Results 1–20 of 52 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Lesley Laird

Bill Presented: Strengthening the Union (23 Jul 2018)

Lesley Laird: Can I clarify the record, so that there is no misunderstanding? I think that I clarified the issue when I was asked earlier whether I was a Unionist and whether I also supported Scotland. I can confirm both again, not just for me but for my party. We are absolutely a party of the Union. We are a party of democracy. We are the party of devolution and we will not waver from that. If I...

Bill Presented: Strengthening the Union (23 Jul 2018)

Lesley Laird: rose—

Bill Presented: Strengthening the Union (23 Jul 2018)

Lesley Laird: rose—

Bill Presented: Strengthening the Union (23 Jul 2018)

Lesley Laird: Having clarified the point, I should be grateful if the hon. Gentleman stopped repeating a statement that I have already corrected. That would be extremely helpful, not only to the House but, obviously, to the public outside.

Bill Presented: Strengthening the Union (23 Jul 2018)

Lesley Laird: Today’s debate is on “Strengthening the Union”, so I am going to start by talking about that concept and the ties that bind our Union together. Working together, our family of nations has achieved great things for the many and not just the few, and when we are once again united in common purpose, under a Labour Government, I know we will do great things again. Our shared...

Bill Presented: Strengthening the Union (23 Jul 2018)

Lesley Laird: I am indeed a proud Unionist. I am also a very proud Scot. Having supported and competed for my country, I can honestly say I can wear both jerseys with pride. Our shared history also includes the national health service, whose 70th anniversary we proudly celebrated earlier this year, and the commitment to looking after our people from the cradle to the grave. Sadly, those are not the sort of...

Bill Presented: Strengthening the Union (23 Jul 2018)

Lesley Laird: Of course I am absolutely appalled by the levels of poverty, but I also recognise that the Scottish Government have many powers in their armoury to address that, and with cuts to local government of 9.6% there is clearly opportunity for both Governments to improve their track record in that regard. Brexit is burning and the Tories are doing what they have done for decades: ripping each other...

Bill Presented: Strengthening the Union (23 Jul 2018)

Lesley Laird: My hon. Friend makes a good point. We are aware that many studies now show that many people using food banks are in employment. Clearly, with low wages and low flexi hours, we see that this is not an economy that is working for the many. Across these islands we are united in our disgust at the behaviour of politicians who put fear of losing a Commons vote above respect for an opponent who is...

Bill Presented: Strengthening the Union (23 Jul 2018)

Lesley Laird: The hon. Gentleman has missed the point: the reason we stood up and supported the Scottish Government is because of his party’s failure to respect the devolution settlement.

Bill Presented: Strengthening the Union (23 Jul 2018)

Lesley Laird: The hon. Gentleman has just illustrated his own point, which is that the basis of having devolution allows different parties in different countries to reach different solutions. [Interruption.] Where has the hon. Member for Moray (Douglas Ross) been all these years? The charge sheet includes the catastrophe that is universal credit, the degrading of the terminally ill with ongoing work...

Bill Presented: Strengthening the Union (23 Jul 2018)

Lesley Laird: I did. It was worth repeating. While these policies continue to have a cruel impact on the lives of ordinary people the length and breadth of the UK, it is clear that the Tories are guilty of laying the foundations of a policy of division that the nationalists will exploit. They will promote their holy grail, no matter the turbo-charged austerity that it would unleash on the Scottish people.

Bill Presented: Strengthening the Union (23 Jul 2018)

Lesley Laird: I wish to make some progress. In recent weeks, we have been presented with the evidence of what the SNP’s plans for separation would really cost. The nationalists promised Scotland a growth commission, but in reality they have delivered a cuts commission. The people of Scotland simply cannot afford another wasted decade under the mantra of deficit reduction.

Bill Presented: Strengthening the Union (23 Jul 2018)

Lesley Laird: The SNP’s document speaks for itself; not only that, but there are many commentators who have something to say about it, too. I also note that the SNP failed to consult trade unions on its document—I am sure the hon. Gentleman is extremely disappointed about that.

Bill Presented: Strengthening the Union (23 Jul 2018)

Lesley Laird: My hon. Friend raises a very good point. Economic analysis makes clear that the sums that the SNP proposes to inflict on the Scottish people simply do not add up. The nationalists promised a Scotland growth commission, but it was a cuts commission. As confirmed by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, the cuts commission would lead to further public spending cuts, with the plans looking...

Bill Presented: Strengthening the Union (23 Jul 2018)

Lesley Laird: That is certainly not the case. Having worked in the financial services sector at that time, I know—and everyone who works there knows—that it was down to mismanagement of the subprime mortgage market. It is a global crisis and the hon. Gentleman should get out a bit more and read about it. It is Labour that will ensure that the fabric of the UK is strong once again, by investing...

Bill Presented: Strengthening the Union (23 Jul 2018)

Lesley Laird: I wish to make some progress. It is Labour that will protect people in the workplace and create the opportunities needed for young people. People will not get that from the Tories nor from the SNP, which continues, incredibly, to count zero-hours contracts as a positive destination for school leavers. It is a Labour Government who will ban zero-hours contracts and deliver an industrial...

Bill Presented: Strengthening the Union (23 Jul 2018)

Lesley Laird: The hon. Gentleman is right: that was in our manifesto and we will continue to work on it, because we believe it is the next evolution of devolution. Britain needs investment, and only Labour will deliver. It cannot afford any more of the Tory version of austerity that we have experienced for almost a decade, with millions needing food banks, or the SNP timidity, which acts as a conveyor belt...

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland: Industrial Strategy (11 Jul 2018)

Lesley Laird: As a football fan, I wish England good luck tonight in their semi-final. Although 1966 may have been a very good year, 1967 was even better. In 1999 it was a Labour Secretary of State for Scotland who stood up for Scottish shipyards and ensured that the contract for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary was given to the shipyards in Govan. Roll forward to 2018 and the contract for the fleet solid support...

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland: Industrial Strategy (11 Jul 2018)

Lesley Laird: I am disappointed that the Secretary of State did not reply for himself, which answers my question about why he is not standing up for Scotland. Without the fleet solid support ships contract, Rosyth will be struggling for work and thousands will be worse off as a result. Labour’s Opposition day debate today will call on the Government to build these ships in the UK—build them...

Opposition Day - [15TH Allotted Day, 1ST Part]Opposition Day: Claim of Right for Scotland (4 Jul 2018)

Lesley Laird: On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. The hon. Gentleman has suggested that no Labour Member was present or spoke during the estimates debate. As he will of course know, I was sitting on the Front Bench and I am unable to intervene in that debate in that way.


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