Results 1–20 of 35 for speaker:Lord Houghton of Richmond

Afghanistan - Motion to Take Note (18 Aug 2021)

Lord Houghton of Richmond: I agree with all those today who feel sorry for the plight of the Afghan people, and for the service men and women who died or had their lives badly damaged by service in that country. The American decision to withdraw military support was a dreadful one and the resulting chaos should be of no surprise. But, rather than criticise American decisions or show anguish for Afghanistan’s future,...

Military Personnel Overseas: Vaccinations - Question (1 Jul 2021)

Lord Houghton of Richmond: I ask the Minister a related question regarding proof of vaccination for military personnel. As a former CDS whose medical data is still held by the Defence Medical Services, I declare a personal interest. The Minister will be aware that the medical data of defence personnel, including proof of vaccination, is held in a way that is inaccessible via the NHS app. I accept that a highly complex...

Covid-19: Government Handling and Preparedness - Commons Urgent Question (8 Jun 2021)

Lord Houghton of Richmond: My Lords, I will follow on from that. The Ministry of Defence and the Armed Forces are often accused of being prepared for the last war rather than the next one. In truth it is impossible to be ready for the next war unless, of course, you intend to start it. The best you can achieve within finite resources is to be ready for “a” war, not “the” war. You must then adjust what is...

Heathrow Airport: Border Control Passenger Safety - Question (25 May 2021)

Lord Houghton of Richmond: I draw the House’s attention to my relevant interests in the register. It seems to me that the current pandemic will pass but the future threat will not: mass air travel will return and, with it, so will the risk that, once again, it will become the principal vector by which a localised epidemic could become a global pandemic. Therefore, I ask the Minister: what action are the Government...

Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill - Commons Reasons and Amendments: Motion A1 (as an amendment to Motion A) (26 Apr 2021)

Lord Houghton of Richmond: My Lords, it may be presumptuous of me spontaneously to offer, on behalf of all gallant Lords, a sincere thank you to the Minister for the good news she has brought today. I can probably extend that to all those who are involved on operations, who are in command of those on operations or who train them beforehand. Frankly, the idea that we might have sent soldiers, sailors and airmen to...

Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy - Motion to Take Note (22 Apr 2021)

Lord Houghton of Richmond: My Lords, time is short so I will not waste too much of it on congratulations. I also think a huge amount of the review is to be welcomed. It presents a largely compelling view of the global security context and the defence and security challenges we face. I wholly agree about the character of a far more competitive world—one that exists in a perpetual state of aggressive, but primarily...

Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill - Report: Amendment 14 (13 Apr 2021)

Lord Houghton of Richmond: My Lords, I speak in this debate to support the amendment moved by my noble friends. I do so because it is the closest to resolving, or at least ameliorating, the problem—and it is a problem, as many have rehearsed. It is essentially a practical one, relating to training, leadership, command oversight, operational reporting and improved investigative capacity and competence. I fear that I...

Defence and Security Industrial Strategy - Statement (24 Mar 2021)

Lord Houghton of Richmond: I draw attention to my interests in the register. As our Armed Forces move from a platform-centric approach to capability to one focused on technological advantage, it is ever more important to connect the operational requirement to the best available technology quickly. In the world of romance, we would be advocating the need for a speed dating agency. Previously, the romance has failed...

Integrated Review - Statement (17 Mar 2021)

Lord Houghton of Richmond: My Lords, I congratulate the Government on the sophistication of the review document, much of which I thought was excellent. However, the real challenge is in translating that document into an effective strategy, particularly one that is so fundamentally reliant on allies and alliances. Therefore, from a defence perspective, I ask the Minister: to what extent has the strategic bet on...

Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill - Committee (2nd Day): Amendment 32 (11 Mar 2021)

Lord Houghton of Richmond: My Lords, I am delighted to follow on from the noble Baroness, Lady Chakrabarti, who always seems to be a great source of common sense on complex moral issues. I am similarly delighted to support the amendment in the name of my one-time boss, the noble Lord, Lord Browne of Ladyton. I will not seek to repeat his arguments as to why this amendment is important, but rather to complement his very...

Covid-19: Road Map - Statement (23 Feb 2021)

Lord Houghton of Richmond: I draw the House’s attention to my relevant interests in the register, both as Constable of the Tower of London and as a trustee of Historic Royal Palaces. I welcome the publication of the road map out of lockdown, but it will appear to many completely counterintuitive that the nation’s museums, art galleries and heritage sites represent both a greater health risk and a lesser social...

Integrated Review: New Ships - Question (25 Jan 2021)

Lord Houghton of Richmond: My Lords, I draw attention to my relevant interests in the register. Despite the very welcome uplift in defence spending announced last year, the affordability of much of the new capability promised, such as new ships, rests on the need to retire current capabilities quite quickly—some arguably prematurely. Will the Minister inform the House of when such decisions will be made and which...

Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill - Second Reading (20 Jan 2021)

Lord Houghton of Richmond: My Lords, I sense that no-one who speaks on the Bill today will not have the interests of British service men and women at heart, and that is certainly my primary consideration. Undoubtedly, the situation that many service people have found themselves in over recent years in respect of vexatious claims absolutely demands government action. I seriously worry, however, that the political desire...

Police National Computer - Statement (19 Jan 2021)

Lord Houghton of Richmond: My Lords, I draw attention to my relevant technology interest in the register. We rightly worry about sophisticated technological attacks on our national digital infrastructure and we worry post-Brexit about access to relevant European intelligence databases. However, is not our most critical national concern evidenced by seemingly systemic failures in our ability to effectively and securely...

Integrated Review - Statement (23 Nov 2020)

Lord Houghton of Richmond: My Lords, the Statement last week is to be welcomed, albeit I think that it brought relief rather than jubilation to most defence and security experts. However, I too thought that the style and content of the Statement were somewhat disappointing. It is potentially a missed opportunity—little more than a hubristic announcement of a list of new defence capabilities. Will the integrated...

Armed Forces: Covid-19 Deployment - Commons Urgent Question (12 Nov 2020)

Lord Houghton of Richmond: In times of nationwide civil emergency, the two most relevant military capabilities are a pool of disciplined manpower and a system of command and control, optimised for turning strategic aspirations into co-ordinated tactical action. A recurring lesson from past emergencies, from foot and mouth to Olympic security, indicates that this latter experience is not well understood by Government....

HMS “Queen Elizabeth” - Question (4 Nov 2020)

Lord Houghton of Richmond: The Minister will be aware that the proposed deployment of HMS “Queen Elizabeth” was conceived when there were many justified concerns about the overall size of the surface fleet and its ability to meet the Royal Navy’s standing maritime tasks at home and around the world. Can she therefore confirm what risks are likely to be taken against those standing tasks to provide adequate...

Rolls-Royce - Question (14 Oct 2020)

Lord Houghton of Richmond: In the aggregated context of the retention of advanced manufacturing jobs, the pursuit of clean energy, sustainability targets, the Government’s future energy White Paper and the expertise of Rolls-Royce in small modular nuclear reactors, what plans do the Government have to help Rolls-Royce realise its potential as a key contributor to our future national energy requirements?

Education: A-level Results - Question (23 Sep 2020)

Lord Houghton of Richmond: I draw noble Lords’ attention to my relevant interests in the register as an adviser to a decision science company. Does the Minister agree that the approach taken to determine the outcome of this year’s A-level results clearly demonstrates that using an algorithm or human expert judgment in isolation is flawed, and that highly complicated decision-making by government needs to embrace...

Intelligence and Security Committee: Russia Report - Private Notice Question (22 Jul 2020)

Lord Houghton of Richmond: Whatever else this report tells us, it seems clear that the United Kingdom’s democratic processes and political system are unacceptably vulnerable to malign Russian influence. It is further evidence that we live in an age when we cannot properly differentiate between war and peace. Many countries exist in a perpetual state of unarmed conflict with other countries, when mendacious activity...


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