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Opposition Day — [1st allotted day]: Health Care-Associated Infections (21 Nov 2007)

Anne Milton: Of all the reports that hon. Members may have read recently, none is more damning or more distressing to read than the Healthcare Commission's report into the outbreaks of C. difficile at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust. I have no doubt that the sense of betrayal among local people is immense. The success of the NHS is largely down to the confidence and trust that people have in the...

Office of Foreign Assets Control List (25 Oct 2007)

Meg Munn: I congratulate the right hon. Member for Maidstone and The Weald (Miss Widdecombe) on securing this debate on an issue that affects her constituent. She asked several questions, and I will do what I can to answer them. As the right hon. Lady outlined, someone who is on an Office of Foreign Assets Control sanctions list and whose funds have been frozen by a US bank has two possible remedies....

Points of Order: Modernisation of the House of Commons (25 Oct 2007)

Nicholas Winterton: First, I apologise for not being present for a major part of the debate; I have been chairing an important Public Bill Committee. I am delighted to have heard my hon. Friend the Member for Aldridge-Brownhills (Mr. Shepherd), whose commitment to this House and to democracy is unequalled, as is his courage in advancing his arguments on behalf of Back-Bench Members. I agree with my hon. Friend,...

Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust (23 Oct 2007)

Ann Keen: I agree. Of course, given that we both worked in hospitals back then, we know how important domestic staff are to the well-being of patients and of the contribution that they make to the team. If they are designated to be in one ward or clinical area, they take pride, and always have done, in their work, and feel as responsible for the cleanliness and infection rates of their hospitals as any...

Oral Answers to Questions — Home Department: Clostridium Difficile (15 Oct 2007)

Alan Johnson: Unfortunately, I must take issue with my hon. Friend. There is no correlation between this problem and whether cleaning contracts were in-house or in the private sector. At Maidstone the contract was in-house. The solution lies in what was said by the right hon. Member for Maidstone and The Weald (Miss Widdecombe). What is needed is the right degree of management on the front line which can...

Business of the House (19 Jul 2007)

Harriet Harman: The paper on the governance of Britain sets out a number of ways in which we were moving forward and working with both sides of the House on ensuring that we strengthen its important role. If the right hon. Lady wishes us to consider any additional individual points, we are happy to so do. Our determination is to strengthen the House's role, as we believe that strong Government works best...

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister: Engagements (18 Jul 2007)

Ann Widdecombe: ...time out of this busy day, first, to confirm that it is still the policy of his Government, as it has been of previous Governments, not to deport people to countries that have the death penalty, and in which they are in danger from the death penalty? Is he aware that in nine hours, this country is going to deport a Christian lady, Samar Razavi, who apostasised in Iran and fled that...

[John Bercow in the Chair] — Drug Classification (14 Jun 2007)

Evan Harris: That is an interesting intervention, and I am afraid that I shall become epidemiological again. I am grateful to the Minister for engaging, but an increased number of people coming forward for treatment might reflect an increased number of users, so that might not be a sign of winning the war. I think he would accept that, and I am not criticising him. Raw numbers do not necessarily provide...

Centenary of Scouting (15 May 2007)

Ann Widdecombe: I sense that the Minister is about to perorate. Can he find an excuse to mention—albeit sidelong—the Brownies and Guides?

Point of Order: Drugs (Reclassification and Roadside Testing) (25 Apr 2007)

Brian Iddon: I want to speak against this attempt to bring in serious measures via a ten-minute Bill. There are issues to be debated—about the connection of cannabis to mental disease and also the effect of cannabis on people's driving ability—but if we are going to change the law, we need a much wider discussion than we can have in the context of a ten-minute Bill. That is the main reason why I am...

Prisons (Crime Reduction) (28 Mar 2007)

Gerry Sutcliffe: I understand the hon. Gentleman's argument, but I do not accept it. One must think about the offenders and the types of crime that people are in prison for. It is clear that serious and dangerous criminals must be locked up in prison to protect the public, and that is why in 2003 the Government introduced the indeterminate sentence, under which the Parole Board must determine whether somebody...

Hunting Act 2004 (22 Mar 2007)

Joan Ryan: May I start by congratulating the right hon. Member for Maidstone and The Weald (Miss Widdecombe) on securing this Adjournment debate? I acknowledge her longstanding and ongoing commitment to the hunting legislation and, indeed, the whole issue. It is a timely point at which to discuss the enforcement of the legislation. There is plenty to say in the debate, and she is right that there is...

Hospitals (West Kent) (22 Feb 2007)

John Stanley: ...I raised the key issue for virtually all my constituents of the dire consequences of the Secretary of State for Health's policies for both the acute hospital trust in my constituency, the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust, and my constituency's two community hospitals at Tonbridge and Edenbridge. I make no apology for returning to the same subject just six months later. I want to...

Point of Order: Catholics (Prevention of Discrimination) (20 Feb 2007)

John Gummer: I beg to move, That leave be given to bring in a Bill to remove remaining legislative discrimination against Catholics; to make provision for the independence and freedom of operation of Catholic institutions; and for connected purposes. In a civilised society there ought to be no reason to introduce this Bill. If we proposed a Bill on the Floor of the House of Commons that would make it...

Opposition Day — [3rd Allotted Day]: Health Care-acquired Infections (23 Jan 2007)

Andy Burnham: No, I would like to make some progress. The people who took part in the debate raised many points and I would like to answer them. The hon. Member for North Norfolk rightly raised the question of antibiotics. The guidance that the chief medical officer and chief nursing officer have issued to the national health service makes the same point that he made about a safe prescribing policy for...

Animal Welfare Bill (Programme) (No. 3): Clause 13 — Licensing or registration of activities involving animals (6 Nov 2006)

Douglas Hogg: .... First, I entirely agree with what my hon. Friend the Member for Leominster (Bill Wiggin) said. [ Interruption. ] I am sorry if I mispronounced his constituency. The phrase "to represent any interests" is a narrowing phrase, because it confines itself, on the face of it, to those who represent interest groups established by association or institution or whatever. It would be a great...

Animal Welfare Bill (Programme) (No. 3): Clause 6 — Docking of dogs' tails (6 Nov 2006)

Ben Bradshaw: Let me first take the opportunity to thank those in the other place, particularly Lady Byford, Lady Miller and my colleagues Lord Bach and Lord Rooker, for their hard work on the Bill after it left the House of Commons. I also thank all Members of this House. It is especially nice to see some doughty animal welfare champions present today, including the right hon. Member for Maidstone and...

Deferred Divisions: Legislative Process (1 Nov 2006)

Ann Widdecombe: I am grateful to the Leader of the House for giving way at such an opportune moment. I am about to call a Division on an issue that is, I suspect, doomed to failure, so if the restriction of Back-Bench speeches to as little as three minutes—which could happen—is seen to give rise to problems, will the right hon. Gentleman undertake to carry out a review and return to the House on the matter?

Point of Order: Clause 3 — The "public benefit" test (25 Oct 2006)

Ed Miliband: It has been an interesting debate with contributions from distinguished Members of the House, including the right hon. Member for Maidstone and The Weald (Miss Widdecombe), my right hon. Friends the Members for Darlington (Mr. Milburn) and for Cardiff, South and Penarth (Alun Michael), and other hon. Members. In the time that I have available, I want to deal with both amendments. First, I...

Point of Order: Clause 2 — Meaning of "charitable purpose" (25 Oct 2006)

Evan Harris: Just as the Government do not get drawn into giving lists of examples—rightly so—I am not going to be. The understanding of the definition of belief in the Human Rights Act, which is the definition that I have proposed and that the Government use in all other legislation, clearly does not cover political belief systems. There is not a shred of jurisprudence to suggest that it ever would....


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