Results 1–20 of 289 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: 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...

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

Cat Smith: The hon. Lady makes an important and correct point. This abuse is indeed faced by activists and volunteers from all political parties, and candidates and activists from black and minority ethnic backgrounds are indeed disproportionately more likely to face it, both online and offline. I will come to some of the offline comments in a moment.

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

Cat Smith: My hon. Friend raises an alarming example to add to the debate, and I thank her for her contribution. We cannot allow abuse to act as a barrier to participation in public life. A recent survey revealed that the majority of women MPs have received online and verbal abuse from the public, and a third have considered quitting as a result. The 2017 general election delivered the most diverse...

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

Cat Smith: The point has been made again that activists and campaigners from all political parties receive abuse. I think that there is consensus on that in the House. Although the debate is about the general election that has just passed, stalkers and trolls continue to blight the lives of candidates in local elections. Unlike parliamentary candidates, those who stand for local elections are required...

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

Cat Smith: The hon. Lady raises an alarming and pertinent point. It may leave many of us considering whether to encourage our partners to take part in democratic life, given the threats of abuse that we sometimes face. We cannot ignore the funding pressures that local authorities are under, because they have an impact on the matter. According to a study by the University of East Anglia, electoral...

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

Cat Smith: I will give way in a moment. The former Chancellor has previously described the Prime Minister as a “dead woman walking…on death row”, and compared her with “the living dead in a second-rate horror film”. I raise that because—

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

Cat Smith: I clarify that I am referring to the press reports that I read in The Times this morning. I raise that issue because violence against women is a huge problem in this country. Two women a week are killed by their partner or former partner, and rape continues to be a crime that is under-reported and for which it is very hard to achieve a successful prosecution. We as a House need to acknowledge...

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

Cat Smith: I associate myself with the remarks of my party leader, who has been very clear—indeed, he sent out such advice to Labour party candidates during the last election—that we should fight elections on the basis of policies, politics and the record of the Government, not play it personal. With that approach, we can have a debate in public that may influence the debate taking place on...

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

Cat Smith: I agree that there is a duty on all Members of this House to be very considered in the language they use in all matters, and to talk about policies and politics rather than personalities. Politics has been drifting towards a focus on personalities, and I think that is damaging. The politics of hope will always win out over the politics of fear, and it played a role in the general election. It...

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

Cat Smith: I will in a moment. The Leader of the Labour party has always said that he does not do personal, and he insisted that all Labour candidates ran positive campaigns based on our policies and the Government’s record, rather than peddling attacks on individuals. He tweeted about that in 2016 and reiterated it in the “Question Time” debate during the general election. As I said...

Business of the House (20 Jul 2017)

Cat Smith: As the House rises for the summer recess, many of my constituents are today mopping up properties that have once again been flooded, 18 months after Storm Desmond hit Lancashire. During that time the Government applied for EU emergency funding to support communities and flood resilience, but my local authorities, Lancashire County Council and Lancaster City Council, have been prevented from...

Taxi Trade — [Phil Wilson in the Chair] (18 Jul 2017)

Cat Smith: It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Wilson, and to speak in this important debate on the future of the taxi trade. I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Ilford North (Wes Streeting) on securing it. I also congratulate him and the all-party parliamentary group on taxis on publishing the report, “Lessons from London: The future of the UK taxi trade”. I draw...

UK Elections: Abuse and Intimidation — [David Hanson in the Chair] (12 Jul 2017)

Cat Smith: It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Hanson. I thank the hon. Member for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire (Simon Hart) for bringing this important debate to the House. It is clearly one in which every Member has some interest, because I doubt that any Member or anyone who stood for election to the House has not faced some level of abuse. I also thank the other Members...

UK Elections: Abuse and Intimidation — [David Hanson in the Chair] (12 Jul 2017)

Cat Smith: The right hon. Lady pre-empts the movement of my speech towards exactly that point. It is important that political parties and political leaders have a way in which they can address this issue. The Labour party has a social media policy and a code of conduct, which we expect our members to abide by. Where we find examples of members not doing so, we do not hesitate to remove them as members....


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