Alex Burghart: I have had a number of pieces of correspondence from constituents who are concerned that the Government need to move their plans forward on upskirting. Can the Minister confirm that we will bring upskirting offences into line with other sexual offences?
Alex Burghart: I especially welcome the fact that the Government have accepted the Select Committee on Work and Pensions recommendation to record PIP interviews. Will the Minister set out for the House the sort of timescale in which we can expect these changes to come through?
Alex Burghart: I thank the Secretary of State for her apology. Like a number of other Members, I was very disappointed that the NAO report did not take account of the changes that the Department brought in on the basis of the recommendations made by the Select Committee. Will the Secretary of State confirm that she will continue to adapt and improve universal credit as new ideas and new evidence emerge?
Alex Burghart: As the Leader of the House will know, small and medium-sized businesses are the lifeblood of my local economy. What opportunities will there be in the near future to discuss the opportunities they will have in a post-Brexit Britain?
Alex Burghart: On a point of order, Mr Speaker.
Alex Burghart: On a point of order, Mr Speaker. I want to raise with you an issue that I have encountered in recent days. The pedestrian entrance at Carriage Gates has relatively new card-swipe machines that are quite glitchy, and there have been a couple of occasions when I have struggled to get in— fortunately not at a time when I was coming in for a vote. However, as someone who often cuts things...
Alex Burghart: It is a great pleasure to talk on this Bill, which I fully support. This issue first came to my attention when I was working at the Centre for Social Justice, where I was director of policy from 2012 to 2016. We wrote a report while I was there called “Drugs in Prison”, which looked at how we might remove these toxic and addictive substances from the prison estate. We wanted to examine...
Alex Burghart: Edible books! That is extraordinary. I have not heard that example before. There are many ingenious ways of bringing drugs into prisons, and we know how extraordinarily disruptive they are to prisoners’ lives. A large number of people take drugs for the first time in prison, and the amount of Spice—the recently criminalised new psychoactive substance—in prisons has rocketed in the past...
Alex Burghart: On families staying in touch when a family member is behind bars, does my hon. Friend agree that it is extremely important to maintain personal, physical contact? Being able to make weekly or daily calls is great, but it is hugely important for people to spend physical time with their child, and too often that is not available.
Alex Burghart: My hon. Friend is making an extremely powerful speech. May I raise a practical point? I imagine that people living or working near prisons may fear that this change will reduce the quality of the signals in their houses or businesses. What reassurances can my hon. Friend give?
Alex Burghart: Has my hon. Friend’s Department received assurances from the major providers that they are happy with the legislation as it stands and that they intend to work with the Government in the future?
Alex Burghart: It is a pleasure to speak in support of this extremely important private Member’s Bill. To pick up where my hon. Friend the Member for North Devon (Peter Heaton-Jones) left off, data—data ownership and storage—is one of the big questions that society and this House will have to grapple with in the decades to come. I have noticed when talking to younger constituents how increasingly...
Alex Burghart: I absolutely agree, and I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for that important intervention. If we create a framework that helps agencies to share information about vulnerable individuals safely, that enables those agencies to become greater than the sum of their parts, and to combine and enhance their professional interrogations, so that they can join the dots and create a true picture of...
Alex Burghart: On Friday, we had an important debate in this House about telephony in prisons. On the back of that debate, will the Minister set out what more we are doing to tackle drugs in prisons?
Alex Burghart: It is a pleasure to follow my colleague from the Work and Pensions Committee, the hon. Member for Bermondsey and Old Southwark (Neil Coyle), particularly after the remarks he made at the start of his speech. I very much welcome the offer that the Secretary of State made today to work cross-party to help to improve universal credit. I happen to think that that attitude has been prevalent in...
Alex Burghart: Thanks to the decisions that have been made in Essex, we will see 150 new police officers on our streets. Can the Chief Secretary confirm that those new police officers will benefit from today’s announcement?
Alex Burghart: I congratulate the Secretary of State on his statement. Several constituents who are EU nationals have raised concerns with me about their rights after we leave the EU. Will he therefore tell the House what he intends to do to spread the message that is in the White Paper so that EU nationals are aware of the steps that the Government are taking?
Alex Burghart: I am a former member of the Joint Committee on Human Rights, and we were given access to two of the case files of the Windrush generation who appear to have been illegally detained. I very much welcome the Home Secretary’s response to the Shaw report today. Will he confirm that he is putting in place systems to ensure that no one is detained against the evidence?
Alex Burghart: My hon. Friend is too generous in giving way; I am sorry to interrupt his flow, because he is making an important and lively speech. Will he join me in welcoming the fact that the Government have made the biggest investment in research in 40 years? Does he agree that it is important that we now find a way to make sure that that drives growth and an improvement in wages?
Alex Burghart: Will the Minister update the House on the progress of the national assessment and accreditation system for children’s social workers?