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Results 1–20 of 800 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Alan Reid

Local Press (20 Jan 2009)

Alan Reid: I congratulate the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, South and East Cleveland (Dr. Kumar) on securing this debate. He was right to say that newspapers are the lifeblood of our local communities. They have an important role, because they provide a source of local news and advertising that is not replicated anywhere else, and include such things as court reports, reports of council meetings, and...

Local Press (20 Jan 2009)

Alan Reid: My hon. Friend makes an important point: newspapers are very important for the elderly. What can the Government do to help? They could do a lot by advertising—I am talking about public information, not propaganda. For example, they could advertise advice on where to apply for benefits such as pension credit, healthy living campaigns, notices of road closures, and consultations on planning...

Equitable Life (27 Jan 2009)

Alan Reid: My hon. Friend is correct in saying that this matter should be debated on the Floor of the House. The ombudsman's report was to Parliament, not to the Government, and Parliament should take the decision. It should have the chance to vote and to decide whether to implement the ombudsman's report in full by paying compensation, without means-testing, to everybody who lost out.

Guide to the Rules Relating to the Conduct of Members: Clause 5 — Four Electoral Commissioners to be persons put forward by parties (9 Feb 2009)

Alan Reid: I support the principle behind the hon. Gentleman's amendment, but I do not think that the solution is as elegant as he makes out. His threshold of 15 is too low because in practice it would mean four electoral commissioners for Northern Ireland, and five for the whole of Great Britain. If he wants our support on amendment 89, he would have to increase the threshold.

Guide to the Rules Relating to the Conduct of Members: Clause 5 — Four Electoral Commissioners to be persons put forward by parties (9 Feb 2009)

Alan Reid: The hon. Lady is right about the whole spectrum of experience, but does she not accept that fighting elections under proportional representation is a different experience from fighting elections under first past the post? Amendment 91, which I support, defines a parliamentarian as somebody from any of the devolved Assemblies, as well as from here. Surely, to get that wide spectrum of...

Guide to the Rules Relating to the Conduct of Members: New Clause 17 — Limitation of pre-candidacy election expenses for certain general elections (9 Feb 2009)

Alan Reid: In general, I support the new clause. However, if a national political party were to deluge a constituency with target mail urging people to vote for that party in that constituency without mentioning the candidate, surely that should count as expenditure against the candidate of that registered party. That is surely a loophole in the clause.

Guide to the Rules Relating to the Conduct of Members: New Clause 17 — Limitation of pre-candidacy election expenses for certain general elections (9 Feb 2009)

Alan Reid: If the Government are considering the communications allowance used by Members of this House, can they also look at similar allowances used by those in devolved Parliaments or Assemblies? For example, at the last general election, my opponent was a Conservative list MSP, and it would be unfair if a candidate in such a position were allowed to use the Scottish Parliament equivalent of the...

Opposition Day — [5th Allotted Day]: Royal Mail (11 Feb 2009)

Alan Reid: The Minister is right to say that we have to expand financial services at post offices, but I draw his attention to the recent announcement by National Savings & Investments that holders of individual cash savings accounts will no longer be able to make cash deposits over the counter at post offices. Surely that is a retrograde step, taking yet more business away from the Post Office. Will...

[Hywel Williams in the Chair] — Retained Firefighters (11 Feb 2009)

Alan Reid: I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Carmichael) on securing this important debate. The working time directive should prevent employers from exploiting workers by forcing them to work long hours, but it should not prevent workers, such as retained firefighters, from carrying out the vital, life-saving work of answering emergency calls, if that is what they...

[Hywel Williams in the Chair] — Retained Firefighters (11 Feb 2009)

Alan Reid: My hon. Friend is right. Argyll and Bute council recently started air services to the small islands of Coll and Colonsay, but they would be completely impractical without volunteer firefighters. As an example of the time it takes to get to a fire, a retained firefighter from Cove, which is in my constituency but is by no means in the remotest part, told me: "Response time from Helensburgh to...

Opposition Day — [7th Allotted Day]: European Working Time Directive (10 Mar 2009)

Alan Reid: My hon. Friend is quite right about those individuals giving time to their community. Does he agree that it is ridiculous that, under the European Parliament's proposals, if people got together and voluntarily operated a fire engine without pay they would not be covered by the directive, but because they are professionally trained and get a small wage they will be covered? In fact, the...

[Mr. Martin Caton in the Chair] — HMRC (Office Closures) (11 Mar 2009)

Alan Reid: The hon. Gentleman makes a very powerful case on behalf of his constituents. Does he agree that the proposal, as well as having a devastating effect on current staff, has a knock-on effect in our areas, where jobs will be lost for ever? That will affect future generations. In my constituency, tax offices in Rothesay, Oban and Dunoon provide employment in remote areas where alternative...

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland: Banking (18 Mar 2009)

Alan Reid: Will the Secretary of State support the establishment of a post bank, publicly owned, operating in local communities and taking decisions about granting credit to small businesses based on local knowledge rather than a nationwide formula? I believe that that would give many viable small businesses throughout Scotland access to the credit that the larger banks are denying them.

Oral Answers to Questions — Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform: Hooper Report (19 Mar 2009)

Alan Reid: I welcome the clauses in the Postal Services Bill that allow a levy to be placed on the large private mail operators that are not fulfilling the universal service obligation to compensate Royal Mail, which is fulfilling the USO. There is an urgent need for those clauses to be implemented, because Royal Mail is facing unfair competition at present. Will the Minister give a commitment to a...

Business of the House (19 Mar 2009)

Alan Reid: Can we have an urgent statement from the Defence Secretary in response to this morning's report by the Public Accounts Committee on the future of the UK's nuclear deterrence capacity. The Committee points out that Britain will have to design the new submarines before the United States designs the new missiles that will have go into them. As the Committee points out, it will be difficult to...

Prayers: Fuel Poverty Bill (20 Mar 2009)

Alan Reid: I congratulate my hon. Friend on introducing the Bill. I want to emphasise the point made by the two previous party colleagues who have spoken. In large rural constituencies such as mine, many houses are well outwith the 2 km distance from the gas network that my hon. Friend referred to earlier. There is no possibility of those properties ever getting gas, and they are reliant on a variety of...

Prayers: Royal Marriages and Succession to the Crown (Prevention of Discrimination) Bill (27 Mar 2009)

Alan Reid: I have been listening carefully to the hon. Gentleman's argument and would like to try to help him support the Bill. The quotation that he used earlier was about the use of the word "random", but the point about the Bill is that it seeks to remove something that is not random. The Act of Settlement writes into our constitution that the monarch cannot marry a Catholic. That is not random; it...

Prayers: Royal Marriages and Succession to the Crown (Prevention of Discrimination) Bill (27 Mar 2009)

Alan Reid: Does my hon. Friend agree that one of the important messages that the Bill would send out to the whole country is that discrimination both on the grounds of sex and against Catholics is not permissible in modern society? It is not just about the small number of people who would be directly affected.

Prayers: Royal Marriages and Succession to the Crown (Prevention of Discrimination) Bill (27 Mar 2009)

Alan Reid: I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Oxford, West and Abingdon (Dr. Harris) on his Bill, which has my complete support. It seeks to remove discrimination on the grounds of sex and religion, because those discriminations are relics of the past and should have no place in modern society. Effectively what these ancient laws still say is that women and Catholics are second-class...

Prayers: Royal Marriages and Succession to the Crown (Prevention of Discrimination) Bill (27 Mar 2009)

Alan Reid: I am following the hon. Gentleman's argument, but surely if discrimination on grounds of sex and religion were removed, succession to the Crown would become purely random, in that the first-born child of the previous monarch would succeed. Previous legislation has removed the randomness, so surely his argument, if he wants the succession to remain random, is that the Bill should be passed.


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