Results 181–200 of 3774 for speaker:Baroness Neville-Rolfe

Scottish Government: Devolved Competences - Question (13 Mar 2024)

Baroness Neville-Rolfe: I do not recognise that as a description of the UK Government. I have tried to explain that we are taking a responsible approach. The UK Government make very large sums of money available to the Scottish Government—quite rightly—and it is for both countries to make sure that they are spending money well, in the interests of their citizens, in all sorts of different ways on which we have...

Scottish Government: Devolved Competences - Question (13 Mar 2024)

Baroness Neville-Rolfe: I hear what the noble Lord says, but these are matters for the Scottish Government to answer. No doubt Scottish taxpayers will reflect on whether the donation to UNRWA was justified.

Scottish Government: Devolved Competences - Question (13 Mar 2024)

Baroness Neville-Rolfe: I think that the way in which the Cabinet is organised and the responsibilities of different Ministers is very much a matter for the Prime Minister, but I am glad that we have a new Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Scotland Office. He has been an MSP, and I think that that will bring a new dimension to our discussions on this important subject.

Scottish Government: Devolved Competences - Question (13 Mar 2024)

Baroness Neville-Rolfe: I have not seen that report. Of course, agriculture is devolved to Scotland, and it is Scotland’s choice, if it wants to do things in a different way. I think that we need to move forward on the new basis. I have nothing further to say.

Covid-19: Lockdown Costs and Benefits - Question (13 Mar 2024)

Baroness Neville-Rolfe: As set out in its terms of reference, the Covid inquiry will examine, consider and report on preparations for and the response to the pandemic. We expect the inquiry to explore comprehensively the questions asked by my noble friend, identify lessons learned, and inform economic and other preparations for future pandemics.

Covid-19: Lockdown Costs and Benefits - Question (13 Mar 2024)

Baroness Neville-Rolfe: My Lords, the pandemic was an unprecedented event, and the UK Government came together very well to deliver an unprecedented response to save lives and livelihoods and keep people safe. It is for the inquiry, with the benefit of hindsight, to determine whether the decisions to lock down were appropriate and timely and to advise on lessons for the future, such as on cost-benefit. I cannot...

Covid-19: Lockdown Costs and Benefits - Question (13 Mar 2024)

Baroness Neville-Rolfe: I note what the noble Lord says. It is important that these issues are considered fully from every angle. That is why the Government set up the Covid inquiry and why it is looking into many areas.

Covid-19: Lockdown Costs and Benefits - Question (13 Mar 2024)

Baroness Neville-Rolfe: I look forward to the results of the inquiry on these points. We expect to get some findings from module 1 in the not-too-distant future, and module 2 looks at a lot of the points that my noble friend has mentioned.

Covid-19: Lockdown Costs and Benefits - Question (13 Mar 2024)

Baroness Neville-Rolfe: I agree that hard evidence is important and I too value academic studies. A lot of academic studies and reviews of the pandemic in other countries have already been published and are generally available. We are focusing on responding to the Covid inquiry. Clearly, we hope that it will cover all these different points and make sure that future pandemics are tackled as expeditiously and as well...

Covid-19: Lockdown Costs and Benefits - Question (13 Mar 2024)

Baroness Neville-Rolfe: I thank the noble Lord for his wise observations. I would observe that the health of the economy and the health of the population tend to go in tandem, and that was one of the things that we noted during the pandemic. However, I come back to my point that the inquiry needs to look at these things for us. We need to learn the lessons and look at evidence objectively.

Covid-19: Lockdown Costs and Benefits - Question (13 Mar 2024)

Baroness Neville-Rolfe: I cannot accept that conclusion. Due diligence was carried out on all companies that were referred to the Department of Health and Social Care, and companies were subject to the same checks. However, module 5 of the inquiry will look at procurement. The noble Baroness and I worked on changes to the Procurement Act, not least to bring in a higher degree of transparency and to make sure that we...

Covid-19: Lockdown Costs and Benefits - Question (13 Mar 2024)

Baroness Neville-Rolfe: That is more a matter for the Department of Health and Social Care than for me, but module 4 will look at vaccines, therapeutics and antiviral treatments across the UK. It is a public inquiry, and it is legitimate for people to make points from different perspectives. I welcome those, and I welcome the openness of this debate.

Covid-19: Lockdown Costs and Benefits - Question (13 Mar 2024)

Baroness Neville-Rolfe: As it happens, I listened to Dame Kate Bingham, who we can all agree did such a good job with the Vaccine Taskforce. The decision on the Vaccine Manufacturing and Innovation Centre, which I think the noble Lord refers to, was made by the board of directors, but I should mention all the other things that have been going on to make sure that we have future access to vaccines. There is a 10-year...

Covid-19: Lockdown Costs and Benefits - Question (13 Mar 2024)

Baroness Neville-Rolfe: I very much agree with my noble friend about the importance of looking after the poorest in society and I hope that it will be a focus of the inquiry, particularly in its module on the care sector. More broadly, my noble friend makes good points. The Government did a lot, but the question is how we can do the very best in future.

Ministers: Legal Costs - Question (12 Mar 2024)

Baroness Neville-Rolfe: My Lords, in line with established practice under multiple Administrations of all political colours, Ministers are provided with legal support and representation where matters relate to their conduct and responsibilities as a Minister. As set out in Chapter 6 of the Cabinet Manual, Ministers are “indemnified by the Crown for any actions taken against them for things done or decisions made...

Ministers: Legal Costs - Question (12 Mar 2024)

Baroness Neville-Rolfe: As I said, it is long-standing practice. Indeed, the Secretary of State concerned made a statement this morning at the Lords Science and Technology Committee and explained the circumstances in full, including how she was engaged in official work and got support from officials on the disputed letter.

Ministers: Legal Costs - Question (12 Mar 2024)

Baroness Neville-Rolfe: I think the Secretary of State explained very fully. It took the course of two days to draft, clear and send the letter to UKRI’s CEO to ask for an investigation. She highlighted it on X, using the same medium as the original issue.

Ministers: Legal Costs - Question (12 Mar 2024)

Baroness Neville-Rolfe: The Secretary of State has explained her actions fully. I refer noble Lords to her statement. The important thing is that legal advice was taken, and subsequently there was a full and final settlement of the dispute. The Secretary of State made it clear that she should have sent the letter in confidence to UKRI and apologised for that. The basic principle is that it is very important that...

Ministers: Legal Costs - Question (12 Mar 2024)

Baroness Neville-Rolfe: The Secretary of State is responsible for the non-departmental public body UK Research and Innovation. She was operating in that context. Her intentions were always to do the right thing. It is very important that Ministers can do this. Of course, insurance is available to MPs, which is provided by the House at the taxpayers’ expense, in cases where professional indemnity insurance covers...

Ministers: Legal Costs - Question (12 Mar 2024)

Baroness Neville-Rolfe: The truth is—as I know well—that as a Government Minister you do work late. Government officials often work late as well. This is a serious point about how to make sure that Ministers are properly advised on issues. That is what happened on this occasion.


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