether she could meet me. When I was first elected, I imagined that I would meet most of my constituents back up in Lancashire, but Janet...

Tobacco Control Plan: Valproate and Foetal Anticonvulsant Syndrome (19 Oct 2017)

Cat Smith: Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of research done by the Independent Fetal Anti Convulsant Trust—In-FACT—which found that up to 400 babies affected by valproate have been born since the toolkit was launched in February 2016?

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport: Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Industries (19 Oct 2017)

Cat Smith: Following the high-profile cases of child sexual abuse in Rotherham and Oxford, taxi licensing was strengthened in those council areas. However, despite repeated calls for legislation reform, including from the Law Commission, the Government have refused to close the loopholes that allowed drivers to be licensed elsewhere and effectively game the system. Will the Minister commit to...

Oral Answers to Questions — Cabinet Office: Voting Age (11 Oct 2017)

Cat Smith: Does the Minister agree that sometimes young people make mistakes, and that it cannot be right that a teenager at the age of 16 can make the mistake of joining the Conservative party and voting in the inevitably upcoming leadership election, yet would be denied a vote at the forthcoming general election?

Bae Systems Military Air & Information Sites: Job Losses (10 Oct 2017)

Cat Smith: Some 750 of these potential job losses are in Lancashire, which rightly worries many of my constituents who work there. The loss of these highly skilled and well-paid jobs will have a devastating impact on the Lancashire economy. Will the Minister tell us more about what conversations she is having with the local enterprise partnership in Lancashire, what resources and support we can have in...

Schools: National Funding Formula: General Election Campaign: Abuse and Intimidation (14 Sep 2017)

Cat Smith: Today’s timely debate focuses on the important issue of the abuse and intimidation of candidates and the public in UK elections, but I would like to begin with a note of thanks to Mr Deputy Speaker for his support in ensuring my personal safety and that on colleagues on both sides of the House as we go about our business. I know that many of my colleagues will share my thanks and put...

Schools: National Funding Formula: General Election Campaign: Abuse and Intimidation (14 Sep 2017)

Cat Smith: I will answer some of those points in my speech. I suspect that what happened was partly due to the increased use of social media sites, which have more users than at previous elections, but I will come to that. The same inquiry and the Law Commission argue that the current legal system is not fit for purpose. They urged the Government to redraft electoral offences in a more simple and modern...

Schools: National Funding Formula: General Election Campaign: Abuse and Intimidation (14 Sep 2017)

Cat Smith: My hon. Friend raises a very important point. Only this week, there were reports in the press regarding some rape threats I reported to Facebook which I was told at first did not breach its community standards. It does appear that women MPs face a particular kind of intimidation—threats of rape. Those comments have now been taken down, but I sometimes wonder whether that would have been...


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