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Small Sub-Post Offices (2 Nov 2005)

Barry Gardiner: I have far too much respect for the right hon. Member for Maidstone and The Weald (Miss Widdecombe) to congratulate her, as is customary, on securing this evening's debate. She would not want praise for mere good fortune in the draw. However, perhaps she will allow me to congratulate her on choosing a topic that is at once so broad that every hon. Member will have an interest in it and so...

Orders of the Day — Terrorism Bill — [1st Allotted Day]: Clause 1 — Encouragement of Terrorism (2 Nov 2005)

Robert Marshall-Andrews: I want to speak to the amendments that stand in my name and the names of others. I can deal with them compendiously. They relate to the question of specific intent. They do not descend to deal with recklessness, which in my view would be wrong in a criminal statute of this kind. They would both remove the words "encouragement or other inducement" and replace them with the old and...

European Energy Policy (25 Oct 2005)

Bernard Jenkin: ...for what they are or are not doing during their presidency. They said that early settlement of the energy services directive would be "a priority". I ask the Minister, what evidence is there that any significant priority has been attached to the directive? I hope that the Government will respond to the point I made to the hon. Member for Edinburgh, North and Leith (Mark Lazarowicz) that...

Orders of the Day — Racial and Religious Hatred Bill (21 Jun 2005)

Dominic Grieve: This has been a fascinating debate. It has been most enjoyable to sit through. We heard two maiden speeches. The hon. Member for Dewsbury (Mr. Malik) made a speech of immense power and immense sincerity, and I am sure that he will make a great mark on the House. When I first entered this place, someone told me that being in the House of Commons was rather like being on a cruise ship. One was...

Gedling Local Plan (15 Jun 2005)

Jim Fitzpatrick: I welcome you, Miss Widdecombe, to the Chair for this important debate and I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Sherwood (Paddy Tipping) on securing it. My hon. Friend acknowledges that it would be inappropriate for me to comment on the merits of specific policies or allocations proposed in the Gedling replacement local plan, as it could prejudice the First Secretary of State's...

Human Rights (Burma) (15 Jun 2005)

Julian Lewis: I ask hon. Members present to do a little mental transposition and imagine that, instead of talking about Burma today, we are cast back in time and are talking about apartheid South Africa. The question I want everybody to ask his or her conscience is this: if we were indeed talking about apartheid South Africa, would we be satisfied with the measures that are being proposed and taken today...

Russell Clamp (24 May 2005)

Kim Howells: I congratulate the right hon. Member for Maidstone and The Weald (Miss Widdecombe) on securing a debate on the case of Russell Clamp, who—as she has reminded us—was detained with seven other British nationals in the United Arab Emirates in 2001. I welcome the opportunity to set out our position clearly in relation to that unfortunate case and to remind the right hon. Lady of some of the...

Members Sworn (12 May 2005)

Michael Martin: Before Members take the Oath or affirm, I remind the House that the support provided to Members by way of allowances for staff, travel and other purposes will not be available to Members who have not taken the Oath or affirmed before the date of the Queen's Speech, next Tuesday. The only exception will be Members who, before that date, have sent me a letter informing me that, for health or...

Porton Down (22 Feb 2005)

Mr Ivor Caplin: I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Bedford (Mr. Hall) on securing this afternoon's debate. It has been a good debate, with contributions from my hon. Friends the Members for Mitcham and Morden (Siobhain McDonagh) and for Linlithgow (Mr. Dalyell), the right hon. Member for Maidstone and The Weald (Miss Widdecombe), and the hon. Members for Bournemouth, East (Mr. Atkinson), for...

Written Answers — Education and Skills: Truancy (Penalty Notice) (16 Dec 2004)

Ann Widdecombe: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what estimate she has made of the likely costs to agencies involved in administering an individual fixed penalty notice for non-school attendance issued by a local education authority; (2) what estimate the Department has made of the number of fixed penalty notices for non-attendance that a local education authority would need to...

Health Services (Maidstone) (2 Dec 2004)

Miss Melanie Johnson: I congratulate the right hon. Member for Maidstone and the Weald (Miss Widdecombe) on securing this debate on the proposed transfer of services from Maidstone hospital to Tunbridge Wells. Before I turn to the specific issues that she raised, I should like to take this opportunity to recognise the work across the whole of Kent in delivering good-quality services and to pay tribute to all the...

Orders of the Day — Civil Partnerships Bill [Lords]: Schedule 28 — Consequential amendments: Scotland (9 Nov 2004)

Alistair Carmichael: First, I associate myself with the expressions of gratitude made earlier by the Minister and the hon. Member for Rutland and Melton (Mr. Duncan) in respect of House and Committee officials who have assisted the Bill's passage to its current stage. The Minister said that the process has been constructive, and I would certainly want to use the same word. I pay tribute to the Minister,...

Orders of the Day — Civil Partnerships Bill [Lords]: New Clause 1 — Categories of civil partners other than same sex couples (9 Nov 2004)

John Bercow: I have never previously viewed my hon. Friend the Member for Christchurch (Mr. Chope) as a moderniser, born-again or otherwise. He has presented himself in a new guise this afternoon, and I sought attentively to listen to and to take account of his arguments. I confess that, just as on Second Reading and in Standing Committee, I found those arguments unpersuasive. Let me begin with my hon....

Members' Allowances (3 Nov 2004)

Mrs Anne Campbell: I understand my right hon. Friend's point and do not pretend that the SSRB's recommendations are entirely satisfactory. I use the example to speak against amendment (g), which erodes the important principle that staff salaries should be ring-fenced. Together with the changes to staff pension arrangements, we have put staff employment on a proper and fair footing, and I do not want to see the...

Programming of Bills (26 Oct 2004)

Oliver Heald: On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. Can you confirm that that is the case? My understanding is that the Deputy Leader of the House is not correct. An hon. Member cannot attend a Standing Committee considering a Bill unless he is a member of that Committee. Indeed, that was the substance of the row involving my right hon. Friend the Member for Maidstone and The Weald (Miss Widdecombe)...

Orders of the Day — Civil Partnership Bill [Lords] (12 Oct 2004)

Anne McGuire: I congratulate the hon. Member for Daventry (Mr. Boswell) on an emotional winding-up statement and one that clearly identifies the journey that he has made in accepting the situation that we are discussing tonight. We have had a valuable debate. Seldom in this House over my short period in it have I heard such a thoughtful and thought-provoking debate. I say that in all sincerity to those...

Hunting Bill (12 Oct 2004)

Lord Faulkner of Worcester: My Lords, I am so sorry if I misrepresented the noble Baroness, but that is certainly what I intended to say: that they would give time. That is fine. That means that, to put it at its most blunt, if voters want to remove the Members of Parliament who have voted for a ban—that includes some Conservative Members and Liberal Democrats as well as most Labour Members—they can do so. Some...

Points of Order (12 Oct 2004)

Ann Widdecombe: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. During the statement, you will have heard my question to the Foreign Secretary about an apology to the House from the Prime Minister for a statement that proved invalid. The Foreign Secretary's response, which you will also have heard, was that the Prime Minister apologised to the Labour party conference. Is it your view, Mr. Speaker, that the House and the...

Orders of the Day — Hunting Bill (15 Sep 2004)

Alun Michael: ...That the Bill be now read the Third time. I have five brief points to make, arising from today's events, in asking the House confidently to give the Bill its Third Reading. The first issue is the language and tone of debate. This is an important matter when debate has been so polarised and passionate. In particular, we need to hear a change of tone on the part of the Countryside Alliance...

Gurkhas (14 Sep 2004)

Des Browne: I congratulate the right hon. Member for Maidstone and The Weald (Miss Widdecombe) on being doubly fortunate in having secured two Adjournment debates on this important subject over the past 18 months, and I welcome this debate. May I also thank the hon. Member for Brecon and Radnorshire (Mr. Williams) for his contribution? I should like to remind him that he is but one of a number of...


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