Carolyn Harris: What recent guidance he has given to ministerial colleagues on making statements to the House before they are made to the media.
Carolyn Harris: Last week, as many as 17 Bills announced in the Queen’s Speech had already been briefed to the press. I concur with my right hon. and hon. Friends: does the Leader of the House agree that Members of Parliament should be the first to know these things?
Carolyn Harris: I am very grateful to be able to speak in this important debate. As a Welsh MP from the party of devolution, I am keen to see my Celtic cousins gain a strengthened Scottish Parliament while still enjoying the benefit of being part of the Union. I congratulate the hon. Member for North Ayrshire and Arran (Patricia Gibson) on her excellent maiden speech and on her elevation to this place,...
Carolyn Harris: As my right hon. Friend will be aware from her recent visit to my constituency, the Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay is a global game changer in renewable energy. Does she agree that Wales led the way in providing the fuel for the industrial revolution and, now that we are entering the era of the climate change revolution, that Wales and specifically Swansea East will lead this next revolution?
Carolyn Harris: I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for York Central (Rachael Maskell) on securing this important debate, and I thank you, Mr Bone, for your excellent stewardship, and for calling me to contribute. In April 2013, a young man from my constituency, whom I will refer to as John for the purpose of this debate, was sentenced to several years’ imprisonment at Long Lartin prison. By June...
Carolyn Harris: What recent discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the level of funding received by the Welsh Government.
Carolyn Harris: Wales did not benefit from Barnett consequentials from the Olympics. Will the Secretary of State tell the House whether south Wales will benefit from HS2? If it will not, will there be a Barnett consequential?
Carolyn Harris: The Government recently announced that they were going ahead with a further 8.75% fee cut to criminal legal aid, the second in a year. The existing system, especially the online Crown Commercial Service system, is already wholly inadequate. What justification is there for further cuts, other than to further reduce access to justice for those most in need?
Carolyn Harris: rose—
Carolyn Harris: Does the Minister believe that enough is being done to ensure the transparency of budget decisions that are made at EU level?
Carolyn Harris: As the Member for Swansea East, where the tidal bay lagoon will be based, I know that there is a great desire to get the project up and running and delivering on what it promises. Will the Secretary of State give an indication of the timescales in announcing the conclusion of negotiations for the contract for difference?
Carolyn Harris: Given the number of postmasters and postmistresses who have been attending MPs’ surgeries to discuss this matter, does not the Minister agree that one miscarriage of justice is one too many and that the Post Office has to be accountable for this system?
Carolyn Harris: Does the Minister think that it is acceptable that in half of the Government’s enterprise zones firms do not have full access to superfast broadband?
Carolyn Harris: Will the hon. Lady give way?
Carolyn Harris: Since the Government introduced fees for tribunals, the number of unequal pay cases has fallen by 68%. If the Government are committed to tackling the gender pay gap, why are they making it much harder for women to challenge pay discrimination?
Carolyn Harris: The gender pay gap in Scotland has risen by 0.2% under the SNP. Why does the hon. Lady believe that her Government in Holyrood are failing so badly?
Carolyn Harris: It is an honour to serve under your excellent chairmanship, Mr Walker. Send My Friend to School was brought to my attention by two very articulate youngsters—Lauren and Aiden, from Bishop Vaughan school in my constituency. So involved were they with that wonderful project that they came to Westminster last week to a reception hosted by the hon. Member for Ceredigion (Mr Williams),whom I...
Carolyn Harris: I entirely agree. We could indeed learn great lessons from the children of our country. Members present know that reality and principle can be very different. On principle, we would all wish for children globally to be educated. The young people at Bishop Vaughan, as well as at the other schools involved in the project, have a valid point. As politicians, it is our duty to ensure that we...
Carolyn Harris: Does the right hon. Gentleman agree that the Government, by ignoring Sir William McKay’s advice and proposing to give some MPs a veto, are creating a two-tier system of MPs and attempting to create a new Parliament by the backdoor?
Carolyn Harris: This debate is an important opportunity for Members to express concern and show their support for families on tax credits. Tax credits give families in constituencies right across the UK the choice between eating and heating their homes. Unfortunately, the Government’s vision of a society in which work pays is skewed by the reality that many working families are living on the breadline....