Eddie Hughes: It is a pleasure to follow the hon. Member for Hammersmith (Andy Slaughter), although I am not one of the lost sheep that he referred to, having been an MP for only seven months; I am just a keen, enthusiastic advocate for the Bill in its present form. Before I turn to the Bill, I would be grateful, Madam Deputy Speaker, if you would convey to Mr Speaker my best wishes for his birthday. The...
Eddie Hughes: I thank the hon. Gentleman for his wisdom—
Eddie Hughes: Let me return to the Bill—or nearly, at least. I thank the hon. Member for Westminster North (Ms Buck) for introducing it. In the near future, I shall seek her advice because I have a private Member’s Bill on carbon monoxide safety. I am grateful to Project Shout for helping me to publicise the Bill earlier in the week, and I am grateful for the support of many Government and...
Eddie Hughes: I completely endorse the hon. Gentleman’s comments. The YMCA took people from 16 years of age—sometimes previously looked-after children—and it was incredibly important that the accommodation was of the highest standard. I am grateful to the HCA for giving the YMCA the money to do that.
Eddie Hughes: I completely endorse those comments. As the hon. Gentleman says, carbon monoxide is a silent killer—you cannot see it, smell it or taste it—so the best protection is to install an audible carbon monoxide detector. I thank him for his endorsement—I think that is what it was—of my Bill. The HCA has given the YMCA £1 million to build new-build accommodation at the...
Eddie Hughes: I rise very briefly to congratulate the ambassador programme and particularly one of my constituents who is part of it. Although we are talking about the power of words, it is often the person delivering those words who makes them more powerful, so it was fantastic to attend the event at Speaker’s House where we heard testimony from survivors, including a 94-year-old lady who said she...
Eddie Hughes: My hon. Friend mentions that he was employed by that bank, of which he was once very proud. Could he make any comment on what has brought us to the position where he is now embarrassed, perhaps, about his previous employment?
Eddie Hughes: I remind the House that a world heritage site is one that is of great importance to current and future generations across the world. I seek an assurance that in the difficult choices we have to make on the restoration of this building, we will be considering not just our own purposes in this building, but those who visit every year.
Eddie Hughes: I will speak quickly. As the Minister said in his opening remarks, 2018 is the year of engineering. Will the new Minister, my fellow Brummie, say what the Government are doing to increase diversity within the engineering profession?
Eddie Hughes: Surely the point is that we are a United Kingdom, and as we move across the United Kingdom we see a great diversity in our country. Walsall North is very different from some of the sunny areas in the south-east. I think that we need to operate collectively as a nation in these discussions.
Eddie Hughes: As a proud civil engineer, I am excited by the prospect of this being the year of the engineer. Will the Secretary of State tell the House what plans his Department has to recruit more nuclear engineers for the Navy, more mechanical engineers for the Army and more aeronautical engineers for the RAF, to ensure that we will have sufficient numbers of these critical personnel in the years ahead?
Eddie Hughes: If she will make a statement on her departmental responsibilities.
Eddie Hughes: In the 21st century, surely women deserve total equality. Will the Minister tell us what steps the Government are taking to ensure that there is not a pay gap in the civil service in light of the fact that Carrie Gracie recently resigned as China editor at the BBC, citing pay issues there?
Eddie Hughes: What steps the Government is taking to help (a) women and (b) men balance work with childcare responsibilities.
Eddie Hughes: I am going to speak only very briefly because I appreciate that people want us to move on. Part of the reason for my getting to my feet is that, if you live in Walsall North, you can believe that the country voted for Brexit. In my constituency a substantial proportion of people—over 70%—voted for Brexit. That is the same for Walsall generally and for the west midlands, so we...
Eddie Hughes: I am afraid that I am not very familiar with our trade level with South Korea. I wonder whether the hon. Lady has picked a particularly obscure example to demonstrate her point, rather than looking at the countries we will do substantial trade with in the future. I hope that I will be able to get some more information on that point.
Eddie Hughes: What steps her Department is taking to tackle violence against women and girls.
Eddie Hughes: What action are the Government taking to support refuges for women fleeing domestic violence in Walsall and throughout the Black country, whose excellent staff do so much to protect the safety of women and children?
Eddie Hughes: To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what holdings of Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies are held by the Government.